The Business Backer Reviews - Financial Lender Pros & Cons
- Business line of credit
- Commercial real estate financing
- Invoice factoring
- Long term
- Merchant cash advance (MCA)
- Short term
- $5,000 to $350,000 depending on loan type
- Commercial real estate up to $75 million
- 4 to 18 months for MCAs
- 10 to 25 years for real estate
- 1 to 10 years for other loan types
- Wide range of loan products
- Flexible payment options
- Funding available in as little as 48 hours
- Lends to businesses with poor credit
- Offers loans to startups
- Not all loan types are available in all U.S. states
- Hard to find details regarding qualification requirements
- Complete fee information not readily available upfront
Who benefits most from funding through The Business Backer?
From startups to medium-sized businesses, merchants in need of flexible, customized loan products can apply for funding from The Business Backer as an alternative to traditional bank loans. Options are available for companies with poor credit and other financial challenges.
Established in 2007 and currently headquartered in Montgomery, Ohio, The Business Backer offers “customized funding solutions” to small- and medium-sized businesses in all 50 U.S. states. To date, the company has funded over $200 million in loans with its in-house merchant cash advances and the financial services of an extensive network of partners.
The Business Backer bases its approach to lending on a system it calls “True Relationship Financing.” Via its “True Relationship Partner” network, the lender is able to connect applicants with the right type of loan based on financial information, business history and “future goals.” It puts a great deal of emphasis on “getting to know” customers rather than just looking at their numbers and aims to provide the best offers and rates to each qualified applicant.
On its website, The Business Backer offers basic details about each loan type available, including business lines of credit, short- and long-term loans and MCAs. Its partnerships also allow the lender to offer some loan types other online lenders don’t, such as commercial real estate and startup loans. Not all financial products are available in all areas of the U.S., so potential applicants should read the information about the specific loan they wish to request before getting in touch with The Business Backer.
A FICO score of at least 550 is required for merchants to qualify for the majority of The Business Backer’s loan products. For startup loans, the minimum requirement is 680.
According to Fundera, The Business Backer also allows up to three instances per month of non-sufficient funds (NSF) on bank statements and up to eight overdrafts. This gives companies with fair or even poor credit access to funding they wouldn’t be able to obtain from a bank, providing an alternative during periods of financial hardship.
The Business Backer is able to extend funding in situations where banks are often wary because the lender looks beyond numbers to consider the causes of unstable cash flow, irregular sales, less-than-desirable credit ratings and past due bills or taxes. The lender’s website repeatedly emphasizes a focus on a company’s “story” rather than a collection of statistics. If the complete picture of an applicant’s financial situation suggests the company is stable enough to handle loan payments, The Business Backer may make an exception to its rules for approval.
Almost no information is available on this lender’s website regarding the industries to which it’s willing to lend. Like most online financing companies, it extends loans to businesses in industries where cash flow isn’t always predictable, including food service, retail, construction and transportation.
Because sales often vary by season in these industries, banks and other traditional lenders aren’t always willing to approve loans. The Business Backer may be able to secure financing for companies turned down due to unstable cash flow or the negative impact of a slow season on business credit.
When bank loans aren’t an option, businesses in the following high-risk industries can apply to The Business Backer for funding:
- Financial services
- Real estate
The lender’s “customer story” approach brings together several factors not considered by banks during the approval process and makes it more likely that these types of businesses will be able to obtain funding.
Despite this relatively open policy, The Business Backer is more stringent in its restrictions than other online lenders. Fundera lists a range of industries unable to obtain loans from this company:
- Auto sales
- Bail bonds
- Businesses operating from home addresses
- Check cashing
- Consumer and business financing
- Credit repair
- Gas and oil extraction
- Janitorial and waste management services
- Mortgage providers
- Online businesses
- Staffing agencies
- Travel agencies
Businesses in these categories will have to look to other lenders that cater to a broader variety of industries.
