In-Depth Analysis

Upgrade Review 2024

Advertiser Disclosure
Written By
G. Dautovic
August 22, 2023
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

Upgrade offers short-term personal loans and personal lines of credit. Ours is one among many Upgrade reviews that praise the lender for its affordable loans, responsive customer service, and simple application process.

Loan amounts
$1,000 - $50,000

APR range: 8.49%-35.99%

Check Rate

Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

24 to 84 months
See Full Review
1-4 business days
None (but most candidates have at least $30,000)
The US (Read full review for details)
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Offers Visa card tied to line of credit
  • Fast and simple application process
  • Low credit score requirement
  • Applying is free
  • Credit monitoring tool
  • No prepayment fees
  • Rich FAQ
  • Reliable and fast customer support
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • Origination fees add to costs
  • High APR for borrowers with poor credit score
  • Funds may take up to four business days to arrive

Upgrade Overview

Launched in 2017, Upgrade offers two types of financing options for personal needs: fixed-rate personal loans and lines of credit. Although the company is relatively new, it has already extended loans to more than 10 million people.

Upgrade has offices in San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, and Montreal, Canada. Its experts use the latest fintech tools to improve Upgrade’s financial services to borrowers. When it comes to Upgrade loans, reviews like ours praise the lender for its affordable rates, responsive customer agents, and smooth application process.

Upgrade loans are categorized as small loans. They range from $1,000 to $50,000. Borrowers usually apply for this type of financial support to overcome financial crises, refinance credit cards, or make big purchases. Loans at Upgrade are generally unsecured, meaning that you don’t need any collateral to apply.

Upgrade also offers a revolving line of credit that can be used for any purchase. The line of credit comes with a Visa card that is, the company promises, valid wherever Visa is accepted. The card may not be used for withdrawing cash at ATMs, however.

Those with top-tier credit scores are usually eligible for loans anywhere, including at Upgrade. If you have a low FICO score, however, you may find that getting an Upgrade personal loan or credit card isn’t quite so easy. If your credit score is 560 or lower, you may not qualify at Upgrade. If you do, you can expect a higher APR.

upgrade persona loan

How Does Upgrade Compare to Other Lenders?

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Upgrade Financing Options

Upgrade financial solutions include both personal loans and personal lines of credit. Personal loans are for borrowers who need a lump sum for a one-time purpose. The Upgrade line of credit works like any credit card. You make purchases and pay them off over time, paying the purchase price and interest to Upgrade.

Upgrade Personal Loans

Whether you need a personal loan to refinance credit card debt, pay off school or medical expenses, or buy a car, Upgrade could be the perfect provider for you. You can borrow up to $50,000 and use it however you want. The lender transfers the money directly to your bank account so you get access to your funds as quickly as possible.

Upgrade loans come with fixed monthly payments, meaning you won’t have to worry about any surprising increases throughout the life of the loan.

An Upgrade personal loan is an unsecured personal loan. This means that as a borrower, you don’t need to provide collateral to obtain a loan. Unsecured loans generally have higher interest rates. This makes sense; since the lender needs to secure its services somehow, it charges fees and raises its rates.

The exception to this is an auto-secured loan, which is also available at Upgrade. In this case, your car is used as collateral to qualify you for a loan or lower your interest rate.

To qualify for this type of loan, you must:

  • Have a minimum credit score of 560
  • Provide information about your income
  • Be based in the US (excluding Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland)

Upgrade Card

Another personal financing product this lender offers is a line of credit. With a line of credit, you get access to a pool of money from which you can draw funds multiple times. If you repay the amount you use on time, you’re allowed to use more money in the future. A line of credit functions like a traditional credit card, but typically has lower interest rates.

The amount of money you can borrow ranges from $500 to $25,000. When you withdraw funds, Upgrade defines the repayment term and the monthly payments. Upgrade Inc. with withdraw payments directly from your bank account if you wish. You access the line of credit with an Upgrade Visa card that is accepted wherever Visa credit cards are accepted. You cannot use the card in ATMs, however.

