Upstart Review

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Good for: Personal loans, credit cards, debt consolidation, school loans, vehicle loans

Upstart Overview

Upstart is a lending marketplace that was founded by ex-Googlers who know there’s more to your credit score than what most agencies track. They believe that your education and job history play just as important of a role in your ability to qualify for a loan and they’ve employed AI & machine learning to automate the lending process. This radical innovation in the lending process helps lenders in their marketplace network better quantify risk with their sophisticated credit model.


Upstart is an online lending marketplace that provides personal loans using non-traditional variables, such as education and employment, to predict creditworthiness.

Personal Loans

Personal loans are unsecured loans that don’t require collateral in order to qualify. While most lenders don’t perform traditional credit checks, your financial standing must be evaluated to determine whether or not you have the capability of repaying the loan. Metrics like your debt to income ratio carry more weight than your credit score does. Upstart’s smart credit model even factors in your employment history and education to better ascertain your creditworthiness.


  • Government Issued ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Residence
  • Proof of Income (Most recent pay stubs)


  • Loan Amount: $1,000 - $50,000
  • Loan Duration: 36 - 60 months
  • Collateral Needed: No
  • Interest Rates: 8.36% - 35.99%
  • Minimum Credit Score: Not Listed
  • Approval Time: ~1 Business Day
  • Loan Deposit Time: ~1 Business Day
  • Late Fees: Yes
  • Insufficient Funds Fees: Yes


Upstart has made applying for a personal loan incredibly easy, and probably faster than any other lender operating today. Their loan process is entirely online and can be found at Once here, you fill out a few quick questions about your employment and education and you’ll be able to check your loan rates in 2 minutes. Once you’ve reviewed your rates, all you have to accept the personal loan and you’ll have your money by the next business day.


Upstart is a curious lender because on the surface, they’re a great lender. Beneath the surface, they’re revolutionizing the lending industry so it makes reviewing them a bit of a unique situation. Do we focus on the P’s and Q’s that make a great lender or do we focus on how they’re on the ground floor of something great?

Might as well do both, right?

Upstart has very competitive interest rates, a wide range of loan amounts ($1,000 - $50,000), long loan terms for low monthly payments, and they aren’t overextending themselves by trying to offer a dozen and one different services when they’re such a young company. Most new companies will try to do everything to make themselves look bigger than they are, spread themselves too thin, and end up doing everything poorly. Upstart focuses on just personal loans and they’ve got that nailed down, which is great.

They even offer their lending platform to banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to help them better quantify risk in lending to particular borrowers. Which is also great since their lending model is showing significantly lower loss rates than their competitors. This means it’s more accurate and they aren’t funding loans to people that can’t pay them back. That’s a win / win because the Upstart won’t have to deal with collections / losses and borrowers won’t end up wrecking their credit by taking out a loan they can’t afford to pay back.

What’s even more interesting is that their model increased approval rates, compared to several large US banks, by almost 175% at the same default rate as those banks or it was able to reduce the default rate by 75% at the same approval rate. What that means is that their model is able to more accurate assess borrower creditworthiness to either fund more loans or have fewer defaults with less risk to lenders. The big layman takeaway is that it’s easier for you to get the money you need when you need it with Upstart or an Upstart powered lender.


Yes. Upstart's personal loans have great interest rates spread over a long term so your monthly payments are affordable and easily budgeted for.


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