MoneyGeek’s Take

Universal Credit Personal Loan Lender Review

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ByChristopher Boston
Edited byCasie McCoskey
ByChristopher Boston
Edited byCasie McCoskey

Updated: December 23, 2023

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Universal Credit offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, fitting diverse financial needs. Its straightforward online process, fixed rates and no prepayment fees appeal to many. Quick funding and 24/7 account access also add convenience. However, its high APRs and origination fees could be drawbacks for some consumers. This lender is ideal for borrowers needing flexible terms and who can navigate the costs. While not perfect for everyone, Universal Credit is a solid option for customers who match its profile.


  • Universal Credit

    • 11.69% to 35.99%APR Range
    • UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    At Universal Credit, borrowers get more than just a loan — they get a smooth and supportive lending experience. An excellent example is the ease of the online process. You can apply, manage your loan and interact with customer service all from your computer or phone. This convenience is a big plus, especially for busy individuals.

    Then there are its fixed rates and terms. With Universal Credit, what you see is what you get. Your rates and terms stay the same throughout the loan period. That means no surprises or sudden changes in your financial planning.

    Universal Credit's quick funding process and the flexibility of repayment terms allow borrowers to tailor their loans to fit their specific needs. Whatever the loan size, you have the power to choose a plan that works for your budget. Plus, with an autopay APR discount, you can save a bit on interest, which is always a welcome benefit.

    Universal Credit's combination of convenience, fixed rates and terms, quick funding and flexible repayment options make it a strong choice for borrowers seeking a personal loan. Its A+ BBB rating and positive customer feedback further underscore its reliability as a lender.

    Pros

    • Broad range of loan amounts
    • No prepayment fees
    • Quick funding process
    • Flexible repayment terms
    • Autopay APR discount available

    Cons

    • Origination fee of 5.25% to 9.99%
    • Unclear details about late fees
    • Limited educational resources
    • High maximum APR
    Universal Credit

Features of Universal Credit Personal Loans

When considering a personal loan from Universal Credit, it's wise to check out what it offers. You can use its loans for various needs like debt consolidation or home improvements, but be aware of extra costs like origination fees. The loan terms vary, giving you repayment flexibility. Also, its customer service and online tools are there to support you wherever you are. Understanding these features helps you decide if Universal Credit fits your financial needs, ensuring you make a well-informed choice for your personal loan.

What Can You Use Your Funds For?

Knowing how you can use your personal loan from Universal Credit is helpful in your decision-making process because different lenders have rules about it. Fortunately, Universal Credit maintains a flexible approach and doesn't indicate non-permissible usage on its website. Here are the various ways you can use your funds:

  • Debt Consolidation: Consolidating debt is about merging multiple debts, like credit cards, auto loans or other financial commitments, into a single Universal Credit loan. It streamlines your payments and might offer better interest rates and terms, making your debt more manageable and less overwhelming.

  • Business Expenses: Universal Credit loans can provide the necessary funds to cover essential expenses if you're an entrepreneur or small business owner. It can include purchasing inventory, funding marketing campaigns or even covering operational costs, helping keep your business running smoothly without disrupting your personal finances.

  • Home Improvement: Use a Universal Credit loan to fund renovations, repairs or upgrades to your home. This investment not only improves your living space but can also increase the value of your property. It's an effective way to finance significant home projects without using high-interest credit cards.

  • Large Purchases: A Universal Credit loan can offer a structured payment plan for big-ticket items like a new car, appliances or expensive equipment. That makes managing the cost of significant purchases more feasible, avoiding the need to deplete savings or use high-interest credit options.

Universal Credit personal loans are versatile and designed to cater to various financial needs. Understanding how to maximize them helps you make more informed decisions, ensuring that the loan effectively serves your situation.

Universal Credit Personal Loan Terms

Knowing the details of a Universal Credit personal loan ensures you choose an affordable loan that fits your repayment ability. Understanding the available loan amounts, repayment terms and APR ranges leads to sounder financial decisions. Here's what you should know:

  • Loan Amounts: Universal Credit offers loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, allowing you to borrow what you need, whether it's a modest amount for a small project or a larger sum for significant expenses.

  • Repayment Terms: With options from 36 to 60 months, you can choose a repayment schedule that suits your budget. A shorter term means higher monthly payments but less interest over time. A longer term eases the monthly burden but increases the total interest paid.

