Payoff Personal Loans Review: Pros, Cons, & What We Love

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In the age of credit, it’s all too easy for credit card debt to get out of hand. Many Americans eventually struggle under the burden of multiple lines of credit card debt, especially since each credit card has a separate interest rate adding to the total money owed.

However, there’s a way to get several credit card bills under control: debt consolidation loans. Payoff is a lending institution that could connect you with a worthwhile debt consolidation loan, even if you only have middling credit.

Let’s break down how Payoff’s personal loans work and examine whether they’ll be right for your financial situation.

Best for Debt Consolidation Personal Loans
Payoff Personal Loans Review
On Payoff's Secure Website
Payoff Debt Consolidation Loans
  • Loan Amount
    $5,000 - $40,000
  • Est. APR
    5.99% - 24.99%
  • Learn More
  • Loan Details

Payoff Personal Loans Pros and Cons


  • No late or prepayment fees
  • Good APR range
  • Fast funds in most cases
  • Don’t need high credit to qualify
  • Free credit score checks


  • Origination fee included
  • Can only use loans for debt consolidation

What Is Payoff?

Payoff is technically not a lending institution but instead connects potential lenders with borrowers who need loans to pay off credit card debt, consolidate debts, or pay for other things. It’s also an exclusive online platform, so there aren’t any physical branches or locations to visit.

Payoff can be a great choice if you don’t have the best credit score but still need a debt consolidation or personal loan to maximize your financial wellness. You can also use Payoff’s loans to pay off credit card debt with high-interest rates.

How Does Payoff by Happy Money Work?

In a nutshell, Payofftakes in borrower loan applications and offers them to various lenders within its network.

Through Happy Money, Payoff can connect borrowers to potential lenders based on their credit scores, current income, and current debt levels.

Once a potential borrower is approved for a loan, Payoff will send you a loan agreement which you can review and sign if the terms seem favorable. Payoff is primarily used by those with middling credit, and it usually only provides loan agreements to those with credit scores of 640 or above.

In addition, Payoff’s personal loans are only intended to be used to pay off credit card debt. It does this by offering debt consolidation loans. Through debt consolidation, Payoff provides modified borrowers with enough money to pay off their debts. Then the borrower just has to pay one monthly bill: the debt consolidation loan they took out with Payoff.

Payoff Personal Loans Features and Benefits

There are many features and benefits that could make Payoff’s personal loans a great choice to consolidate your credit card debt and balance your budget.

Tailored Competitive Rates

As described above, Payoff’s APRs are fairly competitive when compared to other debt consolidation and bad credit lenders in the industry.

Your APR will be between 5.99% and 24.99% based on your credit score, payment history, and the size of the loan you need to take out.

FICO® Score Boost and Free Monthly Credit Score

One of the best benefits of Payoff’s personal loans is that it lets you monitor your credit score for free.

You can see your FICO score for free each month, which is of vital interest to individuals trying to pay off credit card debt and boost their credit score over time.

No Prepayment or Late Payment Fees

Although Payoff does charge an origination fee ranging between 0% and 5%, there are no prepayment or late payment fees.

In fact, there are no other fees aside from the origination fee whatsoever!

Great Customer Service

Payoff provides multiple means of customer support, those means being both telephone calls and email channels.

Furthermore, you can contact customer service representatives from Payoff from Monday to Friday and from 6 AM to 6 PM or on Saturday and Sunday from 6 AM to 3 PM.

Payoff’s customer service receives high marks for most people who use it.

Fast Funding Time

The majority of borrowers from Payoff will provide you with your loan funds within one or two business days.

However, if your loan is for a larger amount, it may take up to five days for your funds to appear in your account after your loan application is approved.

Applying Doesn’t Impact Credit Score

Fortunately, applying for a loan from Payoff doesn’t necessarily impact your credit score, as the lending institution will only do a soft credit check initially.

While it will eventually do a hard credit check, you can know if you prequalify without having to risk your credit score even further.

What Type of Personal Loans Does Payoff Offer Consumers?

As described above, Payoff only provides personal loans for debt consolidation or paying off high-interest credit card debt. If you indicate that you’ll use the money for any other reason on your loan application, Payoff is likely to deny you.

Debt consolidation is an effective strategy for paying off high-interest credit card debt from multiple credit cards. For example, if you have three different credit card bills for $1000, $2000, and $3000, you have total credit card debt of $6000.

Each of those credit cards also accrues a separate interest rate, meaning you pay more since you have multiple bills to pay off simultaneously.

You can take out a debt consolidation loan from Payoff, in which case Payoff will pay you $6000. You can use the $6000 to pay off your other credit cards, then only have to pay a single $6000 loan from Payoff.

But this will save you money in the long run since you’ll only have one interest rate accruing interest on the loan over time.

What Fees Does Payoff Charge for Personal Loans?

Payoff only charges an origination fee, which can range between 0% and 5% of your initial loan amount.

Fortunately, the origination fee is taken out of your loan total, so you don’t have to worry about having the cash on hand to pay for the origination fee.

It’ll instead just come out of whatever loan amount you take out from Payoff.

How to Qualify for a Payoff Personal Loan: 5 Critical Factors

#1. Credit Score

To qualify for a personal loan from Payoff, you’ll need a credit score of 640 or higher.

While it’s possible to be approved with a lower credit score than this, don’t count on Payoff being very flexible in this regard.

#2. Debt-to-Income Ratio

Payoff also requires your debt-to-income ratio to be 50% or less. This is a ratio of how much pre-tax monthly income you have compared to your monthly payments for debts like your mortgage, credit card bills, and so on.

#3. Minimum Credit History

You’ll also need at least three years of solid credit history to qualify for a Payoff personal loan.

Thus, these loans are easier to acquire for individuals who have been paying bills for some time.

#4. No Current Delinquencies

Be sure that you don’t have any open account delinquencies on your record if you want a personal loan from Payoff.

Any delinquencies you have must not be more than 90 days overdue within the last year.

#5. Two Open Credit Tradelines

In general, Payoff will prefer that you have at least two open lines of credit in addition to no more than a single installment loan, such as a car loan.

You’ll be more likely to be approved for a personal loan from Payoff if you make payments on all these tradelines on time at the time of your application.

How Does Payoff Compare to Other Lenders?

While Payoff’s personal loanscan be very useful for individuals with a lot of credit card debt, there are other lenders you should consider as well.

#1. CashUSA vs. Payoff

CashUSA is another free lending network entirely online, and it allows individuals with bad credit to get loans of between $500 and $10,000.

This could be a good choice if you need a small amount of cash fast, but it’s not the best pick for debt consolidation due to the presence of several fees and potentially high APRs.

>> More:CashUSA Review

#2. Payoff vs. Upstart

Upstart is a solid alternative to Payoff, and this lender only requires a credit score of 580 or above. It provides loans between $1000 and $50,000, although keep in mind that the APR range can cap a little higher, up to 35.99%.

Because of this, Upstart may be a better choice if you need a personal loan and have worse credit than a score of 640.

>> More: Upstart Personal Loans Review

#3. Best Egg vs. Payoff

Best Egg also offers competitive loans for individuals with fair credit scores, with a slightly more flexible credit score requirement than Payoff.

Their loan terms are up to 60 months, and you can get between $5000 and $50,000. However, Best Egg’s APR maximum is a little higher at 29.99%.

Best Egg could be a good direct competitor against Payoff, depending on your credit score and what you need a loan for.

If you need a loan for reasons other than debt consolidation, Best Egg may be a better choice.

>> More: Best Egg Personal Loans Review

#4. Payoff Personal Loans vs. Avant Personal Loans

Avant’s personal loans are available to anyone with a credit score of 600 or higher, and you can use them for anything, not just debt consolidation.

That being said, Avant’s APR range goes up to 35.99%, and you will have to pay late fees or dishonorable payment fees if you miss one of your payments or some of your payments don’t clear.

>> More: Avant Personal Loans Review

Who Is Payoff Best for?

In the end, Payoff is one of the best lending institutions to contact if you need a debt consolidation loan fast.

Payoff’s debt consolidation loans are available to individuals with fair credit, and you won’t have to pay a bunch of fees for late-payments or prepayment, allowing you to pay off your debt consolidation loan as quickly as you can once you take it out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Payoff Free to Use?

Yes. However, you will need to pay an origination fee if you are approved for one of Payoff’s personal loans.

Will Payoff Sell My Personal Information?

No. Payoff uses digital security from McAfee to ensure that all of its customers’ personal information is kept secure at all times.

Is it Safe to Use Payoff to Compare Rates on Personal Loans?

Yes. Payoff originally does a soft credit check when prequalifying you for a personal loan, so you can compare different lenders before signing on the dotted line.

What Credit Score is Required for a Payoff Personal Loan?

Payoff requires a credit score of 640 for its personal loans.

Do I Have to Be 18+ Years or Older to Qualify for a Payoff Personal Loan?

Yes, and you must have at least three years of credit history to qualify.

In What States Are Payoff Personal Loans Available In?

All states except for Massachusetts and Nevada.

Bottom Line: Payoff Personal Loan Review

All in all, Payoff’s personal loans could be a great choice if you need help consolidating multiple lines of credit card debt and getting your finances under control.

However, other lenders are available if you need a personal loan for making a purchase, paying for sudden car repairs, or any other need.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer, Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional financial writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Leveraging her personal experience, Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finances and make simple financial decisions.