Happy Money Personal Loans Review

Happy Money offers personal loans for credit card consolidation

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Happy Money Logo
Investopedia’s Rating
3.9

Our Take

Happy Money helps borrowers with fair credit consolidate credit card debt at competitive rates. However, this lender may charge origination fees and offers a relatively low maximum loan amount. While Happy Money might be a good option for borrowers with fair credit, it's not necessarily the best option for everyone.

  • Pros & Cons
  • specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Applicants can pre-qualify with a soft credit check

  • Annual percentage rates are competitive

  • Borrower qualifications are clearly identified online

Cons
  • Limited to credit card consolidation

  • Borrowers may be charged an origination fee

  • Only offers loans up to $40,000

specifications
APR Range
7.99% - 29.99%
Loan Amount
$5,000 - $40,000
Loan Terms
24 Months or 60 Months
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
550
Average Origination Fee
0.00% - 5.00%
Late Fee
$0.00 - $0.00
Why Trust Us
38
Lenders reviewed
40
Loan features considered
1,520
Data points analyzed
112
Primary data sources used
Investopedia collected key data points from several lenders to identify the most important factors to borrowers. We used this data to review each lender for fees, accessibility, repayment terms, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

Pros Explained

  • Applicants can prequalify with a soft credit check: Prospective borrowers can click on “Check My Rate” on the Happy Money homepage to access the rate they’re likely to qualify for. This requires entering basic personal information, does not impact the consumer’s credit score, and only takes about two minutes. 
  • Annual percentage rates are competitive: Happy Money's annual percentage rates (APRs) range from 7.99% to 29.99%. The high end of this range is higher than some lenders, but is still competitive—especially for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. 
  • Borrower qualifications are clearly identified online: Happy Money evaluates applicants based on a combination of financial factors, including FICO Score, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, credit utilization, and age of credit history. These factors are transparent and stated online, making it easier to determine your approval odds. 

Cons Explained

  • Limited to credit card consolidation: While many lenders offer personal loans that can be used for several purposes, Happy Money loans are exclusively intended to consolidate credit card debt. 
  • Borrowers may be charged an origination fee: Happy Money loans come with origination fees between 0% and 5% of the total loan amount. The most qualified borrowers may not be charged an origination fee at all, but the fee may increase the overall loan cost for other borrowers.  
  • Only offers loans up to $40,000: Happy Money offers loan amounts from $5,000 to $40,000. While this maximum loan amount is higher than for some online and traditional lenders, it’s lower than top competitors.

Introduction

Happy Money is a financial wellness company that offers credit card consolidation loans to eligible borrowers. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $40,000, but minimum loan amounts vary in some states. For example, borrowers in New Mexico must take out at least $5,100, while those in Maryland must borrow a minimum of $6,100. Happy Money's loan terms range between 24 and 60 months. 

APRs for Happy Money personal loans range from 7.99% to 29.99%, and vary based on credit score, credit usage, overall credit history, state, loan amount, and loan term. Unlike some lenders, Happy Money doesn’t charge borrowers a prepayment penalty if they pay off their loans early. While Happy Money borrowers aren’t charged prepayment, late payment, or returned check fees, origination fees range from 0% to 5% and are taken from the total loan amount at funding.

Company Overview

Founded in 2009, Payoff is a branch of Happy Money, Inc. that works with lending partners to provide credit card consolidation loans. Unlike many online lending platforms, Happy Money aims to help consumers reduce their debt and improve their credit profiles. The company is headquartered in Tustin, California, and Happy Money loans are available in every state except Massachusetts and Nevada.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by Payoff

Happy Money Payoff loans are exclusively for credit card consolidation. Because of this, Payoff personal loans cannot be used for home improvements, large purchases, or to cover emergency expenses. This makes Payoff loans much less flexible than many personal loans from other lenders. 

To qualify for Happy Money's Payoff loan, applicants need a minimum credit score of 550 and at least three years of established credit. Payoff also evaluates each applicant’s debt-to-income ratio, credit utilization rate, delinquencies, and other factors when making lending decisions.

Consolidating your credit card debt with a personal loan could result in significant savings on interest charges, depending on your loan's APR.

Time to Receive Funds

In general, Happy Money disburses loan funds as soon as three to six business days after loan approval and verification. Keep in mind, though, that funding times may vary based on the borrower’s financial institution.

Payoff Personal Loan Features

Soft Initial Credit Inquiry

Like many top online lenders, Happy Money allows borrowers to pre-qualify for a loan without a hard credit inquiry. To do so, navigate to “Check My Rate” on Happy Money homepage; if you received a prequalification letter, select “I Have an Invite Code” instead. Happy Money does not run a hard credit check until you submit a full loan application. 

The option to pre-qualify for a loan without a hard credit check is a nice perk, especially if you're shopping around for the best loan rates and terms.

Flexible Due Date

Eligible borrowers can change their payment date by logging into their Payoff Happy Money account and clicking on the “Change Date” button next to their next payment date. 

Direct Card Payoff

Happy Money's Direct Card Payoff service streamlines credit card consolidation. If a borrower opts into this service, Happy Money will send loan funds directly to third-party credit card companies instead of the borrower’s bank account. Borrowers who prefer to pay off credit card debt themselves can choose to receive funds in the bank account they designate during the application process. 

