personal loans

personal credit line

New Upgrade Personal Credit Line Acts Like a Personal Loan and a Credit Card

A new personal credit line product introduced by a startup in San Francisco marries some of the most attractive aspects of a personal loan and a credit card.

However, some consumers might find that the new offering from Upgrade Inc. comes with a steep interest rate — as high as 35.89%.

In a news release, Upgrade says its new “personal line of credit” features the low cost, fixed rate and fixed monthly payment of a personal loan with the flexibility of credit lines available through a credit card.

How does the personal credit line from Upgrade work?

With Upgrade’s new product, a consumer can seek a credit line up to $35,000 and can ask to tap into that credit line as needed. For instance, you might be approved for a total credit line of $10,000 but “withdraw” money only in $2,500 increments. For each “withdrawal,” known as an advance, there’s a fixed annual percentage rate (APR) along with a fixed repayment period (12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months) and set payments (such as $225 a month).

Unlike a credit card, an advance from an Upgrade personal line of credit has a specific payoff date and doesn’t have variable APRs. Every time you tap into that line of credit, you’ll get a set APR and payoff period, and you’ll be able to pick a repayment period.

No fees are charged to set up or use an Upgrade line of credit. And the APR applies only to the amount you actually borrow (such as $2,500) and not the entire line of credit (such as $10,000).

Upgrade says its personal line of credit differs from two similar products — a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC) — in three ways:

  1. A consumer can gain approval in a few minutes, rather than a few days.
  2. A consumer doesn’t need to put up collateral, such as a home.
  3. A home appraisal isn’t necessary.

Upgrade Personal Loan Reviews

The pros and cons

Upgrade’s personal credit line might not be for everyone, though.

For one thing, Upgrade loans aren’t available to residents of Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont and West Virginia.

More importantly, the APR for an Upgrade personal credit line might be a lot higher than the APR for a credit card.

Upgrade says its credit lines offer APRs of 6.94% to 35.97% on amounts ranging from $500 to $35,000. An APR of 6.94% is way below any credit card APR you’d find, but an APR of 35.97% is way above any credit card APR you’d find.

In other words, a line of credit with an APR of 6.94% would be a deal, while a line of credit with an APR of 35.97% would be a steal (as in money is being stolen from you).

Upgrade points out that a shorter repayment period can result in a lower APR, meaning you’d be paying less to borrow the money. But if you’re shooting for a lower monthly payment, you might want to go with a longer repayment period. However, keep in mind that if select a longer payment period, you’ll be paying more interest over time.

Is this product right for you?

Of course, Upgrade doesn’t extend loans to everyone who applies. Just as with credit cards and other types of loans, you’ll qualify based on your credit score, credit history and other factors.

Upgrade is a product worth looking at, but be sure to look hard at what APR you’re being offered. Otherwise, you could pile up more debt than you already had.

Upgrade Personal Loan Reviews

home improvement loan to increase home value

5 Ways a Home Improvement Loan Can Help Increase Home Value Before You Sell

When it’s time to sell your home, setting the right price is key. Ask too much and you’re sure to alienate potential buyers and endure a long listing period. Ask too little and you’ll needlessly leave money on the closing table. Neither option sounds good.

Best Personal Loans For Home Improvement

Lender APR Loan Limit Learn More
4.99% - 17.49% w/AutoPay
Loan Limit:
Up to $100,000
5.99% - 16.99% w/AutoPay
Loan Limit:
Up to $100,000
18% - 35.99%
Loan Limit:
Up to $20,000
5.34% – 35.99%
Loan Limit:
Up to $100,000
*Terms are for unsecured loans and may vary for secured loans.
In many cases, making an upfront investment to improve your home’s curb appeal or interior allows you to stand out from the pack and increase home value before you sell — especially in a competitive market. Having a more desirable property attracts more potential buyers who may be willing to pay top dollar. True Edwards, Realtor at Matt O’Neill Real Estate, says, “You may be buying a pre-owned home, but you still want it to feel new.” She believes that making strategic improvements to your home entices buyers and significantly increases the likelihood that they’ll make higher offers. According to Edwards, “Sellers often pay 1% of the listing price to improve curb appeal.” For example, you might invest $3,000 to spruce up a home that you plan to sell for $300,000. But what if you don’t have a surplus of cash to spend on a home sale? A smart solution can be taking out a home improvement loan. Looking for a home improvement loan? Compare loan options in your area with our comparison tool. 

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Here are five ways a home improvement loan can help increase home value before you sell:

1. Landscaping

When buyers drive by your home, make sure they have an impeccable first impression. If they don’t like what they see outside, they’ll probably never peek inside. Consider revitalizing your front yard with bright flowers or a variety of eye-catching plants. If you have existing plant beds, freshen them up with mulch or pine straw. If your grass isn’t green and healthy, roll out some new sod. Don’t have much of a yard? Try putting colorful flowers or mini evergreens in terra cotta pots to add pizzazz to your entrance. Or set up bright, overflowing window boxes for attractive texture and curb appeal. Consider installing a sweet picket fence or a simple brick or stone path leading to the front door for added charm. Approximate cost: Depending on the size of your yard, flowers, plants and mulch can be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars. Flower pots and window boxes cost less than $100. Installing sod, fencing and a stone path could run into the thousands if you have a large area to cover. 

2. Paint

Edwards says, “Painting the exterior and getting a landscape professional is well worth it. Depending on the house, a pretty soft blue or coral can be eye catching.” A fresh coat of paint can work like magic to transform a dull home. Even just repainting your front door a bold color can do wonders. Try a color that contrasts the façade, such as red or turquoise. For more punch, hang a pretty wreath on the door and upgrade your house numbers. These are low-cost and easy ways to make sure your home stands out. Approximate cost: Painting the exterior of your home could cost several thousand dollars, depending on its size. But buying a gallon of paint for the front door costs as little as $25. A wreath and metal house numbers can be less than $50.

3. Repairs

Home buyers typically make purchase offers contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection. So, it’s wise to make needed repairs before putting your home on the market. Even relatively minor issues that you’ve been overlooking — such as a leaky faucet, water stains, or chipping paint — can turn into roadblocks that slow down or kill a potential sale. Consider getting your own inspection first to discover what small or large problems should be addressed sooner rather than later. This can help you get a higher selling price and close a deal faster. Approximate cost: Small repairs might cost a few hundred dollars, but some types deferred maintenance — such as a leaky roof or windows — could cost several thousand dollars. Get repair estimates before applying for a personal loan so you know how much you’ll need.

4. Cleaning

Consider the first impression buyers will have as they drive up to your home and approach your front door for the first time. It pays to keep your landscaping and lawn well-manicured 24/7. Your driveway, exterior porches, windows and exterior walls must be clean. Unless you’re willing to discount a home’s price well below market value, prospective homebuyers generally won’t want to buy a house that doesn’t appear well-kept. Edwards suggests doing a deep cleaning, and says, “Nothing is worse than a buyer seeing dirty return vents, fans, baseboards, carpets, and walls that need fresh paint.” Approximate cost: Depending on the size of your home, hiring a cleaning crew for a deep cleaning could cost around $500. Steam cleaning carpets and rugs costs as little as $300. And painting the interior of your home could be several thousand dollars.

5. Staging

Before your home goes on the market, use staging techniques to make it as attractive and as possible. Refresh worn out entrance mats, wilted house plants, furnishings and pillows. You might rearrange or remove furniture to make rooms feel more spacious and inviting. Edwards says, “Decluttering and hiring a staging professional is a big winner and helps buyers make offers closer to your listing price.” The idea is to clean up, simplify, and depersonalize your home as if it were a model home, because that’s what it needs to be while it’s on the market. Approximate cost: New entrance mats and house plants cost less than $200. You can rent staging furniture for less than a $1,000 per month. Hiring a staging pro might cost about $300. Whether you need a thousand or several thousand dollars to make repairs and home improvements, getting a personal loan can be an easy solution. If you spend the funds wisely, you’ll come out ahead with less time on the market, a higher home sale price, or both.

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