Date Released: FTC-PR-240124-1

January 24, 2024


FTC-PR-240124-1 – FTC Acts to Stop FloatMe’s Deceptive ‘Free Money’ Promises, Discriminatory Cash Advance Practices, and Baseless Claims around Algorithmic Underwriting – Order requires FloatMe to provide $3 million for refunds, clean up advertising, halt use of dark patterns to impede cancellation, and institute a fair lending program


The Federal Trade Commission is charging online cash advance provider FloatMe and its co-founders with using empty promises of quick and free cash advances to entice consumers to join its service, only to fail to deliver the promised advance amounts, make it difficult to cancel, and discriminate against consumers who receive public assistance. FloatMe is also being charged with making baseless claims that cash advance limits would be increased by an algorithm or another automated system.

Under the terms of a settlement order, FloatMe, as well as its co-founders Joshua Sanchez and Ryan Cleary, are required to provide $3 million to be used to refund customers, stop the company’s deceptive marketing, make it easier for consumers to cancel their subscriptions, and institute a fair lending program.

“FloatMe lured consumers in with false promises of free money advances, and then used dark patterns to make it difficult for consumers to cancel,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC will continue to hold companies accountable for unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory credit practices, whether they call their products loans, advances, income-share agreements or something else.”

In its complaint against FloatMe, the FTC says that the company charged consumers $1.99 per month to join the app, and promised that consumers could access up to $50 in cash advances instantly as part of their membership.

The FTC said, however, that consumers were only able to access $20 in advances when they signed up and were charged a $4 fee if they wanted to get cash “instantly,” otherwise they had to wait up to three days for the promised funds. This stood in contrast to FloatMe’s ads that said consumers could get “emergency funds” for free “within minutes.”

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[Date Accessed: 3/4/2024]

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