A PayPal account is not required to make a payment.
There will be a 2.9% convenience fee with paying via a credit card.  Ready for Life uses PayPal, a third party company that is PCI compliant to process credit card payments.  The 2.9% convenience fee was determined by PayPal as the cost of providing the service.  The fees paid on the credit card transaction are collected by the third party processor for this service.