Cashback Loans Review & 3 Best Alternatives (Feb. 2024)

Cashback Loans Review

People use small payday loans to meet immediate cash needs until their next paycheck. The loans are expensive, but their limited size and duration help contain the overall cost. 

California licenses Cashback Loans, the DBA for Cashbak LLC, a provider of storefront and online payday loans to residents of the state. We’ll review this lender and three online alternatives that serve the entire country.

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Cashback Loans Provides Online and Storefront Payday Loans

Cashback Loans began serving Southern California residents in 2003. It opened its first two storefronts that year and has since grown to 29 locations. It also supplies online payday loans to its California clients. 

The company claims to offer quick, efficient loans and only the best customer service. It takes pride in its bright and inviting stores, which are open seven days a week with extended hours.

Cashback Loans also provides deferred deposits, check cashing, wire transfers, money orders, and other related services. The company does not sell customer information or give it to any other entity.

To qualify for a payday loan from Cashback Loans, you need the following:

  • A valid, open, and active checking account
  • A steady source of income
  • A government-issued photo ID
  • An active phone number
  • A valid email address
  • Borrowers must be at least 18 years old.

Cashback Loans does not perform credit checks on its customers or report loans to the major credit bureaus. However, the company may use debt collectors who report delinquent accounts. 

3 Best Alternatives to Cashback Loans

Residents of all 50 states who want to borrow online have many alternatives. The following three lending networks rank highly among those we regularly review. They can help you instantly prequalify for a payday or personal loan and find you one or more direct lenders in minutes.

  • Short-term loans up to $5,000
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2 million customers
  • See official site, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
Up to $5,000 Varies Varies

See representative example

2. Avant

  • Personal loans of $2,000 to $35,000
  • Compare rates in 2 minutes without affecting your credit
  • Best for low origination fees for bad credit
  • 550 minimum credit score required
  • Powered by Credible
  • See official site, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$2,000 to $35,000 9.95% – 35.99% 12 to 60 Months

See representative example

3. Upstart

  • Personal loans starting at $1,000
  • Find loans you prequalify for, complete your application, and close your loan
  • Loans for 300+ FICO Scores
  • Checking rates doesn’t impact your credit score
  • Powered by Credible
  • See official site, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$1,000 to $50,000 6.40% – 35.99% 3 or 5 Years

See representative example

+ See More Alternatives to Cashback Loans

These networks can get you a small payday loan to repay on your next pay date or larger installment loans that you pay back in three or more monthly payments. Your bank account usually receives the loan proceeds on the next business day.

How Much Can I Borrow From Cashback Loans?

Cashback Loans can lend California residents up to $300. A loan of that size imposes a $45 finance charge (i.e., a $15 fee per $100 borrowed), giving you net proceeds of $255. This loan’s annualized percentage rate (APR) is 391% for a two-week loan term or 782% for a one-week loan term. The company does not offer rollovers of delinquent loans.

The alternative lenders we have reviewed can facilitate loans from $100 to $20,000. They can arrange personal loans with terms of up to 72 months at an APR no higher than 36%. Some also offer payday loans at rates similar to those from Cashback Loans, although each state may regulate the maximum APR it will allow. 

What Are the Differences Between Direct and Network Lenders?

When you directly apply for a loan from a specific bank, credit union, or online lender, you deal only with that financial institution. These lenders choose what products they offer, who they approve, and how much they charge, subject to state laws. 

A direct lender may deliver payday loans, personal loans, credit card offers, private student loans, business loans, title loans, or home loans. Each company’s website provides loan terms and conditions, often in the fine print.

Network lenders versus direct lender graphic

Lending networks do not provide loans and other credit products. Instead, they are intermediaries that bring borrowers and direct lenders together. In other words, the networks generate leads for lenders seeking borrowers. 

