Upstart: Best for Fair Credit

Upstart is an online lending platform founded by a group of former Google employees. Because the platform uses artificial intelligence to consider alternative data, you may be more likely to qualify for a loan even if your credit is less than perfect, making Upstart a solid option for borrowers with a fair credit rating. 

By using alternative data in its applications, Upstart has been able to approve 27% more loans since late 2017. Rates on Upstart personal loans start as low as 7.98%. Qualified applicants can borrow as much as $50,000.


  • No prepayment penalty charged when you pay your loan off early
  • Alternative data considered (like savings, education, etc.) when you apply, not just your credit score
  • Soft credit pull used to get your initial rate quote


  • A high maximum APR of 35.99%
  • Loan origination fees can go as high as 8%
  • Online applications only—phone and in-person applications aren’t available

Other important information:

  • Minimum/maximum amount you can borrow: $1,000 to $50,000
  • APR range: Interest rates range from 7.98% to 35.99%, based on credit, income, and other information considered in your loan application. Your education, area of study, and job history might help you qualify for a better rate.
  • Fees: Origination fees can cost up to 8% of your loan amount. Late fees are either $15 or 5% of the past due amount—whichever is greater. Returned check fees (or ACH return fees) are $15. You’ll also be charged $10 if you switch from paperless monthly statements to mailed copies. 
  • Minimum recommended credit score: 600 FICO or VantageScore
  • Other qualification requirements: You can’t qualify with a bankruptcy, public record, or currently past-due account on your credit report. Debt-to-income ratio will also be considered. You can’t have more than five inquiries on your credit report in the past six months (except for multiple student loan, auto loan, or mortgage inquiries).
  • Repayment terms: Three- and five-year payment terms offered.
  • Time to receive funds: You could access funds as soon as the next day, once you accept the terms of your loan.
  • Restrictions: Residents of Iowa and West Virginia are not eligible for Upstart personal loans.

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