Startup Personal Loans: 2023 Review - NerdWallet (2023)

Personal loans for beginners are a quick but somewhat inflexible financing option. Approval and funding times are among the fastest among lenders; However, Upstart does not offer joint, co-signed, or collateralized loans. The online loan platform also only has two term options.

Upstart differs from other online lenders with its subscription model. The company uses artificial intelligence and non-traditional data — like college education, work history, and residency — to qualify borrowers. More traditional lenders like banks focus almost exclusively on the borrower's credit report, debt, income and assets.

" COMPARE: View your bad credit loan options


Loans for beginners at a glance

Where Upstart Personal Loan excels and falls short

How to qualify for an Upstart personal loan

How to Apply for an Upstart Personal Loan

How to Compare Alternative Personal Loans

How we rate Upstart personal loans

Beginner personal loan at a glance

minimum credit rating



6,50% - 35,99%.


  • Formation: 0% to 10%.

  • Late Fee: 5% of unpaid amount or $15; the larger value applies.

  • Bad check fee: $15.

loan amount

1.000 US-Dollar bis 50.000 US-Dollar.

Refund Policy

3 or 5 years.

Time to finance after approval

1 Tag.

credit availability

Loans are not available in Iowa.

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Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit history, income, and other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will receive the full amount. Minimum loan amounts vary by state: GA ($3,100), HI ($2,100), MA ($7,000), NM ($5,100), OH ($6,000). The full range of fares available varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered to all lenders using the Upstart platform has an APR of 25.05% and 60 monthly payments of $25.80 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan is $15,478, including a $804 processing fee. The APR is calculated based on the 5-year rates offered in June 2022. Your APR is determined based on your creditworthiness, income, and other information provided on your loan application. Not all applicants are admitted. This offering is subject to final approval based on our review and review of financial and non-financial information. Loan rate and amount are subject to change based on the information provided in your completed application. This offer can only be accepted by the person named in this offer who is of legal age to enter into the Credit Extension Agreement, is a US citizen or permanent resident and is currently a US resident. Duplicate offers are not valid. Completion of your loan is conditional on you meeting our eligibility requirements, verification of your information, and acceptance of's Terms of Service.

Where Upstart personal loans stand out

Alternative data usage:Many personal loan lenders primarily review credit and income information to make an application decision, but Upstart includes details like college education and work history in borrower ratings. The lending platform says its non-traditional underwriting model helps it approve more borrowers and offer loans at lower interest rates than lenders who only check creditworthiness.

" MORE: NerdWallet picks for best bad credit loans

Fast financing:According to Upstart, borrowers receive an immediate approval decision upon application. Once approved, the company funds the loans within one business day. Few of Upstart's competitors have instant app approval.

" MORE: quick personal loans

Smooth credit check for pre-qualification:Upstart offers a pre-qualification on its website so borrowers can check their interest rate without going through onehard credit deduction. This feature is common in personal loans.

Change the payment date:While the original due date of the borrower's payment cannot be changed, Upstart allows payments up to 15 days before or after the due date, allowing for virtually unlimited changes to payment dates.

For example, if your loan is due on the 8th of the month and you change your payment date to the 10th, your payment will not be late because it is within the payment deadline. However, if you move your payment date to the 25th, there will be a delay and you may be charged a late fee.

Free Financial Education:Upstart offers financial education on personal loans and home loans on its blog. The company occasionally introduces borrowers and discusses personal loan and credit news. There is also a personal loan calculator on the Upstart website that can show you how the interest rate and payment period affect monthly payments and interest costs.

Where personal loans for beginners fail

Limited Refund Policy:Borrowers can choose a term of three or five years. The same terms are offered by some other online lenders, but they are inflexible compared to lenders with only five or six payment term options. The more payment terms you can choose from, the more control you have over monthly payments and interest charges.

Incorporation fee:Some lenders using Upstart's online lending platform charge aorigination fee, which is common with personal loans, but the fee reduces the overall loan amount. Make sure the loan is enough to cover your expenses once the fee is charged.

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No mobile app to manage a loan:Some online lenders have mobile apps that allow borrowers to make loan payments, view their payment history, and see their current credit score. Upstart does not offer these features.

No co-signed, pooled or secured loan options:Adding a co-signer, co-borrower, or surety bond to a loan can help borrowers who don't qualify get a reasonable interest rate on a personal loan. Upstart only offers unsecured loans.

" COMPARE:Lenders offering personal loans with a co-signer

How to qualify for an Upstart personal loan

Most lenders have minimum requirements to qualify and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify.

To apply for an Upstart loan, you must:

  • Be a US citizen.

  • Be at least 18 years old in most states.

  • Have a valid email account.

