Create credit and pay off debt


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When you’re strapped for cash or have credit card debt, a daily fiasco like a broken water heater or a flat tire can be enough to deplete your savings and even exceed your credit card limit.

Borrowing money shouldn’t necessarily be the first line of defense in such scenarios, but sometimes a personal loan can help get you back on the path to financial stability.

Upgrade personal loans provide borrowers with a quick and easy application process and approvals. Eligible borrowers with fair to good credit can get rates ranging from 5.94% to 35.97% APR. Upgrade loans can be used to fund emergency home repairs, major purchases, or debt consolidation, and you can check your rate for free without impacting your credit score before committing.

Select recommends upgrading in part because of the helpful financial literacy tools. When you take out an upgrade loan, the company gives you access to a free credit score simulator to help you visualize how different scenarios and actions can impact your credit (similar to Capital One’s CreditWise), as well as charts that track your credit score over time.

Coming up, we’re taking a look at the upgrade, looking at the benefits, fees, loan amounts, and term lengths.

Personal loan upgrade review

Upgrade of personal loans

  • Annual percentage rate (APR)

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt Consolidation / Refinancing, Home Renovation, Major Purchase

  • Loan amounts

  • terms

  • Credit needed

  • Original fees

    2.9% to 8%, deducted from the loan proceeds

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

    Up to $ 10 (with a 15 day grace period)


Upgrade APRs range from 5.94% to 35.97%. Your interest rate will be determined based on factors such as your credit, income, work experience, and educational background. The total amount borrowed and the length of the term also affect your final APR.

To get the lowest interest rate, you must sign up for automatic payment. If you take out a debt consolidation loan, you’ll also get a better APR when you choose to pay your creditors directly (with at least a portion of your loan), instead of receiving a cash deposit in your checking account.

Your loan’s APR may be higher or lower, and your loan offers may not include all of the terms offered by Upgrade. Your actual rate will depend on your credit score, your credit history, the length of the loan, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees can increase the cost of your fixed rate loan.


Upgrade loans are quick and easy to obtain, and all funds will arrive in your checking account within one business day of submitting the required documents.

Additionally, Upgrade offers some basic tools to help newbies understand their financial habits and improve their credit rating. They include:

  • Free credit score simulator to help you visualize how different scenarios and actions can impact your credit
  • Charts that track your trends and your credit health over time, helping you understand how certain financial choices affect your credit score
  • Option to sign up for free credit monitoring and weekly VantageScore updates


All Upgrade personal loans have an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%, which is deducted directly from your loan proceeds.

Here’s an example of what it might look like:

  • Total loan amount: $ 10,000
  • Repayment period: 36 month term
  • APR: 16.11% APR (12.49% annual interest rate and one-time 5% origination charge)
  • Total amount deposited in your bank: $ 9,500
  • Monthly payment: $ 343.33
  • Total paid over the term of the loan: $ 12,359.97

There are no fees or penalties for early repayment of a loan. But if you pay late or miss a payment, you could be hit with a late fee of $ 10 if your payment is not received in full within 15 calendar days of the due date. These late fees are assessed once per late payment.

Amount of the loan

Loan amounts range from $ 1,000 to $ 50,000, but not all applications will qualify for the maximum amount. The amount you qualify for will be determined based on your credit, income, and other information on your loan application.

Term of office

Upgrade loans have repayment terms of 24 to 84 months.

At the end of the line

Upgraded personal loans provide borrowers with medium to good credit a way to cover major expenses and consolidate debt while giving customers the ability to learn more about their credit with additional tools.

For best results, understand what goes into your credit rating and how debt consolidation works before you take out a loan. And before you submit a formal request, check the type of rate you can get on your loan offer on the Upgrade website.

If you have good to excellent credit and are looking to pay less in fees, LightStream offers personal loans with APRs as low as 2.49% for eligible borrowers.

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are best for consumers with bad credit, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by online and physical banks, including major credit unions. Where possible, we have chosen loans with no origination or enrollment fees, but we have also included options for borrowers with a lower credit rating on this list. Some of these options have origination fees. For loans with no set-up fee, check out our best personal loan list.

When selecting and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:

  • APR at fixed rate: Variable rates can fluctuate over the life of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the life of the loan, which means your monthly payment will not vary, making it easier to plan your budget.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts / conditions: Each lender offers several financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long it takes to pay off your loan.
  • No early repayment penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for prepayment of loans.
  • Simplified application process: We looked at whether lenders offer same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process.
  • Customer service: Each loan on our list provides customer service available by phone, email or secure online messaging. We have also opted for lenders who have an online resource center or advice center to help educate you about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Disbursement of funds: The loans on our list provide funds quickly by wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we have noted) offer the option of paying your creditors directly.
  • Automatic payment discounts: We have noted lenders who reward you for signing up for automatic payment by lowering your APR from 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditors payment limits and loan amounts: The above lenders offer loans in a range of sizes, from $ 1,000 to $ 100,000. Each lender advertises their respective payment limits and loan amounts, and a pre-approval process can give you an idea of ​​your interest rate and monthly payment for that amount.

The rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuation in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once your loan agreement is accepted, a fixed rate APR will guarantee your interest rate and the monthly payment will remain constant for the duration of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment, and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, many lenders will do a serious credit check and ask for a full application, which might require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address, etc.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Select’s editorial staff and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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