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Thursday, January 20th
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 education, employment, 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. Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart's rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan. 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 credit 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 very long - Upstart will still let you apply and determine your eligibility based on the factors mentioned previously. Also, you won't be eligible if your credit report contains bankruptcies or any delinquent accounts.
The application process is straightforward, taking most people between 5-10 minutes to enter details like name, address, income, current employment, and educational background. The initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, they do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus. Of course, this is true whenever you take out a loan, regardless who it's from.
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. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law. All of this frees you up to go negotiate for the car you've been dreaming of
Nitty gritty details
Let's talk about the nitty-gritty details. Upstart loans are available from $1,000 to $50,000 - though your state may have minimum/maximum loan amounts that will affect what Upstart can offer. Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. Your loan term will either be three or five years, and at the time of this review Upstart's rates were very competitive.
Loan terms and fees
Upstart advertises a range of interest rates, and we found them to be very competitive with other lenders in the industry. All loans funded through this service have repayment terms of either 3 or 5 years. Upstart charges anywhere from 0% to 8% as an origination fee. In other words, if you request a $10,000 personal loan and you're charged an origination fee of 3%, you'll get $9,700 deposited to your bank account. Beyond that, the only other fees are if you make a late payment or bounce a check. Of course, you can pay off your loan early and extra payments are always accepted.
Get your money fast
If your application is approved and you accept your loan terms, you could have your loan money deposited by the next business day. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.
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.
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.
Upstart is a trustworthy, reputable source of personal loans for buying a car - or just about any other purpose. They're definitely a lending platform 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.
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.
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:
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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