Rocket Loans vs. Upstart: Which Personal Loan Is Right for You?

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Edited byMargarita Barresi
Edited byMargarita Barresi

Updated: July 25, 2023

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Rocket Loans offers personal loans in all 50 states for qualified individuals. Qualified individuals with fair credit scores or higher can take out loans of up to $45,000 to make home improvements, consolidate debt, pay medical expenses or fund a business venture.

Upstart uses artificial intelligence to bring lenders and borrowers together. Borrowers with poor credit scores can apply for personal loans of up to $50,000 through this lender.

In this Rocket Loans vs. Upstart comparison, we provide all the information borrowers need to make the right choice. As a trusted source for comparing the largest personal loan lenders in the U.S., MoneyGeek uses the most recent data to evaluate each lender's rates, terms, loan amounts and more.

Key Takeaways

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Rocket Loans and Upstart are two top U.S. lenders offering quick funding for personal loans. You can get a loan with Upstart even if you have bad credit (at least 300), whereas Rocket Loans requires a fair credit rating (at least 640).

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When selecting a lender, consider several factors. Find a loan that fits your budget and needs in terms of rate, repayment terms, loan amount and disbursement period.

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Lenders consider your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and income to determine your interest rate.

Rocket Loans or Upstart: Overview

When comparing these two personal loan providers, we examined their relative APRs, disbursement period, loan amounts, repayment terms and minimum credit score requirements.

Although both lenders provide quick financing, Upstart is a better option for borrowers with poor credit scores. Upstart also offers a better deal for people with excellent credit ratings since it has a slightly lower starting APR of 3.22% compared to Rocket Loans' starting APR of 5.97%. Upstart provides funding up to $50,000, higher than Rocket’s maximum loan amount of $45,000.

Rocket Loans


  • Rocket Loans

    Available quickly for borrowers with fair-to-good credit scores


    • 5.97% to 29.69%APR Range
    • 640Minimum Credit Score
    • $2,000 to $45,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Rocket Loans, a lending company based in Detroit, was established in 1985 as part of the Rocket Companies. Through a partnership with Cross River Bank, it began operating as an online loan company in 2016.

    Rocket Loans offers personal loans to borrowers with credit scores of at least 640. Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $45,000, and the lender disburses funds the next day. You can use a Rocket personal loan for auto financing, home improvements, debt consolidation, medical expenses and more. Additionally, you'll receive a 0.5% discount if you sign up for autopay.

    Pros

    • Autopay discount of 0.5%
    • Low starting APR
    • Requires a fair credit score
    • Loans starting at $2,000

    Cons

    • Origination charges of 1% to 6%
    • Loan amount limited to $45,000
    • Loan amount: $2,000 to $45,000
    • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months
    • Minimum credit score: 640
    • Time to receive funds: Next day
    Rocket Loans

Upstart


  • Upstart

    Fast-funding personal loans for borrowers with bad credit


    • 3.22% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 300Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Established in 2012, Upstart is a loan funding company based on artificial intelligence. Borrowers can access funds ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 to cover various needs, including home improvement, debt consolidation, medical expenses, car refinancing and more.

    Because Upstart considers your employment history and gross income in addition to your credit score, borrowers with bad credit scores can qualify. However, those with excellent credit scores can take advantage of the lender’s starting APR of 3.22%.

    You can apply for an Upstart personal loan online and expect to get funding the day after your application is approved. Since Upstart conducts a soft credit inquiry, applying won’t impact your credit score.

    Pros

    • Maximum loan amount of $50,000
    • 300 minimum credit score
    • Performs soft credit inquiry
    • No prepayment penalty

    Cons

    • Automatic payments do not qualify for discounts
    • Charges origination fee
    • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
    • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
    • Minimum credit score: 300
    • Time to receive funds: Next day
    Upstart

APR Range

Lender
APR Range

Rocket Loans

5.97% to 29.69%

Upstart

3.22% to 35.99%

Personal loans have an annual percentage rate, or APR, which is the interest rate a borrower must repay. Important factors affecting your loan's APR include your credit score, risk level, loan amount, repayment terms and loan type. APR ranges vary widely among lenders.

Rocket Loans offers APRs ranging from 5.97% to 29.69%, while Upstart’s APRs range from 3.22% to 35.99%. While both offer low minimum APRs, these rates are only accessible to borrowers with excellent credit. Moreover, while Rocket Loans provides a lower maximum rate, its loans are more difficult to obtain because the lender requires a fair-to-good credit rating.

APR is only one factor among many when choosing a lender for a personal loan, although a low APR is ideal for getting the lowest rate possible.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Upstart offers a lower minimum APR, which is accessible only to those with excellent credit. However, Upstart has a higher maximum APR. Since Upstart only requires a 300 credit score, borrowers are more likely to qualify for a personal loan with this lender. Rocket Loans has a lower maximum APR but a high minimum credit score requirement of 640. As a result, Upstart is suitable for people with bad credit and those with excellent credit.

