Payoff Personal Loans: 2021 Review

Our Take
5.0
TalkFinance rating
The bottom line: If you can qualify for a low rate, Payoff is a smart way to consolidate high-interest credit card debt into one fixed monthly payment.
Jump to: Full Review

on Payoff website

MIN. CREDIT SCORE

600

EST. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

LOAN AMOUNT

$5,000 - $40,000

Pros & Cons
  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • Offers direct payment to creditors.
  • Reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.
  • No prepayment or late fees
  • Charges origination fee.
  • No rate discount for autopay.
  • Requires several years of credit history
Compare to Other loans
TalkFinance rating
TalkFinance rating
TalkFinance rating
CHECK RATE CHECK RATE CHECK RATE
EST. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

EST. APR

4.99 - 19.63%

EST. APR

3.99 - 19.99%

LOAN TERM

2 to 5 years

LOAN TERM

2 to 7 years

LOAN TERM

2 to 7 years

MIN. CREDIT SCORE

600

MIN. CREDIT SCORE

680

MIN. CREDIT SCORE

660

Full Review

To review Payoff’s personal loans, talkfinance collected more than 40 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

Payoff provides fixed-rate loans to fair credit borrowers solely for the purpose of paying off credit card debt. It helps borrowers roll multiple high-interest payments into one monthly payment with a lower annual percentage rate.

Loans are available up to $40,000, and borrowers can choose a repayment term between two and five years.

Payoff helps borrowers focus on building credit through the loan. The lender reports payments to the three major credit bureaus, meaning your on-time payments can help you build credit.

Other consumer-friendly features include no late fees for missed payments and complimentary quarterly check-ins with a member advocate during the first year of your loan.

Payoff is best for borrowers who:

  • Want to consolidate high-interest credit card debt.

  • Have fair credit (Payoff’s minimum is 600 FICO) and three or more years of credit history.

  • Want help building their credit scores.

Payoff at a glance

Affordability

 

 

 

  • APRs are competitive among lenders targeting good-credit borrowers.

  • May charge origination fee.

  • No prepayment or late fees.

  • No rate discount for autopayments.

Transparency

 

 

 

  • Performs soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports on-time payments to three credit bureaus.

  • Discloses rates, fees and terms on website.

  • Offers FAQ that answers key borrower questions.

Loan flexibility

 

 

 

  • Offers only unsecured loans.

  • Allows changes to payment due date only once every 12 months.

  • Funds loans within two days.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • Not available in MA and NV.

Customer experience

 

 

 

  • Offers multiple customer contact channels and seven-day support.

  • Fully online application and loan approval process.

  • Does not offer mobile app to manage loan.

» COMPARE: Best personal loans

Where Payoff stands out

Free monthly credit score: Payoff lets borrowers see their FICO credit score for free each month, so you can monitor your progress as you make payments.

Direct payment to creditors: Though borrowers can get the loan funds deposited to their personal checking account, the lender will also pay off your credit cards directly, so you don’t have to send the funds yourself.

Soft credit pull: Borrowers can go to Payoff's website and pre-qualify — check potential rates and terms before committing to a loan — without impacting their credit score. Payoff then does a hard credit pull, which can cause a temporary drop in credit score, if the loan offer is accepted.

Science-based assessments: Payoff is owned by Happy Money, a company that combines financial services with psychology-based advice. Payoff members receive access to scientific personality and stress assessments, as well as insight into their cash flow (how much cash is left over after paying expenses), to better understand their financial well-being.

Non-members can also enroll in a free, six-week email series called Peace, which helps subscribers cope with financial stress.

Where Payoff falls short

Funding time: While many lenders can fund a loan the same or next business day, Payoff personal loans can take up to five days to be funded after an applicant is approved.

Charges origination fee: Payoff charges an origination fee ranging from 0% to 5%. This fee is charged once, when the loan is issued. Though this is the only fee Payoff charges, some lenders charge zero fees, including origination fees.

No rate discount for autopay: Unlike other lenders, Payoff does not offer an additional rate discount for setting up autopayments. This discount usually ranges from 0.25% to 0.5% and can reduce the overall cost of your loan.

No co-signed, joint or secured loan options: Payoff only offers unsecured debt consolidation loans, meaning there’s no option for borrowers to submit a joint application, add a co-signer or secure the loan with collateral to qualify for a better rate or a larger loan.

How to qualify for a Payoff loan

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum credit history: Three years.

  • At least two open accounts on credit report.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage).

  • Monthly free cash flow: At least $1,000.

  • Zero credit delinquencies.

  • Must be able to provide income verification.

  • No bankruptcies filed within the past two years.

  • Must provide Social Security number.

Loan example: A four-year, $20,000 loan with a 17.4% APR would cost $581 in monthly payments. You’d pay $7,888 in total interest on that loan.