Best Egg vs. Upstart: Which Personal Loan is Right for You?

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If you’re in the market for a personal loan, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of choices available. We take a look at two lenders, Best Egg and Upstart, to see which lenders are better in specific situations and to advise you on how to choose between the two.

Best Egg vs. Upstart Summary

Generally speaking, we recommend Best Egg for borrowers who can qualify for the lowest APR offered (this means borrowers with excellent credit and very high annual income). Upstart, on the other hand, is a great choice for paying for postsecondary educational expenses. If neither of these applies to you, you should check your rate at both lenders.

Best Egg (Review)Upstart (Review)
Better For
  • Those who can qualify for lowest APR
  • Educational purposes, including college, grad school or course/bootcamp
Amounts$2,000 - $35,000 (up to $50,000 for qualified borrowers)$1,000 - $50,000
Rates5.99% - 29.99%7.98% - 35.99%
Terms3 or 5 years3 or 5 years
  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%
  • Late payment fee: $15
  • NSF/returned payment fee: $15
  • No check processing fee
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Origination fee: 1% - 6%
  • Late payment fee: Greater of 5% of monthly past due or $15
  • NSF/returned payment fee: $15
  • No check processing fee
  • No prepayment penalty
Minimum Criteria
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old
  • Annual income of $150,000 or more to qualify for $50,000 loan
  • Credit score of 700 and annual income of $100,000 or more to qualify for 5.99% APR
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old
  • Have a full-time job, a full-time job offer starting in 6 months (exceptions apply), a regular part-time job or another source of income
  • Credit score of 620 or higher
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • No bankruptcies
  • No current delinquencies
  • No more than 5 credit inquiries in last 6 months (excluding student loans, auto loans and mortgages)
Funding Time1+ days1+ days
Apply NowApply at Best EggApply at Upstart

How to Choose Between Best Egg and Upstart

While Best Egg and Upstart offer similar personal loans, there are situations where one lender is better than the other (and some situations where neither lender is better).

If you have excellent credit and income over $100,000, consider Best Egg. Best Egg has lower starting APRs than Upstart, and the company is very clear on what it takes to qualify for the lowest rate. According to the company’s website, you will need a FICO score of 700 or above and annual income of at least $100,000 to be eligible for that rate. Moreover, if you want a loan of $50,000, you will need to show annual income of $150,000. If you meet or exceed these qualifications, there’s a good chance you could qualify for these terms, and therefore get more money at a lower rate.

If you need to pay for educational expenses, including college or grad school, consider Upstart. Upstart is one of the few companies we’ve found that lets you use a personal loan to pay for college or grad school. Most personal loan companies restrict educational expenses to one-off courses or bootcamps, like General Assembly or Dev Bootcamp. Even if you don’t need money for college or grad school, you can also use an Upstart loan to pay for these types of courses. In fact, the company partners with over 17 different bootcamps across the country to provide financing for their students.

If you have a credit score under 640, you’ll need to look at other lenders. If you have a credit score under 640, you’ll likely have a hard time getting approved at Best Egg or Upstart. In this case, we recommend you consider a few alternatives: a personal loan from a company that caters to borrowers with lower credit scores, such as Avant or Peerform, a loan from a credit union, a cosigned personal loan or a secured personal loan through a bank or lender.

If none of those applies to you, check your rate at both lenders (and maybe other lenders too). Best Egg and Upstart have comparable terms and rates, with the average rate at each company around 16%, so we recommend checking your rate at each company to see who can get you the better deal. Checking your rate will not affect your credit score. If neither offers you a rate you like, consider checking your rate at one or two more lenders.

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