A lower APR will reduce your loan’s overall cost, so keep that in mind when selecting a lender. You can find the right lender by doing your research and comparing quotes.

Minimum Credit Score

Lender
Credit Score

Rocket Loans

640

Upstart

300

Credit bureaus issue credit scores as a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on information from your credit report. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Lenders often consider applicants with credit scores of 670 or above as acceptable or low-risk borrowers.

In many cases, your credit score determines whether you qualify for a loan and under what conditions. Higher scores generally mean lower interest rates. Managing your finances wisely and paying off your credit card bills on time gradually builds your credit score.

To determine whether borrowers will be able to meet their financial obligations, Upstart uses an AI algorithm. Along with credit scores, the lender considers income and employment history, giving borrowers with bad credit a chance to get approved. On the other hand, Rocket Loans requires a credit score of at least 640.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Unlike most lenders, Upstart's underwriting model is AI-based and has more lenient credit score requirements. Since credit score affects eligibility for a personal loan, Upstart’s lower score makes it the obvious winner in this category.

A person with a low credit score will, however, have to pay higher interest rates or receive less favorable terms. Borrowers should ensure the loan terms are reasonable and adequate for their needs before committing.

Loan Amount Range

Lender
Loan Amount Range

Rocket Loans

$2,000 to $45,000

Upstart

$1,000 to $50,000

Lenders have a loan amount range, which consists of the lowest and highest amount they are willing to lend. Rocket Loans personal loan applicants can borrow up to $45,000 compared to $50,000 with Upstart. Both lenders are great options for major expenditures. Ultimately, the amount you need depends on what you plan to do with the funds and what the lender will offer.

Instead of getting multiple small loans from different lenders, look for a lender that offers a range of loans that meet your needs. By doing this, you can easily keep your total debt.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Rocket Loans and Upstart offer similar loan amount ranges. However, Upstart offers a higher maximum loan amount and a lower minimum, making it a more flexible option.

The loan amount you need will depend on your personal circumstances and your intended use. A smaller loan works well for minor expenses like home repairs or travel expenses, while a bigger loan is appropriate for larger expenses, such as debt consolidation.

To avoid cash flow problems, only take out loans when absolutely necessary. Determine how much money you need before choosing a lender and only apply for that amount.

Repayment Terms

Lender
Repayment Terms

Rocket Loans

36 or 60 months

Upstart

36 to 60 months

The length of time a lender gives you to repay the loan is called the repayment term or repayment period. Shorter repayment terms usually result in lower interest rates. However, lenders consider other factors, such as credit score, when setting loan repayment terms.

Rocket Loans and Upstart offer the same repayment terms. Repaying a loan over a longer period usually means you make smaller monthly payments but pay more interest in the long run. Be sure to consider the total loan cost when comparing lender payback periods.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

According to our data, Rocket Loans and Upstart offer the same flexible repayment terms of 36 to 60 months.

You will likely secure a shorter repayment term if you have a good credit score. If you can afford to make higher monthly payments, a shorter repayment period is best.

Time to Receive Funds

Lender
Time to Receive Funds

Rocket Loans

Next day

Upstart

Next day

Conventional lenders can take weeks to process loans and provide funds. In contrast, Rocket Loans and Upstart provide funds the following business day.

Rocket Loans can be a good option if you need a loan urgently and have good credit. With next-day disbursement, Upstart is also a good choice. To choose the right lender between the two, also consider the loan terms and amount, repayment period, credit score requirement and rates.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

When you're dealing with a sudden financial crisis, a lender that swiftly releases funds will help you get back on your feet faster. Rocket Loans and Upstart have the same disbursement time, so borrowers are more likely to receive funds the day after their loan is approved. While fast loan disbursement is a great advantage, you should also consider other criteria when making your decision.

Final Thoughts

Rocket Loans and Upstart offer personal loans with the same payment terms and fast funding times, but Upstart comes out on top for several reasons. It has lower minimum and higher maximum loan amounts, and though Upstart has a higher maximum APR, its credit score requirement allows people with bad credit to apply.

On the other hand, Rocket Loans can process and release funds quickly and has a lower maximum APR than Upstart. Additionally, small expense loans start at $2,000 and go up to $45,000.

Choosing a provider for your personal loan comes down to your needs and situation. Knowing when to get a personal loan can help you avoid financial ruin. A personal loan can be helpful if taken out wisely, but reckless borrowing can have negative consequences.

If neither Rocket Loans nor Upstart meets your requirements, consider shopping around and comparing rates and terms from several lenders.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loan Lenders

MoneyGeek answers frequently asked questions about personal loans to help through the selection process.

What documents do I need to provide to personal loan lenders?
How do I know what my credit score is?
Do lenders conduct a hard inquiry?
Are interest rates on personal loans the same for all lenders?
Do lenders charge fees for personal loans?
What are the advantages of applying for a personal loan online?
Is prepayment allowed on personal loans?
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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.