Cash advance apps

Dave App 2024 Review: Cash Advances

Dave’s ExtraCash advance may require more effort — and expense — than it’s worth. The app requires users to open a checking account, pay a membership fee and take extra steps to get an advance.
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Written by Annie Millerbernd
Assistant Assigning Editor
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Edited by Kim Lowe
Lead Assigning Editor
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Dave
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Affordability

Structure

Transparency

Underwriting and consumer protections

Customer experience


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Dave app’s ExtraCash feature provides users an advance on their paycheck to cover small emergencies, like a car repair or broken appliance, or to bridge an income gap. Unlike some of its competitors, Dave provides advances to part-time or temporary workers who don’t receive regular paychecks.

Though users can get advances up to $500 — larger than some competitors’ offerings — Dave’s fast funding fees can be high compared to other apps. Users must also open a checking account with Dave in order to use ExtraCash. Compare Dave to other cash advance apps, and consider alternative options before you borrow.

Pros

Advances up to $500.

Tries not to overdraw accounts.

Caps tips at 25% of advance.

Allows users to extend repayment date.

Cons

Potentially high fees for same-day funding.

Mandatory $1 monthly subscription fee.

Users must have a Dave checking account.

Dave cash advance basics: Amounts, fees and funding time

How much can I borrow from Dave?

  • Up to $500.

What fees does Dave charge?

  • Subscription fee: $1 per month.

  • Optional fast-funding fee: $3 to $25.

  • Optional tip: Up to 25% of the amount borrowed.

How do you repay Dave?

  • Withdrawn from your bank account on the date Dave determines to be your next payday or the first Friday after you receive the advance.

How long does it take to get a cash advance from Dave?

  • Without paying an express fee: Up to 3 business days.

  • With an express fee: Up to an hour.

A word of caution: Users of cash advance apps, including Dave, may risk becoming dependent on loans to cover regular expenses — a cycle of debt that’s difficult to break. It’s a good idea to consider affordable alternatives before getting an advance from Dave.

Who Dave is best for

  • Users who want same-day cash with low fees.

  • Consumers with consistent income — even if it's not on a regular schedule — and a checking account that receives deposits.

  • Borrowers who can use their next paycheck to cover the money owed to Dave as well as other regular expenses.

  • Those who don't regularly spend more than they earn.

What you need for a Dave advance

The company says it tries to make advances accessible to anyone, including those living paycheck to paycheck. Dave doesn’t require regular paychecks via direct deposit to qualify.

Like other cash advance apps, the Dave app reviews users’ checking accounts for spending habits and income history to determine whether they qualify for an advance and how much. The app also reviews returning customers’ repayment history to decide how much they can borrow.

To get an ExtraCash advance from Dave, you need:

  • At least three recurring bank account deposits.

  • Monthly deposits amounting to at least $1,000.

  • A minimum history of 60 days with your bank account.

  • To pass an identity verification and fraud detection.

  • A Social Security number.

  • To be at least 18 years old.

  • To live in the United States.

How to get a Dave cash advance: Step-by-step instructions

Here are the steps to get an ExtraCash advance:

  1. Create a profile in the Dave app.

  2. Link an external checking account.

  3. Open a Dave checking account and an ExtraCash account, where the advance comes from.

  4. Request an advance and see what you’re approved for.

  5. The ExtraCash account balance starts at $0. When you take an advance, the approved amount transfers from your ExtraCash account, making the balance negative, to your checking account. The account balance remains negative until you repay the advance.

  6. Optionally, add a tip or fast funding fee. The fee amount depends on the size of your advance.

  7. On your repayment date, Dave brings the balance to $0 by withdrawing money from the checking account where your paychecks are deposited.

Frequently asked questions about Dave

Can I change my Dave ExtraCash due date?

Yes. Users can request an extension of up to 30 days, according to Dave. Extensions are approved on a case-by-case basis, but the company says users must request an extension at least two days before their due date.

Will Dave’s ExtraCash cause an overdraft fee?

The Dave app does not take more money than is in a user’s account, the company says, but its terms and conditions say that the app isn’t responsible if it causes you to overdraft your primary checking account. Instead, if your balance is lower than the amount owed on your due date the company will withdraw whatever amount is available. The app will do this up to twice a day until you’ve repaid the advance.

