Tally is an app that helps you both manage your credit card debt and pay it off. In this Tally review, we’ll cover the app’s core features including how it works, its pros and cons, and the type of person it makes the most sense for.
Tally allows you to see your APRs, due dates and balances all in one place. The basic Tally membership creates a customized debt payoff plan based on a strategy of your choice, while the premium membership (called Tally+) functions like a debt consolidation loan. To join Tally, you are required to apply and qualify for a Tally + line of credit (although you are not required to use it). If you opt in, Tally+ can take over your credit card payments and use this line of credit to pay down your balances. That makes it ideal for those with a good credit score who have accumulated $2,000 or more of high-interest credit card debt.
- Tally’s credit card management tools can help you keep your bills organized and avoid late fees.
- Tally+ can save you money on interest and help you pay off your debt in the most advantageous way possible.
- You have to qualify for Tally+ even if you only want to use the basic membership.
- A minimum credit score of 580 is required.
- Only works with credit card debt.
Tally (which is also known as Meet Tally) is an app designed to help people get out of credit card debt.
The basic plan (which costs $4.99 a month and is only available iOS users) gives you access to a set of tools to make paying off your debt easier, including advice on which credit card to pay off first based on your designated debt payoff strategy.
Tally+ (which costs $300 annually) is the platform’s premium and more well-known offering.
Note: A payment of $300 is not due upfront, but is deducted from your line of credit.
It’s similar to a debt consolidation loan in that it gives you a line of credit which it then uses to pay down your existing debt.
The logic behind this is that if the interest rate on your Tally+ line of credit is lower than your credit cards, you’ll save money.
Amounts offered range from $2,000 to $20,000 with APRs between 7.9% and 25.9%. Your rate is primarily determined by your credit score, and a minimum score of 580 is required. There is no fixed repayment schedule.
With Tally, you can prioritize your payments based on:
- Highest interest rate first (debt avalanche).
- Lowest balance first (debt snowball).
- Card with the highest credit utilization rate (as a way to increase your credit score).
When Tally begins to pay off your credit card from your Tally+ line of credit, you then owe Tally. Your minimum monthly payment depends on how much credit you’re using and is withdrawn from your checking account.
6 Things to Know Before Signing Up for Tally+
- The loan you get from Tally is a revolving line of credit. There is a minimum monthly payment that changes depending on how much of your credit line you use, rather than a fixed monthly payment.
- The $25 monthly fee ($300 annually) is paid from your line of credit, so there is nothing you owe upfront. No interest is charged on this amount.
- You need a minimum FICO credit score of 580 to qualify.
- The amount you’re approved for varies. There’s no guarantee you’ll get a line of credit large enough to pay off all your credit card debt.
- Once you accept the line of credit, you can choose the credit cards you’d like to have Tally pay off using a feature called Tally Pays. So, if you have a low interest rate card, it’s not mandatory to pay that one down.
Tally Sign Up Experience
Signing up for a Tally account and getting started is a fairly seamless process.
I used my desktop and had the credit cards I wanted to provide Tally ready (as well as the passwords for each account). If you’re using the mobile app, Tally allows you to scan your credit card numbers.
Next, Tally asks for information to determine whether you’re approved for the Tally+ line of credit. This includes personal information such as your date of birth, Social Security number, income and address.
There is no way to skip this step. In order to use Tally you are required to apply for (and qualify for) the Tally+ line of credit — even if you choose not to use it.
After providing this information, Tally performs a soft credit check. This does not impact your credit score.
Once complete, I received instant approval for a $5,000 line of credit at a 7.9% APR (as shown in the screenshot below).
How Tally+ Works
To understand the ins and outs of Tally+, it’s best to use an example.
Let’s say you have the following credit cards:
- Chase Freedom card issued by Chase Bank
- Walmart card issued by Capital One
- Delta SkyMiles card issued by American Express National Bank
- Victoria’s Secret card issued by Comenity Bank
When you sign up and are approved for an account, you’re given a line of credit. That line of credit is used to pay down your credit card debt.
Tally will then pay each of those four monthly bills on your behalf with the line of credit (as long as there are enough funds within your line of credit).
You can choose the debt payoff strategy you’d like Tally to implement: from highest to lowest interest rate, lowest to highest balance, or by credit utilization rate.
Let’s say you’re having Tally implement the debt avalanche strategy, which pays off your credit cards by highest to lowest interest rate.
In our hypothetical example, here’s how that would look:
First of all, this table should illustrate why only paying the minimum due each month is a terrible idea.
Since more than half of your payments go to interest, you’re hardly making any progress on paying down the principal.
That means you’ll just keep paying interest over and over and over.
The total amount you’ll pay to borrow $19,500 is a whopping $49,193.05!
But back to Tally…
Let’s say you’re approved for a $7,000 Tally line of credit at 19.99% APR — a fairly high number, considering my offer was 7.9%.
Tally would apply that $7,000 to your Delta SkyMiles and Victoria’s Secret accounts, because they have higher interest rates than 19.99%. It would not apply the credit line to your Walmart and Chase Rewards accounts, because they have lower interest rates than 19.99% — that would cost you money!
But that means you’re still responsible for making the minimum monthly payments on those accounts, which is $121.05.
So, let’s assume Tally’s algorithm determines it’s best to pay off your highest-interest debt first — the exorbitant 27.99% you’re getting charged on your $1,000 Victoria’s Secret balance.
Tally sends them $1,000 and BOOM! That debt is paid off.
- Now you owe Tally $1,000 instead, and you have $6,000 remaining on your Tally credit line.
