dave app review
Updated January 31, 2022

Dave Review 2022: Cash Advance Up To $250 With No Credit Check

Personal Loans

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  • dave logo
    Dave
    • Best For: People who need a low-cost payday advance.
    • Pros: Dave connects with your bank account, so you can get small loans fast with no credit check.
    • Cons: Although Dave doesn’t technically charge any interest, the $1/month subscription and other optional fees can add up.
    APR: 10/10
     
    Fees: 4/10
     
    Transparency: 2/10
     
    Flexibility: 7/10
     
    Funding Speed: 8/10
     
    Accessibility: 8/10
     
    • APR:

      0%

    • Minimum Credit:

      No minimum credit score requirement.

    • Terms:

      1-4 weeks. Repayment dates are automatically set to your next payday.

    • Origination Fee:

      $0 for standard ACH transfers (1-3 business days)

      $1.99 - $5.99 for “express” transfers (eight hours or less)


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Our Dave review has all the details about this lender that provides short-term loans of up to $250, plus credit building services. Dave does not require a credit check.

What Is Dave?

Dave is a lender that provides short-term loans of up to $250, for people who need cash in a hurry.  

dave cash advances

When you sign up, you give Dave access to your bank account.

Since Dave can see the amount of money you have coming in, it use its proprietary software to determine a fair loan amount without checking your credit.

Dave can also predict whether or not you will overdraft your account before your next payday, and alert you so you can avoid your bank’s overdraft fee.

They also offer the ability for you to “receive” your paycheck up to two days early, and the ability to build your credit by paying your rent, through their partnership with LevelCredit. 

In addition, they also have a bunch of helpful tools for budgeting and improving your finances.

Dave doesn’t charge interest on loans, but there is a $1/month subscription fee for using their service.

Paying your loan is easy — you can pay Dave back through an automatic withdrawal on your repayment date, or manually through the app.

WARNING: You can't cancel your membership until you pay your loan!

Dave does not charge interest or late fees on their loans.

But if the funds in your bank account are not sufficient to pay the entire amount, Dave will attempt to charge your account every day (collecting partial payments, if necessary), until your balance is paid.

Also, you’ll keep paying the $1/month membership fee until you’ve paid back the loan.

Dave At a Glance

Loan AmountsUp to $250
Interest Rate0%
Minimum CreditNone
Terms1-4 weeks, depending on the next time you get paid
Origination Fee$0-$5.99, depending on how fast you need funding
Budgeting FeaturesYes
Side Hustle OpportunitiesYes
Ability to Build Credit Through Rent/Utility BillsYes
Banking OptionYes

Since we’ve given all of Dave’s features a rating, we’ll walk you through why each section received its particular score.

Interest Rate

  • dave logo
    Interest Rate
    Dave technically doesn’t charge any interest. You can’t get any lower than 0%!
    10/10

While “tips” and other fees can really increase the cost of the money you’re borrowing, Dave technically doesn’t charge any interest. 

This is why we had to give them a perfect score in the APR category — because you just can’t get any lower than 0%! 

At the end of the day, this can make Dave a much better alternative to payday loans. 

But Dave’s not out of the woods yet, we’ll speak about the subscription fee, “tips”, and expedited funds fees in the next section.

Fees

  • dave logo
    Fees
    Dave charges a subscription fee, an optional expedited funds fee, and requests tips.
    4/10

Although Dave was designed to be the everyday person’s financial friend, he sure does come with a lot of fees.

  • Subscription Fee: $1/month
  • Expedited Funds Fee (optional):, $1.00 to $5.99, depending on advance amount
  • Tips (optional): Supports the service and the charity Feeding America

One fee Dave doesn’t charge is a late fee. But, Dave won’t lend out any additional funds until the initial loan has been paid back.

Transparency

  • dave logo
    Transparency
    Dave requests “tips,” a sneaky way of increasing the cost of your loan.
    2/10

We gave Dave a 2/10 when it comes to transparency, because they offer a “tipping” feature, and because we had difficulty getting direct answers from their customer support team. 

