Payoff Review: The 2020 Edition

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Consolidating your credit card debt into a low-interest loan could save you a bundle in interest. Payoff claims to be one of the best available lenders because they make the process fair and straightforward. They also say that by improving borrowers’ attitudes toward money, they set them on the path to financial security.

Those are lofty claims, but does the company deliver on them?

In this Payoff review, we’re going to find out.

Payoff logo

Editorial Rating


  • Competitive rates: When you borrow money online from an alternative lender, you expect to pay very high rates. That isn’t the case with rates here being capped at 24.99%. The favorable interest rates score big points for this Payoff review.
  • Only one flat fee on the amount funded: The only fee that you’ll pay for your loan is a once-off origination fee of between 0% and 5%. There are no other administrative fees.
  • No late fees or prepayment fees: The firm doesn’t charge late fees or prepayment fees.
  • It’s free to apply: If you don’t like the offers you receive; you may decline them. You don’t pay the origination fee unless you take up the loan offer.
  • Additional Payoff funds services: These include several assessments to help you improve your relationship with money. You’ll have cash flow, stress, and personality assessments to determine your progress. They also advise you about debt management.
  • You don’t have to close your credit cards: Your consultant will encourage you to maintain one or two cards to build your FICO score. They’ll suggest using only as much as you can comfortably afford to pay back in a month. There’s no obligation to close all your cards.
  • Prequalification is simple: You can see all the criteria for Payoff finance on the site. That, and the fact that the company only assesses your income, makes it simple to determine if you might qualify.
  • Easy to get hold of the company: You may contact the firm by phone, email, or instant chat on the site.
  • The firm checks in quarterly during the first year: Most lenders only call if they want to sell you something or if you’re behind in payments. During your first year, Payoff contacts you every three months to check on your progress and answer any queries.
  • Flexibility with payments: If you’re going through a rough spot, contact the company early. They’ll assist with rescheduling your payments, negotiating a delay, and catching up afterward.
  • You get your FICO score monthly for free: This is a value-added service that allows you to monitor the progress that you’re making. It’s a useful motivational tool as you’re motivated to pay off more debt as your score increases. It’s also a valuable security tool. You’ll see if anyone has applied for credit in your name. These are soft pulls, so they don’t affect your score.
  • You can request the direct payment of your cards: You choose where the loan goes. It’ll either go into your checking account or directly to the credit card companies.


  • Only one type of financing: You may only apply for fixed-rate loans.
  • Tedious lending experience: The prequalification is fast. Underwriting takes 3 to 7 days. It may then take 3 days to a week to receive the money. These aren’t quick loans.
  • The Payoff requirements are strict: While this means the company won’t get you into more trouble by providing loans you can’t afford to repay, it makes the Payoff odds of getting a loan longer.
  • Loans are only for credit card consolidation: The Payoff debt consolidation refers specifically to credit cards and no other forms of debt.
  • They don’t consider joint income or co-application: This makes it difficult if you have joint debt. Even though you’re not solely responsible for the joint liability, it’ll still throw off your debt ratio and make it harder to qualify.
  • The origination fee may be steep: The origination fee depends on your credit rating. It may be as low as 1% or as high as 5%. The industry standard is a fixed rate per application of between 2.5% and 3.5%. Check this carefully before you accept your offer.
  • Not available in all states: State laws prevent residents of Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Nevada from applying.

Payoff Recap

Loan Amounts

$5,000 - $35,000

Loan Term

24 - 60 months

APR Range

5.99% - 24.99%

Min. Credit Score



Origination Fee: 0% - 5%

Funding Time

Three to six business days

Years in Business


BBB Rating


Min. Revenue



Not available in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska or Nevada

What Is Payoff?

Payoff started in 2009 in Costa Mesa, California, and is a loan broker. The company has two arms – Payoff and Happy Money. Payoff specializes in providing personal loans for good credit. The company doesn’t offer peer-to-peer lending per se. Instead, they partner with NCUA- or FDIC-insured large authorized lenders.

That’s where Happy Money comes into the picture. This is the arm responsible for dealing with the interests of its reputable partner lenders. The company doesn’t have an extensive network of lenders, preferring to focus on quality service providers.