  • APR Ranges: The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Universal Credit personal loans varies, but it can go as high as 35.99%. Your actual rate depends on your credit score, credit usage history and other factors. A lower APR is better as it means you pay less over the life of the loan.

Understanding these terms allows you to tailor a Universal Credit loan to your financial needs and capabilities. It's about finding a balance that works for your budget while ensuring you can comfortably make your payments.

Universal Credit Personal Loan Fees and Discounts

Fees play a big part in the total cost of your loan, so it's helpful to know what Universal Credit does and doesn't charge. Let's start with the good news — Universal Credit doesn't charge a prepayment fee. That means you can pay off your loan early without incurring extra costs. It's a good option if you find yourself able to clear the debt sooner than expected.

That said, here's the extra costs that Universal Credit does charge:

  • Origination Fee: This is 5.25% to 9.99% of your loan amount, deducted directly from the loan funds you receive. It's a one-time fee for processing your loan.

  • Late Fee: If you miss a payment, there's a late fee. The exact amount isn't specified, so it's wise to always pay on time.

If you're trying to lower your loan costs, you might consider setting up autopay, which reduces your interest by 0.5%. Understanding these fees helps you plan your finances better and avoid surprises.

Universal Credit Customer Service

When choosing a personal loan lender, consider how easy it will be to get help when needed. Good customer service can make a big difference, especially if you have questions or issues with your loan.

Universal Credit offers several ways to reach out:

  • Email: Contact Universal Credit at support-universal@upgrade.com for any inquiries or assistance.

  • Phone: Talk directly to a representative at (877) 418-9765. They're available Monday–Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT and Saturday–Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.

Customers generally report positive experiences, as seen on Trustpilot, where Universal Credit scores 4.8 out of 5 based on 2,935 reviews. 85% of reviewers (2,511 people) gave 5 out of 5 stars, suggesting that the lender is responsive and helpful. This rating demonstrates Universal Credit's commitment to customer service.

Universal Credit Personal Loan Online Resources

Choosing a personal loan lender is not just about getting your funds. Another factor to consider is the extra resources they offer. These tools, like educational materials and online calculators, can help you better understand your loan and manage your finances.

Unfortunately, Universal Credit falls short in this area. It provides a basic FAQ section on its website, covering 11 common questions about personal loans. However, if you need more information, clicking "More Questions?" takes you to Zendesk from Upgrade, its partner company.

While there aren't many in-depth articles or a separate learning center, the FAQ and Zendesk can still provide helpful initial guidance. Remember, having access to information is key to making informed financial decisions.

Qualifying for a Universal Credit Personal Loan

Understanding the eligibility criteria for a Universal Credit personal loan helps you gauge your chances of approval and ensures you meet the requirements. When you apply for a Universal Credit loan, it looks at several key factors:

  • Credit Score and History: Universal Credit doesn't specify a minimum credit score but considers it and your credit history. That includes how consistently you've made payments in the past and your overall credit usage.
  • U.S. Citizenship or Residency: You must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or live in the U.S. with a valid visa to apply.
  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 or 19 in Alabama.
  • Email and Bank Account: You should have a valid email address and a bank account that Universal Credit can verify.

Even though Universal Credit doesn't detail specific income requirements, most lenders will consider your income and employment status to ensure you can repay the loan. Check your rate on Universal Credit's website to see what you might qualify for. It can give you a clearer idea of your eligibility without impacting your credit score.

Is a Universal Credit Personal Loan Right for You?

Choosing a personal loan from Universal Credit because it's the best fit for you can support your financial goals. In contrast, selecting the wrong lender might add stress to your loan journey. Consider factors like how much you need to borrow, the fees involved and if the loan terms fit your budget. Think about the quality of its customer service and how its online resources can help you. By carefully evaluating these aspects, you can make a choice that meets your immediate needs and supports your financial health in the long run.

Who Can Benefit From a Universal Credit Personal Loan?

Universal Credit stands out if you need a loan covering a broad range of amounts. With loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, it can cater to various financial needs, from small unexpected expenses to larger, planned investments. The versatility makes it a suitable option for many borrowers.

Speed is another factor where Universal Credit shines. The quick funding process means you can access the funds without a long wait, which is ideal for borrowers who need money promptly. For the tech-savvy borrower, Universal Credit's 24/7 mobile account access and online loan management offer a level of convenience that's hard to beat. Managing your loan anytime, anywhere, is advantageous in today's digital world.

The autopay APR discount is another benefit for consumers looking to save on interest. By setting up automatic payments, you not only ensure timely payments but also enjoy a reduction in your interest rate, making the loan more affordable over time.