As far as tips go, we really prefer when loan services are up front about their associated costs. 

Tipping features can really make it difficult for less financially savvy borrowers to compare the costs of Dave to other lenders. 

We also struggled to get a straight answer from Dave’s support team about the maximum loan amounts.

While the app advertises loans up to $250, that maximum amount is apparently only available to those with a Dave Spending account. 

For those without a Spending account the maximum is $100. 

Flexibility

  • dave logo
    Flexibility
    Payback terms are very clear though we wish requesting an extension was easier.
    7/10

We gave Dave a 7/10 on flexibility because they do disclose their payback terms publicly, but it doesn’t seem like they have a streamlined way to request an extension. 

According to their site, borrowers have to contact a customer service representative in order to request an extension, which isn’t exactly very simple.

Dave’s ability to give loans up to $250 makes them more likely to actually cover a sudden expense.

Other low-cost lenders have substantially lower maximum amounts — FloatMe caps loans at $50, Klover at $100.

However Dave does require the extra step of getting a Spending account to qualify for the $250 maximum.

Funding Speed

  • dave logo
    Funding Speed
    Their express service offers cash in just a few hours, though you’ll pay an additional fee.
    8/10

Dave really excels in the funding speed category. 

Although their standard ACH transfers take the typical 1-3 business days to hit your account, expedited transfers are incredibly quick. 

According to Dave, they use a faster delivery method for the express service, which gets the advance into members’ bank account in eight hours or less.

Unfortunately, they do charge an above-market rate for an expedited transfer, as we mentioned above. 

If this weren’t the case, we would have given them a perfect “10” in this category!

Accessibility

  • dave logo
    Accessibility
    There’s no credit minimum, and anyone with steady income should qualify.
    8/10

Dave received an 8/10 in the accessibility category because overall, it’s a very accessible program. 

When applying for a Dave advance, you have to connect a bank account with at least 60 days of history. 

Before giving you an advance, Dave will determine whether or not they give you a loan (and how much of a loan they’ll give you) based on a few factors, such as your anticipated income, how much money you keep in your account, and recent negative balances. 

So anyone who is employed and getting consistently paid via direct deposit should be able to get a loan from Dave. 

Those who aren’t paid on a consistent basis, such as freelancers or those in the gig economy, or those getting paid via cash or check might have difficulties getting a loan.

Side Hustle Opportunities

Dave does have some great features aside from their loan program. 

When you open the side hustle search, you’ll see a variety of side hustle categories.

dave side hustle categories

Once you choose a category, you’ll see specific opportunities for that type of work.

dave side hustle work from home

The “side hustle” category is very undersold in our opinion. It not only provides different recommendations for gig work (such as food delivery, rideshare, etc.), but it also shows listings for full-time employment as well. 

In our own experience, the full-time employment opportunities were very similar to what you might find on job finding websites, such as Monster.com or ZipRecruiter.com.

Referral Program

The Dave referral program can earn $15 for both you and a friend. If a friend that you refer to Dave takes out a loan, you’ll both get $15. 

dave refer a friend program

You’ll need to open a Dave Spending Account to get your reward.

You can refer up to five friends, for a total of $75 in referral bonuses.

Related: 90+ Referral Programs to Make Money

LevelCredit Credit Building

LevelCredit allows users to report rent, cell phone, and utility bill payments to their credit report. 

This is a great opportunity for people who are in the process of building or rebuilding credit

dave credit building

But this service it may not be as useful to those who already have a few credit cards, and practice responsible credit habits. 

When it comes to the LevelCredit partnership, it can be handy for people who are just starting or potentially restarting their credit-building journey

Programs like these probably shouldn’t be relied on for the long term. And it likely isn’t worth it for customers who already have a robust credit profile. 

When it comes to building credit, it’s hard to replicate the effect of responsible credit card usage. Having credit cards on your credit report that are paid on time, and in full is important to fostering a healthy credit score. 

Related: Our Picks for the Best Credit Cards

Goals Account

For members who need help saving and budgeting, Dave offers a “Goals Account”, where users to contribute money to a savings account with a specific targeted dollar amount. 