Lending networks are matchmakers whose only purpose is to connect you with direct lenders and their products. They offer several advantages over direct lenders, including the following:

  • Easy comparison: An online lending network saves you the time you’d spend looking for individual lenders and reviewing the offers separately. Instead, the offers come to you simultaneously, and you can compare them immediately.
  • Instant access to many lenders: A lending network may have partnerships with dozens or hundreds of direct lenders.
  • Find a lender that specializes in the loan you want: Some lending networks offer a wide variety of loans, while others focus on specific types, such as payday or title loans. You can also use a lending network to get a car loan, home loan, or education loan.
  • Avoid disappointing denials: When you work with a direct lender, you risk rejection after doing all the research and getting your hopes up. An unexpected denial delays your access to the funds you need. But an online network connects you to lenders that cater to your credit profile, thereby improving your approval odds. 
  • Protection against credit damage: When you submit a loan application, the direct lender notifies the credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax), resulting in a hard inquiry on your credit file. Multiple hard inquiries within a brief period can affect your credit scores. A lending network helps you narrow your focus, submit fewer applications, and protect your credit.
  • No cost to you: Online lending networks cost nothing to use. Instead, networks receive compensation from lenders when a referred consumer accepts a loan offer. It is in the best interests of lending networks to present loans beneficial to both parties.

Here are the steps to maximize your experience with an online lending network:

  1. Pinpoint the type of loan you want: Choose a network that can find you the appropriate financing, including personal loans, auto loans, home loans, and loans designed for people with bad credit.
  2. Complete the online form: Every online lending network has a loan request form or dialog box on its website. You must provide data that likely includes your name, address, loan amount, income, debts, and housing costs.
  3. Prequalify for the loan: The network will prequalify your request but will not pull your credit. Once you prequalify, the lending network will find the lenders that best match your requirements. This process usually takes just a few minutes.
  4. Review your loan options: You may receive one or more loan offers from direct lenders. Check them to see the amounts offered, interest rates, and other loan terms.
  5. Select the loan that best suits your needs: Depending on your circumstances, loan offers may range from $100 to many thousands. Compare the APRs and terms. Apply for the loan that best matches your goals. You should receive an instant decision unless some of your information is unverifiable or conflicting.

You can e-sign the agreement online if the lender approves the loan. The proceeds should arrive in your bank account by the next business day.

What Credit Score Do I Need to Use Cashback Loans?

Cashback Loans and the reviewed alternatives offer payday loans, which typically do not require a credit check. Therefore, your credit score is irrelevant. The lack of a credit check is a primary reason for the popularity of payday loans. It also accounts for their excessive cost.

Lenders typically price loans according to the borrower’s credit profile, the loan amount, state laws, and the prevailing interest rates. Payday lenders assume that customers have poor or thin credit — some borrowers have no credit records at all. The lenders set high interest rates because some borrowers will default on their loans.

Payday loan borrowers are willing to pay three-digit APRs because short terms and small amounts limit the overall cost of the loan. 

Personal loan providers typically check an applicant’s credit and require a minimum credit score for approval. The reviewed alternative lenders routinely work with subprime borrowers whose credit scores are below 600. They may deny applicants with scores below their set minimum. While default risk is still high, it is often below that for payday loan borrowers. 

It’s generally a clever idea to apply for a personal loan before a payday loan if you can meet the lender’s requirements because:

  • The interest rate is much lower
  • You can repay installment loans in affordable monthly payments for periods of up to 72 months
  • You can borrow larger amounts with a personal loan

You may have to build or rebuild credit to qualify for a personal loan. To improve your credit score, you must pay your bills on time and keep your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio low (no higher than 36%). Your approval odds for personal loans increase as your credit score rises.

How Quickly Can I Get a Loan From Cashback Loans?

Cashback Loans provides storefront and online loans. If you borrow at one of its storefronts, you may be able to walk out with your money in just a few minutes. 

