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You applied for an Upstart loan and was denied (even though you may have been pre-approved).

The purpose of this article is to explain how Upstart works, what you can do if you are denied and still need a debt consolidation loan and 3 alternatives options to help you get rid of your debt cheaper, easier and faster.

What is Upstart?

Upstart is a technologically driven credit lender. Upstart uses an Artificial Intelligence lending platform to help make credit more accessible with less risk for lenders. They also claim to not use outdated methods to determine eligibility for loans, noting that most lenders solely look at things like FICO scores instead of the holistic borrowing history of an individual. Because of this, individuals with lower credit scores tend to be unable to create better scores for themselves. This is just one of the issues that Upstart is fighting against. With founders that have backgrounds at Google, they claim to be one of the best, most forward-thinking lending agencies in the modern era. With this in mind, what is the reason you might want to apply for a loan from Upstart? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Your Credit Score? Is It Below 620? Is Your DTI too high?

If your credit score is below 620, you may be in a position where you can get a personal consolidation loan from some provider, but they may do the following:

  1. Not provide you with the asking amount. You may ask for $50,000, and you may qualify for $4000
  2. Your interest rate may be very, very high. Think 29.99%.

If your debt to income ratio is too high (in the lender’s eyes), you may have a 760 credit score and still get denied.

As such, at this point, if you are striking out on personal loans, you may compare debt negotiation to debt consolidation loans if you see that your debt is going to fall behind if you don’t do anything.

As such, we built a debt consolidation program vs debt consolidation loan calculator below to inform you about your options:

What Should I Do If My Upstart Loan Is Denied?

If your loan is denied, there are a few things that you can do to try get an Upstart Loan. First, try to pinpoint why the loan was denied. In most cases, it appears as though Upstart gives a reason for denial. If you believe that you have been denied incorrectly (because there was either an error in your report or verification of information), you can submit corrected documentation that should fix the situation. If this is your situation, you would file an adverse action notice. This simply lets Upstart know that there is information that you have had corrected and for them to review your application once again. 

Do I Have Any Other Options? Understand Credit Score

Luckily, there are some other options you have, depending on why you need a loan. We’ll break down your options based on the reasons you might need a loan.

If your credit score is under 600, we built the following debt resolution options and cost calculator that helps you estimate the costs and other options such as debt management, debt settlement, payoff planning, and other options you have if you are unable to find a personal loan provider that can consolidate debt at a reasonable interest rate. For example, you may look to get a pay day loan, but we speak with many individual where that drives them into bankruptcy.

Here are other options to consider.

Debt Settlement

While the fastest way to pay off all your credit cards at once may be to take out a large loan, this can often lead to compounded interest that raises your total payment. Instead, consider working with a debt negotiation firm. These programs allow you to bundle your payments into one, without adding an excessive additional interest payment on top. Look specifically for programs, not loans. 

Debt Management

Debt management is where a non-profit credit counseling agency would negotiate the interest rate on your debt. For example, debt management can be helpful if you are dealing with a lot of high interest credit card debt, but it may not help if you just have personal loans. It may not save you as much as debt settlement, but your credit score may still be more intact. Here’s who we like for Debt Management as they have a 4.9 rating.

Another Personal Loan Provider

Just because you were declined by Upstart doesn’t mean you would be declined by any personal loan provider. You could try applying to another provider such as Upgrade. Upgrade allows you to check your rate without affecting your credit score and provides personal loans up to $50,000.

Consider the purpose of the personal loan. Is it necessary to get you through a tough patch? Or is it for non-essential luxuries? Regardless of what it’s for, if you are looking for an influx of cash, there are a couple of things you could do. The first is getting a second job. Whether that is a side business you start or a part-time job you do in your free time, there are plenty of ways to earn more. You could also sell things you already own. From little things around the house to extra vehicles, get creative! You can definitely bring in some cash selling things you own.

Refinancing a Car

If you are looking to trade out your current auto loan with an auto loan at a better rate, consider shopping around! There are dozens of lenders and banks that will help you refinance. Depending on why you were denied a loan, there is a chance it could be difficult, but still look around. The worst-case scenario is you sell your car and purchase a cheaper car with the money you make on the old car. 

What If Upstart Said I Was Pre-Approved?

Sometimes companies send out mailers or emails that give you an estimated loan amount that you are pre-approved for. However, even when you are “pre-approved,” you will still have to fill out an application. When filling out an application, any change in current financial status will be denoted. Per Upstarts website, any of the following changes could disqualify you from the loan you were pre-approved for:

  • Has your credit score dropped more than 25 points 
  • If your monthly debt obligations increased by more than 3% or $200 per month
  • If you have any debt payments that are more than 30 days delinquent
  • Is there a new account listed on your credit report 

Should any of the above be true, then you will no longer qualify for the loan you were originally pre-approved for. 

Can I Reapply for an Upstart loan if I was denied?

Yes, you can, but there are certain things to consider.

If you happened to have applied for a $50,000 loan (their maximum amount) and were denied, consider applying for something smaller! Because lenders have to keep their risk low, big loans are reserved for those who are almost guaranteed to pay them back. So if you are initially denied, consider a smaller, more reasonable amount. 

If you apply for a smaller loan and are still denied, it is likely you will not receive anything from Upstart. However, when applying for a loan, you will be creating an account simultaneously. Per the website, if anything in your situation changes, you are encouraged to reapply for a loan. This could give you the opportunity to obtain a loan later. However, sometimes you need help immediately, so what else can you do? 

Why Would I Apply Again For An Upstart Loan?

As mentioned earlier, Upstart has a different approach to determining who to loan money to and how much to loan. There are a variety of factors Upstart looks at when deciding whether a candidate is able to be given a loan. In fact, you can have a credit score as low as 300 (the lowest your score can go) and still be approved based on factors like income, payment history, and more. At other lending institutions, the minimum credit score needed tends to be between 580-630. Because of this, Upstart may be a good option for you if your credit history isn’t robust, but you have the funds or source of income to afford a loan. 

Other instances you may want to use Upstart include some of their special offerings. While they advertise that they assist in paying off credit cards, consolidating debt, and refinancing car payments, all options on their first page take you through a questionnaire for loan amounts. So while you may think you are signing up for a program, what you are really doing is taking out a loan. Be cautious of this if you are not looking for just a loan. But what happens if you are denied a loan that you want or need?


Regardless of the reason, if you need a loan but are worried your credit score may not cut it, Upstart may be a great place to apply. However, if you are denied, know that you still have options! Hopefully the calculator below can help you understand your options to resolve the debt.

Post Author: LincolnE

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