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About Upstart

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Upstart is an online platform that uses AI software to help you find lenders that fit your needs. Loans with Upstart feature no prepayment penalties and a quick funding period. While most of its loans require a credit score of at least 600, Upstart does offer some loans for borrowers with poor or no credit history.


  • No prepayment penalty
  • Most loans funded in a business day
  • 600+ credit score typically required
  • Options for those with poor credit


  • Approval not guaranteed
  • No bankruptcy or collections help
  • Regular income required

Bottom Line

Upstart uses an online AI lending platform to provide funding for as many applicants as possible. Though APRs are slightly higher than competitors, borrowers benefit from the availability of next-day funds in most cases.

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What is Upstart?

Upstart is an unsecured online platform that specializes in fast lending. It uses AI to provide access to affordable credit, and most of its loan options are fully automated. The company partners with lenders to offer loans of $1,000 to $50,000 (minimum amounts vary by state).

Upstart’s loan types include personal, credit card and debt consolidation, home improvement, medical, wedding and moving. Its lenders’ interest rates are fixed and range from 7.98% to 35.99% with term lengths of three to five years. Upstart doesn’t require a down payment; the loan amount you qualify for depends on your credit, income, debt and other personal information.

Upstart loan requirements

To see available loan rates, fill out a form on the Upstart website (this will not affect your credit score). The majority of users can complete the application without providing additional documentation. You’ll receive Upstart and GuideToLenders offers and can choose which loan to apply for. Final approval depends on a credit check, which generates a hard credit inquiry that may slightly affect your credit score. Most borrows receive instant notification on whether they were approved.

To borrow via Upstart, you must provide a Social Security number, be at least 18 and have a valid email address and personal bank account. You also need a full-time job, a current job offer or a verifiable source of regular income and a minimum credit score of 600 — though applicants without sufficient credit history might be approved by other methods.

Most Upstart loans are funded the business day following signing, though loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a three-day waiting period. Upstart doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty for users who pay off loans early. Payments are due monthly and can be made by check or recurring or manual transfer.

Upstart rates

Upstart advertises APRs between 7.98% and 35.99% as of the time of publishing. Rates vary based on your credit score and history, and customers can get a rate quote by filling out a form on the company's website.

Upstart doesn’t disclose whether or not it charges a fee for using its tool. Depending on the loan and lender you select, you could have to pay a borrowing fee — an origination fee, for instance. Upstart doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty for its loans.

Upstart FAQ

What’s the minimum credit requirement for Upstart?
Upstart typically requires a minimum credit score of 600, though potential borrowers with little or no credit history can be approved by alternative methods.
Will Upstart hurt my credit?
Checking rates on Upstart’s website generates a score-only credit inquiry, which doesn’t hurt your credit. When you apply for a loan, the lender performs a hard credit inquiry, which can affect your score. If you accept a loan offer, it affects your debt-to-income ratio, which can lower your score. If you make on-time payments the entire term length, you can improve your score in the long run.
How long does it take for Upstart to deposit money?
Upstart loan funds are typically deposited the next business day as long as applicants complete all steps before 5 p.m. ET on a weekday. Otherwise, it often takes two business days. Loan funds for education purposes are subject to a three-day waiting period.
Can you pay off an Upstart loan early?
Yes, you can pay off an Upstart loan early without a prepayment penalty.

Is Upstart legit?

Yes. Upstart’s AI model is designed to approve more applications and streamline the loan process for applicants and lenders. In most cases, the online process is fully automated. For borrowers who want a fast loan with no frills, Upstart specializes in next-day funding. Its partners’ interest rates are slightly higher than other online lenders, but the company does accept some applicants with no credit history who meet other eligibility criteria.

Upstart Reviews

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 19, 2021

It took almost 4 months for filing and processing a claim on the damaged package, the check was written in my name was finally received at the UPS store, now the person who received my check does not come to the store regularly, maybe he is busy on another private job and does not show on his regular duty in the UPS store. Why wasn't the check sent directly to me at my home address?

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