Payoff Inc. is a personal lender that says it’s out to free people from debt. It targets consumers with outstanding credit card debt and offers to repackage those balances at lower interest rates and better repayment terms.
Payoff loans are only available to consolidate credit cards – borrowers will have to look elsewhere for other needs.
Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, Payoff prides itself on customer service and honest dealings. It offers free services to those struggling with credit and is accessible in a very modern, technologically-savvy way.
The company says clients who pay down at least $5,000 in credit card balances with their loan have seen their FICO scores increase by an average of 40 points within four months of receiving their loan.
Applying for a Payoff loan is a four-step process:
- Payoff gathers financial information, checks the rates on your existing credit card debt, and offers potential payment plans.
- You select your preferred payment plan.
- Payoff verifies your information — including income and credit score — in a pre-approval process.
- Approval and assignment of a “Member Advocate.”
If an application is denied, Payoff will offer specific reasons why, and promises to “work with you to turn those financial weaknesses into strengths” through a free service called Lift. The Lift program is part training, part simplification and focuses on improving credit score while paying off existing debt.
Minimum requirements for Payoff loan approval include:
- Minimum FICO credit score of 640 (though some exceptions may apply for those in the mid-600s)
- Debt-to-income ratio (total unsecured debt including personal loans and credit cards divided by annual income) cannot exceed 50 percent
- Three years of credit history
- At least two lines of credit but no more than one installment loan in the past 12 months
- Minimum 18 years of age and U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Valid U.S. bank account.
As of August, 2018, Payoff was not offering loans in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio and West Virginia.
Debtors can pay off between $5,000 and $35,000 in credit card debt through Payoff.
Lending terms are processed through a proprietary algorithm. Annual percentage rates (APRs) fall between 8 percent and 25 percent — a relatively high floor and relatively low ceiling for personal lenders – and financing terms can last up to 60 months.
There is an origination fee associated with a credit card consolidation, normally between 2 percent and 5 percent of the total loan amount. This fee is deducted from proceeds when the loan is booked.
Payoff doesn’t have prepayment fees with the loan, and the company is extremely transparent about lending terms. Each borrower’s Member Advocate is available to answer any questions or help restructure payments if necessary.
Payoff works with First Electronic Bank and several credit unions — Alliant, First Tech and Tech CU — to originate loans.
Consumer complaints and reviews
Payoff has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau of San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties since Jan. 16, 2015. The business had an A+ rating as of August, 2018. Reasons for this rating include:
- Length of time of business operations
- Volume of complaints relative to business size
- Response and resolution to complaints
The BBB has received three complaints about Payoff, all of which the company responded to and have been closed. Credit Karma has received 24 reviews in the last year, all but one of which are 5-star, earning Payoff an overall ranking of 5.0 stars out of 5.
Positive reviews center on the company’s website, easy application process, and good customer service.
Is Payoff a good choice?
Payoff receives good reviews and has competitive rates, making it a solid option for those with burdensome credit card debt. The process is simple, transparent, and digital.
The company really does take customer service seriously. Once approved for a Payoff loan, a borrower is assigned a Member Advocate. The role of the Advocate is to personally handle any “questions, comments, concerns, or compliments.” The system ensures that the borrower consistently speaks to the same person at Payoff.
Compare rates and terms offered by multiple, vetted lenders at Credible.com.