Happy Money Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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Pros & Cons
- Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
- Offers direct payment to creditors.
- 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
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 offers temporary payment protections in case of unemployment.
» MORE: Best debt consolidation loans
Table of Contents
Happy Money personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
11.72% - 24.67%.
Origination: 1.5% to 5%.
$5,000 to $40,000.
2 to 5 years.
Time to fund after approval
1 to 3 business days.
Loans not available in MA or NV.
- Disclosure from Happy Money
This offer does not constitute a commitment to lend or an offer to extend credit. Upon submitting a loan application, you may be asked to provide additional documents to verify your identity, income, assets, or financial condition. The rate and terms you may be approved for will be shown to you during the application process. Loans subject to an origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Refer to full borrower agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements. Only loans applied for and issued on or after January 23, 2023, are covered under the TruStage™ Payment Guard Insurance Policy. Please refer to the certificate of insurance, provided to you with your loan origination documents, for terms and conditions of the coverage. Some exclusions apply. Claims must be submitted for review and approval to CUMIS Specialty Insurance Company, Inc. TruStage™ Payment Guard Insurance is underwritten by CUMIS Specialty Insurance Company, Inc and not by Happy Money. CUMIS Specialty Insurance Company, our excess and surplus lines carrier, underwrites coverages that are not available in the admitted market. Product and features may vary and not be available in all states. Certain eligibility requirements, conditions, and exclusions may apply. Please refer to the Group Policy for a full explanation of the terms. The insurance offered is not a deposit, and is not federally insured, sold or guaranteed by any financial institution. Corporate Headquarters 5910 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705.
Where Happy Money personal loans stand out
Direct payment to creditors. Though borrowers can deposit loan funds into their personal checking or savings accounts, Happy Money can also pay off credit cards directly. Direct payments mean borrowers don’t have to send the funds themselves, simplifying the consolidation process.
Soft credit pull. Borrowers can pre-qualify on Happy Money's website to check potential rates and terms before committing to a loan — without impacting their credit score. Happy Money does a hard credit pull if the loan offer is accepted, which can cause a temporary drop in credit score.
Instant approval for qualified borrowers. Borrowers who submit a completed application may receive an instant approval decision. Happy Money has a one- to three-day funding time after approval, similar to other lenders.
» MORE: Fast personal loans
Payment protection insurance. If a borrower is involuntarily laid off or becomes disabled, Happy Money may offer a no-cost insurance program to help manage loan payments. With Payment Guard, borrowers may be able to skip or delay payments for up to three months or modify their loan, depending on the situation. Not all lenders offer payment protection programs, which can provide relief for borrowers going through a difficult time.
Where Happy Money personal loans fall short
Origination fee. Happy Money charges an origination fee of 1.5% to 5%. The fee is deducted from the loan amount before being deposited into your account or sent to creditors. Although this is the only fee Happy Money charges, some lenders charge zero fees on personal loans.
No rate discount for autopay. Happy Money does not offer a rate discount for setting up autopayments. Other lenders may offer a discount, which usually ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points and can reduce the overall cost of the loan and ensure on-time payments.
No co-signed, joint or secured loan options. Happy Money only offers unsecured loans, which means 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 and joint loans
Do you qualify for a Happy Money personal loan
Most lenders have basic requirements to apply, and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify.
Here are Happy Money’s eligibility requirements:
Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.
Must have a valid Social Security number.
Must be at least 18 years old.
No bankruptcies filed in the past two years.
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: six years and two accounts.
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%.
Here are details about Happy Money’s average borrower, according to the lender:
Average credit score: 705.
Average annual income: $80,000.
Average loan amount: $20,000.
Average loan term: 40 months.
Most common loan purpose: Credit card refinancing and debt consolidation.
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 bank statements 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 some personal information like your name, birthdate and address. Then, the lender will ask for information about your income and employment. 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 prior to funding your loan, so your credit score could temporarily dip.
Stay on top of your loan payments. Happy Money reports payments to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), 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, and while Best Egg has a higher maximum fee, the lender offers a wider range of loan amounts and secured loans.
Happy Money vs. SoFi
Like Happy Money, SoFi provides strong customer service and consumer-friendly features for borrowers like unemployment protection. However, SoFi offers lower rates and has no required fees.
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:
- Category definitions
Affordability (30%) An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts.
Underwriting and eligibility (25%) The lender reviews borrowers credit reports and credit history, and tries to understand their ability to repay a loan, before making a final application decision.
Loan flexibility (20%) A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly.
Customer experience (15%) A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.
Transparency (10%) A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus.
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 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. 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. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. 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.