Where Payoff differs from most other loan brokers is that it builds a long-term relationship with its clients. The company provides advice on ways to improve your credit score and creditworthiness. They provide you with free updates of your personal credit score and check on how you’re doing periodically.

Who Is Payoff Best For?

Payoff’s installment loans are best for those with a fair to good credit record needing to consolidate their credit card debt. The company won’t provide any type of business lines of credit, bad credit loan options, or business loans.

If you need emergency funding, a broad loan range, or are a business seeking fast financing, look at our alternatives instead. The loan must be used to settle credit card debt.

Those that benefit the most are people who took out high-interest credit cards but have since improved their credit rating.

Getting Started With Payoff

Head over to the site and fill out a free application to get started. You’ll enter your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Telephone number
  • Yearly income before tax
  • Mortgage or rental payment

Be aware that you may only include the income that you earn at your job. This figure doesn’t include money that your spouse makes, child support, alimony, or side hustle. If you’re a commission-earner, this will also be taken into consideration.

According to every Payoff review for 2020, the company is strict about these criteria. Fudging the numbers will only lead to disappointment.

At this point, Payoff performs a soft pull of your credit record. This won’t affect your average credit score as it’s just to ensure that you qualify.

If that is the case, you’ll receive a link that allows you to view loan offers. You then select the loan, amount, term, and rate that suit you best. If you accept an offer, the loan approval process begins in earnest.

Payoff will conduct a hard inquiry on your credit score. Be warned — this does register and causes your score to drop a little. The company will also request supporting documents and more information as necessary.

According to many Payoff reviews, this process is a little long-winded. Some users questioned the necessity of collecting so much information. This isn’t evidence of a scam, but rather a financial company’s due diligence. Only borrowers in the United States may apply.

You’ll have to provide:

  • Proof of identification: A state-issued ID, passport, or your valid driver’s license will suffice
  • Proof of salary: You’ll have to give in your two latest pay stubs or, if you’re self-employed, your latest tax return
  • Bank statement: You’ll have to provide bank statements or a voided check and mortgage statements, if applicable

Once they’ve completed the underwriting process, you’ll receive the final loan agreement to sign. You’ll get the money once you’ve signed the contract.

Terms & Requirements

The loan requirements for the Payoff loans are stricter than with many marketplace platforms. You must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Have a checking account
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Receive a regular income
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640
  • Not have any delinquencies on your report
  • Have a debt to income ratio of 50% or less
  • Have maintained a good credit rating for a few years
  • Not live in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, or Nevada

You may select a minimum loan amount of $5,000 and a maximum loan amount of $35,000. You may opt for monthly payments over 24 to 60 months.

Payoff’s credit scoring model is similar to that of reputable financial services firms and banks.

The fixed rate of your Payoff loan varies depending on your rating, loan amount, and the state that you live in. The estimated annual percentage rate of the loan is between 5.99% and 24.99%.

User Reviews

The BBB rating is A+, and the company is accredited. It has maintained accreditation since 2015. That counts in the business’s favor. In terms of overall payoff reviews, BBB has seen a few complaints.

The user rating at the Better Business Bureau is 2 out of 5 stars. Systems issues came up quite often for users. A few people mentioned that their Payoff invite code and other links didn’t work. From our own experience, the site could use a revamp.

While you can find all the information that you need on-site, it’s not intuitive to navigate. Finding your way around is a bit tiresome, so we believe that there might be issues with links not working.

Some consumers complained that the approval process took a long time. One or two were annoyed at the strict conditions. These are standard complaints.

On TrustPilot, the company did a little better with a rating of 3.4 out of 5. However, with only three Payoff reviews, it’s not a definitive rating.

We like to give our readers a complete picture, so we scoured Payoff reviews on Reddit tooThe business barely gets a mention. One user merely suggests that you take the APR and professional service fee into account before signing up.

That the company has a good rating with the better business bureau and has been running since 2009 proves that it’s legitimate. They are one of the most transparent lenders that we’ve reviewed. They lay out everything you need to know on their site, so there are no hidden fees.

So why aren’t there many reviews?

