Upstart is a company that works with college-educated borrowers who don’t have a long credit history. Their borrowers might not have very high credit scores, but they do make quite a bit of money. The company serves those who don’t have much debt compared to their incomes and who want to take out loans to help them improve their careers.

Borrowing with Upstart

Upstart’s a little different than most companies. There’s not an underwriting profile that applies to all borrowers, but rather a process that changes based on the borrower’s situation. If you have recently graduated, for example, you’ll probably be assessed on your academic past. If you have been out of school for some time, you’ll probably be looked at in terms of credit history. If you get a loan, it won’t come directly from Upstart. Instead, you’ll pay a fee to be hooked up with an investor who will fund your loan.

Upstart applications aren’t short, but they are thorough. The company will let you look at various interest rates without hitting your credit score, but they’ll want hard documentation before you can get a loan. Expect to have a small pile of documents available if you choose to work with the company.

The good news is, you can check your potential interest rates without worry. Upstart does what is called a ‘soft credit check’, which checks your credit but doesn’t drag down your score. When you do get your loan, though, you should expect to get a ‘hard credit check’, which will impact your credit score quite a bit.

Upstart isn’t the only lender that will help you out if you are new to the world of credit. Lenders like Earnest and SoFi usually work with the same population, but they want a much higher credit score and income level than Upstart. Pave might also be a good choice, as they work with borrowers with relatively short credit histories.

Applying for a Loan from Upstart

Upstart’s loan process is fairly simple. You’ll go online and fill out a detailed application. If you are approved, you’ll get a chance to look at loan terms and pick out a plan that works with your situation. Once that’s done, you can verify your personal data and then get a deposit account set up, which will put you in line get your money. Remember, you’ll pay a loan origination fee so your total amount will be between one and six percent less than that for which you have applied.

Requirements, Terms, and Fees for Upstart

The good news is that it is fairly easy to put together a profile of the kind of person who can generally get a loan from Upstart. You won’t need a terribly high credit score, for example – a 620 will usually get you in. There’s no minimum gross income or minimum credit history needed, either. You will, however, need to keep your debt to income ratio down to around eighteen percent, though this isn’t an official number.

If you do manage to get a loan, you should expect an APR between 6.25% and 29.99%, depending on your credit score and other factors. The minimum loan amount is around one thousand dollars, with a maximum loan of fifty thousand dollars. You’ll have between three and five years to pay the loan back, and you should expect to receive your funds relatively quickly. Personal loans will be in your account the next day, while education loans take about three days to arrive. You’ll pay an origination fee of between one and six percent for your loan, with the only other fees coming if you make a late payment.

A Warning on Personal Loans

Don’t trick yourself into believing that a personal loan is your only way of getting out of debt. You might be able to enter a debt consolidation program, get a good interest rate on a credit card, or even get a line of credit if your credit is okay or you have assets that can help you. There are many ways to beat debt, so don’t feel like you have to work with this lender. Do some research and take a look at your options.

If you are going to borrow money, make sure you go into the process with the right information. Take a look at your credit and realize that a good credit score makes you a much more attractive borrower. There are, however, factors that can impact the loan that have nothing to do with your score. If you have a great deal of debt or you have a history of missing payments, you credit score won’t help you. If you have a high income, though, your credit score might not stop you from getting a loan. Regardless of what happens, it’s up to you to put together a plan to get out of debt and move forward with your life.