DALLAS — We've all read the headlines, and more often than not, you're told not to lend money to family members.
Financial experts say it could lead to financial problems for you or even damage the relationship.
But, let's face it – everyone needs a financial lifeline from time to time.
For that reason, financial expert, Dennis Cail wanted to find a solution to the problem. So, he co-founded Zirtue.
It is a free and safe option to lend funds between friends and family members, interest free.
He also wanted to increase the likelihood that lenders will receive their money back.
"Zirtue is the world's first relationship-based lending application that formalizes and simplifies loans between family, and we automate the repayment process," Cail said. "We also give borrowers the option to pay their creditors direct, using those borrowed funds."
It is an app born out of necessity, as well. For years, the Navy veteran said he watched how lenders with high interest rates and pay day loan storefronts would inundate his neighborhoods, so he wanted to change that by ensuring that the Zirtue app drives financial inclusion.
"That's when it just hit me in that moment - that all these predatory lenders are targeting every demographic that I've been apart of, which is minority, low income and military veterans," Cail said. "Zirtue is all about financial inclusion and financial responsibility, so we put guardrails around what people can do and not do on the app."
For example, if you're borrowing money for the first time, you can only borrow up to $1,000 and you can only have three outstanding loans at any given time.
"You have to pay those back before you can get any money, so there are a lot of different guardrails that we put around the application to make sure people aren't sending out 20, 30 loan requests and overextending themselves."
Even as the co-founder of the Zirtue app, Dennis still encouraged people not to lend money to family and friends.
He knows it sounds counterintuitive with this app, but he said the truth is, we are already doing this.
He shared some of his data with WFAA, and according to numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank, Americans lend and borrow over $200 billion between one another every year.
Cail said his app's goal isn't to convince you to get a loan, but if you do, why not do it in a meaningful and responsible way?
You can learn more about Zirtue here.