Payoff should perhaps be considered slightly more than just one of the best debt consolidation companies. After all, not all financial providers have a team of psychologists, data scientists and neuroscientists on hand to support their customers. Describing itself as a financial wellness company, Payoff wants people to “reinvent their relationship with money” and create healthy personal finance habits. Above all, Payoff wants to help.
On the more practical side of debt consolidation, Payoff offers loans designed solely to help people eradicate their credit card debt. This is made possible by consolidating high-interest card balances into one monthly payment at a fixed rate and term. The loan itself will be paid into your account, so the responsibility rests with you to allocate the funds to your outstanding debts. However, gentle prompting to this nature is sure to come from Payoff, given the aim then is to try and make sure people stay debt free, by helping them to better understand how they interact with money using scientific personality, stress, and cash flow assessments.
As Payoff focuses solely on consolidating credit card debt, and nothing else, you can be sure to have their undivided attention as you attempt to move into a much better financial place.
Payoff Debt Consolidation review: Eligibility
- Minimum FICO Score of 640
- Cannot be behind on payments
Payoff is upfront about what you are likely to need to be eligible for a debt consolidation loan. Key to their requirements is a FICO Score of at least 640 and the absence of any current credit delinquencies. If there are payments that you owe and have not paid, it is suggested that you resolve these before applying. You must be at least 18 years old in order to apply for a loan, or 19 years old if you reside in the state of Alabama. Also be aware that Payoff does not yet lend in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, and West Virginia.
As to other factors Payoff might consider during the approval process, your debt-to-income ratio, length of credit history, number of credit trades you have opened and paid on time, and your utilization - which is the ratio between your available credit and the balances you have on your credit cards - could all be looked at. Joint applications are not an option, while it should be remembered that Payoff only deals in credit card debt, and nothing else.
Payoff Debt Consolidation review: Application process
Loan amounts: $5,000 - $35,000
APR: 5.99% - 24.99% fixed
Loan terms: 24-60 months
Fees: Origination fee of 0-5%, but no prepayment fee.
Waiting time for funds: 3-6 business days
- Straightforward online application
- Soft inquiry rate check
Similar to almost all online loan companies, Payoff asks that you ‘Check my rate’ to get started. It is a process that Payoff says can be completed in as little as three minutes, and involves no application fees or commitments. There is also no impact on your credit score at this point - it is only just before you finalize your loan that a hard inquiry will be run that could leave a mark.
Applying online, you are initially asked for your name and date of birth, before a message appears that requests you connect to the Member Success team in order to finish your application. This can be done via live chat, or there is a number to call if you’d prefer to speak to someone over the phone.
It is best to have ready to upload a color copy or photo of your driver’s license, passport, or state issued ID, along with your two most recent pay stubs, or your 1040 tax document if you are self-employed. Sight might also be required of your latest bank statement.
After you’ve applied, and assuming you qualify, Payoff will provide multiple pre-approved offers from which to choose. It is then a case of reviewing your terms, and eSigning your loan documents, before funds can be electronically deposited into your account.
Payoff Debt Consolidation review: Essential details
- Low maximum loan of $35,000
- Origination fee, but no other charges
Payoff loans are restricted to debts of between $5,000 and $35,000, and a term of between two and five years. To consolidate a larger amount of debt, you will need to approach someone such as LightStream, who will lend up to $100,000, while terms of up to 84 months are available through Wells Fargo, if you think you’ll need longer to pay off your loan.
The interest rates on offer range from 5.99% to 24.99% APR, and will always be fixed, but there is an origination fee to take into account. This could be up to 5% of your total loan and will be deducted from your loan amount at the start. However, once that is paid, no other charges will be made, with no penalties for paying your loan off early, no check processing fees and no late fees.
Payoff Debt Consolidation review: Features
Payoff offers an automatic payment feature that will ensure your payments are taken from your account each month. However, there is also the option to make your payments manually each month, if you’d prefer, by going online and accessing your Member Account. If you want to make extra payments, these can be made through your account too.
Payoff Debt Consolidation review: Service
- Proactive approach to support
- Comprehensive online FAQs
Most of what you should need in terms of support should be available on the Payoff website and through your Member Account, but if you need additional help, then it is at hand. The Member Success team is available by phone or email from Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PST), while at the weekends, there is a slightly earlier close time of 4 p.m. If you have a question outside of these hours, leave a message and someone will respond as soon as possible.
Importantly, though, Payoff wants to offer proactive support too, so you can expect welcome calls along with first-year and quarterly check-ins. And if you are worried about not being able to make a payment, you are encouraged to call to find a solution.
In terms of guidance online, the website has an FAQ section, where all the most common queries should be resolved, and a more comprehensive Support section for the more unusual questions. Perhaps surprisingly, however, there are no broader articles or guidance looking at, for instance, debt solutions overall, or a latest news section.
Once you’ve been approved for a loan and signed the necessary documents, it should take between three and six business days for the funds to arrive in your designated account.
Should you use Payoff Debt Consolidation?
If you have credit card debt, and want a straightforward online debt consolidation loan to help solve it, Payoff will almost certainly be worth a look. Everything about the loan is explained in great depth, applying is made simple, and there are all the usual features you would expect, such as the soft credit rate-check and autopay.
Granted, the loan terms aren’t the most flexible, and if you simply want an old fashioned debt consolidation loan, without an arm around the shoulder, then perhaps you would be best looking elsewhere. However, if warm words of encouragement and guidance are what you need, Payoff could prove the friendly savior that you’ve been looking for.