The Goals Account allows users to contribute money to a savings account with a specific targeted dollar amount. 

Users can set up goals for anything, including building an emergency fund, starting a family, or just taking a vacation.

Dave Banking

In 2020, Dave launched a spending account for members, called Dave Banking.

Dave Banking customers can direct deposit paychecks into the account, and get a free ATM card.

dave banking
Benefits of the spending account include:

  • No minimum balance
  • No overdraft fees
  • No ATM fees (at participating ATMs)

There is no credit check when you open an account, though you must be a member of Dave and pay the $1/month membership fee.

Existing members who have outstanding loan balances aren’t eligible.

Dave continues to offer loans to members who keep their money in other banks.

How Much Using Dave Could Cost You

We wanted to do a deeper dive into the world of fees charged by Dave, because while they don’t seem like a lot, they can end up being a pretty big share of what you ultimately pay for your loan.

We’ll explain the fees in-depth, and then we’ll run through a real-life example of how much borrowing from Dave can actually cost.

Subscription Fee

Dave charges users $1 per month for access to cash advances, which really isn’t very expensive. 

So long as you’re not using Dave as a crutch, and relying on loans every pay period, the $12 per year cost can be a great form of “overdraft fee insurance”. 

After all, accidentally overdrawing an account is a common problem that a lot of people face, and overdraft penalties are often much more than $12.

Expedited Funds Fee

Dave’s expedited funds fee is a bit higher than the industry average. 

Most payment processing and peer-to-peer payment services only charge a 1% fee (usually capped at $10) for “instant transfers”. 

Dave’s express fees are higher — in the case of small loans, much higher.

Advance AmountExpress FeeLowest Possible Fee as a Percentage
$5.00 or less$1.9939.80% (on a $5 loan)
$5.01 to $15.00$2.4916.60% (on a $15 loan)
$15.01 to $20.00$2.9914.95% (on a $20 loan)
$20.01 to $74.99$3.995.32% (on a $74.99 loan)
$75.00 to $99.99$4.994.99% (on a $99.99 loan)
$100 to $250$5.992.40% (on a $250 loan)

Some of these fees could be considered exorbitant. And even if you get the lowest possible rate by percentage — $5.99 for an expedited transfer of $250 — works out to a 2.4% fee. That’s more than double the industry standard.

Tips

When users borrow money from Dave, they are encouraged to leave a “tip”. 

Users can leave Dave a tip ranging from 0% – 25% of the borrowed amount, and are enticed to leave a tip because according to Dave, they “provide a meal [through Feeding America] for every % you tip”. 

It’s important to remember that the tip you leave for Dave is part of the interest rate you’re paying for the loan. 

While “tipping” sounds great, users should keep in mind that you’re not helping out a college student that’s waiting tables to make ends meet when you’re tipping Dave. 

Dave’s investors include some of the wealthiest people in the world, such as billionaire Mark Cuban.

According to a press release put out by Dave:

Dave has been backed by world-class investors including Norwest, Section 32, Capital One, Mark Cuban Companies, The Kraft Group, SV Angel and The Chernin Group. The company’s board of directors includes Jason Wilk; Dan Preston, CEO of Metromile; Bill Maris, Google Ventures Founder; Parker Barrile, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners; and Mark Cuban.

At the end of the day, you’re selecting the amount of money you want to give to a well-funded company and its wealthy owners. 

If you’re leaving him a 25% “tip” every time you borrow from him, you’re actively setting yourself back financially, and you’re probably better off borrowing from a traditional payday loan lender.

You always have the option to leave a 0% tip, which can truly make Dave an inexpensive way to avoid overdraft fees. 

Dave’s Fees: A Real World Example

Now that we’ve run through all of the fees that Dave charges, we’ll take you through a real-life example that shows how much you’re actually paying for a loan from Dave.

In this example, we’ll assume that you have the subscription for one year, and only borrowed $250 — but you needed it quickly, so you paid an expedited funds fee. 

