Loans > Payoff Review

Payoff Review

Payoff offers credit-card debt consolidation with flexible payments, low rates, and a proactive customer service team.

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Are you finding it hard to pay off all your credit card debt right now?

You’re probably paying high interest rates, making multiple payments, and getting even more of a headache trying to manage them all. As the coronavirus continues to impact the US economy, millions are in the same boat.

Typically, many considered transferring the balance on their credit cards. But as of now, 10 major credit cards have changed their balance transfer offers, with some openly eliminating the option altogether.

Payoff, an online credit card debt consolidation platform, offers an alternative. The company provides personal loans to help people pay off their high-interest credit card debt — through a single monthly payment.

Sound too good to be true? Let’s dive in for a closer look.

Payoff is an online, personal loans platform that offers loans of between $5,000 to $35,000 to those who want to consolidate their high-interest credit card debt.

Fast Facts

  • Minimum Credit Score: 640
  • APR: 5.99 – 24.99%
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Term Range:  2 to 5 years
  • Highlight: Free monthly credit check-in
  • Best for: Those with good credit

Rating

  • Fees: 9/10
  • Usability: 9.5/10
  • Flexibility: 9/10
  • Customer Service: 9.5/10
  • Credibility & Trust:10/10
  • Overall: 9.5/10
Visit Payoff on Payoff’s website

What is Payoff?

Launched in 2015, Payoff is a loan specifically designed to help pay off credit cards. It offers a simple, straightforward and attainable way to eliminate credit card debt. This singular focus has resulted in best in class portfolio performance with industry-leading low default rates and an NPS of 82. 

To date, Payoff has over 11,000 members and has helped people pay off over $175M of credit card debt.

Payoff is not a bank; it works with lending partners, like credit unions, that originate the loans. The company is based in California, and is a product of Happy Money, a financial company that uses psychology and money to help people become less financially stressed.

Payoff Summary

  1. Launched in 2015, Payoff is a loan specifically designed to help pay off credit cards.
  2. Happy Money, a Parent company to Payoff, operates a marketplace that connects borrowers with credit union lenders.
  3. The entire Payoff personal loan process is online. This makes it a quick and simple process for borrowers.
  4. Payoff offers free monthly credit checks, flexible payments, and the option to payoff off creditors directly.
  5. Payoff charges no fees apart from a once off origination fee.
  6. Payoff offers APR’s of between 5.99% and 24.99%, and you can prequalify with a soft credit check.
  7. Happy Money appoints new general counsel & chief compliance officer as more consumers look to pay down debt

1 Billion + in Debt Paid Off, 70,000 Members

Happy Money, a Parent company to Payoff, operates a marketplace that connects borrowers with credit union lenders. As America deals with the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19, Happy Money is emerging to meet a growing demand and improve the happiness of its customers by turning borrowers into savers. 

As part of its growth, the company recently appointed fintech pioneer Jason Altieri as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.

Happy Money Homepage
Happy money is a parent company to Payoff, Joy, and Score

Alteri joins Happy Money as consumer demand increases for digital services and those looking to pay down debt during the current economic uncertainty.

The company has a unique business model that is funded through Credit Unions with aligning missions which are powering on with their loans through the Happy Money platform, despite the challenging times.

Altieri said, “Happy Money’s strong, dedicated team, along with Scott’s vision to reorient the consumer relationship so that it’s not focused on debt but on building overall financial wellness drove my decision to join the team.

Happy Money is thoughtfully expanding access to financial services by eliminating people’s debt and creating a network of aligned credit union partners, doing away with the need for antiquated models that stunt people’s financial development.”

Happy Money has 3 company goals:

  •  To leave credit card debt behind
  • To have interest work for you, not against you
  • To offer an alternative to the current rigid system

Payoff Overview

Below we’ve highlighted what we like about Payoff, and what we don’t like so much:

Pros

  • Competitive APR
  • Pre-qualify with a soft credit check
  • No late or prepayment fees
  • Proactive customer support in first year

Cons

  • Tougher to qualify for
  • Limited uses for funds
  • No joint applicants
  • Funding time takes longer

What Online Features Does Payoff Offer?

