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Monday, May 23rd
Payoff is part of the Happy Money brand, and the service works with eight lending partners who originate loans. You would use the loan to pay off all of your debts as a DIY consolidation strategy; Payoff doesn't offer credit counseling or any other services as part of their program. While you can use your loan in any way you choose, Payoff says that their loans are "specifically designed to help you eliminate high-interest credit card debt" , and that doing so may increase your credit score by 40 points or more.
Minimum credit score and other requirements
To qualify for a debt relief loan through Payoff, you'll need to meet some basic criteria. Those include a FICO score of 640+ and no current delinquencies. Your debt-to-income ratio, age of credit history, and your credit utilization will also be taken into account, but Payoff doesn't give any specifics on what they're looking for. You will also need to provide your SSN and have a valid checking account.
Not a "get money fast" service
The initial online application is fast. You can check your rate without impacting your credit score and see what loan offers might be made to you. Because you're being handed off to one of Payoff's lenders, the rest of the process is on their time. Expect a lengthy process of income verification, submission of documents, and other paperwork before your loan is funded. In other words, this is not a "need cash now" option.
Loan amounts and rates are just average
You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 from Payoff's partner lenders, depending on your creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan. If you wind up being approved for a loan through Payoff, you can expect interest rates competitive with other lenders. Keep in mind, you'll probably be paying less than the rate on your credit cards.
BBB gives them an A+
Payoff gets extremely mixed reviews. On the positive side, the company earned a high rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. We found clients who said that their experience with Payoff was smooth, the interest rate was better than they were quoted by other lenders, and they were able to borrow more than they expected.
Too many negative client reviews
However, we found more than a few reviews that slammed Payoff for giving preapprovals with one interest rate and then offering a loan with a much higher APR. Frequent complaints described delayed paperwork, missed recording of payments, and overall poor communication. The most common comment was that applicants jumped through endless hoops to apply, only to be denied at the very end for a debt-to-income ratio that could have been easily verified early on in the process.
Better debt consolidation loans available elsewhere
Payoff falls below other services that offer debt relief in the form of a personal loan. With so many complaints about delayed paperwork and seemingly bait-and-switch loan offers, we suggest you look at one of Payoff's rivals before committing to using them for your debt relief needs.
If you're facing an ever-increasing pile of "past due" notices, threatening letters from the IRS, and credit card statements where you're barely paying the interest, you're not alone. With unemployment rates reaching record highs, more people are struggling to make ends meet. The average American carries over $90,000 in debt, from student loans to mortgages, and it's easy to get in over your head.
Debt relief is the solution you need. It may sound like a gimmick or a scam, but rest assured that there are many reputable services that can help you reduce the amount of money you owe and help you get back on track financially. These programs typically work by negotiating on your behalf with credit card companies and other debtors, through strategies like debt settlement and repayment plans. Some of the best debt relief services work closely with you to create a solid plan for moving forward too, helping you to make sound financial decisions and hopefully avoid needing such measures in the future!
Are you eligible for debt relief? The criteria vary by provider, but you probably need to have at least $5,000 in total debt owed across all categories (taxes, credit cards, auto payments, and so on). Also, be aware that some "debt relief" is structured as a personal loan: you use the proceeds to pay off multiple accounts and consolidate what you owe into a single monthly payment. In that case, the ball is in your court and you won't necessarily get any financial coaching or have professionals working to renegotiate what you owe.
Which debt relief program is best for you? That depends on several factors, such as the type of debt you owe and how much, as well as your credit history and ability to qualify for a loan. Here are several features to keep in mind as you evaluate your options for debt relief:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular debt relief programs available today. We hope this information helps you get out from under your mountain of debt and gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're on the right track financially.
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