For example, if you owe $100 but only have $20 in your account on your due date, Dave will withdraw $20 and continue to debit available money from the account until the $100 is paid.

How do I contact Dave’s customer service?

You can contact Dave’s customer service by phone, email, a contact form on the website or the app’s chat feature. The company also replies to users who reach out on X, formerly Twitter.

Is Dave Legit?

Dave is a real company based in Los Angeles. It has offered cash advances since its founding in 2017. The app has 4.3 stars across more than 500,000 reviews on Google Play and 4.8 stars across more than 650,000 reviews on the Apple App Store.

Recent customer complaints to the Better Business Bureau focus on unauthorized debits, eligibility issues and unexpected fees. Recent complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau focus on account management.

A closer look at Dave's star rating

Affordability: 2.5/4 stars

An affordable cash advance has low or no fees, caps tips and protects users from overdraft fees caused by the app’s withdrawals.

Structure: 3/4 stars

A well-structured app has a large enough maximum borrowing amount to meet users’ needs, can provide funds quickly without charging a fee and allows users repayment flexibility.

Transparency: 4/4 stars

A transparent cash advance app notifies users before withdrawals, discloses fees clearly to borrowers on their website or in the app and shows the total amount the user needs to repay before providing funds.

Underwriting and consumer protections: 1.5/4 stars

This category assesses how well an app helps borrowers avoid borrowing an advance that will overextend their finances. A consumer-first cash advance app reviews more than a couple months of borrowers’ expenses, requires regular bank account deposits and lets borrowers choose how much to borrow.

Customer experience: 3.5/4 stars

A well-rated cash advance app with multiple ways to contact customer service representatives and a thorough FAQ on its website will do well in this category.

Discretionary additions or deductions

Cash advance apps can earn a higher star rating by offering features that help borrowers build savings or credit. Apps’ star ratings are lowered if they are accused of engaging in deceptive or predatory practices by reputable sources.

Expert take on Dave

"It's hard to recommend Dave outright because the fees can be so high with this app. Lots of apps charge fast-funding fees, but few apps even come close to charging $25 for the service. Other apps also ask for optional tips, but Dave's 25% maximum is comparatively high.

If you can look past those optional fees, then it's a solid cash advance app. Users generally give the app high marks in the Apple and Google Play app stores, and $500 is on the high end of what you can borrow from this type of app."

Annie Millerbernd, Assistant Assigning Editor, Personal Loans

Explore more cash advance apps

Brigit

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Advance amounts

$50 to $250.

Fees

  • Monthly subscription fee: $9.99 or $14.99.

  • Optional fast-funding fee: $0.99 to $3.99.

Repayment

Withdrawn from your bank account on the date Brigit determines to be your next payday.

Time to fund without express fee

1 to 3 days.

Time to fund with express fee

20 minutes.

Empower

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Advance amounts

$10 to $300 for first-time users. Returning customers may be approved for advances up to $350.

Fees

  • Subscription fee: $8 per month, or $0 if you opt out.

  • Optional fast-funding fee: $1 to $10.50.

  • Optional tip: Up to 20% per advance, capped each calendar year at your eligible advance amount.

Repayment

Withdrawn from your bank account on your predetermined due date.

Time to fund without express fee

One business day.

Time to fund with express fee

Within one hour.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews and rates cash advance products from financial companies that provide cash advance apps. We collect over 24 data points from each company, verify the information with company representatives and compare the app with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar cash advance product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

The maximum allowable rating for cash advance apps that we review is four stars. Our star ratings award points to cash advance apps that offer consumer-friendly features, including: caps on voluntary tips, protections from overdraft fees caused by app withdrawals, low cost of borrowing and an assessment of the user’s finances before providing an advance. The system also rewards points for features that a consumer seeking an advance would find useful, such as: fast funding without a fee, allowing users to borrow less than they were approved for and customer ratings. Additional points are awarded to apps that provide pathways to budgeting and saving, which are features that can help prevent a user from habitually reborrowing. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important for consumers and how they impact consumers’ experiences.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

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