Palo Alto, CA-based Upstart is a peer-to-peer marketplace that promises a smarter way to take out an unsecured loan for young people with little credit history or short work experience. The lack of substantial credit score raises a red flag among mainstream lenders, but Upstart uses a different statistical model to gauge your repayment ability.
How is Upstart different?
The Upstart model created by ex-Google employees puts into the assessment mix your degree program, graduation year, academic performance, and employment history (no matter how short) to calculate your economic viability and the corresponding loan amount. It relies less on your FICO score (Fair Isaac Corporation), which means you can get a more favorable loan based on economic indicators that you already have.
Loans range from $3,000 to $25,000 and made by Cross River Bank, a federally insured commercial bank in New Jersey. Borrowers in Ohio can only take a minimum of $6,000, while those from Massachusetts have a minimum cap of $7,000 minimum.
For newly graduates or people with a promising career but are just starting off or entrepreneurs who are short in funding but with business potential, Upstart offers a good alternative to mainstream lending institutions. You can use the loan for varied purposes including: paying off or consolidating credit card debt; securing student loans for college or grad school; relocating or traveling; medical bills or making a large purchase; or expanding or starting a business.
How much are the rates and fees?
On average, Upstart claims to have 30% less interest rates than many lenders. It services loan grades from AAA to D with interest rates ranging from 5.00% to 25.26%. Likewise, its APR starts at 5.7% with no prepayment penalty. The lender charges extra fees including: a one-time 1%-6% origination fee; late payment fee; $15 check processing fee; and $15 ACH (automated clearing house) return or check refund.
How to apply for a loan?
Applying for a loan in their website is easy in 3 quick steps: answer a few questions regarding your education and employment and get your rate in 2 minutes; accept the terms and receive the loan on the next day; and automate your monthly payment. Specifically, if you apply and accept the terms by 5 PM ET (weekends and holidays excluded), you will get the loan on the following business day. However, if you are applying for education-related loan, it is subjected to a mandatory 3-day waiting period after you have accepted the terms. Upstart said your loan request will not affect your credit score.
The Fine print
Upstart is for people with unsubstantial credit score, which means if you have bad credit you may not be eligible. It requires a minimum FICO score of 640, one of the more lenient in the industry. You also must not be paying off a current loan or have an existing delinquent debt. You must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident currently living in the country (except active military personnel). Likewise, you must have a verifiable name, date of birth, and social security number to qualify for a loan.
- $6,000 minimum for borrowers in Ohio
- $7,000 minimum for borrowers in Massachusetts
Interest rate: From 5.00% (AAA) to 25.26% (D)
APR (est.): From 5.7%
Area being served: U.S.
Loan Period: depends on your assessment
How to apply for a loan?
Applying for a loan is simple and fast in 3 quick steps:
- Answer a few questions about your personal information, education, and employment and get your rate within 2 minutes
- Accept the terms and receive the loan on the next day
- Automate repayment schedule
- Origination fee: one-time 1%-6% of loan amount; non-refundable deduction prior to loan release
- Late payment fee: whichever is higher, 5% of past due amount or $15 per late payment
- Check processing fee: $15 per check received; subject to applicable laws in the borrower’s state
- ACH (automated clearing house) return or check refund fee: $15 per occurrence
Terms & Conditions
- minimum FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score of 640
- no current loan payables or existing delinquent loan
- at least 18 years old
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident currently living in the U.S. (except active military personnel)
- verifiable name, date of birth, and social security number
- have full-time job, a full-time job starting within 6 months, part-time job, or a source or regular income
- have a U.S. financial institution account with routing transit number
- existing borrower must have made on-time payments for the 6 prior monthly payments
- cannot roll over debt until existing loan is fully repaid
For more terms & condition details visit the Upstart website.
Personal information required
- date of birth
- social security number
- highest level of education
- SAT score
- current job or a new job that starts within 6 months indicating annual salary
- income source above $5,000 outside of your job
- valid e-mail address
- a U.S.-based bank account
- tax returns
- brokerage statements
- cookies based on your site visit
- other personal data as deemed necessary
Phone: 650-204-1000 (local) or 1-855-438-8778 (toll-free)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday on business days: 6am to 8pm PST; Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 5pm PST
Upstart Operations Dept.
P.O. Box 61203
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Email: [email protected]