To qualify for this type of financing, you must:

  • Have a minimum credit score of 620
  • Provide information about your income
  • Be based in the US (excluding Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland) 

Upgrade Application Process

From our own experience – which is mirrored by countless Upgrade personal loan reviews – we can confirm that the application process is both simple and fast. When you arrive at the site, you’ll see a dropdown menu. To start your application, you simply select a loan amount and specify the reason you are borrowing money.

Unlike some other lenders, Upgrade allows you to check your credit rate for free. The company will perform a “soft” credit check when you apply. This lets Upgrade get a good idea of your credit history and it won’t affect your credit score.

Upgrade is a company that seems to pride itself on flexibility. You’ll receive a loan offer, but if it doesn’t seem like a good option for you, you’re not obliged to accept it.

Here are the steps you need to follow to apply for an Upgrade loan:

  • Go to the Upgrade website
  • Choose the loan amount you need
  • Choose the purpose of your loan
  • Click on the “Check your rate” button
  • Get a quote

If you accept the offer, Upgrade representatives will perform a “hard” credit inquiry and ask you for additional information. Note that this inquiry will cost you five to 10 points on your credit score. The lender’s final offer depends on your credit score, loan term, and your credit history.

Upgrade is a secure and reliable platform. Your personal information – including your name, address, and Social Security number – is as safe here as it is anywhere from fraud and third-party usage.

Upgrade loan reviews confirm that the waiting period for getting funds from Upgrade can be a little longer than you’re likely to experience with other lenders. If you’re lucky, your funds might arrive within one business day, but there’s a chance you’ll wait as long as four business days. If you’re looking for reliable, same-day funding, many other lenders will be more suitable for you.

Upgrade lending reviews also show that you should choose the type of loan you take out wisely. You should carefully calculate how much money you need and choose terms that allow you to pay off the loan without busting your household budget.

As for lines of credit, you’ll find an Upgrade online form on the website that can be completed in just a few minutes. Besides basic personal information, the lender requires information about your annual income.

To apply for Upgrade lending, make sure you can meet the Upgrade loan requirements by providing the following information:

  • Name, address, date of birth, and other basic personal information
  • Desired loan amount and term
  • Credit score
  • Annual income
  • Additional income
  • Additional information to verify your identity

Upgrade’s form has two lines for income. One is intended to disclose your annual salary, while the other includes your spouse’s income and money you receive as a child support or alimony. It might also include income not coming from your salary, like dividends or income from rental properties.

Upgrades Features In-Depth

Upgrade accepts loan applications from borrowers with a credit score of at least 620. As we’ve already mentioned in our Upgrade loans review, meeting that threshold doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a loan. In general, the lower your credit score, the higher the interest rate you’ll be offered.

If you do qualify, the Upgrade loan company will take care of you by helping you find the best financial solution for your needs. One way it does this is through a helpful financial tool that lets you monitor your credit score at any time you want by performing a soft inquiry.

The tool makes it clear which factors affect your credit score and what you can do to improve it. It provides personal tips and it alerts you when your credit score changes.

Our review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Upgrade customer service. Upgrade has fast, knowledgeable, polite customer agents. You can send an email and receive an answer within a few hours.

If you need immediate help, there is also a telephone hotline that works from Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m, and on Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time. You can ask agents anything you want about your loan and they’ll give you accurate information right away.

Loan amount and APR details

Upgrade offers affordable personal loans that can be worth up to $50,000. Since it offers unsecured loans, you shouldn’t be surprised if you pay a slightly higher interest rate here than you would for a secured loan.

When applying for a loan, don’t forget that Upgrade charges a one-time origination fee. The origination fee for a personal loan covers administrative costs, and it’s usually 1% of the entire loan. However, Upgrade’s origination fee is much higher, ranging from 1.85% to 8.99%. You should definitely take this into account when considering your borrowing options.

