Upstart is a web-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform where borrowers and investors come together to create loans that will benefit both parties. Upstart is particularly strong in lending to recent college graduates.
Lending guidelines make significant use of a borrower’s education as a loan criteria. The platform can also work well for the recently self-employed, since it only requires that you verify a few months of income in order to qualify.
The platform has been in existence only since 2012, but they arranged over $3 billion in loans last year, and are already considered to be one of the most prominent P2P platforms in the business.
The Upstart loan process is handled entirely online. When you apply, you’re assigned a loan grade between “D” (the lowest grade) and “AAA” (the highest). The grade will be calculated based on your FICO score, the length of your credit history, the college you attended, your area of study, academic performance, and job history. This method of loan grading is particularly advantageous to new college graduates, who are new to employment, and may have neither the work history nor the credit depth that traditional lenders require.
Upstart relies heavily on your academic record in determining your loan grade. The recently self-employed can also benefit, since income is only verified for the most recent 6 months.
Upstart is A+ Rated by BBB.org (Better Business Bureau).
Upstart offers the following loan features to its customers:
Loan Application Information
In order to qualify for a loan, you must adhere to the following qualifications:
- At least 18 years old
- A US citizen
- Have a valid email account
- Have a verifiable name, date of birth and Social Security number
- Have an employment or promise of employment within 6 months
- Have a financial account in any US-based institution.
Upstart’s loan application is a 3 page process, however most of the information requested is very general. Typical information required for verification purposes includes your college transcripts, your standardized test scores, and income verification.
If you’re on salary, a copy of your most recent pay stub will be required. Rental income will require a copy of the lease. If you’re self-employed, you will typically be asked for your last year’s tax return, and your current year’s invoices. You must be able to show a consistent income pattern for at least 6 months.
Another plus with Upstart is that you can use income from side jobs, including Airbnb or Lyft/Uber, as long as you received income consistently for 6 months.
You can borrow from Upstart for nearly any purpose, and they vow never to sell your data to a third party.
All loans provided through Upstart are for terms of 3 years (36 months) and always at fixed rates. Repayment will begin 20 to 30 days after you receive your loan.
Upstart also gives the option to change your monthly payment date to better accommodate your needs. There is never a prepayment penalty on any loan type.
Repayment is accomplished through ACH payments directly to Upstart from your bank. You will have the option to pay by check, however there is a $15 per check charge for processing any payments handled in this way. There is no application fee, though an origination fee of between 1% and 6% of the loan amount will be charged on every loan. And as stated above, loan APRs will range from 4.67% to 29.99%, depending upon your loan grade.
Help & Support
Customer support is available through multiple channels, including mail, email, and toll-free phone. For email and phone support, Upstart personnel are available Monday through Friday, 6am to 8pm PT, and Saturday’s and Sunday’s, from 9am to 5pm PT. The website also has an outstanding “Help Center” where you can get help on just about any topic. You simply need to select your topic, and Upstart will provide information related to several topics in the subject area.
Even though it is a relative newcomer to the crowd funding market, Upstart is getting good reviews, and is increasingly being mentioned in good company with more established P2P platforms, such as Lending Club and Prosper.
Upstart’s more flexible underwriting guidelines, particularly in regard to recent college graduates gives this platform a definite niche in the industry. If you’re looking for a personal loan, Upstart is one source that should be near the top of your “to-do” list.
Upstart Operations Dept.
Palo Alto, CA 94036