Tally Review: Pay off Credit Cards Faster

Tally is an app that issues a line of credit and then uses it to make your credit card payments on your behalf. If the interest rate on the line of credit is lower than your credit card balances you can use it to pay off your credit cards and transfer that debt to a lower rate. 

Either way, once you sign up for Tally you'll only make one credit card payment per month, no matter how many cards you carry balances on. Tally can automatically schedule your monthly payments to avoid late fees and extra interest.

Whether you have multiple credit cards or a single card to pay off, this Tally review can show how you can get a lower interest rate and make a debt payoff plan. 

How Does Tally Work?

Tally helps you pay off your credit cards by creating a debt payoff plan and then working with you to help implement the plan.  

First, download the Tally app and enter the current balances and interest rates for your credit cards. Tally will pay your credit cards on your behalf and then send you one bill for the total amount paid. They'll make at least the minimum payments to avoid late fees.

Tally will use AI to recommend monthly payments. So if you're serious about paying down your debts, you'll likely be making more than the minimum payment. 

 

To make this work, Tally issues a line of credit to you when you sign up. You must qualify for this line of credit in order to use Tally.

They use this line of credit to make the payments on your cards, which you then reimburse them for.  They run a soft credit check to determine if they can offer you a line of credit. This credit check doesn't hurt your credit score like a personal loan application.

They use the line of credit to make your credit card payments, but you can also use it to lower your interest rates. If they can offer you a lower interest rate than you are currently paying on your credit cards they will pay off your cards and your balances will be with Tally at the lower rate. 

Either way, you will still only make one payment to Tally each month.

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Who Can Use Tally?

Anyone can download the Tally app to their Android or iOS device and create a free account. As you create your account, Tally will determine if you're eligible for their services and if Tally can help you save money.

Below are Tally's minimum qualifications:

  • Minimum 660 FICO credit score
  • Live in a qualifying state
  • Are at least 18 years old

See how to check your credit score for free.

You must also have a minimum annual salary to qualify for a Tally line of credit but Tally doesn't disclose how little you can make. That decision can depend on several factors including your credit profile and outstanding balance.

Qualifying States

One of the largest downsides about Tally is that the app isn't available in every state. The good news is that Tally is coming to more states and you can join their waitlist.

Here are the states where Tally is available (as of October 19, 2020):

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Over half of the United States can use Tally to save money on credit card bills. If you want to use Tally but don't live in a state where they are active,  you can sign up on the app and you'll be contacted as soon as they are available in your state. 

How Much Does Tally Cost?

It's free to join and use Tally. In fact, Tally states the average person saves as much as $5,300.

So, how does Tally make money?

Tally makes money from the interest on the line of credit if you refinance your credit card debt. The rate you will qualify for depends on your credit history – but they only transfer balances to the line of credit if it will save you money.

If Tally can't save you money, they don't make money but you can continue using Tally free of charge.

How Tally Calculates Interest Charges

Just like your credit card, Tally uses the Daily Balance Method to calculate your monthly interest charges. First, Tally divides your line of credit APR by the number of days in the year to determine your daily periodic rate. For example, a 7.9% APR would have a daily periodic rate of 0.02164384. After that, Tally multiplies the interest your line of credit balance accrues each day by the daily periodic rate.

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Can I Use Tally with Credit Cards with a Promotional APR?

Yes, Tally works with credit cards that have a promotional APR. For instance, you may have a 0% balance transfer offer or an introductory APR on purchases for a newly opened credit card. Tally will make the minimum monthly payment for this card and focus on paying off your most expensive balances first.

Once the promotional APR ends, Tally will adjust your payment strategy as necessary.

Tally App Features

There are several ways that Tally can help you pay your credit cards every month – even if you pay your balance in full.

Line of Credit

The best reason to use Tally is its line of credit feature. Unlike a home equity line of credit that you can use for any daily purchase, this variable line of credit is only for paying off credit card debt.

Tally determines the interest rate range by using the Prime Rate from the Wall Street Journal and adding several points depending on your credit factors. As the Prime Rate fluctuates, your line of credit APR can move up or down but can still be lower than your credit card APR.

Tally uses a soft credit check to determine your interest rate. This type of credit check doesn't impact your credit score and doesn't count as a loan application. Personal loan lenders perform a soft credit check to see if you prequalify for a loan but perform a hard credit check to provide a formal loan offer.

In addition to running a soft credit check to determine your interest rate, Tally uses your credit factors to determine your borrowing limit. Hopefully, the line of credit can be high enough to cover your outstanding balances. If not, Tally will make a debt payoff plan to apply your payment to the card with the highest APR.

What Happens if Your Credit Card Balances or Minimum Payments are Higher Than the Tally Line of Credit?

It's possible that your current credit card balances or payments exceed the line of credit limit that Tally offers. If so, Tally states they will advance at least enough to cover the minimum payments on your cards. Tally won't charge an over-limit fee for these advances.

If this happens and you want to pay more than the minimum payment you'll need to submit a separate payment directly to the credit card.

As you pay off your existing credit cards, Tally continues to evaluate your remaining card balances. In time, all of your remaining credit card balances can qualify for the Tally line of credit.

Tally Pays

The Tally Pays feature is where Tally makes your payments on your behalf. They will send each payment at least two days before the payment due date.  

Tally sends you a monthly statement stating the payment due for all of your credit cards. This statement also includes the interest payment to Tally. You will need to submit full payment to Tally by 5 PM Pacific Standard Time to keep your line of credit in good standing. Tally will stop making automated Tally Pays payments if your account isn't current.