The entire Payoff personal loan process is online. This makes it a quick and simple process for borrowers. Everything from pre-approval, application, closing and managing their account can all be done from the lenders website.

Payoff Personal Loan Features

  • The qualification process is transparent
  • Ability to change the payment date every 12 months
  • Free FICO credit score access
  • High minimum loan amounts
  • Only available in certain states

Payoff is Supporting its Members Through COVID-19

Covid-19 Financial Impact
Payoff helps millenials deal with the economic blow caused by the pandemic.

The coronavirus has been another cruel set back for Americans. The pandemic has exposed a sharp generational divide and with all the uncertainties that linger around the virus, it has been certain that those over 70 are more vulnerable to its effects.

Yet, despite this, it is those under 40 that are being hit with the biggest economic blow.

In effect, younger people have had their lives upended, with a rise to 2.9 million permanent job losses in June. In conjunction with this, major lenders are eliminating their balance transfer options for credit cards, making repayments more difficult than ever.

If you’ve lost your job, Payoff offers programs that accommodate any potential financial issues you may be dealing with, including job loss. Loyal members will be offered to work out an agreement that will suit until they are back on their feet.

The company says, “ We understand how the COVID-19 virus can impact your health and finances unexpectedly. We have programs in place to help Members affected by the Coronavirus, because our priority is your well-being.

Free Monthly Credit Check

Payoff gives borrowers access to a free FICO score check so you can monitor your credit score from month to month.

Payoff boasts that borrowers who paid off at least $5,000 in credit card balances within the first four months of receiving their loan saw an increase of 40 points in their FICO score, on average.

Flexible Payments

With a recent announcement that banks are extending credit card freezes to help those struggling to repay, Payoffs’ flexible payment option is a God send. 

If you miss a payment it won’t be the end of the world. A Member Advocate will work with you to create a plan, without worrying about any sneaky automatic late fees. Payoff will allow you to defer payments, skip payments, or change the date you want to make the payment.

As a whole, Payoff offers a fully transparent service with mostly positive reviews from customers who praise it as a useful way to minimize unmanageable debt.

Direct Payment to Creditors

Borrowers will have an opt-in option for Direct Card Payoff. This feature means that the lender will pay off your debt, and you’ll make payments directly to Payoff. Should you not choose this option, your funds will be deposited directly into your checking account.

Personal Loan Finder

Payoff’s personal loan finder allows you to select the loan amount you would like, as well as its purpose, your credit score range, and your state to see the loan terms and estimated annual percentage rates.

Payoff Comapred

General
Estimated APR

5.99 - 24.99%

  • Term Loans: 7 - 30%
  • Startup Loans: 7.9 - 19.9%
Minimum credit score

640

550

Loan term

2 - 5 years

1 - 5 years

Loan amount

$5,000 - $35,000

$5,000 - $500,000

Best for

Borrowers with good credit

Small business loans

General
Estimated APR
  • Term Loans: 7 - 30%
  • Startup Loans: 7.9 - 19.9%

Varies (but known to be low)

Minimum credit score

550

660

Loan term

1 - 5 years

Varies

Loan amount

$5,000 - $500,000

$5,000 - $100,000

Best for

Small business loans

Borrowers with good to excellent credit

General

Estimated APR

5.99 - 24.99%

  • Term Loans: 7 - 30%
  • Startup Loans: 7.9 - 19.9%

Varies (but known to be low)

Minimum credit score

640

550

660

Loan term

2 - 5 years

1 - 5 years

Varies

Loan amount

$5,000 - $35,000

$5,000 - $500,000

$5,000 - $100,000

Best for

Borrowers with good credit

Small business loans

Borrowers with good to excellent credit

Payoff Fees

Payoff offers fixed, low rates with easy-to-follow terms to help eliminate credit debt quicker.

The loan amount ranges from $5,000 to $35,000 with an APR of 5.99% – 24.99%, in addition to a one time only origination fee of 0% – 5%. The origination fee is taken directly from your loan amount before it’s deposited into your account. 

Bearing this in mind, make your loan slightly more than you need to calculate the amount you need to borrow.

What Fees Does Payoff Charge?