Term lengths for funding from The Business Backer depend on which option a merchant is approved for and the overall financial health of the business at the time of application. Ranges include:
- 4 to 18 months for MCAs
- 1 to 4 years for long-term loans
- 1 to 3 years for lines of credit
- 10 to 25 years for commercial real estate loans
- Up to 18 months for short-term and startup loans
- Up to 10 years for SBA loans
The Business Backer or one of its partners determines an appropriate term length based on information provided during the application process and includes the terms in the final loan offer.
What’s Required to Apply
The most basic requirements for most loans from The Business Backer are at least $180,000 in annual revenue, a FICO score of 550 or more and at least one year in business at the time of application. Startups must have a FICO score of at least 680 and can apply any time during their first six months in business. Additional requirements include:
- Business bank account
- Applicant must own 50 percent or more of the business
- Business must be based in the U.S.
Merchants begin the application process using a pre-approval tool The Business Backer calls BestMatch Analysis, accessed via the “Find Your BestMatch” button on the homepage or the “Apply for Funding” button on pages dedicated to specific loan types. Applicants then provide:
- Loan amount requested
- Annual business revenue
- Name and business name
- Email address
The Business Backer reviews this information, and applicants receive a call from a funding advisor within one business day. During the 15-minute session, the advisor collects additional information required to determine approval. Applicants have the option of creating an online account after completing the BestMatch form to submit information sooner and speed up the approval process.
Depending on the type of funding being requested, The Business Backer may ask for:
- 4 months business bank statements
- 1-year profit and loss statement
- Most recent 4 months of credit card statements
- 1 year of business tax returns for loans of $50,000 or more
- Most recent balance sheet for loans of $75,000 or more
- Proof of ownership
- Voided business check
- Copy of driver’s license
- Landlord reference
- Certificate of good standing
Once all required paperwork has been submitted, The Business Backer uses the information to form a detailed picture of each applicant’s financial circumstances and either extends an offer for a merchant cash advance or finds an appropriate option from one of its partners.
Approvals are generally sent between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday. The length of the approval process varies depending on how quickly applicants submit paperwork and the type of loan being requested. Some funding may be available in one to three days.
As with loan terms, factor rates and interest rates are assigned according to a merchant’s financial stability as determined from paperwork submitted with the application. The Business Backer lists the following rates for its financial products and those of its partners:
- MCAs start at 1.12
- Lines of credit start at 18 percent
- Invoice factoring ranges from 0.3 to 1.1 percent
- Long-term loans start at 7.99 percent
- Short-term loans start at 1.1 percent monthly
- Startup loans range from 8 to 20 percent annually
- SBA loans have variable rates of 5.57 to 8 percent
- Real estate loan APRs range from 3 to 10 percent
Payment options are flexible and vary by loan type. For MCAs, payments may be daily, weekly or semi-monthly depending on an applicant’s qualifications.
The Business Backer prefers to be a first-position lender and doesn’t extend funding to merchants attempting to stack loans. Instead, the lender emphasizes financial health and allows several of its loan products to be used for refinancing. No information is provided regarding whether The Business Backer is willing to make any exceptions to its stacking policy.
Applicants aren’t required to pay processing fees for The Business Backer’s loan products and there are no “hidden” documentation fees.
The Business Backer charges a 3 percent origination fee.
Merchants in need of additional funding can often obtain another loan from The Business Backer within 60 days of initial funding being granted. To ease the financial burden, the lender will refund all unpaid interest on the existing loan and require full payment only of the principal.
In addition to forgiving interest on renewed loans, The Business Backer also offers a discount of up to 35 percent for early repayment of small business loans. Information regarding interest forgiveness on other loan products isn’t provided on the website, but it’s customary for lenders to require fees based on factor rates to be paid in full regardless of when the loan is paid off.
Restrictions for the use of loans from The Business Backer are similar to those imposed by other online lenders. Applicants can only apply for business loans; personal funding isn’t available. Funding may also not be used by companies intending to extend loans to other businesses.
The Business Backer provides multiple suggestions for the legitimate use of funding within a business setting, many of which reflect common reasons companies seek loans:
- Acquiring another business
- Funding short-term projects
- Improving business credit
- Investing in growth or expansion
- Maintaining cash flow in slow or off seasons
- Obtaining a reliable source of working capital
- Purchasing or refinancing real estate
- Replenishing inventory
- Starting a new business
It’s also possible for companies to use a loan from The Business Backer to refinance existing debt and pay it off in a timely manner. This option could be a lifesaver for businesses facing the possibility of bankruptcy or permanent closure if a bank or other traditional lender is unwilling to help.
