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Monday, November 28th
Upgrade got its start in 2017, designed to offer exceptional value through combining rewards checking, affordable personal loans, credit cards and financial education. In its first four years, Upgrade saw more than 15 million people apply for a credit card or loan. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in Phoenix and Montreal.
No surprises in the application process
The quote process for getting a personal loan with Upgrade is simple. Start by entering your desired loan amount, from $1,000 to $50,000, as well as the loan purpose (consolidate debt, make a large purchase, and so on). From there, you'll need to indicate if your application is individual or joint, and provide the corresponding name, address and birthdate of anyone who will be included on the loan documents.
Read the details if you're self-employed
On the next page, you're asked to specify how much you make in a year and any additional annual income. Be sure to click on the FAQ in the text that pops up if you are self-employed: your documentation requirements will be a little different from those who get W2 income.
Verify identity to get loan offers
Finally, to get your personalized rate quotes, you'll need to create an Upgrade account with your email address and desired password, and then enter your full Social Security Number to verify your identity. If Upgrade can't locate your credit profile through TransUnion or another bureau, you'll get a message saying that they can't offer you a loan at this time, and a PDF with the notification of your loan request denial.
Origination fees taken out of loan proceeds
So, let's say you bite the bullet and provide all of the necessary verification info to get a personal loan quote through Upgrade. What can you expect? Generally speaking, all loans through this provider have fixed-rate APRs with repayment terms anywhere from 24-84 months. Those APRs include a one-time origination fee of 2.9-8%, which is deducted from the proceeds of your loan. In other words, if you request a $10,000 personal loan and you're charged an origination fee of 5%, you'll get $9,500 deposited to your bank account.
One-day turnaround for funds
Once your loan is approved, you should see the funds in your bank account within one business day, though it may take your financial institution a few more days to finalize the transaction. How does Upgrade get it done so quickly? Unlike many of the personal loan platforms in our review that operate as a referral service with lots of lenders in the network, Upgrade uses just two financial partners for all their funding: Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. Having a two-lender-only system means that you won't have to jump through any extra hoops of (re)applying after being matched with a financial institution (which is one of the downsides of using a referral platform for your personal loan).
A+ from the Better Business Bureau
At the time of this evaluation, Cross River bank had a "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau, while Blue Ridge had a more favorable "A" rating. Upgrade itself enjoys both accreditation and an "A+" from the BBB, making us confident that they're overseeing the personal loans made by their two lending partners, regardless of each bank's standing.
Clients love this service
And, Upgrade customers seem to agree: with more than 13,000 independently verified reviews, 94% of them give this lender a 4- or 5-star rating. While a handful of clients reported longer-than-average wait times (both for loan processing and for getting in touch with the customer service team to request help), the vast majority describe the personal loan process at Upgrade as quick, easy, and trustworthy.
New service building a good reputation
Upgrade is an all-around solid option for getting a personal loan. Although they're a little bit newer than some of their competitors who've been in the industry for a decade or two, that's no reason to worry that your personal loan isn't in good hands if you choose Upgrade. Thousands of clients have already used this lender to get the money they need, and we're sure you can too.
With inflation on the rise and an endless list of possibilities for unexpected expenses - car repairs, visits to the ER, and broken appliances, to name a few - it's no wonder that an increasing number of people are applying for personal loans.
Sound familiar? If you find yourself in need of some cash, you've probably considered borrowing from a friend or relative - but there's no guarantee that your loved ones are in a position to help, and who really wants to ask? Fortunately, you've got options that don't involve an awkward conversation with people you know. There are many lenders that specialize in personal loans ranging from $500 to as much as $100,000, with simple application processes that can be completed 100% online.
What's the catch? There isn't one, as long as you choose your lender carefully. Some providers of personal loans charge excessively high interest rates and offer shorter-than-average terms, making it harder for you to pay it back on time. On the other hand, most reputable sources of personal loans are completely transparent with their interest rates, give repayment terms of up to five years, and won't charge you any fees if you're able to pay off your loan earlier than anticipated.
How can you determine which lender is the best choice for your personal loan? That largely depends on your individual circumstances, but there are several factors to keep in mind as you consider your options. They include the following:
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