In this case, you would have paid $12 for the subscription, and $5.99 to get your money quickly. 

Assuming that you left Dave a 0% “tip”, you would have paid around 7.2% for your loan, which isn’t cheap, but it’s much cheaper than a traditional payday loan lender. 

But if you were feeling generous and left Dave a 15% “tip”, you would end up paying roughly 22.2% for your loan.

This table compares the cost of tipping vs. not tipping.

Tipping vs. Not Tipping
Loan Amount$250$250
Subscription Fee$12$12
Express Fee$5.99$5.99
Tip0% ($0.00)15% ($37.50)
Total Cost of Loan$17.99$55.49
Effective Fee Percentage7.2%22.2%

By tipping the standard 15%, you’re tripling the cost of your loan from a reasonable 7.2% to a 22.2%. 

This illustrates how expensive tipping Dave can be!

How to Sign Up for Dave

Here’s how to get a Dave account.

Step 1: Download the Dave App.

step 1 download dave app

Step 2: Tap “Get Started”.

Step 3: Add personal information.

Step 4: Verify your mobile phone number.

step 4 dave app signup verify your mobile phone number

Step 5: Create and confirm a passcode.

step 5 dave app signup create a passcode

Step 6: Verify your email address.

step 6 dave app signup verify your email

Step 7: Use Dave! Now you can request a loan or open a Dave spending account. 

step 7 dave app signup use dave

How to Apply for a Loan on Dave

These are the steps to getting a loan on Dave.

Step 1: On the Advances tab, tap Get cash now to link a bank account.

dave cash advances

You will need to follow a series of steps to link you account.

Then return to the Advances tab.

Step 2: Tap Get cash now to start the process.

dave loan application verified start screen

Step 3: Answer the verification questions, then tap Apply for an advance.

dave loan application questions

Step 4: Select the amount for your advance.

dave loan application select amount

Step 5: Note the auto-payback date and tap confirm.

dave loan application payback date

Step 6: Add a debit card.

dave loan application add debit card

Step 7: Select an optional tip amount.

dave loan application tip amount

Step 8: Select a delivery option.

dave application process select delivery option

Step 9: Confirm the request.

dave loan application confirmation

Dave Consumer Reviews

Although Dave sounds like a halfway decent way to get some quick cash, it’s important to take a look at what actual users are saying about the service. 

Dave has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since August of 2019, and they have a “B” rating, which seems pretty good by itself. 

Dave customers tell a different story.

There are 250 customer reviews for Dave, with an average rating of just 1.28 / 5. 

This goes without saying, but it seems that Dave’s got a terrible reputation with its customers. 

In the past three years, there have been over 1,200 complaints filed against Dave through the Better Business Bureau. 

Here’s what some of them are saying about Dave.

ReviewerIssueMy Take
Dusky C - 11/18/2021Dusky claims that Dave continued to charge him, even after canceling the service, and they refuse to refund him.While we don’t know the whole situation, we do know that subscription-based companies tend to make it difficult for customers to cancel. It’s entirely possible that Dusky didn’t go through the entire cancellation process.
Cynyhia C - 11/17/2021Cynyhia says that she was only approved for a $5 advance.Although this is unfortunate, Dave can only lend out what they think users can pay back. At the end of the day, lending companies need to expose themselves to as little risk as possible.
David M - 11/06/2021He claims that Dave customer service reps made it very difficult to close out his account.This seems to be the theme with many reviews. As we mentioned above, subscription-based companies are unfortunately financially incentivized to make canceling very difficult.
Kristy H - 11/01/2021In her review, she complains about her bad experience with Dave’s customer service phone line.Unfortunately, the customer service phone lines for many growing companies provide less than stellar support. It is important to note though, that a Dave representative provided a contact email for someone on their “dedicated escalation team” via a reply on the BBB’s site.
Kelly S - 10/27/2021Kelly claims that Dave will not give her access to cash advances, yet still charges her $1 per month for the subscription fee.If her claims are true (there is no way of verifying), then it’s likely that there are plenty of other people in the same situation. Dave charging for a service that they won’t let people use definitely doesn’t look good on their part.
Christopher W - 10/27/2021He claims that his bank account was hacked shortly after taking advantage of Dave’s feature that allows users to access their paycheck early. He hasn’t been able to recover the ~$900 stolen.Unfortunately, there is no way of telling which party was at fault, however, we certainly understand the pain that Christopher is going through. This really demonstrates the importance of paying with a credit card though. Oftentimes, it’s easier to deal with a credit card company than a traditional bank when it comes to fraudulent charges.
Kim R - 10/23/2021Kim loves Dave and got her cash advance right before she would have overdrawn her account.Although reviews like this one are few and far between, we’re glad to see that people are actually finding Dave to be a helpful app that saves them money.

