Upstart vs Payoff 2024 | Side By Side Comparison

One obvious benefit of using a personal loan to consolidate debt is that it can help keep you from getting overwhelmed by too many payments and due dates. Sometimes called a debt consolidation loan, personal loans can offer a single solution for your financial needs.

Upstart and Payoff are two well-known online lenders that provide personal loans with simple applications. In this review, we compare them to see which one is most appropriate for you.

What is Payoff?

Payoff is an online lender that specializes in credit card consolidation loans. Payoff supports customers with fair to good credit, and it consolidates many credit card bills into a single loan. This means you only have to worry about one payment.

Payoff offers personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 with terms ranging from two to five years. The loans have a fixed APR range. 

Payments get reported to all three credit bureaus via Payoff. This factor makes it an excellent tool for repairing your credit if your score has suffered from debt.

What is Upstart?

Upstart is a platform for borrowers and investors to find personal loans online. It connects people in need of money with those who wish to lend or invest it.

Upstart differentiates itself from traditional lenders by matching borrowers with lenders using artificial intelligence. The AI approval process is a handy feature because it is more tolerant of low-credit borrowers. It enables some customers who would not get approved if a lender merely looked at their credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

What do they both offer?

Neither Upstart nor Payoff offer loans directly. Finance is offered by investors and other institutions, so consumers benefit from more affordable loan terms.

Both Upstart and Payoff have fixed monthly payments, and there is no prepayment penalty. Features include multiple services like debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, personal loans, and so forth.

Upstart aspires to make credit approval more straightforward and accessible. Upstart is a robust debt consolidation solution for consumers with fair to good credit. Payoff, too, provides personal loans for debt consolidation. Payoff was designed exclusively for credit debt consolidation with a simple application process.

What does Payoff uniquely offer?

  • Safer Credit: Payoff provides lower interest rates than typical credit cards and flexible borrowing terms.
  • Easy Payments: To make your life easier, you can make a single, fixed, and cheap monthly payment with Payoff.
  • Boost Your Credit Score: The company claims that using them to pay off your credit cards might improve your credit score by 40 points. This claim is made by a survey of Payoff Members who took out a loan between March and August 2021.
  • Quick Application: It only takes a few minutes to check your rate online and get updated by Payoff.
  • Dedicated to Credit Cards: Payoff offers loans tailored to assist you in paying off high-interest credit card debt.

What does Upstart uniquely offer?

  • Streamlined advantage: Upstart automates the process of obtaining personal loans by using artificial intelligence. The AI considers all factors to make an informed decision.
  • Multiple Solutions: Upstart provides personal loans, car refinancing, home improvement loans, wedding day/celebration loans, medical loans, debt consolidation, and the list continues.
  • Quick Turnaround: Personal loans get approved in as little as 1-3 days. After approval, 99% of personal loans get deposited within one working day.
  • Affordability: Upstart offers personal loan rates that are 10% lower than what traditional lenders offer.
  • No pre-payment penalties: You can pay off a portion of the entire loan anytime without attracting charges.

Rates, terms, and fees comparison

Upstart requires a 600 credit score, but if you have a high income, a high level of education, and a solid job, their AI system may allow you to get away with a lesser score. Upstart offers unsecured personal loans with durations ranging from three to five years for amounts ranging between $1,000 to $50,000. Origination fees range from 0% to 8% on average, depending on the loan amount, credit score, and risk of default. Late fees are 5% of the past-due amount or $15, whichever is greater. The APR ranges from 5.38 % to 35.99 %.

Payoff does not impose the fees that most personal loan lenders do. You can choose from a loan sum of $5,000 to $40,000, with 2 to 5 years duration. Borrowers can get APRs ranging from 5.99% to 24.99% via Payoff's lending partners. The applicant's credit score, credit usage, credit history, place of residency, loan amount, and term are factors that determine the rate. Origination fees range from 0% to 5% of the total loan amount charged by Payoff to borrowers.




Minimum Credit Score



Loan Amount



Approval Time

1 - 3 days

3 - 6 days


3.09% To 35.99%

5.99% To 24.99%

Origination Fees

0% - 8%

0% To 5%

Loan Terms

3 To 5 Years

2 To 5 Years

Eligibility Criteria for Payoff and Upstart


  • You must be 18 years old and maintain a valid social security number and a current bank account.
  • Payoff loans are not offered in Massachusetts or Nevada.
  • A minimum credit score of 640 or higher.
  • A debt-to-income ratio of less than 51%.
  • Credit history for three years.
  • No more than one installment loan in the past year.
  • No recent delinquencies.


  • US citizen or a permanent resident of the US.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Have a full-time job, a full-time job offer with a start date within 6 months, regular part-time work, or another source of income.
  • Credit score 600 at least.
  • Debt-to-income ratio is low.
  • There have been no bankruptcies.
  • There are no recent delinquencies.

Which has a better reputation?

The BBB ratings for Payoff are somewhat negative. Customer ratings give Payoff a 1.47-star rating. There are issues regarding the automatic payment method, exorbitant APRs, and poor customer support. On Trustpilot, Payoff's parent firm, Happy Money, achieved a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from over 123 reviews. Delighted borrowers said the company assisted them in paying off bills and improving their credit scores. Positive reviews also say that the application process can be short, and that the customer care team is considerate.

The Better Business Bureau has given Upstart a B+ grade, indicating that it is an accredited company. Upstart, also has a 4.9-star out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot, based on over 31,900 reviews. The ease of the application process and the convenience of Upstart's credit card consolidation loans have received positive comments.

Bottom Line: Which personal loan lender comes out on top?

Upstart and Payoff are designed for people with bad credit and offer customizable loan terms.

Since Upstart offers reasonable loan amounts, Upstart is more suitable for a minimum or maximum loan starting off at $1,000 up to $ 50,000. They're also helpful for individuals who don't have a credit score yet. Upstart has a credible reputation in the market and consistently performs well. 

Whereas, if you want to save money on fees and are ready to wait out a longer process, choose Payoff. The reviews for Payoff were a little underwhelming.


How do you define an unsecured personal loan?

An unsecured personal loan is money borrowed from a lender over a timeframe. This type of loan is not secured by assets such as a house or car. While many loans offered may be unsecured, some lenders can place a lien on other accounts you have with the same company. Before taking your loan, ensure to check your promissory note for these details.

What kind of loan lender is Payoff?

Payoff is a financial wellness company that offers eligible clients consolidation loans. Borrowing amounts range from $5,000 to $40,000, with various states having different minimum loan limits. Borrowers in New Mexico, for instance, must borrow at least $5,100, while those in Maryland must borrow at least $5,500.

What can you do with a Payoff loan?

Payoff loans are meant to assist debtors with credit card debt consolidation. A Payoff loan might be right for you if you have a credit score of 600 or above and meet the other requirements. If you need money for home remodeling, emergency expenses, or other reasons, they may not be a good alternative.

Is it advisable to use Upstart?

Someone with a minimal credit history but fair to good credit may benefit from an Upstart personal loan. Upstart may be outstanding for someone who wishes to shop around and compare loan offers because the lender allows you to apply for personal-loan prequalification. Upstart loans are available for multiple purposes such as debt consolidation, wedding loans, home improvement, and so forth.

About the author Greg Lorenzo

Greg is a financial expert who has been advising his audience on loans for over 10 years. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area, and he is passionate about helping people get the best possible deal on their loans. Greg is an expert in negotiating loans, and he has a proven track record of getting his clients the best possible terms. He is also a strong advocate for financial literacy, and he regularly gives workshops and seminars on the topic.

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