Tally app review: A credit line to pay off credit card debt

A man seated on a park bench looks thoughtfully at his smartphone.Image: A man seated on a park bench looks thoughtfully at his smartphone.

In a Nutshell

The Tally app can help you pay off credit card debt with a credit line. But maximum interest rates are high, you may have to pay an annual fee — and using the app could put you at risk of taking on more debt.
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Pros

  • Potential for member discounts
  • Manage multiple cards in one app
  • Debt payoff features are for all users, even those who don’t get a line of credit

Cons

  • High maximum interest rates
  • Annual fee
  • With a Tally line of credit freeing up your credit cards, you might be tempted to use them more

What you need to know about the Tally app

Tally is a debt payment app that can help you keep track of your APRs, balances and due dates, and automate your payments. For people who qualify, Tally also offers a line of credit for paying down high-interest credit card debt.

The APRs for Tally’s credit line range from competitive to high, though — and you might have to pay an annual fee. So its value for helping you paying off debt will depend a lot on the interest rate and other terms Tally offers you.

Three membership levels

  • Tally: The free level of Tally lets you download the app and use its debt payoff and debt planning features. The app can set up auto-pay for your credit cards and send payment reminders.
  • Tally Basic: Tally Basic membership requires you to qualify for a Tally line of credit to pay down your credit cards. You may pay an annual fee depending on the amount of the credit line, though Tally doesn’t specify the cost. Using the Tally Pays feature may help you avoid missed payments and extra interest charges.  
  • Tally+: Tally+ offers a larger line of credit and discounts for monthly on-time payments, which Tally claims may reduce your interest payments by an average of 4%. But there’s an annual fee totaling $300, which is broken down to $25 a month, deducted from your credit line.

Access to other debt payoff features even if you don’t get a Tally line of credit

If you don’t want or aren’t eligible for a line of credit, you can still use the Tally app, which lets you choose a debt payoff strategy for your situation and then automates the payments for you.

  • Snowball: A debt reduction tactic that focuses on paying off your smallest debt first.
  • Avalanche: Reducing debt by focusing on your highest-interest account first.
  • Credit score factors: This approach works by targeting your accounts with the largest balances first.

Potential for member discounts

If you have a Tally+ membership and make at least the minimum payment each month, you may receive a credit on your account as a reward for paying on time.

Won’t stop you from taking on more credit card debt

While Tally can help you manage your credit cards, the app cannot stop you from continuing to use them. If you spend more on your credit cards after you pay them down with your line of credit, you’ll just be accumulating more debt.  

A closer look at the Tally app

If you’re considering the Tally app, here are a few more details to think about.

  • Tally may help you avoid overdraft and late fees: If you add a feature called “Safe Min Pay” to a credit card, Tally will pay the minimum for you automatically, unless Tally believes that you don’t have enough money in your account. This can help you save money on overdraft and late fees.
  • Weekly payment options: Tally Tuesday payments can help you pay on your credit cards every week, which may help you get out of debt faster. You can choose the amount you’d like to pay on a weekly basis and link the payment to your bank account. Tally will apply the payment to the cards you specify in your repayment strategy.
  • Late fee protection program: Tally automatically enrolls all the credit cards you register with the app in a late fee protection program (this is a different program than Tally Min Pay). The app “scans” the cards a few days before your payments are due. If it doesn’t find a payment scheduled on a credit card, Tally uses your credit line to make the payment for you so that you don’t face a late fee. Bt you can opt out of this protection at any time. Just remember that you’re being charged interest on your credit line, so this protection can come with a cost.
  • Option to use credit line multiple times: As you use the app you may be able to earn more Tally credit to use toward paying off more credit card debt. You can use the Tally credit line as many times as you want. Again, remember that there’s a cost for this, and it could be high, depending on your credit line’s APR.
  • Limited availability: The Tally app isn’t available in every state. If you live in Montana, Nevada, Vermont or West Virginia, Tally is not available to you.

Who is the Tally app good for?

If you’re overwhelmed with credit card debt and want to simplify the way you pay it off, the Tally app may be worth a look. Although Tally does not describe itself as a debt consolidation company, you can use it to combine your credit card debt payments and manage them in a more centralized way. You can see if you’re eligible for the credit line with a soft credit inquiry, which won’t affect your credit.

But be cautious: If Tally does approve a credit line for you, you’ll want to look carefully at the terms. If you get the maximum APR and have to pay a $300 annual fee, you might find yourself losing ground instead of making much headway with your debt.

If you don’t qualify for Tally’s credit line — or if you don’t want it because your terms include high interest rate and fees — you might consider using Tally’s only for its debt payoff features that help you design a repayment plan and automate payments for you.

Or you might want to explore these other debt consolidation options:

Personal loans for debt consolidation

A personal loan for debt consolidation can help you manage multiple debts by consolidating them into one loan at an interest rate that’s lower than the rates you’re currently paying. Make sure to compare the APRs on your credit cards versus the rate and other costs of any personal loan you’re offered — and calculate whether you’ll achieve any savings. Be sure to consider the length of your loan term. Increasing the time you have to pay off your debt can means you’ll pay more for it over time, despite a lower interest rate.

Balance transfer cards

A balance transfer card is another potential way to manage credit card debt. With a balance transfer credit card, you can transfer multiple credit card balances onto it, so you’ll have a single account and payment for all your debt.

Many balance transfer cards offer introductory interest rates — often 0% — for a limited period of time, giving you a chance to catch up on debt from multiple cards more quickly. Just note that while you’ll get a break on interest, there’s typically a fee to pay when you transfer a balance.

How to apply for the Tally credit line

To apply for the Tally credit line, download the app on your mobile device and add your credit cards. Once you do, Tally will perform a soft credit check to see if you qualify. You’ll typically need a FICO score of at least 580.

If you’re approved and you accept your offer, you’ll have access to a Tally credit line. If you’re charged an annual fee, it will be deducted from your credit line.

Again, you can still use some of the Tally app’s features even if you don’t get approved, or if you decline the credit line.

Not sure if Tally is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Payoff by Happy Money: Happy Money works with a network of lenders to offer Payoff debt consolidation loans that are geared toward paying off high-interest credit cards.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: This direct lender offers personal loans that you can use to consolidate credit card balances and other debt.

About the author: Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. You can find her work on sites like The Balance, Freedom Debt Relief, LendingTree and RateGenius. Anna has an MBA in marketing from Roosevelt Un… Read more.