Ideal for medium and fair credit

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Personal loans can be a strategic way for you to consolidate debt or pay off large purchases over time. However, it takes a bit of research to apply, qualify, and select a loan that best suits your needs and offers you favorable terms.

While you can always apply directly to a bank or credit union, Upstart offers a way to verify multiple lenders at once. Unlike other lenders on Select’s Best Debt Consolidation Loans list, Upstart is a lending platform that acts as an intermediary between you and its lending partners.

With flexible credit score requirements, Upstart can be more user-friendly for crediting newcomers and people with below average credit scores.

Select the Upstart personal loans reviewed by looking at the APR, benefits, fees, loan amounts and terms. (Learn more about our methodology below.)

Start-up market review

Pushy personal loans

  • Annual percentage rate (APR)

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, marriage, moving or medical

  • Loan amounts

  • terms

  • Credit needed

    FICO or Vantage score of 600 (but will accept applicants with such poor credit history that they do not have a credit score)

  • Original fees

    0% to 8% of the target amount

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

    The greater of 5% of the monthly overdue amount or $ 15


APRs for Upstart loans range from 6.95% to 35.99% and are determined based on factors such as your credit, income, work experience, and educational background. (However, neither Upstart nor its banking partners have minimum education requirements to be eligible for a loan.) The interest rate is only one factor of the total APR, which is the cost of the loan. one year loan; other charges are listed below.


Almost all personal loan funds are sent the next business day after completing all required paperwork by 5pm (Monday through Friday). Education-related expenses, however, have a three-day waiting period.

Loan applicants need a Vantage score of at least 600, but Upstart accepts applicants who do not have a credit score.


The origination fee for this loan is 0% to 8% of the loan you are approved for. A downside to this loan is that these fees are automatically withheld from the loan before it is released to you.

Upstart charges a late fee of 5% of the overdue amount or $ 15, whichever is greater.

If you request hard copies of your loan agreement, you pay a fee of $ 10, but virtual copies are free.

There are no prepayment penalties with Upstart loans.

Amount of the loan

Loan amounts range from $ 1,000 to $ 50,000, but not all applications will qualify for the full amount. The amount you qualify for will be determined based on your credit, income, and other information about your loan application.

Exceptions to the minimum loan amount depend on the state: Massachusetts starts at $ 7,000, Ohio at $ 6,000, New Mexico at $ 5,100, and Georgia at $ 3,100.

Term of office

The term of office can be 36 or 60 months.

At the end of the line

A major downside to Upstart personal loans are the high fees and APR, but if you have fair or average credit, Upstart may offer a higher chance of approval than other traditional lenders.

If you’re trying to improve your credit, consider other options before taking out a personal loan and think about what goes into your credit score.

If you have good to great credit and are looking to pay less in fees, LightStream offers personal loans with APRs as low as 2.49% for qualifying borrowers.

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are best for debt consolidation, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by online and physical banks, including major credit unions. Where possible, we have chosen loans with no origination or enrollment fees, but we have also included options for borrowers with a lower credit rating on this list. Some of these options have origination fees. For loans with no set-up fee, check out our best personal loan list.

When selecting and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:

  • APR at fixed rate: Variable rates can fluctuate over the life of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the life of the loan, which means your monthly payment will not vary, making it easier to plan your budget.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts / conditions: Each lender offers several financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long it takes to pay off your loan.
  • No prepayment penalty: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for prepayment of loans.
  • Simplified application process: We looked at whether lenders offer same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process.
  • Customer service: Each loan on our list provides customer service available by phone, email or secure online messaging. We have also opted for lenders who have an online resource center or advice center to help educate you about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Disbursement of funds: The loans on our list provide funds quickly by wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we have noted) offer the option of paying your creditors directly.
  • Automatic payment discounts: We have noted lenders who reward you for signing up for automatic payment by lowering your APR from 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditors’ payment limits and loan amounts: The above lenders offer loans in a range of sizes, from $ 1,000 to $ 100,000. Each lender advertises their respective payment limits and loan amounts, and completing a pre-approval process can give you an idea of ​​your interest rate and monthly payment for such amount.

Note that the advertised rates and fee structures for personal loans are subject to fluctuate based on the Fed rate. However, once your loan agreement is accepted, a fixed rate APR will guarantee your interest rate and the monthly payment will remain constant for the duration of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment, and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a serious credit check and ask for a complete application, which might require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address, etc.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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