Happy Money Personal Loan Review: Debt Consolidation for Good to Excellent Credit

Happy Money Personal Loan Review: Debt Consolidation for Good to Excellent Credit

Get Personal Loan Rates

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For borrowers looking to consolidate debt, Happy Money (formerly Payoff) is a great choice for a personal loan, provided you have good credit history. The lender looks for borrowers with credit scores of at least 660, debt-to-income ratios of 50% or less and a robust credit history. One downside is that a Happy Money personal loan can only be used to consolidate debt, so if you need money for other reasons, you’ll need to shop elsewhere.

Happy Money Personal Loan Review: Should You Apply?

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Happy Money offers competitive debt consolidation loans for borrowers with good to excellent credit. You can borrow up to $40,000 with rates between 5.99% and 24.99%. Terms range from two to five years.

Good for...
Bad for...
  • Debt consolidation
  • Borrowers with good to excellent credit
  • Purposes besides debt consolidation
  • Borrowers in MA, MS, NE, NV and WV

One thing we like about Happy Money is the clear eligibility requirements. To be eligible for a Happy Money loan, you will need a minimum FICO credit score of 660 and a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less. You will need at least three years of credit history and two current credit accounts in good standing (i.e., credit cards, mortgages, installment loans, etc.). You cannot have any current delinquencies, and you cannot have had any delinquencies greater than 90 days in the last 12 months. If you meet these requirements, you will be eligible for a Happy Money loan.

Happy Money loans can only be used for debt consolidation, so you cannot use them for one-time expenses or other endeavors. If you want to take out a loan for home improvement or a coding bootcamp, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

However, this focus on debt consolidation does allow Happy Money to offer some customized benefits to its borrowers. All borrowers will have access to Happy Money’s Member Experience Advocates, who will set up welcome calls and quarterly check-ins to help you with any issues and to keep you on track with your monthly payments. Happy Money also offers a variety of cash flow tools and personality assessments to help you better understand and manage your own finances. Finally, the lender offers a free monthly FICO score update so borrowers can see how the loan is impacting their credit score. The lender claims that borrowers who pay off at least $5,000 in credit card balances see an average increase of 40 points in their FICO score within two months of receiving a Happy Money loan.

One downside to Happy Money is that its lowest rates start at 5.99%. Some online lenders offer rates starting as low as 4% or 5%. If you have a particularly strong credit profile, you may be able to qualify for a rate lower than 5.99% at another lender. At the very least, it's worth checking your rate at another lender to see what you can qualify for. Happy Money is also not available in every state, so you'll need to shop elsewhere if you are in one of the following states: Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada and West Virginia.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for a Happy Money loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Credit score of 640 or higher
  • Debt-to-income ratio under 51%
  • 3 years of credit history with at least 2 current accounts in good standing
  • No more than one installment loan in last 12 months
  • No current delinquencies
  • No delinquencies greater than 90 days in the last 12 months

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee that you will be approved for a loan, but these are the basic criteria that you need to meet to even be considered.

Happy Money Personal Loan Rates and Terms

You can only use a Happy Money personal loan for debt consolidation purposes. However, you can borrow up to $35,000 with rates starting at 5.99%.

Loan Amount Range
$5,000 - $35,000
APR Range5.99% - 24.99%
  • Origination fee: 2% - 5%
  • No late payment fee
  • No NSF/returned payment fee
  • No check processing fee
  • No prepayment penalty
Loan Terms2 to 5 years
Repayment OptionsMonthly
Direct Payment to CreditorsNo

Application Process

You’ll be able to check your rate online without affecting your credit score. To check your rate, you’ll need to provide your name, date of birth, address, phone number, housing information (rent vs. own, monthly payment) and annual income. After entering this information, Happy Money will conduct a soft credit inquiry and you’ll be able to see your outstanding credit card balances. Based on this information, Happy Money may suggest a loan amount and term.

Application Process
Time to Get Funds2-5 days
Credit Check
  • Soft credit check to get rate
  • Hard credit check when you apply
Credit ReportingYes
Cosigners/Co-borrowers Allowed?No
If you are presented with a loan offer, you can choose to accept the loan. At this point, Happy Money may need you to verify some of the information you provided, and the lender will conduct a hard credit check as part of the approval process (a hard credit check can affect your credit score). Once the verification process is complete, Happy Money will transfer funds to your bank account within two to five days.
Happy Money Application Process
Happy Money Application Process

How Does Happy Money Compare to Other Lenders?

If you’re considering a loan from Happy Money, it’s may still be worthwhile to shop around. Below, we compare Happy Money to some of its top competitors.

Happy Money vs. Discover

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For borrowers who want to use a loan for reasons other than debt consolidation, Discover may be a better option than Happy Money. But rates are a bit more competitive with Happy Money as Discover's rates start at 5.99% and go up to 24.99%. Discover offers direct payment to creditors, which some borrowers may prefer if they are looking to consolidate debt. To qualify for a Discover personal loan, you’ll need good to excellent credit (typically any credit score above 660 to 680) and annual household income of $25,000 or more. You can borrow up to $35,000 through Discover with terms from 3 to 7 years.

Happy Money vs. Upstart

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There are a few cases where Upstart is a better choice than Happy Money: you want to use a loan for purposes other than debt consolidation, you want more than $35,000 or you don’t quite meet the credit requirements at Happy Money. At Upstart, you can borrow up to $50,000 with rates starting at 4.37% and terms of 3 or 3 years. Unlike Happy Money, you can use an Upstart loan for any purpose. You’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 to be eligible, so it may be a good choice if you cannot meet the 660 cutoff at Happy Money.

Happy Money vs. Prosper

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Prosper offers similar terms and rates as Happy Money. If you think you’d only qualify for a higher rate, Happy Money will be better as the highest APR it offers is 24.99%. Rates at Prosper, on the other hand, go up to 35.99% with starting rates at 6.95%. To be eligible for a Prosper loan, borrowers need credit scores of at least 640, verifiable annual income, a debt-to-income ratio under 50% and three current credit accounts in good standing. You also cannot have had any bankruptcies in the last 12 months or more than seven credit inquiries in the last six months. Prosper also offers medical financing personal loans up to $40,000 , so it can be a good choice for covering any medical procedures.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.