Unlike other personal loan platforms, Payoff loans are meant to be used for just one purpose: eliminating high-interest credit card debt. These loans are designed for consumers with good credit — meaning you should not have any current delinquencies when you apply and no delinquencies greater than 90 days within the past 12 months.
Because the screening process for its unsecured personal loans is entirely virtual, there are fewer loan underwriting costs, which means Payoff may be able to offer better interest rates and quicker turnaround times than brick-and-mortar lenders.
But not all borrowers will qualify — even if they have pristine credit. You also can’t get a loan through Payoff if you live in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska or Nevada.
Pros and cons of Payoff personal loans
Before applying for a Payoff personal loan, consider the benefits and drawbacks of the lender.
- Financial tools: Payoff offers “personality, stress, and cash flow assessments” to help you better manage your finances and debt, as well as first-year quarterly check-ins to address any questions or concerns.
- Few fees: If you miss a payment, a late fee won’t be applied, and you can speak with a Payoff representative to discuss deferring payment, skipping a payment or changing a payment date. Payoff also does not charge application fees or prepayment fees.
- Slower funding than competitors: While you’ll likely receive funds in three to six business days after you’re approved, Payoff’s funding timeline is still slower than that of many of its competitors. Many online lenders boast funding in as little as one day after approval.
- Origination fee: Payoff charges a one-time upfront origination fee of up to 5 percent, which is taken out of your loan proceeds.
- Limited loan usage: Payoff loans are designed for consolidating credit card debt, so they’re not a good option if you’re hoping to borrow money for home improvements or emergency expenses.
When you get a loan from Payoff, you’re not actually getting the money from Payoff. Instead, the company acts as a broker, screening and matching would-be borrowers with FDIC- or NCUA-insured lenders.
It offers loans that range from $5,000 to $40,000 (the minimum is $5,100 in New Mexico and $6,100 in Maryland). Its personal loans carry a fixed interest rate of between 5.99 percent and 24.99 percent, with repayment periods ranging from two to five years. Loans above $15,000 have a minimum APR of 6.99 percent. The quote you receive is based on multiple factors, including your credit history, the amount you’re asking for and your ideal loan terms.
Once you’re approved for a loan, it takes three to six business days to receive the funds in your bank account.
Fees and penalties
Payoff charges an origination fee ranging from 0 percent to 5 percent for its matchmaking services. This fee is an upfront cost taken off the top of the loan and is based on the repayment terms of your loan.
For example, if you are approved to borrow $10,000 and you’re charged a 3 percent origination fee, you’ll only receive $9,700. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll be making payments on the entire $10,000. You should factor the origination fee in when calculating the total amount you’re looking to borrow.
Beyond that, though, Payoff charges few fees. You won’t be penalized for paying your loan off early, and there are no fees for paying by check or for missing payments.
How to apply for a loan with Payoff
Payoff’s application process is straightforward and fast. Enter basic information, including your name, address and income. You’ll also be asked how much your monthly housing costs are, if any.
Payoff will conduct a “soft” credit check, which won’t impact your credit rating. Then it’ll tell you how much it suggests you borrow to pay off your credit card debt. You can sort through loan offers by monthly payment amounts or by APR.
If you select one of the displayed offers, Payoff will direct you to a more detailed application, where you’ll have to provide your employment information, Social Security number and bank account information. You’ll also have to upload two recent pay stubs, a copy of your ID and a recent bank statement.
Before finalizing your loan, Payoff, like all lenders, will do a “hard” credit check, which can adversely impact your credit score.
Would-be borrowers must meet Payoff’s eligibility requirements, which include:
- A minimum credit score of 640.
- A debt-to-income ratio of 50 percent or less.
- At least three years of good credit history.
- At least two open lines of credit on which you’ve made on-time payments.
No current delinquencies and no delinquencies greater than 90 days within the last 12 months.