Upstart – A personal loan based on education, area of study and job history
Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending company, started from employees that used to work for google. They offer an idea that is a bit different from other peer-to-peer personal loan companies such as LendingClub or Prosper. Instead of only factoring your work history, credit score and credit history. Upstart takes into account other factors such as your education, area of study and job history.
You could say this personal loan company is aimed toward graduates just getting out of school and wanting to do something financial related. It could easily be for debt consolidation, paying student loans, medical bills, or even a start-up for a business.
Types of Loans Available
Upstart offers unsecured, fixed-rate personal loans in amounts ranging from $3,000 to $35,000 . However, residents of Ohio and Massachusetts, who must borrow a minimum of $6,000 or $7,000, respectively. Potential APRs range from 4.66% to 29.99%, which is determined based on the grade your loan is assigned (AAA to E). Loan grades are assigned based on evaluation of a variety of personal and financial information which you provide during the application process.
The Qualification Process
Upstart takes several factors into consideration such as FICO score, years of credit, education, area of study, and job history. These factors will help determine your approval rates and term.
The process is quite simple and similar to other personal loan applications. They start by performing a soft credit pull (does not affect your credit score), then they ask for the purpose for the loan. Thereafter, you are taken to another area where they ask for the loan amount you need and some personal information.
Keep in mind that with Upstart, you education does carry weight alongside your credit score when applying. You also need a minimum credit score of 640. The maximum term length is 3 years (36 months), which is on a the lower end. There are loan companies that offer up to 5 years (60 months)
Upstart’s approval process is very quick, once you submit your application. Your application could be approved within 1 to 2 business days and you can see the money deposited a day after approval. Of course, everything depends on the purpose of the loan and how long it takes for you to agree to the terms.
Payments and Fees
Upstart loans have a 3 year repayment period (36 months) and payments normally begin 20 to 30 days from the day you receive your loan.
Every loan made through Upstart is subject to an origination fee which will be deducted from the total amount you receive. This fee is dependent upon your assigned loan grade and can range from 1% for AAA-grade loans to 6% for C-, D and E-grade loans. Other fees include a late fee for payments made more than 10 days after your due date, a $15 check fee if you choose to pay by check and a $15 fee for any ACH transfer or check payment that doesn’t go through. The late fee will be 5% of the total amount past due or $15, whichever is higher.
- Origination fee: 1–6% of the target amount
- Late payment fee: 5% of the amount that is late or $15
- Processing fee: $15 if you pay off your loan by checks
- The interest accrues daily; it doesn’t accrue on interest itself.
Customer Service and Support
Upstart can be contacted by phone, email, online contact form and live chat. Their phone support and live chat services are available from Monday through Friday from 6am to 8pm PST.
We found their phone and live chat quite helpful in answering any of our questions. Their website offers an excellent resource to apply for a loan, gather information, and learn a bit more about personal loans.
They provide a pretty good FAQ page with answers to common questions in personal loans. They explicitly display their terms and fees for everyone to see, which is a good sign. There is also a blog that helps provide financial tips, very informative as well.
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