The Business Backer has a more positive online reputation than many other online lenders. In addition to an A+ rating from the BBB, this lender rates:
- 5 out of 5 on TrustPilot
- 9.5 out of 10 on Fundera
- 4.3 out of 5 on Facebook
- 3.5 out of 5 on Merchant Maverick
However, neither Google nor the BBB have any reviews on file for The Business Backer, which is unusual for a lender with over 10 years in business. Merchants researching funding options must read reviews available on other sites.
In these reviews, customers praise The Business Backer for its professional service, easy application process, fast delivery of funds and payment plan structures. Negative feedback points to delays when applying, unexpected additional qualification requirements and expensive fees.
Licenses & Accreditations
In addition to becoming BBB accredited in July of 2012, The Business Backer has received several notable awards and has been recognized by top industry publications. These honors include:
- Winner of the 2014 US Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business Award
- 2014 Blue Ash Businesses Awards Business of the Year
- Inclusion in the Inc. 500 in 2012 and 2013
- 2012 “Emerging 30” winner from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- 2012 Cincinnati Business Courier “Fast 55” Award
CEO Jim Salters also received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2012 and was the winner of Forty Under 40 the same year. Few online lenders have received this level of recognition, and The Business Backer features several of its awards on its website to distinguish itself from less reputable companies in the industry.
Company Contacts Details
- Online contact form
- Jim Salters, President
- Steve Tosh, COO
- Candace Levine, VP Finance
13 User Reviews
Sep 12, 2018 10:23 PM
The business backer is definitely easy to work with and they have the best customer service representatives! Although the factor rate offered to me was pretty high and the terms were strict too but they not once tried to lure me in and handle it later. They were clear about what they could offer and why. It made sense and made it a whole lot easier! I ended up withdrawing my application due to the unaffordable factor rate but I am glad they were upfront about it and were friendly and honest! If only more lenders and banks could do business in a similar honest manner, it would save a lot of time and bitterness!Reply
Mr. Chad Blanda
Oct 4, 2018 9:19 PM
The first impression you get from a lender is through their customer service, the way they communicate with and handle their clientele tells a lot about how your dealings with them is going to be. After all, the relation is going to last for at least a couple of months. The Business Becker threw a very good first impression with their excellent customer service. They kept me on top of everything about the deal that I was going to sign. Not once did I feel like I was in the dark. If I did not understand a particular part of the contract, the rep I was assigned explained it to me with clarity. My small insurance company in Seattle got a merchant cash advance from these guys in just a couple of days! Everything went smoothly and immediately. The cash was in my account within 24 hours. There was no documentation fee which most lenders do charge. Got a 200k worth business loan at 1.25 factor rate, which I injected in the company’s cash flow and my finances got streamlined. The repayments are being made on a monthly basis and so far, I am satisfied!Reply
Dec 8, 2018 5:30 PM
The Business Backer does know how to keep their customers happy! They have all the right stuff going on. No documentation fee, interest forgiveness on early repayment which is something not many lenders will offer. Needed a merchant cash advance or a working capital loan for my construction company based in Austin and got it from these people in just 2 days! Lightning fast service!Reply
Aug 6, 2019 6:42 PM
Thieves! Charge you so much on their merchant cash advance and then a 3% origination fee. Yes, no documentation fee, thank you very much! But the factor rate they offered me was just insane! 1.31!!! What is the point of the support if I have to burnt out myself to repay these people back! No thanks!Reply
Oct 5, 2019 8:22 AM
These people probably have the worst customer service I ever had to encounter! Street vendors have better customer dealership than these guys! When I was inquiring about the online business loan these guys offered, the representative was very attentive and helpful. But the moment I was involved in the application process and had to document everything, he flipped. He was hardly available. Once he even asked me to call him later as he was dealing with another client! That was so rude! But I showed patience and didn’t say anything. But the shitty and sloppy attitude kept going. Later he told me, and that too after 2 days that I had to improve my credit score in order to apply for the loan. WHAT!!!!! I was shocked. If my credit score, which is not stellar but not so bad either, were really the matter, why did they approve my loan in the first place!!! Terrible customer service. If they had said so in the beginning, it would have been better but after wasting my time and energy for two days, this is how they treated me! Zero stars from me!!Reply
