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Backed Personal Loan Review

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Backed Personal Loans are available to borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit, but there is a twist: Loan “Backers” (who could be family and friends) can sign on to help lower your interest rates and fees and build your credit history. Although similar to a cosigned loan, your Backers will be notified immediately if you miss a payment. You have 15 days to work together and get back on track before you get hit with late fees or credit penalties. Read on to learn if a Backed personal loan is for you.

Backed Personal Loans highlights

  • Low rates for good credit borrowers: APRs start as low as 2.90%.
  • Backers can help you get a better deal: Family and friends who sign on as Backers lend their credit histories to help net you lower rates and fees — as long as they have scores above 720 and an annual income of at least $50,000. Backers can also keep you accountable and current on payments.
  • Origination fee: All loans come with an origination fee ranging from 0.80% - 2.00%
  • 15-day grace period for late payments: You and your Backers have 15 days after a missed payment to get back on track before penalties kick in.
  • Loans originate in only 6 states: Backed lends to borrowers in just six states: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. However, your Backers can live anywhere.

Backed at a glance

  • APR range: 2.90%–15.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Terms: 12 to 36 months
  • Origination fee: 0.80% - 2.00%

By clicking “See Offers,” you may or may not be matched with any lender mentioned in this article. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

Terms Fees and penalties
  • Terms: 12 to 36 months
  • APR: 2.90%–15.99%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000 to $25,000
  • Time to funding: 2 business days after documents are signed.
  • Credit check: Soft Pull to check rates, hard to complete application.
  • Origination fee: 0.80% - 2.00%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: $20
  • Other fees: Manual processing fee for check payments ($10), unsuccessful payment fee ($15)

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

To be eligible for a Backed personal loan, you must be 18 years old and live in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, New York, or West Virginia (the only states where Backed operates).

While Backed doesn’t have hard-and-fast eligibility requirements, the lender may require a cosigner if your score is lower than 660 or you make less than $18,000 per year.

You also may be more likely to get approved if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently employed.
  • You have a verifiable bank account.
  • You haven’t had a bankruptcy in the last 7 years, nor do you have outstanding debts.
  • You haven’t been declined for or defaulted on a previous Backed loan.
  • You aren’t on any blacklist.

Applying for a personal loan from Backed

The first step to applying for a Backed personal loan is to fill out an online prequalification form. You’ll provide some basic personal information, and Backed will do a soft pull on your credit. The lender will let you know if you qualify for preliminary approval, including loan amount, term and rates.

If you want to improve your preliminary offer (and reduce your fees), you can provide additional profile information and add Backers who are willing to cover missed payments. Specifically, if you link your Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaid accounts to your application, you may be able to lower your origination fee.

To complete your application, you must provide the following within 30 days:

  • Photo ID
  • Copies of your last 3 pay stubs
  • Additional financial and account information
  • Utility bill to verify your address
  • Verification of email address and bank account info

At this point, Backed will do a hard credit pull. You can expect a decision within 30 days, though Backed says it’s likely to be as soon as three business days. Once all your documents are signed, funds may be deposited in your account within two business days.

Pros Cons
  • Low APRs: Backed’s APRs start at 2.90% and top out at 15.99% — even for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
  • Backers may help improve your loan offer: Adding a Backer to your application may reduce your rates and fees — Backers can also help you build or maintain your credit by assisting if payments are late.
  • 15-day grace period for late payments: You have 15 days after your due date to pay your bill before getting hit with a penalty or dings to your credit score.
  • Limited geographic range: Backed originates loans in only 6 states.
  • Origination fee: Backed charges an origination fee on all loans ranging from 0.80% - 2.00%.
  • Max loan amount of $25,000: Borrowers who need very large (or very small) personal loans won’t get them at Backed.

Who’s the best fit for a Backed personal loan?

A Backed personal loan may be a good option for borrowers who are still building their credit and working toward financial independence — young adults who need a little bit of support to cover living expenses or startup cash for a business project, for example.

With Backed, borrowers who may not qualify with other lenders (or those who are likely to get offered much higher rates) have an opportunity to get affordable loans thanks to the security of parents, friends or other supporters who can step in to help before a loan goes into default and damages the borrower’s credit.

Backed says that its loans are like getting cash directly from friends or family but with the added advantage of boosting borrowers’ credit. Backers are notified of missed payments right away and have 15 days to help borrowers get back on track without penalties.

Plus, if you already have good credit, Backed may offer you a lower rate than other lenders. APRs start at 2.9% for borrowers who receive a “AAA” rating on Backed’s proprietary grading scale.

Alternative personal loan options


  • APR: 9.95% – 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: Up to 4.75%

If you’re a fair credit borrower, Avant may be a good alternative. Most Avant borrowers have scores between 600 and 700. Avant also offers a wider range in loan amounts (ranging from $2,000 to $35,000) than Backed and serves borrowers in more states.


  • APR: 4.37% –35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 8.00%

If you need to borrow less or more than what Backed offers — or if you have a lower credit score — Upstart may be a good option for you. Upstart lends between $1,000 and $50,000 to those with scores as low as 600 The caveat: Upstart’s rates are potentially higher, especially for borrowers with fair credit, and origination fees can be high. But if you need money quickly, Upstart may be able to fund your loan the day after you’re approved.


  • APR: 5.99% – 24.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Terms: 24 and 60 months
  • Origination fee: Is 0.00% - 5.00%

Payoff’s personal loan offerings are similar to Backed’s, though you have to have three years of good credit history and at least two open tradelines on your credit report. Payoff may be a good choice if you like Backed’s loan amounts and terms but have more credit to show. Payoff personal loans are focused on credit card debt consolidation, so if you’re looking for cash to cover living expenses, it may not be the best option.


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