As an independent, transparent marketplace for student loan refinancing, Credible will be producing a series of articles profiling lenders in the refinancing space.
Innovative methods of evaluating risk are being explored as the student loan refinancing market expands. Traditional underwriting models focus on credit score and one's debt-to-income ratio as determining factors, however Upstart believes you are more than just your credit score. They offer a variety of personal loans to help you borrow money and reduce your interest rate to help with your financial need, from refinancing your student loans to paying off your credit card debt.
Upstart Student Loan Highlights
- personal loans for a variety of use cases
- quick loan turnaround
- alternative underwriting model
The Upstart premise is that a borrower’s education and experience should be considered when taking out a loan or refinancing your student loans. The original Upstart model was a 10 year exchange; the student promises a certain percentage of their income in exchange for financing and mentorship from those who sign as backers. Now, Upstart acts more as a lender and issues personal loans that can be used by the borrower to pay off outstanding debt, help fund your education or pay of your student loans.
Who Can Borrow From Upstart?
Current college students and graduates are eligible to take out an Upstart loan. The minimum age for a borrower is 18 and the borrower must have proof of income or expected income. The maximum balance for an Upstart loan is $35,000 for the 3-year loan term. Although the borrower’s credit score is not the only factor in determining qualification, a minimum FICO score of 640 is required, but Upstart will accept applicants with insufficient credit history to produce a FICO score.
Founded in 2012 by ex-Googlers, Upstart has raised money from several institutional investors to grow their personal loan business.
In determining student loan and refinancing eligibility, Upstart takes into account factors such as:
- The school you attended
- Your grades
- You major or focus of study
- Job history
Prospective loan candidates must provide proof of education, which is then verified by Upstart.
The Upstart product line contains new loans and loan refinancing of many types, including for student loans. The site currently offers loans and refinancing for:
- Credit card debts
- Debt consolidation
- Student loans
- Courses and boot camps
- Student in-school costs
- Large purchases
- Medical bills
- Business expenses
Interest Rates, Fees & Loan Limits (Valid as of May 23, 2015)
- Interest rates on loans/refinancing range from about 5.0 to around 25.27 percent
- Origination fees are 1 to 6 percent of the total loan balance
- Total loan amounts range between $5,000 to $35,000
Who Should Explore Upstart?
The Upstart application process is simple and risk free, so anyone who quickly needs a personal loan should take a closer look at Upstart. Borrowers with low student loan balances who would like to pay off their loan on a quick three year term, will benefit most from an Upstart loan as interest rates are higher than more traditional refinancing lenders. If you believe that your credit is not a valid depiction of your strength as a borrower and have struggled to get a loan from other lenders, Upstart may be the lender for you.
If you are interested in exploring other refinancing options from other great lenders, visit Credible to compare offers and see what options may be available to you.