For example, let’s say you take out an Upgrade loan worth $10,000 over a 36-month term with an APR of 17.59%. The origination fee is 5% and the interest rate is 13.94%. You’ll receive $9,500 ($10,000 minus the 5% origination fee) and make 36 monthly payments of $341.48 for a total of $12,293.46.

One common thread among Upgrade reviews is that clients with good credit scores (680 or above) are generally satisfied with this lender’s rates.

Here’s what you can expect from an Upgrade personal loan:

  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
  • APR: 7.96% to 35.97%
  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 8.99%
  • Loan term: 24 to 84 months
  • Payment terms: Monthly

Upgrade’s lines of credit are slightly different from its personal loans:

  • Loan amount: $500 to $25,000
  • APR: 14.99% to 29.99%
  • Fees: None
  • Payment terms: Monthly

As you can see, a line of credit doesn’t hit you with additional fees, like origination or withdrawal fees. Reviews on Upgrade loans show that borrowing $25,000 and using the Autopay feature typically gives you the best possible interest rate. However, the final APR depends on your credit score, credit history, and the amount you want to borrow.

Eligible and Ineligible Clients

If you meet Upgrade’s requirements, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get a loan from Upgrade. The most important thing is that you have a credit score of 560 or more.

Upgrade loans are available only in the USA. Unfortunately, you won’t be eligible if you’re a resident of one of the following states: West Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, or Maryland.

Repayment Terms

If you take out an Upgrade loan, you’ll pay it back in regular monthly installments. As confirmed by a host of Upgrade reviews, many clients choose this lender because it offers fixed rates. Borrowers are protected from unexpected increases.

When it comes to loan terms, Upgrade’s choices are very limited. You can choose only between a 36-month or a 60-month period. The loan term must be agreed upon during the application process. Make sure you choose wisely so as not to jeopardize your financial health.

Some Upgrade loan company reviews show that clients would be more satisfied with flexible repayment plans, but the good news is that there are no prepayment penalties. If you are ready to pay off the entire loan, you can do it at any time you want.

The Bottom Line

If you want to borrow a small amount of money to consolidate debt, repair your home, or cover unexpected expenses – and you have a good to excellent personal credit score – Upgrade could be the perfect option for you. It offers two financing options: personal loans and lines of credit.

As we’ve mentioned – and as many Upgrade loan reviews on the BBB concur – the main downside of this lender is its limited repayment options. A three-year repayment plan comes with higher APRs, while a five-year plan means lower monthly rates, but only if you have a good credit score.


What is Upgrade?


Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans and revolving lines of credit to individuals. Loans can be used for a range of purposes - from covering unexpected expenses and refinancing credit cards to purchasing appliances for your house or buying gifts. Regardless of why you need a loan, Upgrade will help you choose the financial solution that is most suitable for your needs.

Is Upgrade a good loan company?


Upgrade has been in operation since 2017 and has extended credit to tens of thousands of clients around the USA. Numerous reviews praise this lender for its fast and easy application process, helpful customer agents, and affordable financial services. Its loans come with fixed monthly installments, meaning that whatever happens, you’ll pay the same amount of money during the entire repayment period.

Does Upgrade do a hard pull?


Yes, Upgrade does a hard credit inquiry. This might decrease your credit score by a few points, but the final loan offer is created based on many other criteria, including your credit history and the amount of money you request. The good news is that you can do a soft pull at any time you want with Upgrade’s financial tool. It lets you monitor your credit score and it provides tips on how to improve it. This tool is completely free and compatible with all devices: mobile phones, tablets, and PCs.

How long do Upgrade loans take?


Upgrade loans are short-term loans. You can pay them off over 24 to 84 months. If you want to pay off a loan as soon as possible, you should be prepared to make higher monthly payments. Whichever option you choose, be sure that it fits your budget.

Can you pay off an Upgrade loan early?


Yes, you can pay off your Upgrade loan early without facing fees or penalties.