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.
Pros & Cons
Offers direct payment to creditors.
Option to change payment date.
Reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.
No prepayment or late fees.
Offers free newsletter to help subscribers manage financial stress.
May charge origination fee.
No rate discount for autopay.
No co-signed, joint or secured loans.
Compare to Other Lenders
5.99 - 24.99%
6.74 - 19.74%
5.99 - 29.99%
2 to 5 years
3 to 6 years
3 to 5 years
$5,000 - $40,000
$3,500 - $40,000
$2,000 - $50,000
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score
Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders
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Payoff provides fixed-rate personal loans to borrowers solely for the purpose of paying off credit card debt. Its consolidation loans roll multiple high-interest credit card payments into one monthly payment with a lower annual percentage rate.
Payoff helps borrowers focus on building credit through the loan by reporting payments to the three major credit bureaus and offering free monthly FICO score updates.
Payoff is best for borrowers who:
Want to consolidate high-interest credit card debt.
Have fair to good credit (above 629 FICO) and three years of credit history.
Want help building their credit scores.
Payoff at a glance
Key terms to know about personal loans
» 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 and offer a rate discount between 0.25 and 1 percentage point. This means you don’t have to send the funds yourself, simplifying the consolidation process.
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). Payoff’s 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.
» MORE: Best fair-credit lenders
Where Payoff falls short
Moderate funding time: If same or next-day funding for a debt consolidation loan is a priority, there are other lenders to consider. However, Payoff’s two-day funding time is still decent compared to some competitors.
May charge origination fee: Payoff 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 Payoff charges, some lenders charge zero fees, including origination fees.
No rate discount for autopay: Unlike other lenders, Payoff does not offer a rate discount for setting up autopayments. This discount usually ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points 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.
» MORE: Best secured loans
How to qualify for a Payoff loan
Minimum credit score: 600; borrower average is 710.
Minimum credit history: Three years.
At least two open accounts on credit report.
Minimum monthly free cash flow: $750; borrower average is $2,000.
No debt-to-income ratio requirement, but borrower average is 40%.
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 three-year, $20,000 loan with a 23.4% APR would cost $778 in monthly payments. You’d pay $8,008 in total interest on that loan.
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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 review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. 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 our editorial guidelines.