Speed is just one aspect you should consider when deciding whether to take a payday loan online or at a storefront. The following chart summarizes these considerations:

AccessibilityAvailable in physical locationsAccessible from anywhere with an internet connection
Application ProcessIn-person application requires physical documentationOnline applications may require digital document uploads
Speed of ApprovalInstant approval in many casesQuick approval, often within minutes
Funding TimeImmediate cash in handThe lender typically deposits proceeds within one business day
Privacy and SecurityYou apply in person, reducing the risk of online data breachesPotential for data exposure online, but reputable lenders use encryption
Personal SafetyYou may feel unsafe leaving the storefront with cash in handThe lender deposits your money in your bank account without exposing you to physical danger
Transparency of TermsFace-to-face communication can lead to a clearer understanding of loan terms but may also cause frictionTerms and conditions provided online may require careful reading
Fees and Interest RatesVary by state regulations; may be easier to understand in personMay vary widely; requires a careful comparison of offers
Renewal OptionsMay offer the option to extend loans or create repayment plansSome online lenders offer rollovers, but these can lead to a cycle of debt
RepaymentLenders often require in-person repayment with cash or post-dated checksYou can repay online through bank transfers or automated payments
Comparison ShoppingIt isn’t easy to compare multiple lenders at separate locationsIt is easier to compare rates and terms from many online lenders, especially when using online loan networks
Regulation and Legal ProtectionSubject to state lending laws and regulationsSubject to federal and state laws, and legal protections may vary
Predatory PracticesSome storefront lenders have faced criticism for predatory practicesPredatory online lenders exist, so research is essential

Online loans may take a little longer — you may receive a same- or next-day direct deposit to your bank account, but they add convenience. Depending on how quickly you need the money, storefront loans can also be beneficial.

Remember to always read the fine print and do your research before deciding which loan is right for you. 

Is Cashback Loans Legit?

Determining the legitimacy of a payday lender is crucial to avoiding scams and predatory lending practices. Here is how Cashback Loans stacks up:

  • Proper licensing: The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation licenses Cashbak LLC (dba Cashback Loans) as a payday lender. The lender does not have a license in any other state.
  • Third-party ratings: The Better Business Bureau has not accredited or rated Cashback Loans. The lender does not appear on Trustpilot. TrustAnalytica gives Cashback Loans a rating of 3.3 out of 5
  • User reviews: Unsurprisingly, Cashback Loans receives a mix of positive and negative reviews. Favorable comments on TrustAnalytica include: “Nice and friendly staff, always willing to help. Great service.” and “They’re great here. I use them every time I need a loan.” Less positive comments include: “Worst place to get a loan!! The lady was super rude!!” and “I’ve been getting loans for months, then they made a mistake by charging me on the wrong date. After paying, they are now denying me a new loan based on their mistake. Very unprofessional!”
  • Website: has a professional and well-maintained website. It displays corporate and storefront contact information, including a physical address, phone number, and email address. The website provides a secure connection via AES-256 encryption and security protocols.
  • Transparent fees and rates: The website explains the California rules for pricing payday lenders and offers some examples. The company does not allow rollovers and charges a $15 fee for returned checks.
  • Red flags: Cashback Loans does not ask for upfront fees or guarantee approval. We cannot find any regulatory actions or private lawsuits against the company. The only red flag we saw involved a few unfavorable comments from customers.
  • Contact customer support: The website provides a popup window to send an email to the company. 

Given the information we gathered, Cashback Loans appears to be a legitimate company. Still, it’s reasonable to compare offers from different payday lenders to find the one with the best terms and reputation.

If something about the lender seems off or too good to be true, it’s best to steer clear. Trust your instincts and protect your financial security.

Get a Loan From a Trustworthy Lender

Although Cashback Loans appears trustworthy, it operates only in Southern California. It is a direct lender, so you do not benefit from the natural competition available through online networks. 

You can use any of the alternative lending networks reviewed above if you live outside the company’s operational area or need a loan larger than $300. These lenders offer payday and personal loans, giving you more ways to borrow the money you need.

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