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Upstart Auto Loans Review 2022: Improves Access To Affordable Credit

Sarah Moore

Upstart is a lending platform that partners with banks to offer auto loans with flexible amounts, terms, and low fees. You can pre-qualify with a soft credit inquiry that does not impact your credit score, and get a personalized rate online in just a few minutes. 

Overall rating

4.7

Summary: Upstart Auto Loans are best for borrowers seeking a non-traditional process for loan approval. Using leading artificial intelligence techniques, Upstart takes into consideration other variables such as income, education, and employment during your loan application. 

Upstart Auto Loans

caribou auto loan logo

2.25% - 29.99%

Est. APR

510

Min. Credit Score

$9,000 - $60,000

Loan Amount


Reviews

5

Application Process

4

Loan Requirements

5

Loan Terms, Fees & Rates

4

Repayment Options

5

Customer Service

5

Safe & Secure

Pros

  • Soft credit inquiry 
  • Flexible loan amounts and terms
  • Lower fees 
  • Low minimum credit score requirement

Cons

  • Low maximum loan amount  
  • Co-borrowers not allowed 
  • No discounts 
  • Only personal income considered

Best For

  • Easy online application 
  • Considering variables in addition to credit history 

Features

HQCalifornia, United States
Min. Loan Amount$9,000
Max. Loan Amount$60,000
Loan Terms24 – 84 months (2 – 7 years)
Min. Credit Score510+
State RestrictionsNot available in IA, MD, NV, WV

In depth review on Upstart Auto Loans 

Upstart uses leading AI technology to assess the true risk of a borrower and improve access to affordable credit. Unlike traditional financial institutions that base borrowing on your credit score, the Upstart underwriting model considers additional variables to assess your ability to repay your loan. Some of these variables include education, employment, and income.

In particular, borrowers with poor or limited credit history have a better chance of qualifying. The minimum credit score is 510 and you can pre-qualify online without affecting your credit score.  

Upstart Auto Loans is best for 

  • Easy online application: Get a personalized quote in just a few minutes when you fill out the online application.  
  • Considering variables in addition to credit history: Upstart takes into consideration other factors such as education and employment during the auto loan application process. This can give borrowers with fair or poor credit a better chance of receiving approval.  

Upstart Auto Loans benefits 

  • Soft credit inquiry: Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score. 
  • Flexible loan amounts and terms: Loans start from $9,000 and range between 24 – 84 months. 
  • Lower fees: No application, early repayment, or origination fees exist. Upstart may charge a fee for vehicle repossession.  
  • Low minimum credit score requirement: There is a minimum credit score of 510 to be eligible for a loan.  

Upstart Auto Loans drawbacks 

  • Low maximum loan amount: With Upstart, you can borrow from $9,000 – $60,000 which is lower than other competitors.  
  • Co-borrowers not allowed: If you have a co-borrower on your current auto loan, you can refinance to remove the co-borrower. However, you cannot add a co-borrower to your auto loan through Upstart.  
  • No discounts: Upstart does not offer an AutoPay discount.  
  • Only personal income considered: Upstart only considers your individual income during a loan application. You cannot use household income or spousal income. 

Application process 

5

You can apply for an auto loan through Upstart in a few minutes. Your lender will be a bank that Upstart has partnered with to provide you with a loan offer. It’s a good idea to have the following information to hand during the application process: 

  • Name 
  • Date of birth 
  • Address 
  • Education information 
  • Source of income 
  • Savings and investment information 
  • Information on loans taken out in the past 3 months 
  • Vehicle information 
  • Social security number 

To qualify for refinancing, you’ll need between $9,000 – $60,000 on your loan and a minimum repayment term of 24 months. 

You can check your rate when you pre-qualify for a loan. Pre-qualification requires a soft credit inquiry that does not affect your credit score.  

Documents you may need to provide include: 

  • Government-issued ID 
  • Documents that prove your education 
  • Proof of income 
  • Copy of your registration card 
  • Proof of insurance 

Loan requirements 

4

Final approval is based on a hard credit check. To qualify for an auto loan you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Have a US residential address 
  • Be at least 18 years old (or 19 in Nebraska and Alabama)
  • Have a valid email account 
  • Have a social security number
  • Be in employment or have a verifiable source of income
  • Have a bank account with a US financial institution
  • Meet minimum credit requirements  
  • No bankruptcies or public records on your credit report in the past 3 years
  • No accounts that are currently in collections or delinquent

Any co-owner of the vehicle must consent to the auto loan application. Co-owners will need to sign a consent form within five days of the auto loan application approval.   

In addition, your vehicle must be no more than 12 years old with a maximum of 140,000 miles. 

If you are looking to apply for a second auto loan from an Upstart-powered lender, your first loan must be fully paid off with on-time payments over at least 6 consecutive months.

Loan terms, fees, and rates 

5

There are no origination fees, prepayment fees, or application fees. The only fee Upstart charges are for vehicle repossession.  

Loan terms range from 24 – 84 months. The lowest interest rates are typically offered to borrowers that have a higher credit score. However, as the Upstart underwriting model considers a range of other variables to calculate the risk of lending to a borrower, factors such as education and employment could also help lower your interest rate.  

To view your personalized rate, you can check Upstart’s website here.

Repayment options

4

The minimum repayment term is 24 months and the maximum repayment term is 84 months. You cannot change the term of your loan once the loan documents have been signed.  

The first repayment typically starts 30 days after the loan origination date and there are multiple options for making repayments. Some of these include: 

  • Recurring payments via ACH 
  • Check payments  
  • Wire transfer

You can manage your payment preferences online. Any changes to reoccurring payments require a minimum of 3 business days to be processed. If you change your payment within 3 business days of your next payment, the upcoming payment may still be processed.  

When you pay by check, it’s important to note that your payment will be reflected on the date the check is received, not when it is sent. It’s a good idea to allow at least 7 – 10 business days to process checks using standard postage.  

With bi-monthly payments, you can set up 2 automatic payments a month and split your monthly payment into smaller payments. You can set this up via your online dashboard.  

You can pay off the balance on your auto loan at any time. There is no prepayment fee or penalty. To make full or partial repayment, simply log in to your Upstart dashboard and click the “Pay Off My Loan” button. 

Customer service 

5

To get in touch with Upstart Auto Loans you can call (650) 239-0672, Monday to Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm EST, or email [email protected] You can find various contact numbers and opening hours on their contact page.  

In addition, there is also an extensive FAQ section on their website which can answer most questions about an auto loan application. Answers to popular questions can include: 

  • What documentation will verify my income? 
  • Is my car eligible? 
  • Is my existing auto loan eligible? 
  • How will applying to refinance my loan affect my credit? 

You can view the answers on the Upstart FAQ page.  

According to Trustpilot Upstart has an excellent rating with over 35,000 reviews. Many of the positive reviews love the easy online application process and the superb customer service.  

Safe and secure 

5

Upstart takes measures to safeguard personal information and is committed to your privacy and security. 

Is Upstart Auto Loans right for you? 

Upstart is a great option for borrowers looking to refinance their auto loan with a poor or limited credit history. Using leading AI technology, the Upstart underwriting model will assess your ability to repay your loan using other important variables such as income, employment, and education. 

Loans terms range between 24 – 84 months and you can borrow between $9,000 – $60,000. Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The maximum loan amount in NJ is $50,000.

When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus.

Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart’s rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan.

The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered on Upstart will have an APR of 10.56% and 60 monthly payments of $463 per $20,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $20,000 loan would be $27,795. APR is calculated based on.

5-year rates offered in April 2022. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.