FICO Score Improvements and Updates

According to Happy Money, consumers who pay off at least $5,000 in credit card balances with a Payoff loan may experience a 40+ point increase in their credit score. In addition to helping consumers pay off credit card debt faster and improve their credit profiles, Happy Money's Payoff makes it easier to track credit with monthly FICO Score updates.

How to Apply for a Payoff Personal Loan 

If you’re considering a Payoff loan from Happy Money to consolidate credit card debt, start by getting pre-qualified and checking your rate. As with many top lenders, this only requires a soft credit check, so your credit won’t be impacted.

After pre-qualifying, take the following steps to complete your loan application:

  1. Select loan terms: Once you provide the basic information required for pre-qualification, Happy Money displays applicable loan offers. Choose an offer that meets your borrowing needs and preferred repayment term. Happy Money then conducts a hard credit inquiry before entering the underwriting process.
  2. Verify your application and provide documentation: As part of loan underwriting, you may be asked to provide proof of identity, proof of employment and income, and financial documents that demonstrate your ability to repay the loan. 
  3. Await approval: The amount of time it takes Happy Money to review and approve each application depends on several factors, including how quickly the necessary documents are submitted. In general, though, Happy Money takes up to seven days to review application information and request additional documentation.

Can You Refinance a Personal Loan With Happy Money?

Happy Money does not offer a refinancing option for its personal loans. So, borrowers who want to access a lower APR must do so through another lender. That said, Payoff loans are restricted to the consolidation—and, therefore, refinancing—of credit card debt. 

Note that since the origination fee is deducted from the loan amount and these are only credit card consolidation loans, the total loan amount will be the credit card debt plus whatever the origination fee is (so if you have $9k in credit card debt, and a 1% origination fee, then the total loan amount will have to be $9,090 to cover the fee.

Customer Service

Happy Money's Member Experience Team can be reached by phone, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, and Saturday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT. Current and prospective borrowers who call outside normal business hours can leave a message. Member Advocates are also reachable via email and online chat. 

In addition to its Member Experience Team and Advocates, Happy Money offers a library of online resources aimed at simplifying the application and loan payoff process. But despite Happy Money's extensive support options, some reviewers mention difficulties getting in touch with customer service.  

Customer Satisfaction

Happy Money, received an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars on Trustpilot. Some unhappy customers report deceitful loan offers, high APRs, and a complicated application process. Some applicants mention issues verifying their income and identity using the online platform. Other applicants experienced long customer service response times and unhelpful agents.

Happy Money does also get high marks from other customers. Satisfied borrowers share that the lending platform helped them pay off their debts and improve their credit scores. Positive reviews also mention that the application process is quick if you have all of the necessary documentation, and that the customer support team is helpful.

Account Management

Current Happy Money borrowers can access their accounts through the online portal by clicking on the “Sign In” button on the Happy Money homepage. From there, borrowers can review loan documents, update their payment dates, identify their remaining balance, and access their FICO Score. And, while Happy Money recommends that borrowers take advantage of its automatic payment feature, it’s also possible to make manual payments through the online dashboard. 

How Happy Money Compares to Other Personal Loan Companies

Happy Money and Upstart are online lending platforms that help borrowers with bad credit. In fact, Upstart and Happy Money each recommend applicants have a minimum credit score of just 550.

However, there are some key differences between the lending platforms:

  • Upstart’s personal loans can be used for several purposes, while Happy Money's Payoff loan funds are restricted to credit card consolidation.
  • Upstart and Happy Money both offer minimum APRs between 5% and 6%. However, Happy Money's APRs max out at 29.99%, and Upstart’s rates go as high as 35.99%.
  • Happy Money borrowers can borrow up to $40,000, but Upstart personal loans are available up to $50,000. 
  • Upstart reports that 99% of applicants receive their loan funds within one business day after accepting their loan offer. Happy Money's funding process typically takes between three and six days after approval and verification. 
  • Upstart and Happy Money both charge origination fees. However, all Upstart borrowers are charged an origination fee between 1% and 8% of the total loan amount. Some Happy Money borrowers don’t pay an origination fee at all, while others pay a maximum fee of 5%.

Both lenders cater to borrowers with lower credit scores, but Upstart is better for consumers who want more flexible access to personal loan funds. Not only can Upstart loans be used for a range of purposes, but the loan amounts are also higher and funding times are faster. However, Upstart’s APRs and origination fees may be higher than Happy Money's, so borrowers with poor credit may pay more over the life of the loan.

Read our full Upstart review.

Final Verdict

Borrowers who want to consolidate credit card debts can benefit from Happy Money's personal loans and credit tracking tools. Interest rates are competitive, and this lender only requires a FICO Score of 550 while also considering a range of other financial factors. However, Happy Money's Payoff loans may come with an origination fee and funds can only be used to pay off credit card debt. 

And while customer reviews are mixed, many are negative and focus on issues with application, approval, and high APRs. For that reason, we only recommend using Happy Money if you’re seeking a credit card consolidation loan and don’t qualify for better rates elsewhere.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs.  

Our full personal loans methodology, including our data collection process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Payoff. "Payoff - Rates & Fees."

  2. Trustpilot. "Happy Money."

  3. Upstart. "Personal Loans."