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Backed personal loans review

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Borrow with excellent-credit friends or family for a better rate.

Backed offers financing to those who might not qualify with traditional lenders. Even if you have bad credit, you can have a relative or relative or friend back your loan for better deal. But it’s only available in six states.


Max. Loan Amount

2.9% to 15.99%



Min. Credit Score


Product NameBacked personal loans
Min. Loan Amount$3,000
Max. Loan Amount$25,000
APR2.9% to 15.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term1 year
Maximum Loan Term3 years
Turnaround Time2 to 4 business days

What makes Backed personal loans unique?

What really sets Backed apart from other lenders is that you’re allowed to add a backer — someone with a strong credit history to back your loan — possibly improving your APR by 41%. Having a backer not only lowers your APR, but it can help you stay on track with your payments and build your credit history. It also looks at more than just your credit score — your education and employment history are also taken into consideration.

What is a backer?

Backed doesn’t use cosigners — it uses backers. A backer is someone willing to back your loan by lending you their creditworthiness. A backer could be anyone you know with a strong personal credit score who is willing to pay your loan if you’re unable to make payments.

How is a backer different from a cosigner?

Cosigners and backers are similar in that by signing onto your loan, they promise to pay back your funds if you can’t. Typically, cosigners are notified once the borrower is 30 days past due, and both the borrower’s and cosigner’s credit scores are impacted. Backed notifies backers within the 15-day grace period if a borrower misses a payment — without damaging anyone’s credit.

How do personal loans from Backed work?

Backed offers unsecured personal loans between $3,000 and $25,000 to residents of six states: New York, New Jersey, Arkansas, West Virginia, Florida and Arizona. Interest rates are fixed and range from 2.9% to 15.99% APR, including an origination fee of 0.8% to 2%. You can choose to pay back your loan in 1 year to 3 years — depending on your credit history.

To qualify for a loan without a backer, you need a personal credit score of at least 660 and a minimum annual income of $18,000. If you have a backer, they must have a credit score of at least 720 with an annual income of $50,000 or more. Because of this, your credit score and income can be lower.

Apply through CompareFirst to be considered by Backed and multiple other lenders at once

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Should I get a Backed personal loan?

You might benefit from Backed the most in the following situations:

  • You don’t have strong credit but you have a backer. You might be able to get some of the most competitive rates through this lender — even compared to other lenders who accept cosigners.
  • You aren’t funding a big project. The most you can borrow with Backed is $25,000.
  • You live in an eligible state. Backed is only available in NY, NJ, AK, WV, FL and AZ.
  • You want to fund a startup. This lender also offers alternatives to traditional business loans for entrepreneurs.

What are the benefits of a Backed personal loan?

From its low starting rates to its quick turnaround, here are a few benefits of a Backed personal loan:

  • Competitive rates. Rates start at just 2.9%, compared to the 5% to 6% starting APR common with other lenders.
  • Backer notifications. This lender notifies your backer when you’ve made an on-time repayment — and when they need to step in.
  • Quick turnaround. If you’re approved, you may be able to receive your funds in as little as two business days.
  • Startup friendly. Backed offers career investment loans for startup businesses, a good alternative to traditional business loans with strict revenue requirements.

What to watch out for

Backed has several attractive perks, but this online lender isn’t without its pitfalls:

  • Restricted availability. Backed currently only lends to residents of New York, New Jersey, Arkansas, West Virginia, Florida and Arizona. If you don’t live in one of those states, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a personal loan.
  • Limited customer support. Customer support with Backed is limited to email correspondence. There’s no customer service phone number available, which means you might have to wait on a response.
  • Origination fee. Backed charges a one-time loan processing fee of up to 2% of your loan amount, ultimately leaving you with less money upon funding.

What does the Internet say about Backed?

Not much as of August 2019 . While it has a page on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it doesn’t have any customer reviews or complaints listed. It’s also not rated. Backed doesn’t have a page on Trustpilot at all.

Unfortunately, this means you may be left in the dark about how well Backed treats its borrowers until after you sign your loan contract.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a personal loan with Backed, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a credit score of at least 660 or a backer with a credit score of at least 720.
  • Have a minimum annual income of $18,000 or a backer with a minimum annual income of $50,000.
  • Live in New York, New Jersey, Arkansas, West Virginia, Florida or Arizona.
  • Have not declared bankruptcy in the last seven years.
  • Are a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid visa.
  • Are at least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid bank account.

How do I apply?

Follow these steps to apply for a Backed personal loan:

  1. Go to Backed’s website and select the term and loan amount you’re interested in. Click Apply Now.
    Backed personal loans homepage screenshot
  2. Choose your loan type. Click Next.
    Backed personal loans application screenshot
  3. Enter your basic personal information, including your birthdate and Social Security number. Review its terms of use and privacy policy, then click Verify.
    Backed personal loans application screenshot

If you’re eligible for a loan, Backed provides you with a quote detailing the loan terms you qualify for. Keep in mind that this initial rate is subject to change if you decide to add a backer to your application. At this point, you’ll provide supporting documentation to verify your personal and financial information.

Once your final application is approved, review your loan offer from Backed. Should you accept, the funds are deposited into your account within two business days.

Apply through CompareFirst to be considered by Backed and multiple other lenders at once

I got the Backed personal loan. Now what?

Once you receive your funds from Backed, it’s time to start thinking about repayments. Follow these steps:

  • Make on-time repayments. Keep track of when your repayment is due each month to avoid a $20 late fee.
  • Pay online, if you can. If you choose to pay by check, Backed charges a $10 check processing fee. And if your check bounces — or you don’t have enough in your account to cover your payment — you’ll be charged a $15 unsuccessful payment fee as well.
  • Keep your backer informed. If you included a backer in your loan agreement, make sure they understand the details of your loan, like when payments are due and how much they are.
  • Reach out to Backed. If you’re unable to make a payment, contact Backed using its email notification system as soon as possible.

Bottom line

Backed personal loans offer competitive rates and flexible loan options to those with thin credit. It could be a good option if your looking to improve your credit and have friends or family members with excellent credit who trust you to pay back the loan.

However, if you plan to apply by yourself, Backed isn’t much different from other nonbank lenders offering personal loans. And if you prefer to speak to a representative on the phone about your loan, Backed may not be the right lender for you.

Compare other providers and loan options to find what one that works best for your personal situation.

Frequently asked questions about Backed personal loans

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