While Tally automates most credit card payments, some credit cards may require a manual payment using the “You Pay” feature. You might also opt for manual payments if that payment option is a better fit for your budget. If you go the You Pay route, Tally lets you schedule payments from the Tally app to continue tracking your progress.

Late Fee Protection

Having Tally handle your monthly credit card payments lets you qualify for late fee protection. If Tally submits a late payment, they cover any corresponding late fees and interest charges.

Tally checks your credit card accounts once a month to determine your monthly payment amounts, payment due date, and account standing. Your monthly due date to Tally will be several days before your credit card due dates.

For credit cards that you manually pay, Tally recommends scheduling a payment at least seven days before the due date. This leeway lets these cards qualify for late fee protection as Tally can estimate when the funds will arrive and the payment will post.

Don't forget to disable any autopay feature you currently have with your bank when you switch to Tally.

Tally Advisor

The Tally Advisor “debt manager” tool is an interactive debt calculator. You can tell Tally when your target debt-free date is and how much extra money you can pay each month. Tally uses these details to recommend a minimum monthly payment to achieve your money goals.

This tool updates as you make monthly payments to Tally and your card balances change.

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Joining Tally

If you like what you see in this Tally review, here is a step-by-step look at what it looks like to join Tally.

1. Download the Tally App

The first step is downloading the Tally App to your Android (requires Android 6.0 and up) or iOS (requires 13.0 or later) smartphone or tablet. You can also create an account on the Tally website before downloading the app and adding your card details.

2. Create Tally Account

After downloading the Tally app, you will submit your name, email address, birth date, and current residence. These details are necessary for a soft credit check to get your FICO credit score and to verify you live in a qualifying state.

3. Link Credit Cards

The next step is to connect your credit cards that carry a balance and are not currently past due. You will enter your balance amounts and APR.

4. Schedule Automatic Payments

After linking your credit cards, Tally has you agree to the platform terms and conditions. You will also have to enter more personal information including your Social Security Number. Tally will have you link a banking account and create a payment plan for your credit cards.

Going forward, you can see your credit card account details on the Tally dashboard. As your finances improve, you can increase your monthly payment amount to get out of debt sooner.

Tally Customer Service

You may have to contact the Tally customer service team for various housekeeping issues. For example, you may have to contact Tally to notify them if you're disputing a credit card charge with your bank or changing a credit card number.

You can contact Tally by phone from 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific or via email.

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Is Tally Safe?

Tally doesn't store your bank account passwords and usernames on their servers. If you change your credit card login information, you will need to relink your credit cards. The Tally app also uses industry-standard 256-bit SSL encryption to protect your activity from date thieves. These security practices are common for most finance apps.

Who Should Use Tally?

Tally is a good option if you are feeling overwhelmed by your credit card debt. If you're serious about paying off your credit card debt, struggle to maintain multiple accounts, and want a simpler way to pay these bills. If you don't know which credit card to pay off first, Tally's debt manager tool makes a repayment plan that can save you money.

While Tally can help you get out of debt, generating a new credit card balance negates the Tally line of credit benefits. 

Pros and Cons

 

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Can qualify for a lower interest rate than your current credit card APR
  • One monthly payment
  • Can link multiple credit cards
  • Late fee protection
  • No hard credit check to qualify

Cons

  • Not available in every state
  • Need a minimum 660 FICO credit score
  • Might make getting into more debt easier if you aren't careful

Alternatives to Tally

If you don't qualify for Tally, you might consider these alternatives.

Refinance Debt with a Personal Loan

A personal loan gives you more flexibility with how you refinance your credit card debt. Most personal loans have a three or five-year repayment term with a fixed interest rate. Banks in all 50 states offer personal loans and you can qualify for a loan balance that covers your entire credit card balance.

Fiona makes it easy to compare rates from multiple lenders for personal loans up to $100,000.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you're ready to pay off debt quickly or have a small balance, a balance transfer credit card can be a better option. The best balance transfer credit cards offer an introductory 0% rate for up to 18 months. After that, your remaining balance accrues interest at the then-current purchase APR.

While you can avoid sky-high interest charges, you will need to watch out for a one-time transfer fee. Most 0% balance transfers charge 3% of the balance that you transfer. This fee can still be less than the interest charges you pay with Tally or keeping the balance on your current credit card.

Digit

An unconventional way to make extra credit card payments is by using Digit. This micro-savings app transfers small amounts of money from your checking account several days per week. You can save the cash for a rainy day or deposit the savings monthly to a linked credit card or student loan.

Read our Digit Review to learn more about saving small amounts of money.

Ask For a Credit Card Interest Rate Reduction

You need a good credit score of at least 660 to qualify for Tally. Having good or excellent credit means you're more likely to get help from your credit card provider. Try asking your bank for a temporary interest rate reduction. Your bank might agree and temporarily lower the rate for several months. This rate can be lower than the rate that Tally offers and you avoid changing your payment method.

Summary

Tally can be one of the most effortless ways to pay off credit card debt. It's free to use and can save you money with a lower interest rate. To use Tally, you must live in a qualifying state and have a 660 FICO credit score or higher. If Tally isn't for you, there are other ways to pay off debt fast.

Tally

8.5

Overall

8.5/10

Strengths

  • Free to use
  • May lower your interest rate
  • One monthly payment
  • Late fee protection

Weaknesses

  • Need a minimum 660 FICO credit score
  • Might make getting into more debt easier
  • Not available in every state

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Josh Patoka

About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

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