Upgradeby Mel May 2, 2021 | 0 Votes | 72 Used | 0 Reviews - rate Upgrade is a financial services company and direct online lender whose goal is to offer optimum value by being a one-stop-shop for a wide range of online and mobile financial products, mainly personal loans, but also a credit card, auto refinancing, a rewards program, credit monitoring, and many more. Apply Now Similar Sites Used
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Upgrade is a financial services company and direct online lender whose goal is to offer optimum value by being a one-stop-shop for a wide range of online and mobile financial products, mainly personal loans, but also a credit card, auto refinancing, a rewards program, credit monitoring, and many more.
What You Get
While the country is starting to emerge from the year-long coronavirus pandemic nightmare helped along by stimulus packages, deferment programs, and the gradual re-opening of the economy and the jobs market; one thing that many families will be dreading to face is the enormous amounts of debt accumulated during this period.
In these cases, you can expect most of these borrowers to seek not only additional direct personal loans, but also opportunities to refinance existing loans; and Upgrade is one of the more attractive loan and financial services options out in the market today with their relatively low APR (for those with good to excellent credit) and reasonably high loan amounts of up to $35,000 to $50,000.
Founded by a team of fintech pioneers, Upgrade was launched in 2017 as “an online and mobile banking experience that delivers exceptional value to our customers by eliminating fees on everyday transactions and offering affordable and responsible credit through cards and loans.” Since then, over 12 million people have applied for either an Upgrade loan or card, and the company has made available over $4 billion in affordable and reliable credit to their customers.
Upgrade’s Personal Loans are particularly ideal for Credit Card Refinancing (refinance your existing high-interest credit card debt into easier, lower-interest payment schemes with clear payoff dates); Debt Consolidation (convert your existing balances and streamline your credit and loan payments into a single monthly payment that’s easy to manage and pay off); Home Improvement Projects (fund your remodel, repair, or build your dream house without the hassle of of refinancing or taking out a home equity loan); and Major Purchases (be able afford a major, unexpected expense or fund your next big purchase with a fixed-rate loan instead of a high-interest credit card).
(Upgrade Personal Loans cannot be approved for post-secondary education expenses, investments, illegal activities or gambling).
You’ll also be glad to realize that the entire Upgrade loan, credit, auto refinancing, and other service application processes are completely online and they provide online account access to its customers via FREE registration.
To apply for an Upgrade personal loan, start by visiting Upgrade.com and clicking on the Personal Loans tab on the homepage. You can then activate the process by going to the “Get Started Here” box, entering a Loan Amount, selecting a Loan Purpose from the drop-down menu, and clicking on the “Check Your Rate” button. Rest assured that this action is merely a free “soft check” on your rate and will not impact your credit score whatsoever before you commit to a particular loan package.
You will then fill out a one-page application with basic data such as your Name, Address, Date of birth, and Income to find out which terms you qualify for based on the soft credit inquiry mentioned above. At this stage, you’ll also be required to create an account with Upgrade, which requires an email address and password. If you’re approved based on the soft inquiry, you’ll be able to view your offers and pick the one that best fits your needs and ability to repay. It also helps to take a few minutes to compare the quotes you receive with other personal loan rates from top lenders.
Once you find a loan offer you find acceptable, Upgrade will perform a hard inquiry on your credit report (which will cause your credit score to drop by a few points). You can then finalize the application process with that particular lender by providing your Social Security number to verify your identity, accept and sign the loan agreement, provide the company with your bank account information, and get your loan approved and funded to your bank account within 1 to 4 business days.
Meanwhile, if you need other financing options and services other than personal loans, Upgrade has several products you can consider, including their:
Upgrade Card powered by Visa Signature, which combines the payment convenience and flexibility of a credit card with the low cost and manageable credit of an installment loan. There are no fees to pay, and the card gives you an affordable credit line of $500 to $25,000 plus unlimited 1.5% cash back on payments. The card also allows you to pay down balances from each month at a fixed rate with equal monthly payments.
New Upgrade Rewards Checking is an online checking account powered by Visa Debit that has no ATM fees, account fees, or transfer fees. Other attractive perks from enrolling your account include 2% cash back on common everyday expenses and recurring payments up to $500 per calendar year (unlimited 1% cash back on every other debit card charge), 20% lower rates on your next personal loan application with Upgrade, and up to $250,000 in FDIC-insurance.