Who Shouldn’t Secure a Personal Loan from Universal Credit?

Universal Credit's maximum APR of 35.99% could concern borrowers sensitive to high interest rates. As with most lenders, your rate varies based on creditworthiness and other factors, so it might significantly increase the total cost of the loan for those with less-than-ideal credit scores. If you're already struggling with high-interest debts, a loan with such a high potential APR might not be the most economical choice.

Universal Credit's limited educational resources could also be a drawback for borrowers who seek extensive financial guidance from their lenders. The lack of a comprehensive learning center or detailed financial articles means you'll need to look elsewhere for in-depth financial education and support.

How to Apply for a Universal Credit Personal Loan

Applying for a personal loan from Universal Credit is a straightforward process. Knowing the steps in advance can save you time and reduce stress. Being prepared helps ensure your application goes smoothly and can lead to faster access to your funds.

1
Checking Your Rate

Begin by visiting the Universal Credit website to check your rate. You'll need to answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation. It's a quick and easy process that uses a soft inquiry to assess your eligibility, meaning it won't affect your credit score.

2
Reviewing Loan Offers

After checking your rate, you'll receive multiple loan offers. Take your time to review these options. Consider the loan amount, repayment terms and APR to ensure the offer aligns with your budget and financial goals.

3
Choosing Your Offer

Once you've compared the offers, select which best suits your needs. The offer sets the terms for your loan, including how much you'll borrow and how long you'll take to repay it.

4
Loan Verification and Approval

After selecting an offer, Universal Credit will conduct a final review. It may include requesting additional documents to verify your identity and income. Responding promptly to these can expedite the approval process.

5
Receiving Your Funds

Universal Credit will disburse the funds quickly once your loan is approved and all verifications are complete. Typically, the money should be in your bank account within a day. However, if the funds are for direct creditor payments, the transaction may take up to two weeks to complete.

This clear and structured approach to applying for a loan with Universal Credit helps ensure you are well informed at each stage, making securing a personal loan smooth and stress-free.

What to Do if You’re Denied

Being denied a personal loan from Universal Credit can be disappointing, but it's not the end of the line. It's an opportunity to reassess and improve your financial standing. Here's what you can do to move forward:

  • Understand the Reasons for Denial: Lenders, including Universal Credit, typically provide reasons for loan denial. It could be due to your credit score, debt-to-income ratio or other factors. Knowing the specific reason helps you address the issue directly.

  • Boost Your Financial Profile: Work on improving your credit score and paying down existing debts. This process may involve making timely bill payments, reducing credit card balances and avoiding new credit inquiries. Strengthening your financial profile can increase your chances of approval in the future.

  • Look for Alternative Financing Options: If Universal Credit isn't an option, explore other lenders. Credit unions, online lenders and peer-to-peer lending platforms often have different criteria and might be more accommodating. Additionally, secured loans, which require collateral, could be another route to explore.

  • Seek Professional Financial Advice: A financial advisor can provide personalized guidance on improving your creditworthiness and exploring other loan options. They can help you develop a plan to strengthen your financial position and increase your chances of loan approval in the future.

Remember, a loan denial isn't a reflection of your worth. It's a chance to take a closer look at your finances and make adjustments. Proactively addressing your challenges allows you to put yourself in a better position for future financial success.

FAQ About Universal Credit as a Personal Loan Lender

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand Universal Credit as a personal loan lender. These can provide clarity and assist you in making informed decisions about your personal loan options.

Does Universal Credit restrict how you can use your funds from a personal loan?
What is the minimum credit score requirement for a Universal Credit personal loan?
How long does Universal Credit take to approve a personal loan?
Does Universal Credit have a mobile app?
Is a Universal Credit personal loan secured or unsecured?
How much can I borrow using a Universal Credit personal loan?
What fees will I encounter with a Universal Credit personal loan?
How does applying for a Universal Credit personal loan affect my credit score?
Does Universal Credit offer an autopay discount for personal loans?
Can you have co-signers on a Universal Credit personal loan?

About Christopher Boston


Christopher Boston headshot

Christopher (Croix) Boston was the Head of Loans content at MoneyGeek, with over five years of experience researching higher education, mortgage and personal loans.

Boston has a bachelor's degree from the Seattle Pacific University. They pride themselves in using their skills and experience to create quality content that helps people save and spend efficiently.


sources
Shield Insurance

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.