- That $6,000 gets applied to your Delta SkyMiles card, which has a balance of $10,000.
- At this point, you’ve used up all of your Tally credit line and you still have a $4,000 balance on your Delta card.
So, here’s what you end up with in this hypothetical scenario:
The outcomes of using Tally will vary widely based on a number of criteria, but here’s a summary of how the person in this example would fare by using (or not using) Tally.
Note that in this example, the person actually saved on interest while also paying less out of pocket per month.
There are a few considerations you need to keep in mind when looking at this example:
- As you pay down your Tally balance, Tally will apply your newly-available funds to any remaining high-interest debt. In this example, you still have $4,000 of debt with a higher interest rate than your Tally loan. As long as that’s the case, Tally will apply whatever credit you have available to that balance, which will compound your savings over time.
- You can pay Tally more than your minimum monthly payment, which will result in more savings over time.
- The 19.99% rate used for this example is on the higher end of the spectrum. You may qualify for a much lower rate from Tally, which will dramatically increase your overall savings.
- Your overall savings will depend upon how much debt you have and how much credit you’re offered by Tally.
Is Tally Safe?
Tally uses bank-level security measures, including 256-bit encryption and SSL, for secure data transmission. Personal information is anonymous, encrypted and stored securely.
Where Is Tally Available?
Tally is currently available in all U.S. states except for ME, MT, NV, VT, WV and WY.
Tally vs. Bright
|Types of debt:||Credit card debt.||Credit card debt.|
|Fee:||$300 per year.||$14.99 per month.|
|Platforms:||Android, iOS and desktop.||Android, iOS and desktop.|
|Default debt payment strategy:||Debt avalanche.||Debt avalanche.|
Bright is a similar app to Tally in that it can help guide you through paying off your credit card debt.
Here’s how it works:
- Bright analyzes your spending.
- It then calculates the amount of money you have available to move to a separate checking account.
- It uses the money in that checking account to facilitate debt payments.
Read our full Bright Money review to learn more. However, one important note is that Bright doesn’t use a line of credit to pay off your debt; instead, it leverages a pay yourself first strategy, where it transfers money multiple times per month based on what it thinks you can afford.
This is a more conservative approach, and while it may take longer to pay off your debt this way, it does come with less risk. Conversely, Tally users risk having both maxed-out credit cards and a maxed-out line of credit.
Given that, when is a line of credit the right move to pay off debt, versus using a more conservative, savings-based approach?
My rule of thumb is that debt consolidation loans make sense when there’s a very high likelihood you’ll pay off that new debt. The most important factor in getting out of debt is the ability to consistently spend less than you make; if you’re constantly spending more than you make, a debt consolidation loan isn’t going to fix your underlying issues and you may actually end up in worse shape.
Tally vs. Debt Consolidation Loans
Traditional debt consolidation loans are different from the Tally+ line of credit.
Traditional loans are given for a fixed amount of time and have a fixed payment. You’re then required to make that payment every month. After a certain period, the loan is paid off and the account is closed.
Tally’s line of credit is more open-ended. There’s no fixed monthly payment and there’s no fixed end date for the line of credit.
This can be both a pro and a con. While lines of credit offer more flexibility, borrowers are often in no particular rush to pay them off because there’s no fixed monthly payment that needs to be made.
For comparison purposes, I wanted to see how Tally’s rates compared to the existing personal loan marketplace. I headed over to Fiona, an aggregator that provides different loan offers, to see what type of loan I could get.
I requested a $20,000 personal loan and was pre-approved by SoFi for $30,000 with an 8.43% APR. Tally’s line of credit came in a bit under in terms of APR, but SoFi approved me for a much larger amount.
Other variables to keep in mind when you’re comparing Tally+ to a debt consolidation loan are:
- Tally only allows you to pay off your credit card debt, while personal loans give you the flexibility to pay off any high-interest debt.
- Tally requires a minimum credit score of 580, while personal loan providers sometimes accept lower scores. (Although the terms will be less favorable.)
- You’re likely to qualify for a smaller line of credit with Tally than you would with a personal loan.
To see the type of personal loan rates you’re eligible for, visit Fiona.
Tally vs. 0% APR Credit Card Cards
A 0% APR credit card is another way to save money on interest when paying off credit card debt. The best 0% APR credit cards come with a promotional period — typically between 12 and 18 months — where you pay no interest on balances and transfers. (There is usually a fee to transfer the balance to a 0% APR card.)
These cards typically have no annual fees, and with the better ones, you can even earn rewards like cash-back. If you do qualify for a 0% APR card, this would be my preference over Tally, as you’ll avoid paying the interest on their line of credit.
However, this only works if you’re very confident you can pay off the 0% balance before the promotion period expires. Because once it’s over, you can expect your interest rate to skyrocket — which will leave you paying much more in interest over Tally’s line of credit.
And keep in mind, the credit limit on your 0% APR card will likely be lower than what you’d get with a line of credit from Tally. So this is really only an option for people who do not have substantial credit card debt.
Tally Review Summary: Final Thoughts
I like the concept of refinancing your debt to a lower interest rate, as long as you’re prioritizing eliminating that debt — i.e., if you have allocated sufficient cash flow to your debt payoff goals.
Paying down your debts as fast as possible will save you money over time. And if you’re committed to that process, Tally can definitely help you become debt-free faster.
However, the underlying behaviors that caused the debt also need to change. That’s a problem, because Tally essentially invites more debt. As Tally pays down your high-interest balances, you have more available credit. If you utilize that, you’re just in a bigger hole than when you started.
So, while Tally can indeed help you get out of debt fast, think of it as the first step of many towards living a debt-free life.