Need access to emergency funds fast? If you don’t have an emergency savings fund, then applying for a short-term payday loan may be your best option.
Payday loans have become increasingly popular over the past few years due to their simplicity and accessibility. While they typically have high-interest rates, they’re a good last resort to keep in mind.
Below, I’ll give you my full Apple Tree Cash review, mention the benefits and downsides of the company, and share a few alternatives to look into as well.
Online payday loan service based out of Toronto, ON
- Simple application process
- You can usually get your money the same day
- No early repayment penalties
- The website is very outdated
- Loan rates aren’t transparent
- Shady business address
- High late fees
- Poor customer service reports
Apple Tree Cash: Overview
Apple Tree Cash is a Toronto-based payday loan provider. According to the company’s website, the lender has been in business since 2016. However, during this time, the company has received mixed (and often negative) reviews.
If you’ve never applied for a payday loan before, here’s a quick brief on how they work:
- You apply for a small loan (between $100 and $1,500)
- You’ll undergo a “soft” credit check, which doesn’t hurt your credit
- Instead, your recent paycheque stubs are used to verify your income
- Your next paycheque(s) serve as collateral for the loan
When you apply for the loan, you typically authorize the lender to take an automatic debit from your bank account the next day that you get paid. The principal balance will be withdrawn along with any admin fees and interest (which average $17 for every $100 borrowed).
In some cases, larger payday loans may be broken up into multiple installments. These typically come with very high interest, though, so you should avoid these.
Apple Tree Cash claims to have an incredibly simple loan application process.
After completing a brief questionnaire, you’ll receive approval or denial for your loan within 5 minutes. Once approved, your funds should hit your account within two business days.
The requirements for Apple Tree Cash approval are very low and are as follows:
- Be at least 19 years of age
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Have a job for a minimum of 90 days
- Earn a monthly income of at least $500 after taxes
- Possess a valid chequing account in your name
- Provide a valid email address and current home and work phone numbers
As I mentioned, Apple Tree Cash has some mixed reviews. If the company’s managed to stay in business since 2016, it presumably must have some satisfied clients. However, online reviews of the service tend to weigh toward the negative end of the scale.
To be fair, though, I’ll outline a few of the benefits that Apple Tree Cash offers based on the information provided on their website.
First off, Apple Tree Cash has very few requirements for its borrowers. Looking at the eligibility requirements, most Canadians should be approved without any issues. As long as you’re a legal adult, have a bank account, are a Canadian resident, and earn at least $500 per month, you should be eligible for a payday loan
Low lending requirements are standard for payday loans. By law, payday loans are capped at $1,500, which makes them relatively low-risk loans for lenders. Additionally, the amount of interest payday lenders earn on the loans far outweighs the risk they incur.
Apple Tree Cash doesn’t impose any early repayment (also called prepayment) penalties on its customers. This means you can reduce your total interest by paying the loan back early, before your payday.
Some lenders penalize borrowers for paying back their loans early and require them to pay the same interest as if they had paid it back on the agreed-upon date.
Apple Tree Cash typically sends funds on the same day with an Interac e-Transfer. All you need to do is provide the email address associated with your primary bank account and approve the transfer.
This eliminates the need to complete a direct deposit form with your bank account and routing numbers.
That being said, the company does allow traditional direct deposit disbursement if you aren’t comfortable with an Interac e-Transfer. However, it’s worth noting that these may not be processed on the same day.
Related Reading: World Financial Group (WFG) Review: Scam or Legit?
Unfortunately, Apple Tree Cash has quite a few more downsides and red flags than the benefits it offers. Now that you’ve had a chance to see the benefits offered by the company let’s dig a bit deeper into the not-so-great aspects of this lender.
The first thing I realized when visiting the Apple Tree Cash website was how outdated it appears. I mean, it’s really outdated:
According to one Reddit user, the website “Looks like it was made in 1999 by someone who took a weekend class at The Learning Annex.”
I couldn’t agree more.
In today’s day and age, anybody can create a simple, beautiful website in an hour using platforms like Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and WordPress, which all come with pre-made themes.
The fact that the company didn’t even take the extra time to make a nice website says a lot about its commitment to quality (or lack thereof).
Another major red flag – Apple Tree Cash doesn’t offer transparent rates on its payday loans. Variable rates aren’t new, but many payday lenders at least offer a range or an average to give borrowers an idea of how much interest they can expect to pay back on their loans.
Apple Tree Cash only offers one sentence regarding its loan rates –
“The cost of borrowing varies by province.”
Based on the lack of transparency, I can only assume that the company charges the highest legal interest rates.
Browsing through the r/PersonalFinanceCanada Subreddit, it appears that Apple Tree Cash might have very poor customer service. One user claimed that they called multiple times with no pickup or callback, and were never given the opportunity to leave a message days after applying for their loan.
This is anecdotal of course,
Looking on the company’s website, their listed address is:
- 100 Cumberland Street
After looking up the address, though, it belongs to a restaurant called Sassafraz:
This means that either the business address is outdated and no longer accurate or that it’s simply a mailing address that rarely gets checked. Either way, this is a major red flag considering that the company claims to be a legitimate lender.
Like many other payday lenders, Apple Tree Cash imposes rather costly late fees on its customers. All late fees or returned payments incur a $25 fee. Additionally, 30% interest will be charged on the loan if you fail to repay it on time.
Unfortunately, Apple Tree Cash seems to have more downsides than upsides. Here are a couple of alternatives that are more trustworthy.
- Learn more: get pre-approved
Loan Connect offers pre-approval in as little as 60 seconds without any hard credit pulls. The company automatically pairs you with Canadian lenders that best fit your needs, so you can compare loans side-by-side.
Whether you’re looking for debt consolidation loans, auto loans, medical expense loans, or a simple payday loan, this platform will help pair you with reputable lenders.
- Learn more: get pre-approved
Loans Canada is similar to Loan Connect but focuses on pairing customers with business loans, personal loans, car loans, and debt relief loans. The platform has been featured in Yahoo Finance, CBC News, and Greedyrates and has established a great reputation for itself.
The low-quality website and its lack of accurate information are enough reasons for me to stay away from Apple Tree Cash. Even if the company is legitimate, the service is likely far inferior to other similar payday loan providers.
Have you done business with Apple Tree Cash before? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
For some expenses, a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) program may be better. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of BNPL!