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      September 24, 2020

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Upstart vs My Auto Loan

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To help you find the Best Auto Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Upstart and My Auto Loan.

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Where can you get the best auto loans? You're right if you suspect that the answer to that question is "not necessarily at the dealership".

You might initially be lured in by a dealership's attractive 0% financing offers - but unless you've got extremely good credit, you're not going to qualify. And, in the excitement of getting your new (or new-to-you) car, you could wind up with interest rates on your car loan that are even higher than what you'd get elsewhere.

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Best Reviews

2020

Auto Loan Reviews

5 stars
Upstart

UPSTART

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2015

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Taking out a loan shouldn't "break the bank" - your piggy bank or your lender's! Upstart works hard to bridge the gap between borrowers' needs and banks' risk aversion by using more criteria than credit scores to determine whether a loan should be funded. The company was started by former Google employees who wanted to get money into the hands of people who needed it, particularly young professionals and college graduates.

Expanded loan qualifications

How does Upstart do it? Simple: their application process takes into account your college degree and field of study, your work history, and the number of years of credit that you may already have on your record to consider you for a personal loan used to buy a car. It's easy to see how many borrowers who might be turned down by a traditional bank are able to qualify when using Upstart's expanded criteria.

New borrowers welcome

That's not to say that everyone can get a car loan with this platform. In general, your FICO or Vantage score will probably need to be at least 580 (or even 620, depending on the laws in your state). But, don't worry if your credit history isn't "old" enough to have a FICO score: Upstart will still let you apply and determine your eligibility based on the factors mentioned previously. Also, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) will be factored in, and you won't be eligible if your credit report contains bankruptcies or any delinquent accounts.

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No impact on your credit

The application process is straightforward, taking most people between 5-10 minutes to enter details like name, address, and income, but also current employment and educational background. It won't impact your credit score when Upstart runs a "soft" credit check to verify the information you provided.

Loan offers within minutes

You could have loan offers within minutes of submitting your application. Once your auto loan is fully approved and you accept the terms, your funds may be in your bank account by the next business day - freeing you up to go negotiate on the car you've been dreaming of.

Nitty gritty details

Let's talk about the nitty-gritty details. Upstart loans are available in all states except West Virginia and Iowa. For borrowers in the other 48 states, loans can be made ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 - though your state may have minimum/maximum loan amounts that will affect what Upstart can offer. Your loan term will either be three or five years, and at the time of this review your APR will be somewhere between 8.13% and 35.99%. As of our most recent visit to Upstart's site, their average 3-year loan across all borrowers has an APR of 15%. Not only is that a decent interest rate for people who have a hard time getting a loan somewhere else, but their average has dropped from a previous average of 21%.

Other fees

You should also look on your loan details for any origination fees specific to your terms. Upstart charges anywhere from 0% to 8%, and the amount depends on what's allowed in your state of residence. Beyond that, the only other fees are if you make a late payment or bounce a check. On the opposite side, you can pay off your loan early and extra payments are always accepted.

Stellar reputation

Not many providers of auto loans have the stellar reputation that Upstart enjoys. Both "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, the company has very few complaints on the BBB site. The majority of the negative comments seem to come from people who didn't read the terms and conditions on their loan documents and had second thoughts after the fact.

Happy customers

Plus, in over 6,000 independently-verified reviews from Upstart borrowers, the lender had a near-flawless average of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Some of those ratings came from clients who have used Upstart more than once for the funding they needed, which is always a good sign. Funds are deposited quickly once the loan terms have been accepted by the borrower, and many people even complete the entire process on their smartphones.

Highest rating

Upstart is a trustworthy, reputable source of personal loans for buying a car - or just about any other purpose. They're definitely a lender to consider if you want your employment and educational history taken into account when determining if you're eligible for vehicle financing. This is our preferred provider of auto loans today.

