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      July 7, 2020

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Upstart vs Personal Loans

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To help you find the Bad Credit Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Upstart and Personal Loans.

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If you have poor credit, where's the best place to get a bad credit loan? With so much economic turmoil, there's never been a time where bad credit loans have been more in demand. No matter what caused your credit score to be below 600 - the typical threshold for a "bad" credit rating - you're far from alone.

Out of approximately 230 million Americans who qualify for a credit score, almost 70 million have poor credit. Some of the most common reasons for low credit scores are expected financial hardships (like job loss or medical expenses), not using credit responsibly, or simply being unaware of the factors that contribute to having a healthy credit history.

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Best Reviews

2020

Bad Credit Loan Reviews

5 stars
Upstart

UPSTART

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Loan:

From $1,000 to $50,000

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Founded by former-Google employees, Upstart wants to make credit affordable to borrowers while reducing risk for banks. Although Upstart targets a specific demographic - recent college grads and young professionals - they earn our top rating for bad credit loans. Why? It's the only lender in our review that looks far beyond your actual credit score when deciding if you're eligible to borrow money. Do you have a degree, in a solid field of study? Do you have a strong work history? How many years of credit are on your record? Upstart takes all of this into account, making it more likely that you'll qualify.

Your minimum credit requirements to be eligible for an Upstart bad credit loan depend on where you live. Generally speaking, you'll need a minimum Vantage or FICO score of 580. In some states, that minimum score is 620. However, if you don't have a sufficient credit history to produce a FICO score, you can still apply for funding through Upstart - which you probably won't find with many other lenders.

Upstart also takes into consideration your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and you can't have any bankruptcies or accounts in collections/delinquent currently on your credit report.

The online application takes just 5 minutes, but expect to answer more in-depth questions about your employment and educational background. A "soft pull" of your credit history will be done, to verify your credit score and information. If your application is approved and you accept your loan terms, you could have your loan money deposited by the next business day. (Please note that if you live in Iowa or West Virginia, you aren't eligible for a bad credit loan through Upstart.)

Loans are available in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. All of the loans offered have a fixed-rate APR, no matter the amount borrowed. According to Upstart, the average 3-year loan funded through them will have an APR of 21%. That's not a bargain, but we're pretty sure it's a lower interest rate than what you're currently paying on your credit card(s). Although we couldn't find this detailed on the Upstart site, our research indicates that you should also expect origination fees when your bad credit loan is funded. Those fees could represent up to 8% of your total loan amount, so be sure to read the fine print before you accept your funding.

On the other hand, there are no fees for paying off your loan early or for making extra payments. (And that's usually a smart idea!)

Upstart has a phenomenal reputation. The Better Business Bureau continues to give this lender an "A+" rating and accreditation. And, over nearly 6,000 independently-verified client reviews, Upstart earned a 4.9 out of 5 stars. We were especially encouraged to see reviews from repeat customers - it's always a plus to see that people like a business enough to come back for more, especially in an industry that can be as tricky as loans/finance.

If you have not-so-great credit (or no credit history at all) and want a lender that will look at the whole picture of your life, start with Upstart. There's no other institution that takes your education and earning potential into consideration when deciding if you qualify to borrow money. Upstart is trustworthy and efficient, and they easily earned our highest recommendation among providers of bad credit loans.

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1.5 stars
Personal Loans

PERSONAL LOANS

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Loan:

From $500 to $35,000

Personal Loans is one of several services in our review that acts as a third-party connection between borrowers and lenders. In order to qualify for a bad credit loan, you'll need to meet certain minimum criteria, like being at least 18 years old and having some form of reliable income.

While Personal Loans does have a Rates and Fees page, they don't offer many specifics. When it comes to your APR, costs or loan terms, you'll only find those out when you complete the application process and get matched with a lender. Example loans on that page show interest rates from 12-24%, but our research shows that you can expect a range that's actually between 5.99% (fantastic!) to 35.99% (not as fantastic). Repayment timeframes stretch between 3 and 72 months, depending on the size of your bad credit loan.

To get started in your search for a lender willing to give you a bad credit loan, start with the short online form. Enter the amount you're requesting, your credit score range (this site uses "Below 500" as their criteria for poor credit, for what it's worth), and why you need a loan (e.g. emergency situation, pay down debt). On the second page, you'll have to get much more personal, including your driver's license number and full SSN. That always makes us pause a minute, especially if we're not sure of a provider's reputation.

So, how does this company do in that regard? Personal Loans had a "C+" rating from the BBB at the time of our most recent visit. The explanation was that the company had failed to respond to one customer complaint in the past 3 years. That doesn't seem like it would result in such a low grade, but it's worth keeping in mind. We found a few inconsistencies on the site (e.g. one page saying we should see their coverage map to see if our state is one they service, but not finding any maps on the page we were told to visit), but nothing too bad.

On the other hand, we noticed that Personal Loans used the exact same online form as our lowest-ranked source of bad credit loans. That did cause some concern, because that service is known for doing little more than giving away people's information to telemarketers. Plus, clicking on the "Positive Reviews" link on the page that says the service has been trusted by over 500,000 people in the last 15 years...only took us back to Personal Loan's "About Us" page. There was nothing else on the site to connect us with feedback from actual customers.

At the end of the day, Personal Loans comes across as a repackaging of a service with very negative reviews, just with a different name. The only reason we gave the newer site a slightly higher score is because of their slightly higher rating from the BBB. But, when it comes to a provider you can believe in, Personal Loans is not a trustworthy option for bad credit loans.

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Continued from above

Unfortunately, getting a loan when you have bad credit can be a paradox: in order to qualify for the best loans, you need a good credit history. But, to establish a good credit history, you often need to have demonstrated that you are responsible with credit - by making on-time payments, not overutilizing the credit you've been extended, and so on. On the other hand, without a loan to pay off debts and handle current financial demands, you could find yourself even deeper in the hole as calls from collection agencies start coming in and the pressure mounts.

Does this sound familiar? If so, take a deep breath and recognize that there's hope - because there are providers out there who offer loans to people with bad credit. And no, you won't have to sign away your life to qualify, though you should be aware that the terms will probably not be as favorable as those offered to people with high credit scores. That's only fair, as the lenders are taking on more risk when they give money to people with a less-than-sterling track record.

How can you tell which lender to use for your bad credit loan? That's an excellent question to ask. After all, you want to be sure that any loan you accept is going to help you get back on your feet financially, with terms you can actually meet. Here are several criteria that can help you choose the right lending partner for your situation:

  • Reputation. With something as major as a loan, you want a provider that has already established itself as being trustworthy, reliable, and fair. What do other people say about their experiences borrowing from this lender? Has the company been rated by the BBB?
  • Transparency. Shady lenders hide everything in the fine print, like high interest rates and penalties for early repayment. You want to choose a lender that makes their terms as clear as possible before you sign on the dotted line. While the terms of your particular bad credit loan will probably be determined during your application process, the most transparent lenders will provide estimates of their fees and average APR, to give you an idea before you start providing your personal details.
  • Usability. Applying for a bad credit loan could be a little nerve-wracking, and a hard-to-use website doesn't make things easier. Choose a lender that makes it as simple and fast as possible to complete your application and receive your funds.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best bad credit loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you to quickly get the money you need, with terms that are fair and affordable, so that you can get back on your feet financially!

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