What is Payoff?
Lots of debt consolidation companies claim to have your best interests at heart. Payoff is no different in that respect. But what makes Payoff different from other lenders is that it really does offer more consumer-friendly terms than many other lenders, and that seems to stem from the company’s leadership.
The company is a part of the Happy Money umbrella. Its mission is to empower people to have a more positive relationship with their money by helping them with financial products such as holistic credit scores, savings accounts, and, yes, personal loans for credit card debt consolidation. Happy Money even employs scientists like psychologists and neuroscientists in the design of its products.
Make no mistake: Payoff is first and foremost a business, and not a nonprofit. But for a business, Payoff is one of the best that we’ve seen that can help you get out of credit card debt, and we’ll tell you why in this review.
Payoff personal loan highlights
- Designed for credit card debt: Payoff is very clear that these loans are meant to consolidate credit card debt, not to fund your daughter’s wedding.
- Only one fee: The only fee that Payoff charges is a 0.00% - 5.00% origination fee.
- Extensive support: Payoff provides free monthly FICO score updates, job loss support, cash flow assessments and regularly-scheduled check-ins to see how your progress is going.
- Low interest rate: You could pay as low as 5.99% APR with a Payoff loan.
- Minimum credit requirement: 640
- Terms: 24 to 60 months
Payoff Personal Loan Details
Payoff product details
Payoff provides a lot of benefits for its customers.
One of the biggest reasons for getting a debt consolidation loan (aside from getting rid of your credit card debt) is to increase your credit score. Payoff helps you track this by providing you with a monthly updated FICO score. Other lenders provide credit card scores as well in the form of VantageScores, but FICO scores are what most future lenders will really look at and so it’s the most helpful one to view.
Payoff also provides ongoing support in helping you pay off your debt for good by checking in with your debt-payoff progress at regularly-scheduled quarterly intervals. If you lose your job, Payoff also will work with you to adjust your payments until you get back on track. Finally, the company provides “scientific personality, stress and cash flow assessments,” although it’s not quite clear what these entail or how useful they may really be.
- Minimum credit score: 640
- Minimum credit history: 3 years of good credit
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%
In addition to the above requirements, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a checking account and a Social Security number. Payoff is not available in Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada or West Virginia, unfortunately.
Finally, Payoff has a few more credit requirements:
- No current delinquencies
- No delinquencies greater than 90 days within the past 12 months
- No more than one installment loan within the past 12 months
- At least two open and current tradelines (such as credit cards or other loans)
Applying for a personal loan from Payoff
You can apply for a credit card consolidation loan with Payoff online. To begin, you’ll check your rate by entering in your information on the main Payoff loan page. This will result in a Soft Pull credit check which won’t have any effect on your credit score, so there’s no harm in checking your rate to shop around.
After you’ve entered in your details, Payoff will provide you with a range of loan options to choose from with differing interest rates, terms, monthly payment amounts, etc. If you select one and decide to proceed with your application, Payoff will then do a hard credit pull which will show up on your credit report. You might also need to submit proof of income (two most recent pay stubs or last year’s 1040 tax return, if you’re self-employed), your most recent bank statement and a copy of your ID.
The approval process can take three to seven days, depending on what documents the company needs. If you’re approved, it’ll take another three to six days to deposit the money into your account, which Payoff expects you to use to pay off your credit card debt. This is quite a long funding time for a personal loan, however, so keep in mind that this loan is not for immediate emergencies. It’s to pay off your credit card debt, so you don’t necessarily need to apply for a loan that’ll guarantee the money is in your account by the next day.
Pros and Cons of a Payoff Personal Loan
Who’s the best fit for a Payoff personal loan?
Payoff is a great choice for people looking to avoid fees and build their credit while consolidating high-interest credit card debt. You can qualify for a Payoff loan with a fair credit score (as low as 640), however you may receive higher rates.
That’s because in general, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate, and Payoff does provide a significant cost savings if you can qualify for its low rates. If you’re just on the cusp of being approved for a Payoff loan, chances are you’ll be toward the high end of the interest-rate spectrum. This might mean that your interest rate may not be any better than your current credit card in the first place (although this will vary depending on your current credit card’s details).
Say, for example, that you’re looking to consolidate credit card debt at an interest rate of 19.95% APR. If Payoff offers you a loan for 24.99% APR, then there’s no reason to take out a personal loan in the first place.
Alternative personal loan options
- APR: 3.99% – 16.99%
- Credit requirements: Minimum 660 credit score
- Terms: 24 to 144 months
- Origination fee: No origination fee
If you’re on a quest to get the lowest interest rates possible, LightStream is definitely one lender that should be on your short list. Aside from the cheaper rates, LightStream also allows you to use the funds for other items (not just credit card debt consolidation), and can get you the money much sooner than Payoff. However, you won’t get job loss support, FICO score updates, or quarterly check-ins like what Payoff offers.
- APR: 5.98% – 29.99%
- Credit requirements: Minimum 640 credit score
- Terms: 36 or 60 months
- Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00%
RocketLoans is another no-frills options that you can use for almost any purpose, not just credit card debt consolidation. It offers similar terms, APRs and origination fees to Payoff, so it’s another good lender to check your rates with. It does charge more fees than Payoff (just a late payment fee and a returned payment fee, in addition to the origination fee), and you may be able to take out up to $45,000 with this lender.
- APR: 5.99% – 29.99%
- Credit requirements: Minimum 700 credit score
- Terms: 36 or 60 months
- Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%
About the only difference between BestEgg and Payoff is that BestEgg is a tad more expensive. It’s not expensive enough to preclude it from being a good alternative, however. Specifically, BestEgg charges slightly higher origination fees and has more miscellaneous fees (late payment, returned payment and processing payment fees for those not on automatic payment plans). It also does not offer job loss support, free FICO scores, or any of the other random perks that Payoff offers.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.
†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com
**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
|5.74% – 16.99%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|7.54% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|7.99% – 35.89%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%2||$5,000 - $35,000|
|5.99% – 29.99%3||$7,500 - $40,000|
|6.79% – 20.89%4||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%5||$2,000 - $25,000|
|6.95% – 35.89%6||$1,000 - $40,000|
|6.99% – 18.24%7||$5,000 - $75,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|