A Very Scary Cartoon Bear

It’s all tricks with a short-term loan from the Dave App

Andy Spears


Email solicitation from the Dave App

Need to have a Halloween party or get a costume but you’re short on cash?

No worries!

A cartoon bear with stacks of cash is heading to the rescue.

The Dave App never seems to miss a chance to encourage users to take out an “extra cash” advance.

You know, go into debt just a little bit with an easy payback plan.

Of course, Dave earns millions each year with fees and “tips.”

In fact, they’ve even used gambling to try and get customers to take out more loans.

One story notes that between fees and tips, a loan from the Dave App can carry triple-digit interest rates.

Here’s more on how Dave does business:

Adam Hardy writes in Money.com that a number of cash-advance apps are suggesting they offer a viable alternative to payday loans but may instead offer a similar product in a more tech-friendly package.

Hardy reviews the policies and practices of apps such as Dave, Earnin, and Brigit and finds that:

“. . . consumer experts warn their fees are just as bad as — if not worse than — traditional payday loan APRs, with rates that can easily top 300%. And, they say, the apps can actually trigger overdraft fees.”

Additionally, the apps use behavioral marketing techniques to encourage higher “tips” — a euphemism for the fee charged to use the service above the $1 a month membership fee.

So, sure, if gambling with a cash-bearing bear is your idea of spooky fun, go for it.

Just beware. This is one Halloween trick you are likely to regret weeks or months from now when those bills come due.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .