Happy Money Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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The bottom line:
If you can qualify for a low rate, Happy Money is a smart way to consolidate high-interest credit card debt into one fixed monthly payment.
Pros & Cons
- Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
- Offers direct payment to creditors.
- Fast funding.
- No late fee.
- Hardship program for borrowers in need.
- Origination fee.
- No rate discount.
- No co-sign or joint loan option.
- No option to choose initial payment date.
Compare to Other Lenders
2 to 7 years
3 to 5 years
Min. credit score
Min. credit score
Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders
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Full Review of Happy Money
Happy Money offers fixed-rate personal loans to borrowers who are looking to consolidate credit card debt. Its “Payoff Loan” rolls multiple high-interest credit card payments into one monthly payment with a lower annual percentage rate.
Happy Money helps borrowers focus on building credit by reporting loan payments to the three major credit bureaus and offering free monthly FICO score updates.
» MORE: Compare debt consolidation loans
Table of Contents
Happy Money personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
11.25% - 29.99%.
Origination: 0% to 5%.
$5,000 to $40,000.
2 to 5 years.
Time to fund after approval
1 to 2 business days.
Loans not available in MA and NV.
Where Happy Money personal loans stand out
Free monthly credit score. Happy Money lets borrowers see their FICO credit score for free each month, so they can monitor their progress as they make payments.
Direct payment to creditors. Though borrowers can get the loan funds deposited into their personal checking or savings account, the lender will also pay off the credit cards directly. This means borrowers don’t have to send the funds themselves, simplifying the consolidation process.
» MORE: Best debt consolidation loans
Soft credit pull. Borrowers can go to Happy Money's website and pre-qualify — check potential rates and terms before committing to a loan — without impacting their credit score. Happy Money does a hard credit pull, which can cause a temporary drop in credit score, if the loan offer is accepted.
Instant approval for qualified borrowers. Borrowers who submit a completed application may receive an instant approval decision. Happy Money has a two-day funding time, which is decent compared to competitors.
» MORE: Fast personal loans
Science-based assessments. Happy Money 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). This focus on helping consumers better understand their financial well-being is unique among lenders. Non-members can also enroll in a free, six-week email series called Peace, which helps subscribers manage financial stress.
Where Happy Money personal loans fall short
May charge origination fee. Happy Money may charge an origination fee up to 5%. This fee is taken from the total loan amount when the loan is issued. Though this is the only fee Happy Money charges, some lenders charge zero fees, including origination fees.
No rate discount for autopay. Unlike other lenders, Happy Money does not offer a rate discount for setting up autopayments. This discount usually ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage point and can reduce the overall cost of your loan.
No co-signed, joint or secured loan options. Happy Money only offers unsecured 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.
» MORE: Best co-signed loans
How to qualify for a Happy Money personal loan
Most lenders have basic requirements to apply, and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify.
To apply for a Happy Money personal loan, you must be:
A U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number.
At least 18 years old.
Able to provide a valid checking account.
Not a resident of Massachusetts or Nevada.
Here are the lender’s minimum requirements to qualify for a loan. (Meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval.)
Minimum credit score: 640.
Minimum credit history: Three years and two accounts.
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%.
Minimum annual income: None; Happy Money will assess cash flow.
Here are details about Happy Money’s average borrower, according to the lender:
Average credit score: 695.
Average annual income: $88,000.
Average loan amount: $19,000.
Average loan term: 40 months.
Most common loan purpose: Credit card refinancing and debt consolidation.
Before you apply
Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. Doing so will help you spot and fix any errors before you apply.
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. Happy Money requires proof of income, which can be a W-2 or paystub, as well as proof of a checking account and a Social Security number. Having these documents handy can speed up the application process.
How to apply for a Happy Money personal loan
Here are the steps to apply for a Happy Money loan.
Pre-qualify on Happy Money’s website. You’ll be asked how much you want to borrow and what the funds are for as well as some personal information like your name, birthdate, income, employment and whether you own your home. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you accept a loan offer, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This could require more documents, like W-2s, pay stubs and bank statements to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. Happy Money will also do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Happy Money reports your payments to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.
Compare Happy Money to other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
Best Egg, SoFi and Happy Money are all online personal loan lenders that can make payments directly to creditors for paying off debt. SoFi and Best Egg allow borrowers to use their loans for purposes besides debt consolidation.
Happy Money vs. Best Egg
Happy Money and Best Egg are strong personal loan lenders for borrowers with good to fair credit who are looking to consolidate debt. Both lenders charge an origination fee, but Best Egg offers a wider range of loan amounts and secured loans for homeowners.
Happy Money vs. SoFi
Like Happy Money, SoFi provides strong customer service and consumer-friendly features for borrowers. However, SoFi requires borrowers to have a higher minimum credit score.
How we rate Happy Money personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
Ready to apply? Click the button below and head to Happy Money's website to pre-qualify.
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.