Apart from the origination fee, Payoff charges no other fees; no check processing fees, application fees, late fees, early or extra payment fees, or annual fees.

You will just need to pay one payment per month with a fixed rate. But because there are no extra payment fees, you can also pay more than you need to.

The loan has a fairly flexible structure with terms ranging between 24 – 60 months. Just keep in mind that although longer terms allow you to access a larger loan with lower payments, your overall interest paid will be more – don’t get caught out!

Payoff’s fee structure could really help make debt repayment more manageable for anyone struggling to minimize debt throughout the pandemic.

What Are Payoff’s Interest Rates?

The Payoff rate is a competitive fixed rate APR that includes the previously mentioned origination fee of 0-5%.

The minimum APR for loans of more than $15,000 is 6.99%. The rate varies and will depend on where you live and your credit score.

  • Fixed APR Range: 5.99% – 24.99%
  • Variable APR Range: N/A

How Does a Payoff Loan Work?

Some key details of a Payoff loan:

  • Ability to request to change due date of your payment
  • Request to make payments manually instead of automatically
  • No late payment fee
  • No prepayment fee

If you accept a Payoff loan, your monthly repayments will start about one month post signing the documents. Once a year, you can request to change the due date of your payment. You can also request that payments are made manually instead of being automatically withdrawn.

While the lender does not charge any late payment fee, it does ask that you contact them if you reckon you might miss a payment. Payoff will try to work with you to come to a workable agreement and keep your account in good standing.

Although you won’t be charged a fee, your late payment may still be reported to the credit bureaus and damage your credit if you don’t pay for 30 or more days past your due date. If you wish to contribute more towards your payments, you can do so without fear of a prepayment fee.

Overall, the key details of Payoff loan are certainly appealing given the current economic state of the U.S amid the Coronavirus.

Which Personal Loan Options Does Payoff Offer?

The Payoff loan is a personal loan of between $5,000 to $35,000 with the goal of helping borrowers eliminate or lower credit card balances faster. The idea is that cards with high interest are consolidated into one monthly payment. Payoff is known as one of the top debt consolidation loan providers, and with loan terms ranging from 24 – 60 months.

Choose Your Loan

Before applying for a loan, you choose the type of loan you’d prefer. This can all be completed online.

Once you enter some brief information (address, date of birth, income) you will be offered one or more loan packages to choose from. Each option will have different rates and terms so choose the one that best suits your situation.

Alternatively, you can talk about it with a designated Member Advocate.

Choosing your plan won’t require any payments and it won’t affect your credit score because it is only a soft inquiry into your credit report.

How the Payoff Loan Compares to Credit Cards

The Payoff LoanCredit Cards
Fixed monthly paymentYesNo
No late paymentYesNo
Designed to help boost your FICO score and features in the 2nd spot on our review of the best loans for excellent creditYesNo

What We Like About Payoff

Picture of an infograph showing advantages that payoff has in comparison with credit cards
The Payoff platform comes with a set of features that make it notably easier to get out of debt.

Competitive APR

Payoff offers APR’s (annual percentage rates) of between 5.99% and 24.99%, including the origination fee. These are competitive rates across online lenders.

Prequalify With a Soft Credit Pull

The ability to check rates online in minutes without a hard inquiry impacting your credit score is welcomed, and is something that is not offered by all lenders, including LightStream. Your credit score is not impacted by soft inquiries. 

No Prepayment or Late Payment Fees

Payoff does not charge any fees for late payments or returned checks and there are no prepayment penalties.

Customer Service

Payoff has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Payoff’s parent company Happy Money received 5 complaints in 2019 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Just two out of 5 got a response in a timely manner, but they were closed with fair explanation.

Payoff’s customer service team is available Monday to Friday 6am to 7pm (PST), and Saturday to Sunday from 6am to 4pm (PST). For any messages outside of these hours you can leave a message with one of the company’s Member Experience Advocates who will respond shortly after.

Member Experience

Members can contact the team by phone on call 1-800-878-0901, or email at success@payoff.com.

Where We Think Payoff Could Improve

Limited Uses for Funds

Payoff loans are for the purpose of debt consolidation and debt consolidation only. If you want a loan for another purpose, such as home improvement, or a boat, you can check out competitors like LightStream.