Upgrade Credit Health Tools which allow you to monitor your credit score for FREE. This credit health knowledge base provides all the resources you need to keep track of your financial standing so that your credit is always in good shape. See a helpful summary of your latest credit report; access your VantageScore 3.0 anytime and understand the key factors influencing your score; use their data-driven Credit Score Simulator tp visualize how different scenarios and actions may impact your credit; receive tips tailored to your unique credit history; get Email Alerts to quickly recognize what’s impacting your score and identify potential fraud; and many more tools at your disposal.
Upgrade is available in 44 states (excluding Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont and West Virginia) and offers 36-month or 60-month fixed-rate personal loans, with loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 and APR in the ballpark of 5.94% to 35.97%, (with lowest rates requiring Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly). Rates are based on your credit score and history, income, loan terms, work experience, educational achievement, and other factors.
While Upgrade does not officially list minimum income requirements and minimum credit scores, most successful Upgrade Personal loan applicants/borrowers average a Credit Score of 580 to 620 or higher, an income of $87,000, a minimum credit history of 3 years and two accounts; a minimum monthly free cash flow of $800, and a maximum debt-to-income ratio between 55% and 65% (including the loan applied for plus mortgage payments).
Note that the Minimum Score of 580 is one of the lowest minimums in the industry for a major lending institution, making Upgrade the top choice for those with poor credit.
Other prerequisites to qualify for an Upgrade Personal loan include being at the age of majority based on the state you live in; a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or living in the U.S. on a valid visa; and have a verifiable bank account and valid email address.
Meanwhile, Upgrade charges an origination fee of 2.9% to 8% of your loan amount. That being the case, you should expect to pad the amount you will be borrowing enough to ensure you cover the right amount of funds you need.
On the upside, Upgrade neither collects check processing or application fees nor assesses prepayment penalties. They do, however dock a late fee of $10 for failure to pay your monthly dues on time as well as a $10 penalty for NSF/returned payments.
Upgrade, in addition, offers several assorted perks depending on certain loan actions, such as:
Discount for direct payments on debt consolidation loans which offers a 1% to 3% rate discount for borrowers who get a debt consolidation loan and have the lender directly pay their other debts. The discount varies based on the applicant.
Autopay discount of 0.5% when the borrower sets up automatic loan payments from a bank account, which is a larger discount than some other online lenders offer.
Joint, co-signed and secured loans. Previously unavailable on Upgrade, applicants can now add a co-signer to improve their chances of qualifying for a loan. You can also get a joint loan with another borrower if you both need access to the funds.
Vehicle as collateral on a secured loan. The lender will consider the value of the vehicle on your application, which could lead to a lower rate. Do remember, though, that if you secure a personal loan and fail to repay it, the lender can seize the collateral.
Hardship program. Consumers who experience a sudden hardship, like a job loss, may qualify for a temporary reduction of their monthly payment or a permanent loan modification that extends the length of the loan. Note that while this option can be helpful in a dire emergency, extending your loan’s repayment term without getting a reduced rate could potentially cost more interest overall in the long run.
Upgrade has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business since the year it was founded in 2017 and currently has a rating of A+. Meanwhile, a wide variety of review sites and independent reviewers such as Bankrate, CNBC, and Nerdwallet have generally rated Upgrade in the mid to high 4’s (out of 5). Moreover, practically every reviewer from Forbes to Money.com rates Upgrade as the ”Best Loan for Poor Credit Score".
As for user reviews and complaints, most of them involve Billing/Collection issues and problems with the Product/Service. Upgrade’s customer service response team does seem to be diligent in their actions on the complaints with over a third of them eventually being resolved.
With many people being anticipated to either apply for a personal loan or attempt to have their debts restructured or refinanced post-pandemic, Upgrade is a very attractive lending option worth considering primarily due to their low credit score minimums, fast funding times of a little as 4 days, and generous loan amounts of up to $50,000. If the origination fees don’t pose too much of an issue for you, Upgrade Personal Loans and its suite of other financing options is a good way to help you bounce back from the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis.