Advertiser Disclosure

Upgrade Debt Consolidation Loan Review

Upgrade’s mission is to provide customers a more streamlined experience than they might receive at a traditional bank, offering more value for less time and effort. It features debt consolidation loans ranging from $1,000-$50,000 with fixed terms between 24 to 84 months.

Snapshot:

  • Type of Debt Relief – Debt Consolidation Loan
  • Eligibility & Requirements – Minimum credit score of 580
  • Fees – 94% to 35.97% APR; 2.9% to 8% origination fee
  • Credit score impact –Minimal
  • Consumer Reviews – Positive

How Upgrade’s Program Works

A debt consolidation loan is a loan borrowers take out to pay off existing debt. An Upgrade loan can qualify borrowers for a lower interest rate and help pay off debt quicker while extending loan terms can offer monthly relief.

Like many online lenders, Upgrade offers a pre-approval process to determine eligibility without running a hard credit check. This lets you shop around for various rates without harming your credit score.

The upgrade pre-approval process takes minutes to complete. Head to their website and plug in your basic information, name, address, etc. It will also ask you to list your yearly income before creating an account. It may also ask for your social security number.

Once you’ve made it through the pre-approval process, Upgrade may run a hard credit check before releasing funds. This will harm your credit for a short while, so make sure you’re set on Upgrade before you proceed. If you’re approved, you may receive funds between one and four business days. Funds sent to pay off your creditors may take up to two weeks to clear.

There are no prepayment penalties, so you can pay the loan off earlier without taking a hit. Upgrade also offers credit monitoring to ensure your accounts are secure and educational tools to improve your understanding of credit and aid with budgeting.

Upgrade Eligibility & Requirements

Credit profile is a significant factor affecting your rate. Upgrade will consider your credit score and income when evaluating your application. Minimum loan amounts vary by state and credit score, but a minimum score of 580 is needed to qualify. Stronger credit profiles will qualify for higher loan amounts. Most debt consolidation loans are unsecured; however, Upgrade may offer a secured loan to help you qualify or lock in a lower rate.

You must meet the following requirements to be considered for a loan through Upgrade:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or living in the U.S. on a valid visa;
  • At least 18 years old (19 years old in Alabama and certain other states);
  • Able to provide a verifiable bank account; and
  • Able to provide a valid email address

Upgrade doesn’t offer debt consolidation loans to Iowa, West Virginia, and Washington D.C residents.

Fees for Upgrade’s Services

Upgrade charges an APR between 5.94% and 35.97%. Its loans also come with an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%.

UpGrade’s website illustrates a typical loan as such:

If you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR, you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97.

This example includes a 5% origination fee, which subtracts $500 from your initial balance.

Pros & Cons of Debt Consolidation with Upgrade

Upgrade can save you time by paying your creditors directly. It also features rate discounts for autopay, and customers enrolled in checking accounts with Upgrade. Downsides include an origination fee, which many lenders waive entirely, and the potential for high APRs.

Pros of Upgrade

  • Secured and joint loan options can help borrowers qualify.
  • 5% rate discount for enabling autopay.
  • Rate discount for checking account customers
  • Can pay creditors directly

Cons of Upgrade

  • Charges origination fee.
  • Potentially high APR

Is Upgrade Right for Me?

Upgrade is a good choice for borrowers who need cash quickly. It also has options for borrowers with poor credit scores. Secured loans backed by your car and joint applications may give you a better chance at qualifying for debt consolidation through Upgrade.

Borrowers may also consider the Upgrade card, which offers a personal line of credit from $500 to $25,000. It provides the flexibility of a credit card, but rates are fixed, and there are no fees, which means no surprise penalties or expenses.

Alternatives to Upgrade

Many organizations offer debt consolidation services, so there’s no need to worry if Upgrade won’t work for you. Here are some alternatives to check out.

Debt Management

Debt management is open to borrowers of all credit profiles. A poor credit score won’t stop you from consolidating your unsecured debts and simplifying the monthly payment process. Debt management can slash your interest rates to manageable levels and eliminate costly penalties and fees.

Other Debt Consolidation Loan Companies

  • LightStream Debt Consolidation Loan – If you’re looking for low APRs, try LightStream, which offers rates starting at 4.49%. It also offers high loan amounts up to $100,000. The autopay discount can help you save even more, and there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with a LightStream loan.
  • Best Egg Debt Consolidation Loan – Best Egg offers loans to borrowers with a credit score of at least 640. It features competitive interest rates (as low as 5.99%) and mainly positive customer reviews. However, term limits are fixed at 3 or 5 years, and borrowers will pay origination fees of up to 5.99% of the loan.

Upgrade’s Reputation & Consumer Reviews

Customer reviews are mainly positive, praising Upgrade’s transparency and timely loan funding. Fast approval process was a common theme among satisfied borrowers. On the contrary, some customers complained of receiving higher than expected interest rates.

Upgrade has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. However, according to BBB.org, Upgrade’s name and logo have been used in several online fraud scams. Keep in mind that Upgrade will never ask for upfront fees, as the origination fee will be taken directly from the loan. Email correspondences should end in @upgrade.com when communicating with Upgrade, such as [email protected] or [email protected]

The following organizations have no affiliation with Upgrade:

  • Priority Loan Servicing
  • Priority Payday Loan
  • Cash Priority Loan Servicing
  • Payment Protection Program (PPP)

Lastly, Upgrade does not originate or service any loans outside of the United States.

About The Author

Bents Dulcio

Bents Dulcio writes with a humble, field-level view on personal finance. He learned how to cut financial corners while acquiring a B.S. degree in Political Science at Florida State University. Bents has experience with student loans, affordable housing, budgeting to include an auto loan and other personal finance matters that greet all Millennials when they graduate. He has a prodigious appetite for reading, which he helps feed with writing from Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, the “Father of Capitalism.” Bents writing also has been published by JPMorgan Chase, TheSimpleDollar and Interest.com.

Sources:

  1. N.A. (ND) Business Profile, Upgrade, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/san-francisco/profile/loans/upgrade-inc-1116-876655
  2. N.A. (ND) How can we help you? Retrieved from https://upgrade.zendesk.com/hc/en-us
  3. N.A. (ND) Debt Consolidation Loans. Retrieved from https://www.upgrade.com/personal-loans/debt-consolidation/