Tougher to Qualify For

To qualify for a Payoff loan you will need a minimum credit score of 640 and a bet-to-income ratio of 50% or less.

No Joint Applicant Accepted

Payoff does not accept any joint application or co-signers.

Funds Take Longer to Receive

To start, the underwriting process could take 3 to 7 business days once they’re submitted. Once to sign the paperwork, receiving the money could take another 6 business before you get any money.      

How Do You Qualify for a Payoff?

Qualifying for a Payoff loan is relatively straightforward, mainly because the company is very transparent about its qualification criteria.

Payoff requires a minimum FICO credit score of 640 and a credit history of at least three years. Borrowers can get approved with a debt-to-income ratio of as high as 50%. The age of your credit history must be at least three years. Borrowers must have no current delinquencies, or any in the last 90 days.

Borrowers can receive pre-approval and a rate quote, but co-signers aren’t accepted.

Payoff Loan Qualification Considerations

FICO Credit Score640
Credit history+3 years
Debt-to-income ratioAs high as 50%
Delinquencies None in the last 90 days
Pre approvalYes
Rate quoteYes

Who is Payoff Best for?

Those With Good Credit

Payoff is one of the best options for people with good credit history, looking for a better way than paying high credit card interest rates. The platform is also one of the top loans for those with fair credit.

Those Looking for a Simple Payment Structure

Payoff offers a simple, straightforward payment structure that anyone feeling overwhelmed by multiple credit card payments each month will appreciate. In fact, Debt.org states that while 189 million Americans have credit cards, the average American has at least four cards. 

On top of this, each household with a credit card holds $8,398 in credit card debt, on average. With U.S consumer debt coming to $13.86 trillion, including mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student loans we think Payoffs payment simple payment option will be a big help.

Even if your monthly payment ends up being higher than your credit cards, Payoff helps you minimize debt in the long run by repaying less interest.

Key Figures: Personal Debt in America

  • Over 189 million Americans have credit cards
  • The average American has 4 credit cards
  • Each household carries $8,398 in credit card debt, on average
  • Total U.S consumer debt is at 13.86 trillion, including mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards

People Looking for Good Customer Service

As we mentioned, Payoff has a quality customer support team. With quarterly check-in call from Member Advocates, you can’t go too far wrong. Anyone looking for a bit more structure to help them stay on track will appreciate this.

Who Shouldn’t Use Payoff?

There are, of course, some people that either won’t be eligible to apply for a payoff loan, or simply won’t be what they’re looking for.

Anyone Below 18 years old

If you aren’t old enough to vote, don’t bother applying for a Payoff loan. You must be at least 18 years old and have valid social security and a valid checking account to apply.

Those Looking for a Joint Application

Loans are available to individuals only. This service is not for people with a spouse looking for a joint application.

Those in Select States 

Furthermore, anyone residing in Mississippi, Massachusetts, Nevada, Nebraska, or West Virginia will not be eligible to apply for a Payoff loan.

Anyone Looking for a Lower APR

Payoff’s rates are about the same as its key competitors, so Payoff isn’t the best option if a lower APR is your focus.

Those Looking to Pay Off Non-Credit Card Debt

Lastly, don’t use Payoff if you are looking for a personal loan for reasons other than credit card debt consolidation.

What’s the Payoff Application Process Like?

Payoff’s application process is pretty quick, straightforward, and it’s all online. As a whole, you will go through 4 steps to get your loan. These are:

  1. Checking your rate 
  2. Choosing your terms
  3. Verifying your information
  4. Receiving your fund

The process does include the opportunity to check your rates with a soft credit check. To check your rate, you just need to enter the following details:

  • Your name
  • Birth date 
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Individual annual income before taxes
  • How much you contribute every month to rent or a mortgage

Including income from other members of your household is not supported by Payoff. It doesn’t allow child support, alimony, or separate maintenance payments to qualify. It will also ask you to verify whether your income is commission based.

The last part of the process is creating an account by entering your email and a password. Then, you will be asked to accept the offer and apply.