  • Have a verifiable name, date of birth and social security number.

  • Have a full-time job or start one within six months.

  • Do you have a bank account.

Upstart doesn't disclose many of its credit requirements, but it says it uses more than 1,000 data points to determine if you qualify and considers more types of credit and income sources than many of its competitors.

Here are some basic requirements to qualify for an Upstart loan.

  • Minimum Credit Rating: None; Upstart says it accepts applications from borrowers with all types of credit. It can approve borrowers with insufficient credit history to generate a FICO score.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000; Upstart accepts employment income, alimony, retirement, alimony, social security, rent, funds, pensions, disability, and grants. You only need to provide a non-professional source of income if you want Upstart to include it in an application.

Before applying

  • Check your credit.You canGet your free credit reportat NerdWallet or This will help you spot and correct mistakes before applying.

  • Calculate your monthly payments.use onepersonal loan calculatorto determine what APR and repayment terms you need to get a loan with affordable monthly installments.

  • Make a plan to pay off the loan.Check your budget to see how monthly loan payments are affecting your cash flow. If you need to cut other expenses to pay off the loan, it's best to know before borrowing.

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  • Gather your papers.The novice may request proof of income, which can be a W-2 or payslip, as well as proof of address and a social security number. Having these documents handy can speed up the application process.

How to Apply for an Upstart Personal Loan

Upstart pre-qualification includes more employment, education, and income questions, so it may take longer to complete than other lenders.

Here are the steps to apply for an Upstart loan.

  1. prequalificationno side da upstart.On the Upstart website, select "Check My Rate" and then "Personal Loan" to begin pre-qualification. Enter the desired loan amount and the purpose of the loan, as well as some personal information such as your name, address, email address and telephone number. You then add information about your sources of income and how much money you have in your bank and investment accounts. Finally, set up an account and check your plan. At this time there is no attraction for hard loans.

  2. View loan offers and choose one.If you pre-qualify, you will see multiple offers with different rates and terms. Upstart says borrowers can change their loan amount and see different interest rates and terms. Choose the offer with cheap monthly installments and reasonable interest costs.

  3. Submit an application.After you've decided on an offer, submit a formal application, which may require proof of income such as a W-2, employment contracts, tax returns, or other documents. Collect these before applying to expedite the application.

  4. Make a plan to pay off the loan.Upstart reports payments to all three major credit bureaus, so making payments on time will help improve your credit score, but missing payments will hurt you. There are two ways to set up automatic payments and keep an eye on your budgetManage your loan payments.

Check prices on Upstart

Compare Upstart to other lenders

Personal lenders offer different interest rates, loan amounts, and special features, so it's worth exploring other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.

Upgrade and LendingPoint offer solid rates for borrowers with imperfect credit. The minimum requirements for the creditworthiness of both lenders are in thebad credit.

" MORE: Compare personal loans

Upstart vs. update

The upgrade personal loan is an outstanding option for consumers who are looking for itconsolidate debt. Unlike Upstart, Upgrade pays other lenders directly for debt consolidation loans and discounts your fee for using the facility.

" MORE: Best Debt Consolidation Loans

An upgrade may take a day or two longer than Upstart to fund a loan. Upgrade personal loans are more flexible than Upstart's, offering more term options and the ability to take out a co-loan or secured loan.

" MORE: Update personal credit check

Emporkömmling vs. LendingPoint

Like Upstart, LendingPoint personal loans are a good choice for big purchases. LendingPoint can fund loans same-day or next-day, which is similar to Upstart's time-funding, but also offers credit-building features, including loan-building tips.

" MORE: Review of LendingPoint Personal Loans

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LendingPoint offers more payment term options, but its largest loans are $36,500. If you need a smaller loan with more flexible terms, LendingPoint is worth considering, but for larger expenses like a home improvement project, Upstart is a better option.

" MORE: The best loans for home improvement

How we rate Upstart personal loans

NerdWallet authors rank lenders under a category that changes each year based on the evolution of personal loan products. Here is what we have prioritized this year:


Rating in stars



loan flexibility

customer experience


Category Definitions

AccessibilityAn affordable loan has low interest rates and fees compared to other similar loans and can offer reduced interest rates.transparencyA transparent lender makes it easy to find loan information on their website, including interest rates, terms, and loan amounts. Transparency also means users can pre-qualify online to view potential loan offers and report payment information to major credit flexibilityA flexible loan allows users to customize terms and payments. This means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their repayment date, offering loans in most states and funding them quickly.customer experienceA good customer experience can include a full online application process, financial information on the lender's website, and a customer service team that is available most of the time and can be reached in a variety of ways.

Apply soon?Click the button below and visit the Upstart website to pre-qualify.


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