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Happy Money (formerly Payoff) personal loan review

Personal loans specifically for credit card debt consolidation.

finder.com’s rating: 3.9 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bottom line: Happy Money offers competitive starting rates and doesn’t charge late fees or prepayment penalties. But fair credit borrowers may be on the hook for an origination fee.

Details

Min. Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$40,000
APR6% to 16.49%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit Score640
Loan Term2 to 5 years
Turnaround Time3 to 6 days

Pros

  • No late payment or returned check fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Competitive starting rates
  • Phone support available

Cons

  • Origination fee of up to 5%
  • No cosigners or coborrowers allowed
  • Can take up to six days to receive funds
  • Not available in MA or NV

Our take on Happy Money

Happy Money — previously known as Payoff — only does credit card debt consolidation, making it best for people with fair to good credit who want to pay off their high-interest cards. It offers loans starting at $5,000 up to $40,000, with rates from 6% to 16.49% APR — but as with all lenders, the lowest rates go to the best credit borrowers.

Happy Money also charges an origination fee on its loans, although excellent credit borrowers may be exempt. However, other lenders like SoFi, LightStream and Marcus, for example, never charge an origination fee on their personal loans. So, thoroughly compare other offers, as you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere.

On the plus side, Happy Money doesn’t charge any late fees, prepayment penalties or even returned check fees and you have up to five years to repay your loan. The company also appears to get good ratings from customers, but reviews are mixed, with both positive and negative experiences reported.

Happy Money rates, fees and terms

Happy Money offers competitive rates for those with excellent credit — but its rates aren't much better than a credit card's for people with fair credit. Its APRs range from 6% to 16.49% after the origination fee of 0% to 5% is factored in.

You can borrow between $5,000 to $40,000 to pay off your credit card debt. And loan terms last 2 to 5 years.

Our calculator can help you estimate your monthly repayments. Compare Happy Money to your current credit card debt to see if consolidation is worth it.

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How Happy Money compares to other lenders

Compare more lenders to find the best rates, fees and terms for your situation.

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
Best Egg personal loans
7.99% to 35.99%
640
$2,000 to $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
Credible personal loans
3.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 to $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Upstart personal loans
5.6% to 35.99%
300
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
SoFi personal loans
7.99% to 23.43%
680
$5,000 to $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
LendingClub personal loans
6.34% to 35.89%
600
$1,000 to $40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
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Happy Money reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.65 out of 5 stars, based on 54 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 177 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 04 July 2022

While Payoff used to have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile, it appears the profile is no longer on the site, and there's no profile for Happy Money as of July 2022. But based on the previous BBB reviews from 2021, the company got an A+ business review for how it's handled customer complaints, but poor reviews from customers.

The most recent customer reviews from sites like Trustpilot criticize Happy Money for its lackluster customer service and slow processing times. Some of the positive reviews noted they were approved despite their credit. However, both positive and negative reviews alike noted that rates can be high — something to look out for if you want to pay less interest on your credit card debt.

How to qualify

To qualify for a credit card debt consolidation loan from Happy Money, you must have:

  • A FICO score of 600 or higher
  • Sufficient credit history
  • A debt-to-income (DTI) ratio under 50%
  • No current delinquencies
  • Documents needed to apply

    To complete your application with Happy Money, be prepared to provide the following:

    • Government-issued ID
    • Most recent pay stub
    • Most recent most recent tax return
    • Award letter for Social Security (if applicable)
    • Retirement Award Letter and/or 199-R (if applicable)

    States where Happy Money isn't available

    Happy Money is available almost everywhere in the US, but you won’t qualify if you live in one of these states:

    • Massachusetts
    • Nevada

    How Happy Money debt consolidation works

    With Happy Money, choose to pay off your credit card debt two ways:

  • Bank transfer. With this option, Happy Money sends your funds to your bank account. You'll need to contact your creditors to get your pay off balance on the date you intend to pay. Send the pay off amount to your creditors and repay your Happy Money loan in monthly installments.
  • Direct Card Payoff. With this option, Happy Money sends your funds to your creditors directly and you repay your Happy Money loan in monthly installments. This can take longer than a bank account transfer, so it may cost you more in accumulated interest than if you pay your creditors yourself.
  • What sets it apart

    Happy Money may only be for credit card debt consolidation, but it offers these benefits:

    • Free FICO score updates. Like credit card companies, Happy Money updates your FICO score every 30 days so you can keep track of your credit score.
    • Reduced fees. Happy Money doesn’t charge late fees, check processing fees, returned check fees or annual fees.
    • Change repayment due date. Eligible borrowers can change their due date every 12 months to help with budgeting.

    Is Happy Money legit?

    Yes, Happy Money is a legit lender that was previously known as Payoff. Its privacy policy, hosted on the Happy Money website, covers what information it collects and how it shares that information. In fact, it states that it won’t share or sell your nonpublic personal information to nonaffiliates without your consent.

    If Happy Money doesn't seem like the best for your finances, compare other options with our guide to personal loans.

    Frequently asked questions

    Our answers to some common questions about Happy Money.

    How will checking my credit score for a Happy Money loan affect my credit?

    Checking your credit rating for the Happy Money Loan won't affect your credit. It only performs a hard credit check after it finalizes your loan.

    How can a Happy Money loan improve my credit score?

    Happy Money states that some borrowers saw an increase in their credit score of up to 40 points after paying off at least $5,000 in credit card debt. It’s not guaranteed — but even a small boost can help.

    Do I have to close the accounts I pay off?

    No. You are not required to close any credit cards that you pay off with a loan from Happy Money.

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    Review by


    Aliyyah Camp was the personal loans publisher for Finder. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Expert review

    Happy Money specializes in helping borrowers pay off their credit card debt. Its personal loan is designed specifically to eliminate or lower your credit card balances by combining them into one monthly payment at a fixed rate and term.

    But you you’ll need to have a minimum credit score of 600 and at least three years of good credit history. It’s also not the fastest option out there — it could take up to six days to receive your funds. And you’ll be on the hook for an origination fee up to 5% — many personal loan providers don’t charge this fee at all.

    Not sure Happy Money will pay off? Before you apply,compare even more options.

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