Universal Credit is an online lending platform powered by fintech company Upgrade, which has been in business since 2017. Universal Credit is not a bank itself, but facilitates lending through its lending partners. It specializes in personal loans, particularly for debt consolidation.
- Debt Consolidation: If the purpose of your loan is to consolidate existing debt, your funds will be sent directly to your creditors, leaving you with one fixed rate payment to manage each month.
- Discounts: Borrowers who sign up for autopay or have their funds sent directly to creditors on a debt consolidation loan qualify for interest rate reductions.
- Credit creation tools: Borrowers can access a number of credit-building tools offered through Upgrade, including access to their credit scores, weekly updates, personalized recommendations and more.
- Creation costs: Universal Credit charges a loan origination fee of up to 8%, which is subtracted from the loan proceeds.
- Potentially high tariffs: Unpreferred borrowers could end up paying rates as high as 35.93%, which rival credit cards and other high-interest loans.
What can Universal Credit Personal Loans be used for?
Universal Credit offers both personal loans and debt consolidation loans. Both types of loans offer fixed rates and predictable payments. With debt consolidation loans, your funds are distributed directly to your creditors so you only have one payment to worry about each month.
There are several ways to use funds from a Universal Credit personal loan. Some of the most common uses include:
- Pay credit cards.
- Consolidation of other debts.
- Finance a business.
- Pay for home improvement projects.
- Make a big purchase.
How do Universal Credit personal loans work?
Universal Credit is not a real lender, but an online lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans. Its lending partners include Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank.
Applying for and managing loans through Universal Credit is done entirely online. Once you have accepted your loan offer, the funds will be sent to your bank within one business day of clearing. The actual time it takes to receive your funds will depend on how long it takes your bank to process the transaction. If you take out a debt consolidation loan that involves sending funds to creditors, repayment can take up to two weeks.
What are the terms, fees and conditions for Universal Credit Personal Loans?
Personal loans have an annual effective annual rate of 8.93% to 35.93%; lower rates require signing up for autopay and getting a discount to pay creditors directly. Repayment terms vary from 36 to 60 months.
Universal Credit also charges an origination fee of 4.25% to 8%, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. There are no fees or penalties for prepaying your loan.
How to benefit from a Universal Credit personal loan?
To apply for a Universal Credit personal loan, you must meet a few basic requirements:
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident, or live in the United States with a valid visa.
- Be at least 18 years old (or 19 in Alabama).
- Give a valid email address.
- Have a verifiable bank account.
If you want to see if you qualify for a Universal Credit personal loan, you can provide some personal details to get a quote. This results in a soft credit check, which does not impact your credit score. Once you request a quote, you will receive a few offers to choose from.
If you want to go ahead with a loan offer, you will still need to submit a formal application and you may be asked to provide additional documents or details about your financial situation. Remember that the final terms of your loan may differ from your initial quote depending on factors such as your credit score, credit history, length of loan, etc.
Universal Credit allows you to borrow a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $50,000. Late payments and fees could increase the cost of your loan.
What credit score do you need?
Universal Credit has no minimum credit score requirement to qualify for a personal loan. Higher scores will mean lower interest rates and better loan terms. However, your credit score is only one factor that Universal Credit evaluates when determining loan eligibility. Credit usage, payment history and other details will impact your loan application.
Where does Universal Credit work?
Universal Credit is headquartered in San Francisco. Because it’s an online lender, it works with customers in most states. However, Universal Credit does not lend to residents of Iowa, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C.
Is Universal Credit reputable?
Universal Credit has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since February 2021 and has an A+ rating. The company has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 17 complaints about parent company Upgrade personal loans in 2020. All complaints received a prompt response.
How is Universal Credit customer service?
If you need to contact Universal Credit about a question or issue, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to contact the lender by phone, you can call (877) 418-9765; Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
What are some of Universal Credit’s online features?
Universal Credit operates solely online, which means customers apply for and manage their personal loans via the web. Upgrade offers a mobile app that customers can use to manage their loans on the go.
Universal Credit personal loans are best for:
- People who prefer to do their banking entirely online.
- People looking for a quick and easy online loan application.
- People who have poor or fair credit.