Upstart Debt Consolidation – Is Upstart the Right Choice for You?

Debt consolidation can seem like a tempting option when you have multiple credit cards or loans with high-interest rates to settle. The promise of rolling everything into one loan with a lower monthly payment can be appealing. But is using an online lender like Upstart the best way to consolidate your debt?

Upstart Debt Consolidation
Upstart Debt Consolidation

In this post, everything you need to know about Upstart debt consolidation loans. How they work, pros and cons, eligibility requirements and the application process will be covered.

What is Debt Consolidation and How Does It Work?

Debt consolidation simply means taking out one new loan to pay off multiple existing debts and consolidating them into a single payment.

For example, let’s say you have 3 credit cards with the following balances and interest rates:

  • Credit Card A: $5,000 balance at 19.99% APR
  • Credit Card B: $2,000 balance at 21.99% APR
  • Credit Card C: $1,000 balance at 25.99% APR

By consolidating these three cards into one Upstart personal loan for $8,000 at an interest rate of 12%, you now have just one monthly payment, and hopefully at a lower interest rate.

The benefits of debt consolidation include:

  • Lower monthly payment
  • One payment vs multiple payments
  • Fixed interest rate instead of variable APRs
  • Potential to pay off debt faster and save money on interest

What Types of Debt Can Be Consolidated Through Upstart?

Upstart offers personal loans, so generally you can consolidate any unsecured debts like:

  • Credit cards
  • Payday loans
  • Medical bills
  • Personal loans from banks/online lenders

Most federal student loans and mortgages cannot be consolidated through Upstart.

What are the Pros of Using Upstart for Debt Consolidation?

Upstart offers some nice perks that make it an appealing option for debt consolidation.

Fast, Easy Application Process. You can complete the entire application online in minutes. Upstart uses AI and alternative data for approvals beyond just credit scores. There’s no paperwork or a long time of waiting. Potential for Lower Interest Rate

Upstart considers factors beyond your credit score, which may help you qualify for a lower rate than you currently have on your high-interest debts. Even just 1-2% in savings can add up.

Multiple Repayment Terms Available. You can choose between 3 or 5-year repayment terms, allowing you to find the monthly payment that fits your budget.

No Prepayment Penalties. You can pay off your Upstart loan early with no extra fees, helping you get out of debt faster.

Rate Check Doesn’t Hurt Your Credit. You can check personalized rates from Upstart without a hard credit inquiry on your report. A hard pull only occurs if you proceed with a full application.

What are the Cons of Using Upstart for Debt Consolidation?

While Upstart has its advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks:

  • Higher Origination Fees

Upstart charges origination fees of 2% to 8% of the loan amount. This gets taken out of the total loan amount upfront. Some lenders have lower or no origination fees.

  • Strict Credit Requirements

  A minimum credit score of 620 is required. If your score is lower, you may not qualify.

  • Consolidation Doesn’t Fix Overspending

While consolidation can provide some relief, it won’t address the root habits that led to the accumulation of debt in the first place.

What are the Requirements for Upstart Debt Consolidation Loans?

To qualify for an Upstart personal loan for debt consolidation, here are the basic eligibility criteria:

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Steady income of at least $12,000 per year
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Not currently going through bankruptcy
  • No recent public records or delinquencies
  • Debt-to-income ratio generally below 50%

Meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval or the lowest interest rate, but they are a good baseline of what Upstart is looking for in applicants.

Step-By-Step Guide to Applying for an Upstart Debt Consolidation Loan

If you decide Upstart fits your needs, here is an overview of the application process:

Step 1. Check Your Rate

Use Upstart’s online tool to see estimated loan amounts and interest rates tailored to your situation. No impact on your credit score.

Step 2. Gather Your Documents

If happy with your rate, begin collecting items like a government ID, proof of income, bank account info, and outstanding debt/credit details.

Step 3. Complete the Application

With your documents ready, complete the full application online (takes 10-15 minutes)

Step 4. Get Matched With Loan Terms

Upstart will match you with a loan offer including the APR, term length, origination fee, and monthly payment.

Step 5. Review and Sign the Loan Agreement

Thoroughly review the loan agreement before electronically signing if you wish to move forward.

Step 6. Loan Funds Get Sent Directly to You

If approved, Upstart will deposit the loan amount in your bank account as soon as the next business day after signing.

Alternatives to Upstart for Debt Consolidation

While Upstart is one option, here are a few other avenues to consider for consolidating debt:

Credit Unions and Banks

Given their lower overhead, local credit unions and community banks may offer competitive rates on personal consolidation loans. Worth exploring options in your area.

Peer-to-Peer Lenders

Platforms like Prosper and LendingClub connect individual investors looking to fund loans with borrowers. Also, may find better rates.

Non-Profit Credit Counseling

Credit counsellors can help negotiate debt management plans directly with your creditors and consolidate payments.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Transferring balances from high-APR cards onto a card with a 0% intro APR for 12-18 months. Can temporarily reduce interest.

Is Upstart the Right Choice for You?

Here are a few key questions to ask yourself when deciding if Upstart checks all the boxes for your debt consolidation needs:

  • Do I meet the minimum credit score, income, and other eligibility requirements?
  • Consider the monthly payments at various rate/term combinations.
  •  Estimate potential interest savings by consolidating debts at a lower APR.
  •  My credit union may offer lower rates or origination fees.

The right loan company comes down to your financial situation. Ultimately, taking time to research multiple lenders can lead to finding the best debt consolidation option for your needs. While Upstart has some attractive features like fast approvals and flexible terms, make sure to compare against alternatives as well.


Debt consolidation can be a smart financial move when done correctly – replacing multiple high-interest payments with one monthly payment at a lower interest rate is a proven way to pay off debt faster.

Upstart offers an easy application process, flexible loan amounts, and potential interest savings compared to credit cards or payday loans. However, higher origination fees and strict approval criteria may deter borrowers with lower credit scores.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your situation before moving forward with Upstart or any lender. Most importantly, be sure to address the underlying spending or budgeting issues that led to an accumulation of debt in the first place.



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