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Payoff Review: Personal Loans to Consolidate Debt

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Payoff review: Personal loans at a glance

APR rates Terms Loan amounts Minimum credit score Origination fee
5.99% to 24.99% 24 and 60 months $5,000 – $40,000 640 0.00% - 5.00%

Payoff is an online lender that only gives out personal loans to those looking to eliminate debt. Other than its origination fee, the lender generally avoids charging its customers fees and fines. However, Payoff’s minimum borrowing limit of $5,000 is a bit steep and may not be a good fit for consumers who just want a small loan.

  • Prequalification is available: You can quickly and easily see your potential rates and terms without harming your credit score.
  • Origination fee: These loans come with a one-time origination fee of 0.00% - 5.00% of the loan amount.
  • General lack of fees: Excluding the origination fee, there appear to be no other fees, including prepayment, late payment, check processing and application fees.
  • Higher minimum APR for those borrowing more than $15,000: The starting APR for loans above $15,000 is 5.99%, meaning even those with excellent credit will have to pay more for this loan if they need to borrow a higher amount.


Pros Cons
  Offers soft-pull credit check: Your credit score won’t be impacted if you want to see the rates you’d be eligible for with Payoff. If you want to officially move forward with the loan, Payoff will then have to perform a hard-credit check.

  Low interest rates available: With APRs starting at just 5.99%, this loan could be a much cheaper alternative to credit card debt depending on your credit profile.

  Few fees: Beyond the origination fee (which is accounted for in quoted APRs), there are no prepayment, late, application or returned check fees associated with the loan.

  Excellent review score: The vast majority of those who took out a loan and left a review on LendingTree reported a good customer service experience and a generally easy lending process.

  Charges an origination fee: Payoff charges an origination fee on loans (ranging anywhere from 0.00% - 5.00%), so borrowers will have to subtract this from their total loan amount.

  Loan can only go toward paying off debt: If you need a personal loan for other reasons, like home improvements or medical expenses, you may need to look elsewhere.

  High minimum loan amount: The minimum you can borrow is $5,000; some competitors will offer lower minimum loan amounts.

  Doesn’t offer joint applications: Borrowers can only pay off debts on their own personal credit reports. Other lenders may allow for co-borrowers.

Payoff personal loan eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Minimum credit history: 3 years of good credit
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%

In order to qualify for a personal loan through Payoff, you’ll need to have a pretty solid credit profile in place. For example, the minimum credit score to be considered is 640; those with poor credit won’t qualify for a loan.

Keep in mind that while it isn’t stated outright on their site, you’ll need to have a source of income in order to meet the debt-to-income ratio requirement. That’s measured using your pretax income compared to any debt payments you have, like housing and credit cards. It’s also important to note that you cannot have a current delinquency.

In addition, eligibility also depends on where you live: Payoff personal loans aren’t available in Massachusetts or Nevada.

Who’s the best fit for a Payoff personal loan?

Payoff is best for those who have solid credit and a stable income who want to get rid of high-interest credit card debt. Those with bad credit, or a history of bad credit, on the other hand, won’t be able to qualify (you can find bad credit personal loans here). However, it’s worth noting that there are personal loans with similar terms and lower APRs out there, and some of them come with less strict credit requirements. That said, you should explore your loan options before applying.

What borrowers are saying about Payoff

Of the 104 Payoff reviews that borrowers posted on LendingTree’s review platform, the vast majority rated the lender as “Good” or “Excellent” when it came to interest rates, fees and closing costs, responsiveness and customer service. In fact, it has an overall score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Some of the recurring themes include a good customer service experience, being easy to work with, and an overall no-hassle process. For example, Patrice from Texas said, “The process was quick, efficient and stress-free. I was overjoyed to be able to get rid of my credit card debt that was literally eating me alive in interest charges alone every month. I would easily recommend Payoff to a friend/colleague/family member and to anyone that will listen!”

There were, however, a few negative reviews. Some common themes among reviewers, if there were negative experiences with the lender, were getting their loan application rejected, difficulty paying off a loan early or delayed funding for their loan.

How to apply for a Payoff personal loan

Those interested in applying through Payoff can start by checking their potential rate through prequalification. According to the company, this can be as quick as a few minutes, and because it doesn’t use a hard credit check at this point, it won’t impact your credit score. Next, you’d be able to select the rates and terms that work best for you based on the information you supplied during the prequalification process.

After verifying your information (at which point, they’d do a hard credit check that can impact your score), reviewing the terms of your loan and e-signing your loan documents, you would be able to receive your funds. The lump sum would be electronically deposited into your account typically within two to five business days of verifying your information.

How Payoff compares to other lenders

Lender APR Tems Minimum credit score Origination fee Amount
Payoff 5.99% to 24.99% 24 and 60 months 640 0.00% - 5.00% $5,000 – $40,000
LightStream 3.99% to 19.99% 24 to 144 months Not specified No origination fee $5,000 – $100,000
Upstart 4.37% to 35.99% 36 or 60 months 600 0.00% - 8.00% $1,000 – $50,000
Upgrade 5.94% to 35.97% 36 or 60 months 620 2.90% - 8.00% $1,000 – $50,000

LightStream vs. Payoff

  • APR: 3.99% to 19.99%*
  • Minimum credit requirements: Not specified
  • Terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

For those who can qualify, the LightStream personal loan may be a good alternative to Payoff’s loan. It doesn’t come with any fees, and the APR range starts and ends lower than Payofff’s loan. (Be aware, though, that if you don’t sign up for autopay, the rate range increases by 0.50 percentage points.) And for those interested in fast funding, LightStream also says it can fund your loan the same day your loan is approved if you complete the following requirements by 2:30 p.m. that same banking business day:

  • Sign your loan agreement electronically
  • Provide Lightstream your banking information
  • Complete Lightstream’s verification process

To learn more, read our full LightStream review.

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $301.91.

Upstart vs. Payoff

  • APR: 4.37% to 35.99%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 600
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 8.00%

Upstart’s personal loan is another solid alternative to consider. Although it has a higher APR cap, it offers a wider borrowing range, starting as low as $1,000 and topping out at $50,000. The minimum credit score requirement is a bit more forgiving, and the time to funding can be as fast as the next day. Upstart also takes a more holistic approach when considering an applicant’s credit, factoring a potential borrower’s education2 and job history, among other items.

*The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

Upgrade vs. Payoff

  • APR: 5.94% to 35.97%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 620
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 2.90% - 8.00%

Upgrade, an online lender, is another alternative you might consider for consolidating your debt. Like Upstart, the company’s personal loans range from $1,000 to $50,000, a much lower minimum borrowing requirement than Payoff’s. Not only does Upstart offer borrowers prequalification, but those who apply can receive their personal loan funds within one business day.

To learn more, read our full Upgrade review.


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