Payoff Credit Card Consolidation Loans: 2021 Review

Payoff’s debt consolidation loan can help fair- and good-credit borrowers pay off their credit card debt and build their credit.

Jackie VelingDecember 1, 2020
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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet 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.

Payoff

on Payoff's website

on Payoff's website

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $40,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors.

  • Reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.

  • No prepayment or late fees.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Compare to Other Lenders

Payoff
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
BestEgg
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Est. APR

5.99 - 29.99%

Loan Term

2 to 5 years

Loan Term

3 to 6 years

Loan Term

3 to 5 years

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $40,000

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Credit Score

600

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full Review

To review Payoff’s personal loans, NerdWallet 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- and good-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 or good credit (Payoff’s minimum is 640 FICO) and three or more years of credit history.

  • Want help building their credit scores.

Payoff at a glance

Credit building

  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.

Affordability

  • APRs are competitive among lenders targeting similar borrowers.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No prepayment or late fees.

  • No rate discount for autopayments.

Loan flexibility

  • Offers only unsecured loans.

  • Allows changes to payment due date twice.

  • Funds loans within one week.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • Not available in MA, MS, NE and NV.

Transparency

  • Discloses rates, fees and terms on website.

  • Offers FAQ that answers key borrower questions.

Customer experience

  • Offers multiple customer contact channels and hours.

  • Does not offer mobile app to manage loan.

Where Payoff stands out

Competitive rates: Applicants with good credit scores and credit histories could secure a lower rate than what they’re currently paying across their credit cards. By consolidating this debt into one fixed monthly payment, you could save money in interest and pay off your debt faster.

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.

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: 640.

  • 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.

Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

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Apply on Payoff

You can fill out an application on Payoff’s website. After entering some personal information, you’ll be presented with loan options for which you pre-qualify. Checking your rates does not affect your credit score.

on Payoff's website

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.