Payoff personal loan review
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- Clear, transparent requirements
- Competitive rates via partnerships with credit unions
- Quick & responsive online support
Payoff offers unsecured, fix-rate loans that are designed to pay off existing credit card debt. Payoff's website is very informative and transparent and its online chat was quick and useful. Overall, it appears to be a solid personal loan choice.
Payoff is a Los Angeles based company that was founded in 2009. It has made over $1B in loans and has raised over $140M. It appears well-backed and has investors and advisors with backgrounds in payments and financial services.
Payoff offers personal loans from $5,000 to $35,000 with a typical APR from 5.99% to 24.99%. The term for its loans range from 2 to 5 years.
An example loan of $16,000 at 10.99% APR will have a monthly payment of $407 and will be paid off in 48 months.
Payoff charges a 0% to 5% origination fee.
There are no application fees, prepayment fees, late fees, returned check fees, or annual fees.
Personal loan eligibility & requirements
Payoff very clearly lays out its loan eligibility criteria. (We’re a fan of its transparency.)
Requirements to qualify for a loan
|Criteria||Requirement||What It Means|
|FICO® score||640+||You can't have really bad credit to qualify for a Payoff loan.|
|Debt-to-income ratio||50% or less||Your total monthly payments for other debt (credit cards, car payment, etc.) can't be more than half of your monthly income.|
|Age of credit history||3 years of good credit||This shows you aren't new to debt. You need to have had a credit card or some form of debt for at least 3 years. These loans need to be in good standing, i.e. either you are paying them on time or have paid them off.|
|Open and satisfactory trades||Minimum of 2||You must have 2 or more open and active accounts. Only one of these can be an installment loan, e.g. another personal loan.|
|Delinquencies||0||You must be current on all your accounts with no accounts that have been delinquent for 90 days or more in the past 12 months.|
You’ll also most likely need the following documents for verification:
- Bank information to link your bank account
- Driver's license, passport or state-issued ID to verify your identity
- Two most recent pay stubs or most recent tax return if self-employed to confirm your income
Like most online lenders today, checking your eligibility does not impact your credit score but if you do decide to apply, Payoff will do a hard pull of your file. This will generally negatively impact your credit score in the short term. Over the long term, responsible use of credit and reduction of debt will improve your credit profile.
Based on a study of Payoff Members between August 2018 and February 2019. Payoff Members who paid off at least $5,000 in credit card balances saw an average increase in their FICO® Score of 40 points within four months of receiving the Payoff® Loan. Everyone's own results will obviously vary, but paying on time and freeing up available credit typically improves your credit rating.
Some more about Payoff
Payoff is not exactly a direct lender, but it is not a matching service. Although it partners with financial service firms and loans its partners’ money out, it differs greatly from a matching service in that Payoff appears to really drive the underwriting process. In addition, it appears to be their financial partners’ sole partner for this type of product. For this reason, we have included them in our ranking as a direct lender.
In fact, we think it has a very interesting business model. It appears it partners with credit unions. This means it may have tapped into an inexpensive funding source and, hopefully, is able to pass these savings on to you. Credit Unions are efficient collectors of deposits, but most of them lack the national footprints or access to capital to run efficient lending operations.
Payoff uses behavioral data models and analysis to improve their underwriting. It claims that its models have reduced risk by 30%. We think efficient modeling that reduces risk and increases revenues is a basic requirement for a lender to perform well and be able to provide better rates for those that qualify.