Recently, we looked into the startup Debbie, a "rewards platform for debt payoff" that launched in 2021. While we have seen the core concept of the app – debt repayment and financial security – many many times already, we found that Debbie adds an interesting perspective to the mix, and a few creative perks for their users.
The premise of Debbie is to motivate people to pay off their debt through offering cashback and weekly psychology money lessons. According to the website, Debbie uses positive reinforcement in the form of earning legitimate cashback rewards after reaching specific payment milestones and offering opportunities to refinance rates, thereby encouraging users to commit to consistently paying off debt instead of offering “quick fix” solutions. Their process follows these steps:
We haven’t seen a lot of fintech start-ups focused solely on debt, so Debbie has the potential to become a strong presence within the start-up world. We also haven’t seen debt management platforms using a rewards-based strategy, so that also makes Debbie unique in our minds.
The Debbie website is pretty well organized and easy to navigate. We especially liked the “Our Manifesto” section under the “About Us” tab that explains their philosophy and compares the principles of debt payment with the principles of weight loss. Both need a positive, educational, and long-term approach.
This one was tough, because when we actually tried to sign up to start using Debbie, we were put on a waiting list instead of being able to get going right away. In order to get on the waiting list, we had to answer a few personal questions about ourselves that were posed in a very friendly tone. Without an explanation about why we’re on a waiting list (or how long it will be to actually be able to use the app), we’re not super motivated to wait around to be approved.
Unfortunately since we haven’t been able to actually try the app, we can’t give it our recommendation. We like the idea, and it seems like it would be a good tool for people who have debt to pay off based on our experience with the website and starting the sign-up process, but we can’t confirm yet.
In the weeks to come, we’ll be reviewing other fintech start-ups that have popped up on our radar. Stay tuned for more!