Backed Personal Loans Review: Should You Apply?
Backed Inc. is an online lender that is designed for people who might not be able to qualify for traditional loans.
Essentially, Backed provides co-signed personal loans.
By leveraging its unique process of adding backers to your loan, Backed is able to offer loans to people who may not otherwise qualify.
The best part:
Backed offers much lower interest rates than other lenders.
Backed offers fixed-rate, unsecured personal loans, which means that you can use the money that you get for nearly anything.
If you want to get a personal loan, we’ll cover everything that you need to know before applying for a Backed personal loan.
Loan Size and Term
When you first start looking for a personal loan, you probably have a reason for needing the loan.
You might have a bill that you have to pay or a project that you need to fund. Regardless of why you need the loan, you should have an idea of how much money you’ll need to borrow.
Once you know the amount of money that you need, the first thing that you should do is look for lenders who offer loans of that size.
Many lenders restrict the size of the loans that they’ll give to customers, making you borrow at least a minimum amount and less than a certain maximum amount.
You don’t want to work with a lender only to find that they don’t offer loans as large as you need, and it’s expensive to take on a loan if you need to borrow thousands of dollars more than you need.
Backed offers personal loans that range from $3,000 to $25,000.
This is a slightly smaller range than the loans offered by many lenders, but it’s sufficient for people who just need to cover a small expense. If you need to borrow more than $25,000, you’ll have to look to another lender.
After you’ve found a lender that will offer a loan of the right size, you have to decide how long it will take for you to pay the loan back.
The advantage of long-term loans:
They result in lower monthly payments.
This makes it easier to fit the monthly payments into your budget. However, longer-term loans leave more time for interest to build up, making them more expensive in the long run.
On the other hand, short-term loans have higher monthly payments, making them more difficult to budget for. The benefit is that they cost less overall because there is less time for interest to accrue.
Backed gives you three choices of loan term:
- 1 year
- 2 years
- 3 years
You can choose the term that works best for your budget but you should aim to strike a balance between a low total cost and a low monthly payment.
Backed lists a variety of requirements for people who want to get a personal loan.
To start, Backed only offers loans to customers who live in the following states (this list may change at any time):
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
If you live in another state, you’ll have to look for another lender.
You must also meet these requirements:
- Have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
- Have a job or other form of income
- Have not declared bankruptcy in the past 7 years
- Have a FICO credit score of at least 660
- Have an annual income of at least $18,000
- You must not have another outstanding Backed loan
Fees and How Long it Takes to Get the Money
When you are shopping around with different lenders, you’ll probably notice that different lenders have their own specialties.
For example, some lenders aim to serve people who need very large loans. Other try to offer low-cost loans.
Backed has one fee: an origination fee of between 0.8% and 2% of the loan amount.
There are no early repayment or other fees to worry about.
You can also get your money quickly. Backed can fund a loan in as little as two (2) days, getting cash to you when you need it.
Save Money by Getting a Backer
The biggest thing that sets Backed apart from other personal lenders:
Allowing Backers for its personal loans.
With most personal, you can get a co-signer.
A co-signer agrees to assume responsibility for the loan in the event that you default on it.
Typically, a co-signer does not get notified if you miss payments until you actually default. At that point, they must start paying the loan and all the accrued interest and penalties.
Backers are like co-signers in that they accept responsibility for the loan if you fail to pay it.
Backed treats them more like partners in your effort to pay back your loan.
Backers are informed of any payment shortfall almost immediately and are given a 15-day grace period to help you get back on track before late fees start to pile up or your credit score takes a hit.
Getting a backer can help you reduce the cost of your loan by dropping the interest rate and origination fee.
Your backer is also there to help you stay on track with making payments and to give you a hand if you need it.
Backers do not need to live in one of the states that Backed offers loans in, but a backer must have a FICO score of 720 or higher and an annual income of $50,000 or more.
How to Get Approved for a Personal Loan
When you decide to apply for a personal loan, you should take steps to improve the odds that your loan application will be approved.
When you apply for a personal loan, regardless of the lender, you’ll have to provide some information so that the lender can make an educated decision about your application.
You’ll often be asked to offer information, such as:
- Date of birth
- Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license
- Social Security number
- Annual income
- Proof of income, such as bank statements or pay stubs
- Verification of employment
It might sound like a lot of work to get all of this information and related documentation together, but it’s an important part of the borrowing process.
If you fail to submit all of the information, it could slow down the process. In the worst case, the lender could simply reject the application.
Improving Chances Approval
Before you submit your application for a personal loan, take these steps to improve your chances of getting approved.
Increase Your Credit Score
One of the most important factors in any lending decision is the applicant’s credit score.
Your credit score is a number that ranges from 300 to 850. It is used by lenders to measure your trustworthiness as a borrower.
The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to pay your bill each month. The lower your score is, the more likely you are to miss payments.
A credit score above 750 is considered excellent and credit scores above 700 are considered good.
To maximize your chances of qualifying for loans, you should aim to keep your score above 700.
The most important of these is your payment history.
Timely payments will improve your score and even one missed payment can wipe out months of good credit history, so make sure to always pay your bills.
The amount you owe is the next largest factor. The less you owe, the better your credit score will be.
Reduce Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
Your debt-to-income ratio also plays a significant role in whether your application will be approved. This ratio is a measure of the percentage of your monthly income that is used to pay your bills.
For example, if you make $3,000 each month and pay $1,000 every month in minimum payments, your debt to income ratio will be 33.3%.
The best way to reduce this ratio:
Pay off your existing debts.
This also helps to boost your credit score.
If you take the alternative path, boosting your income, make sure that the pay is documented. If you’re paid under the table, lenders will not include that income in their decision.
How Does It Compare?
There are a huge number of personal lenders that you can choose from, so you should take your time to shop around and look for the best deal.
Start by finding multiple lenders that will meet your financial needs. Then, compare the interest rate each offers. All else being equal, you should opt for the lowest rate.
Don’t forget to compare fees, like the origination, early repayment, and application processing fees.
The Final Verdict
Backed is a great choice of personal lender for anyone who has someone who trusts them enough to be a backer on their loan.
With a backer, you can get an incredibly low interest rate that other lenders will struggle to beat.
Without a backer, Backed becomes an average personal loan provider and is worth considering, but there are likely to be better options out there.