The overall lack of reviews suggests that they deliver a workable product, with mediocre service. It seems that clients generally get what they expect, but that they’re not blown away by the service.


There are a few features about Payoff that need to be viewed.

Rates & Fees

The fee system is simple. You pay a once-off fee at the start, and that’s it. There aren’t any administration or late payment fees. That’s part of the reason why the initial fee fluctuates.

Payoff’s only fee — the company’s 0-5% origination fee — is part of the loan’s APR. There are no application, prepayment, late, or canceled check fees.

Privacy & Security

The company uses 256-bit encryption to protect sensitive data. They also use McAfee certified technology and strict employee protocols to ensure that their systems are secure.

The company won’t sell your information. With your explicit consent, they may share your information with third-party partners who offer valuable services. This is an opt-in program, meaning that you have to sign up for it. You may revoke your permission at any time.

Customer Support

Payoff reviews suggest that it’s easy to deal with the company by telephone. Clients may contact support by:

  • Calling 1-800-878-0901
  • Emailing
  • Using the instant chat facility on the website
  • Reaching out on social media

Payoff Alternatives

Check out some alternatives to Payoff.

Payoff vs Ace Cash Express

If you need unsecured loans for bad credit, it’s easier to get a loan from Ace Cash Express. They offer short-term quick money loans of up to $1,500. The FICO requirements here are minimal. As long as you haven’t filed for bankruptcy, you’ve got a good shot at getting a loan. Be warned, this is a payday loan type service, and the rates are high.

Payoff vs SmartBiz

If you need to borrow money for your business, Payoff can’t assist. Smartbiz, however, provides the following options for small business owners:

  • SBA and PPP loan options
  • Equipment financing
  • Bank loans
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Business Lines of Credit 
  • Invoice factoring
  • Business credit cards

SmartBiz’s business loan requirements are reasonable, and they do offer some business loans for bad credit. As long as you’ve got a steady stream of income going through your business checking account, and don’t have adverse listings, you’ve got a shot.

Final Verdict

If you have good credit, Payoff may be one of the best personal loan companies for you. They provide competitive rates, proactive services, and follow responsible lending practices.

If you’ve got a lower credit rating, you might not save much on the interest rate. You need to know what rate you’re paying with your credit card company and analyze the offer carefully.

Our Payoff review shows that the company offers reasonable solutions that could help you improve your financial situation.

Payoff logo

Editorial Rating


Is Payoff legit?

Yes. It’s BBB-accredited and has maintained an A+ rating since 2015. It’s able to accurately evaluate the risk of lending money to get you the best rates. The firm only works with a reputable network of lenders and provides you with multiple loan offers.

Is safe?

Any lending platform review must consider the question of safety. We found that Payoff exceeds the industry standards in data safety and security. While some people raised privacy concerns due to the amount of information requested, these concerns proved unfounded. The company requires the information to teach you how to get the most from your money.

Is Payoff a good idea?

Payoff is an excellent personal loan services option for people with a good credit history who are paying a lot of interest on credit card debt. Payoff may also be helpful for individuals who have multiple credit card payments each month, as consolidating these debts will result in a single, easy-to-track monthly payment.

Can you pay off a Payoff loan early?

Yes. The company won’t penalize you for doing so. Some Payoff loan reviews have suggested that the company should allow electronic payment options for doing so. At the moment, the company only accepts extra payments in the form of checks.

Is Payoff com any good?

While the reviews mention a slow turnaround time, the company is ethical. It deals with its clients openly and fairly. Not all online lenders are as open about their fees and rates upfront.

What credit score do you need for Payoff?

You’ll have to have a score of at least 640, and your credit accounts must be up to date.

Does Payoff hurt credit?

If you pass the prescreening and go to the next stage, they’ll do a hard pull to confirm that you qualify for a Payoff personal loan. This has a temporary negative effect on your FICO score. The financial implications of paying your installments on time negate the impact quickly.

Does Payoff verify income?

The firm confirms your income through your salary advice and tax records.

Can you refinance a personal loan with Payoff?

No. In researching this Payoff review, we learned that the company is strict about only consolidating credit card debt. Your loan with them doesn’t qualify for refinancing with Payoff.