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3.5 stars
My Auto Loan

MY AUTO LOAN

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2003

My Auto Loan is a surprisingly good option for getting vehicle financing. Operated by Horizon Digital Finance, this service connects people who need to get or refinance an auto loan with up to four different vetted lenders in their network. Their online form only takes two minutes to complete, and you can get your funding within 24 hours - use it to go buy your car or pay off your current loan, the choice is yours.

Eligibility requirements

We had to do a little bit of digging to find My Auto Loan's eligibility requirements for their loan application. These apply only to their initial inquiry form; their partner lenders likely have further criteria that you'll need to meet. The guidelines include the following:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Minimum gross yearly income of $21,000 for a new auto loan; $18,000 for a refinance loan
  • Not a resident of Alaska or Hawaii
  • Vehicle must be 10 years old or newer, with fewer than 125,000 miles
  • Minimum loan amount of $8000 for a new car, $5000 for a refinance
  • FICO score of 575+

Helpful resources

There are some helpful resources on the main page, like an interest rate chart for the day's lowest APRs, an interest rate estimator based on your self-reported credit score, and a payment calculator. Those can give you a better idea of what the outcome will be when you move to the application process.

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Filling out the application

To get started, choose what kind of loan offer you need: new, used, refinance, private party sale, or lease buyout. From there, you'll fill in the standard details about yourself, your employment, and how much you're looking to borrow. You'll also have to provide specifics about the vehicle you're looking to buy, including the total estimated sales price, the requested term of the loan (24-84 months), and any cash down payment. Finally, you'll have to give My Auto Loan your Social Security number and date of birth to complete the pre-qualification application.

Quick turnaround

While most people get a list of loan offers right away, some lenders may need extra time to verify the information provided in the application. You'll be notified if that's the case. Otherwise, you could have several offers to choose from immediately, and the lender you ultimately select may be able to get your funds deposited within one business day.

Hundreds of satisfied customer reviews

My Auto Loan doesn't have as much customer feedback as some of their competitors, but everything we found is positive. The company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2003, with an "A+" rating there. We also found hundreds of five-star reviews from people who used this service to get their auto loan funded.

More transparency please

Where this service comes up a little short, especially when considering similar lender referral platforms, is transparency. Which four lenders do they use in their network? What are the average interest rates and fees? These are the kinds of questions that most of their rivals answer, so that prospective clients know what to expect from the beginning. My Auto Loan could perform higher in our rankings if they made that information readily available on their site.

Solid option

Those details are important because the complaints that we did find about this lending service are usually related to high interest rates, even for borrowers with very high credit scores. Everything else about using My Auto Loan is solid, from quick funding to honest customer service reps. Since there's no ding to your credit score, you might want to apply with My Auto Loan and compare your offers with one of the higher-ranked lending partners in our review.

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Continued from above

Savvy consumers know that the best way to get truly competitive rates on auto loans is by comparison shopping with online lenders. Even if you're just starting the research process, it only takes a few minutes to find out how much you're qualified to borrow and with what loan terms. With that information in hand, perhaps with a preapproval letter too, you'll be much more confident walking into the dealership and negotiating the best possible deal on the car itself.

Some providers of auto loans specialize in helping customers with less-than-perfect credit. These lenders can work with you to get a loan that you can afford, and they take into account your whole financial picture - not just your low credit score, previous late payments, or a bankruptcy in your past. Of course, if your credit history is excellent, shopping around for your auto loan online will likely turn up dozens of offers to choose from.

It's important to carefully consider several criteria when evaluating different online lenders. These factors include the following:

  • Reputation. A seemingly-great auto loan is a bad deal if the lender isn't trustworthy. What does the Better Business Bureau say about the company? Have other car shoppers had a good experience?
  • Functionality. How easy does the auto loan site make the borrowing process, from information-gathering to funding? Can you work through the steps of securing your loan quickly and intuitively?
  • Options. To whom does the lender cater (e.g. people with good/bad credit? New/used car shoppers?)? Do you have a wide range of loans to choose from, both with respect to interest rates and length of the loan period? Are there any perks or penalties in the fine print?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best auto loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you get the right financing for your next vehicle purchase or refinance!

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