Dave Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Low Cost: Dave has the potential to provide overdraft protection for as little as $12 per year.
  • Potential for Fast Delivery: Users can get the funds they need in just a few hours (for a fee).
  • Extra Features: The Dave app helps users save up for their life goals and earn additional income through side hustles.
  • Non-Payroll Direct Deposits Can Qualify: Any type of consistent deposit into an account may qualify, even if it’s not from an employer.

Cons

  • Multiple Fees: While Dave doesn’t charge an interest rate, their subscription fee and optional expediting fee can add up quickly if users don’t monitor them.
  • Pressure to Tip: The tipping feature can be incredibly misleading (and expensive) for less financially savvy borrowers.
  • Potential to Encourage Dependency on Loans: The use of payday loan apps can foster an unhealthy habit of spending more than you earn, and Dave can possibly make it too easy to access quick, borrowed funds.

Alternatives to Dave

 DaveEarninBrigitFig Loans
 
Best For
  • People who want to avoid overdraft fees.
  • Employed people who need quick cash.
  • People who need loans and budgeting tools.
  • People who want to raise their credit score.
Loan Amounts
  • Up to $250
  • Up to $500
  • Up to $250
  • Up to $750
Interest Rate
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 100%-500%
Minimum Credit
  • No minimum
  • No minimum
  • No minimum
  • No minimum
Terms
  • Until your next payday
  • Until your next payday
  • Assigned at time of loan
  • 4-6 months
Origination Fee
  • $1/month
  • None
  • $9.99/month
  • None listed
Funding Speed
  • Up to 3 days
  • A few minutes
  • 1-2 days
  • Within one hour
Credit Check
  • Soft
  • Soft
  • Soft
  • Soft
 

Is Dave Worth It?

Dave charges a $1/month subscription fee to access their loan and other services. Will this be worth it to you?

Who Dave Is Good For

Dave would be good for someone who finds themselves frequently needing to pay bills just before they get paid.

Dave’s relatively high loan amount — up to $250 — could be enough to keep you from missing a credit card payment, or not having enough to cover rent.

Who Dave Is Not Good For

If you’re looking for a loan that will get you out of debt or help you pay for a big purchase, Dave isn’t going to be much help.

Loans are capped at $250, so they’re really only for making ends meet until payday.

How Did Dave Work Out For You?

If you’re being bombarded with overdraft fees and decide to try Dave, let us know how it went in the comments. Everyone’s experience will be a little bit different, and future readers can benefit from what you learn.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will applying for Dave affect my credit score?

    Applying for Dave will not affect your credit score.

    Dave does not pull a hard inquiry on your credit when requesting a loan with them.

    This means that there won’t be a ding to your credit.

  • Does Dave have a minimum credit score requirement?

    Dave doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. But they do have some requirements when it comes to your banking history, which we discuss in the next answer.

  • Can I use Dave to build my credit?

    You will not be able to build credit strictly by borrowing money from Dave.

    They do not report your on-time payments to credit bureaus.

    However, their partnership with LevelCredit allows you to report rent, cell phone, and utility bill payments to major credit bureaus, which will help you build credit.

  • Can I change my due date with Dave?

    Due dates are automatically set to the user’s next payday.

    However, if this won’t work for you, Dave encourages users to call a customer service representative in order to work out a more favorable term.

 

Author:

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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