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When you need a personal loan, perhaps for making home improvements or consolidating debt, your first instinct may be to head to the bank. But traditional financial institutions have high overhead, resulting in slower loan processing, and sometimes, higher fees and interest rates.
Online lenders such as Upgrade and Prosper offer faster options for personal loans, with quick online approval and speedy funding directly to your bank account. Both lenders offer unsecured personal installment loans with fixed rates and fixed terms, meaning your monthly payments will always be the same.
If you’re wavering between Upgrade vs. Prosper for personal loans, here are the differences — and similarities — between the two.
Snapshot: Upgrade vs. Prosper personal loans
You can see in our chart below that Upgrade and Prosper offer the same two loan terms, either three or five years.
Both lenders have the same origination fee range and a very similar APR range, with very reasonable APRs for very creditworthy borrowers, and very steep ones for those with not-so-great credit. While their ranges are similar, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the same offer at each lender. Depending on their underwriting criteria, it’s possible one lender could give you a lower APR or origination fee than the other, so it’s worth getting a quote from each.
The key difference between Upgrade and Prosper is the amount you can borrow. Upgrade loans start as low as $1,000, while Prosper loans start at $2,000, so Upgrade could be better for borrowers who only need between $1,000 and $2,000. On the flip side, Prosper only lends up to $35,000, while Upgrade lends up to $50,000, making Upgrade the better option if you need a personal loan in excess of $35,000.
One of the other key differences is that Upgrade also offers free credit monitoring.
|Loan amounts||$1,000 to $50,000||$2,000 to $35,000|
|Loan terms||3 or 5 years||3 or 5 years|
|APRs||5.66% to 35.97%||5.99% to 35.99%|
|Origination fees||1% to 5%||1% to 5%|
The application process
Upgrade promises a quick, one-page application with a decision in seconds that won’t impact your credit score. Once you accept your offer, the lender will verify your information and do a full pull of your credit report. Within a day of being cleared, the money will be sent to your bank account.
Prosper also has a quick, one-page application to provide you with a custom rate instantly, which won’t impact your credit. Once you agree to the loan terms, just like Upgrade, they will verify your information and review your credit report before funding. Once you’re approved, they will quickly send money to your bank.
Both lenders ask for the purpose of your loan and your annual income in the application process to help determine your eligibility.
Loan fees for Upgrade and Prosper
Neither Upgrade nor Prosper charges prepayment fees. This means if you are able to pay more than your monthly payment or pay off your entire loan early, you will not be penalized. (Believe it or not, some lenders will penalize you for this!)
As shown in the chart above, both lenders do charge origination fees, which is essentially a servicing fee (sometimes called a “closing fee”). Both lenders charge between 1% and 5%, which varies depending on your financial and credit profile. The fee is taken out of the loan amount one time, and the money you receive in your bank account will already have the origination fee subtracted.
Both lenders do charge late fees. Prosper may levy a late fee on payments more than 15 days late, and Upgrade may also charge a late fee of up to $10 on payments 15 days past due.
Prosper and Upgrade offer very similar modern lending products. Both lenders have very fast online application and funding, and with similar interest rates and fees. The key difference is the amount you can borrow. If both lenders offer the amount you need, consider applying with both since getting a quote doesn’t affect your credit. Then you can select the lender that offers you the lowest APR.