Progressive personal loan review

A woman seated at an outdoor table uses her laptop to research a Progressive loan.Image: A woman seated at an outdoor table uses her laptop to research a Progressive loan.

In a Nutshell

Progressive markets personal loans on its website, but doesn’t actually issue loans. Instead, it directs customers to Upstart, a third-party lender.
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Pros

  • Considers more than just your credit scores
  • Interest-rate-checker tool available
  • Funds typically available in one business day after the loan is finalized

Cons

  • Origination fees
  • Loans aren’t available in all states
  • Not a direct lender

What you need to know about a Progressive personal loan (Upstart loan)

Progressive is a major insurance company that sells more than 30 insurance products, including auto, home and RV insurance. On its site, Progressive also markets unsecured personal loans, which are loans that don’t require collateral.

Progressive is not a direct lender

Note that Progressive doesn’t handle or issue personal loans itself. Instead, its site connects you with Upstart, a third-party lender that services loans issued through Cross River Bank. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, and you can apply for a loan online.  

While Progressive directs customers to Upstart, there aren’t any incentives to go through Progressive’s site. Progressive insurance policyholders don’t receive special discounts. You’ll get the same rates and fees if you go directly to Upstart’s site.

Factors other than your credit scores can help you qualify

When you apply for a personal loan, lenders will typically review your credit scores to determine whether to approve your application. Since Progressive loans are actually Upstart loans, you have to meet Upstart’s eligibility criteria.

If you don’t have the greatest credit, Upstart’s lower minimum credit score requirement — 600 — might help. That’s in the “fair” range, according to the two main consumer scoring models.

Besides your credit scores, Upstart also may consider your job history and earning potential, so you may be more likely to qualify for a loan from Upstart — and get a lower interest rate — than if you applied for a loan from a different lender.

Quick access to funds

If your air conditioner breaks, your pet runs up a big vet bill, or you need a major medical procedure, getting extra cash quickly can be a big relief. According to Upstart, 99% of applicants get their funds as soon as the next business day after accepting their loan terms.

You may have to pay origination fees

With Upstart loans, you may have to pay an origination fee. An origination fee is a one-time, nonrefundable fee that is typically deducted from your loan amount before you get the funds.

Upstart’s origination fees range from 0% to 8% of your loan amount.

To understand how an origination fee affects you, consider this example.

Let’s say you take out a $5,000 loan with an 8% origination fee. When you get the loan, that 8% — $400 — is deducted from the loan amount, so you only receive $4,600. But you still have to repay the full $5,000, with interest on the full original loan amount, as well.

There are personal loan lenders that don’t charge origination fees. Always review a lender’s fee disclosures before agreeing to its terms.

Loans aren’t available to borrowers in all states

Upstart lends to borrowers in most states. The exceptions are West Virginia and Iowa. If you live in either of those states, you’ll have to work with another personal loan lender.

A closer look at a Progressive personal loan (Upstart loan)

  • Late payment fees may apply — If you don’t make a payment within 10 days of your due date, Upstart may charge you a late fee. The fee is 5% of the monthly past due amount, or $15, whichever is greater.
  • No prepayment penalty — Upstart doesn’t charge prepayment penalties or added fees if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule. If you can do it, paying your loan early is an excellent way to save on interest charges.
  • Rate quote available — If you’re interested, you can get a rate quote from Upstart by filling out a short form. It takes minutes to complete, and checking your rate won’t affect your credit scores.
  • Loans have multiple uses — One of the things to know about personal loans — including Upstart’s — is that they can be used for multiple purposes, such as consolidating credit card debt, financing a large purchase, buying new appliances, or even covering wedding expenses.
  • Choice of repayment terms — Upstart loans come with three- or five-year repayment terms.
  • No cosigners — While some lenders allow borrowers to apply for personal loans with a cosigner to improve their chances of qualifying for a loan, Upstart doesn’t have that option. You must meet the borrower eligibility requirements on your own.

Who is a Progressive loan (Upstart loan) good for?

Progressive connects consumers to Upstart on its site. Because most customers receive their loan funds from Upstart within one business day of accepting their loan terms, this lender could be a good option if you need money quickly.      

Upstart can also be a good fit if you have less-than-perfect credit, since it considers applicants with credit scores of 600 and up and also weighs other factors in your financial health when determining approval and annual percentage rates.

How to apply for a Progressive loan (Upstart loan)

If you’re on the Progressive website and want to check out personal loan options, the link will take you to a “check your rate” page, where you’ll enter your ZIP code. You’ll then land on Upstart’s website.

Upstart’s application process — like those of other personal loan online lenders — is completely online.

To be eligible for a loan from Upstart, you must be at least 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska), have a U.S. residential address, regular income ,and a personal checking or savings account. Upstart has an easy application. To get started, after clicking on “Check Your Rate,” you’ll follow these steps:

  1. Fill out a form. Upstart will ask you how much you want to borrow and its intended purpose. It will also ask about your income, employer and education.
  2. Get a rate quote. After submitting your information, Upstart will give you an estimate of your APR. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit scores.
  3. Select your loan terms. You’ll choose your loan amount, accept the repayment term and submit your application. Then Upstart will review your information and perform a hard credit inquiry. Note that the terms in your final offer at this point may differ from those you accepted earlier. You’ll want to be sure you’re OK with the final offer before accepting it. If you move forward, you could receive your money in as little as one business day.

Not sure if a Progressive loan (Upstart loan) is right for you? Consider these alternatives

  • Laurel Road: Laurel Road offers personal loans with no origination fees.
  • PenFed Credit Union: PenFed personal loans have more repayment options, with terms ranging from 12 to 60 months.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Obsessed with her many side hustles, she focuses on helping people pay down their … Read more.