At this stage, Payoff will conduct a hard check on your credit. This will lower your credit score temporarily. During the underwriting stage, Payoff might request some additional information like:

  • Proof of identification: Valid driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport
  • Proof of income: Two of the most recent pay stubs or most recent tax return for self-employed applicants
  • Bank statements: Bank account(s), mortgage statement(s), voided check if you bank with a credit union.

Each of these documents can be uploaded to your account. You also must have a Social Security number, be at least 18 years old, and hold a valid checking account to be considered. 

Summary: Is Payoff a Good Option?

In general, if you have good credit, low interest rates are a good time to consolidate credit card debt. In March, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to almost zero to try to soften the economic impact of the coronavirus.

These lower rates make it a good time for people to borrow money because it’s cheaper to repay – something countless Americans are likely taking advantage of during such uncertain times.

While we are not recommending you take on high-interest debt because of lower rates, those with credit-card debt and a solid credit score should consider consolidating.

Payoff is a good option for those with good to excellent credit who’ve accrued high interest credit card debt. The lender offers competitive APRs, and charges no fees, apart from a once off origination fee. The customer service team is also very proactive for the first year.

Make sure to shop around before applying for a personal loan, though. If you have good to excellent credit then you’ll likely have a lot of options to choose from. If your credit is poor, or you want to improve your FICO score, there are some quality credit repair software that might just be able to help get you where you need to be.

Payoff FAQs

Will checking my rate for the Payoff Loan affect my credit?

Don’t worry, checking your Payoff Loan rate will not hurt your credit score. Before you finalise the Payoff Loan, the company will run a hard inquiry, which might lower your credit temporarily. 

Good news though, Payoff members see an average increase in their FICO Score of 40 points. Get to know how to read and understand your credit report so you know exactly where you stand.

What can I use a payoff loan for?

Because this loan is for debt consolidation, it can’t be used for other purposes. But with fewer options to consolidate debt in recent times, Payoff’s service is a rarity.

What is the approval criteria for the Payoff Loan?

Payoff is very transparent about its approval process and the criteria it requires from potential borrowers. Before you submit your application, you can check out Payoff’s approval factors.

Can you refinance a personal loan with Payoff?

If you’re looking to lower your APR, you will have to apply for another personal loan elsewhere. Payoff doesn’t offer the ability to refinance, according to a representative.

Are payoff loans a good idea?

Payoff is best for those with a good credit history who are paying a high-interest rate on their credit card debt. Payoff could also be a good consideration for people with multiple credit card payments because consolidating these debts will be more manageable. If you have good credit and would like to increase it, there are some great credit monitoring services you can check out, too.

Does payoff verify income?

Payoff will verify income by looking at your tax records. The company also accepts Form 1040 as proof of income.

Does payoff really work?

Payoff has over 11,000 members, and has so far helped eliminate 175 million debt through debt consolidation. The company also boasts an increase of 40 points to its members FICO scores. 

What’s Payoff’s penalty structure?

Payoff does not charge any prepayment or late payment penalty fees. The only fee charged by the platform is a once off origination fee that is taken from the loan amount you qualify for, before it is funded into your account.

Is Payoff good for credit card debt?

Payoff offers a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan to borrowers with good credit. The loan must be used for the sole purpose of paying off credit card debt. You can also check out the best credit repair options near you.

Is it better to get a personal loan or debt consolidation?

According to a Bankrate study, the biggest reason people get personal loans is to consolidate debt. Debt consolidation is when you have several cards and want to streamline payments into one bill. A big enough personal loan can be taken out to cover this, and then you pay back the lender until the loan is repaid.

How can I pay off my credit card with no money?

You can use a balance transfer credit card. Those on low incomes who are trying to get out of debt, should consider getting a balance transfer credit card. This moves the balance of one card to another new credit card which means you pay off the outstanding balance, effectively.

Is it smart to pay off credit card debt with a loan?

Taking out a personal loan that has a lower interest rate than your credit card and then using that to pay off the credit card balance in full could be a good option. A debt consolidation loan with a lower interest rate could mean that you pay less per month, which can help prevent long-term debt.

Payoff and the Competition

See how Payoff compares to the top lending platforms by reading one of the reviews below.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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