Apr 8, 2020 3:53 PM
My small burger shop in Madison suburbs was going pretty good and I had been getting a lot of customers and business was swell until the pandemic hit and the number of customers got less and less, some months, it was no customers at all. I thought maybe I should offer delivery service and for that I had to hire a couple of riders and get a vehicle or two as well and all that was going to come at a cost. I applied for a loan at the Business Backer and instantly got approval. I wasn’t expecting that given the times were hard and banks refused to help. But anyway, the application process took just 2 days and the next day, cash was in my account! I instantly got down to business and put the $150,000 to use! The results were amazing!! People were glad I was offering delivery service and so, I was back in business! Sales were going great and I was able to repay the lender back earlier then the decided term of 18 months. And guess what?? They offered me a 35% forgiveness on the interest payment! I was over the moon!! I was DANCIN’!!! I am so grateful to these people for their sincere support during the most difficult times! If I could give more than 5 stars, I would!Reply
Jun 23, 2020 4:24 AM
My representative Mackenzie proved to be the best lending partner from the Business Backer. She promptly answered every query that I had and helped me get a business loan of $150,000 for my law firm in midtown Dallas. My law firm benefited from the working capital loan and I was able to take care of some pending taxation work and other legal procedures. A huge shout out to Mack for sticking with my company through out – from application to the final repayment!Reply
Sep 19, 2020 1:59 AM
Excellent service, one of the best in the market! Could easily stand among successful lenders line OnDeck, Marlin etc. 5 stars!Reply
Jan 12, 2021 12:23 AM
The customer service is all right, yes! Everything was going smooth when I was applying for the business loan but when the time came to pay me the amount, they took a lot of time. Not as instant and immediate as they say they are. Took them 5 days as opposed to the 1 to 2 days which most online lenders promise! I did get the capital but I had to go through a lot of hassle for it! For 5 days I had to call them and ask why it was not happening. 5 days got wasted but now it’s all good. I really hope these people work on their timing! Other than that, a good lending partner. Just wanted to give an honest review, that is all!Reply
Feb 4, 2021 4:12 PM
My small real estate business was going through some tough financial crisis ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. I was in urgent need of a business loan or a merchant cash advance and no banks were willing to offer me that but The Business Backer is truly a business backer. They backed my business and offered me a 225,000 worth of working capital loan. The process was smooth and transparent and there were no hidden fees at all, I was fully satisfied but the factor rate of 1.26 did bug me a little as I was already going through some financial constraints but what made it all more practical and acceptable was how the this lender was flexible in terms of the repayments of the loan I had gotten! That helped me big time! The payback adjustments were convenient and I could afford them even during the most financially unstable times. With most lenders and banks, I had to agree on paying a certain amount after an interval, no matter if the revenue was not too good. I was relieved of this problem! I trust these people because they are honest and they actually help you out given how accommodating and flexible they were! Thanks!Reply
Mar 3, 2021 1:11 PM
Great service. Got a merchant cash advance of $170K for my small home-based retail company in downtown Manhattan. Got the cash instantly without any delays! I would highly recommend this lender!Reply
Mar 4, 2021 11:08 PM
I am just so impressed with the way the business backer does business. They offered us the most flexible payback terms given the uncertainty involved in the trucking business. Mack from the business backer got us a short-term loan with the best possible terms well suited to our business and also keeping in mind the ups and downs in the revenue. I look forward to doing business with these people in the future too!Reply
May 10, 2021 5:23 PM
The whole process was easy and the customer service representative Mackenzie was a very jolly fellow! She talked me through the whole process and got everything done for me in just 3 days! Just a couple of months left until the business loan deal completes and I must say, I had a good experience!Reply