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6 Paycheck Advance Apps If You Need a Cash Advance

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Apps that let you borrow money without fees or a credit check may sound too good to be true, but paycheck advance apps are a growing product in the financial services industry.  Often, these smartphone apps let you borrow funds from your next paycheck without charging interest or conducting a credit check.

Of course, caution is key anytime you borrow money, so be sure to think through your plan to repay the loan before proceeding. And as you consider if a paycheck advance is right for you, here’s our list of six such apps for if you find yourself in a financial emergency:

Lender Interest Fees Cash advance limit Funding timeline
Earnin None None Up to $500 Instant, same day or next business day
Klover None None Up to $100 Standard: 1 to 3 business days; Immediate debit: Same day
Dave None $1/monthly membership fee Up to $250 Standard: Up to 3 business days; Express: Less than 8 hours
MoneyLion None None Up to $250 RoarMoney account: 1 to 2 days; External account: 2 to 5 days
Brigit None None or $9.99/month for Brigit Plus Up to $250 Brigit Plus: Within 20 minutes; Standard: 1 to three days
Chime None None Up to $200 Up to five business days
Plus: Alternatives to paycheck advance apps | Making it to the next paycheck

Important: Legitimacy of paycheck advance apps

Paycheck advance apps can be an alternative to taking out a personal loan or using a credit card in an emergency.

However, keep in mind that if you need to borrow money before payday every time you get paid, it may signal deeper financial issues. You may need to consider financial counseling or create a budget for yourself to better manage your money.

Paycheck advance apps can also come with fees or other expenses that can dig you into an even deep financial hole, so make sure that you don’t regularly spend more than you earn.

Earnin

Earnin key takeaways
Interest or fees None, but voluntary tips are accepted
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $500 after continued use of the app
Funding timeline
  • Cash out: Same day or next business day.
  • Lightning speed: Instant funding with a connected debit card.
Eligibility requirements To use Earnin, you must have…

  • A checking account where at least 50% of your earnings are directly deposited.
  • A regular pay schedule (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly).
  • A fixed work location or paper/electronic timesheets.

Earnin is a popular paycheck advance app that lets users borrow up to $100 a day and up to $500 during each pay period — the largest cash advance limit of any app on this list.

In lieu of charging interest and other fees, the app works on a voluntary tip system. Just keep in mind that regular tips add up. A 10% tip on a $40 withdrawal may seem like a small price to pay if you need cash in an emergency, but tipping $4 here and there just to access earned wages before payday can add up.

Who Earnin is best for

Earnin is a free app with a few advantages over other paycheck advance apps. Its expedited funding feature is free to use, as long as your bank supports this option and you link your debit card.

Depending on your wages, your borrowing limit can be up to $500 after continued use of the app. Earnin is a reliable choice, but make sure you aren’t spending more than you can afford on tips.

Klover

Klover key takeaways
Interest or fees None
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $100
Funding timeline
  • Standard: 1 to 3 business days (free)
  • Immediate debit: Same day ($1.99-$14.98)
Eligibility requirements To use Klover, you must have…

  • A bank account with three consistent direct deposits within the past two months from the same employer.

Like Earnin, Klover is a paycheck advance app that offers interest-free cash advances from the money you’ve already earned at work. There’s no credit check, and some users may be eligible to borrow up to $100 in minutes.

Whereas Earnin makes its money from tips, Klover makes its money by leveraging your anonymized financial data. When you download Klover, you opt into its Truth in Data agreement. Your data is used for advertising and anonymous market research, but the app does not share or sell any personal or identifiable information.

Who Klover is best for

Klover is a simple app that offers cash advances as well as other financial tools, such as spending insights and overdraft protection.

As long as your bank is supported by Klover, it’s worth the free download. Plus, if there were an award for best-looking financial app, Klover would win by a landslide.

Dave

Dave key takeaways
Interest or fees No interest; $1 monthly membership fee
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $250
Funding timeline
  • Standard: Up to 3 business days for free.
  • Express: Less than 8 hours for a small fee.
Eligibility requirements To use Dave, you must have…

  • A checking account with direct deposits through a bank supported by Dave.
  • A paycheck directly deposited to your account on consistent dates.
  • Enough funds after your next paycheck to repay Dave.

Dave is a banking app that offers paycheck advances up to $250 as well as credit-building services and automatic budgeting tools.

While Dave isn’t free, the app charges a modest $1 monthly membership fee for its suite of services. It also charges a small fee for “Express” funding so you can get your advance in less than eight hours, compared with its free funding option that could take up to three days.

Who Dave is best for

Unlike some other apps on this list, Dave charges a monthly membership fee as well as an extra fee for “Express” funding for your advance. It’s not always feasible to wait up to three days for a paycheck advance when you have an immediate need for money.

Overall, Dave is a good choice if you don’t like the user experience offered by free apps like Earnin or Klover, and you don’t mind paying extra for some of its features.

MoneyLion

MoneyLion key takeaways
Interest or fees None
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $250
Funding timeline Regular delivery

  • To your RoarMoney account: 1 to 2 days for free.
  • To an external checking account: 2 to 5 business days for free.

Turbo (instant) delivery

  • To your RoarMoney account: $0.99-$5.99.
  • To an external checking account or debit card: $1.99-$7.99.
Eligibility requirements To use MoneyLion Instacash, you must have…

  • An active checking account with a positive balance that’s been open for at least two months.
  • A history of income/paychecks directly deposited to your linked account (typically three consecutive direct deposits).

At $250, MoneyLion offers one of the highest cash advance limits among all the paycheck advance apps on this list. Plus, MoneyLion offers a full spread of financial services in addition to cash advances, including:

  • Cryptocurrency roundups
  • Credit builder loans
  • Refunds if you find lower prices for your purchases
  • Financial tracking
  • Cashback rewards

To access all the features available on the MoneyLion app, you’ll have to open a RoarMoney account. There’s no credit check involved in opening an account, but MoneyLion will need to verify your identity with your Social Security number, address and date of birth.

Who MoneyLion is best for

If you’re searching for a more full-service financial wellness app, then MoneyLion could be a good choice. That’s because MoneyLion’s cash advance feature is best utilized if you have a RoarMoney debit account.

However, MoneyLion is still an option even if you just need a cash advance, but keep in mind that funding times will be longer, and you’ll have to pay more for expedited funding.

Brigit

Brigit key takeaways
Interest or fees Free or $9.99 monthly membership fee required for Plus account; no interest
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $250
Funding timeline
  • 1-3 days: Free, typically in one to three business days
  • Instantly: Receive cash within 20 minutes; must be subscribed to Brigit Plus account ($9.99/month).
Eligibility requirements To use Brigit for cash advances, you must have…

  • A checking account with a positive balance that’s been active for at least 60 days.
  • At least three recurring direct deposits from the same employer.
  • A history of maintaining a positive balance around payday.

Brigit is another full-service financial app that offers a whole host of tools, from credit and identity monitoring to budgeting and spending tracking.

While there’s a free iteration of the Brigit app, you’ll have to sign up for Brigit Plus to be eligible for the cash advance feature. Brigit Plus costs $9.99 per month, putting it at the higher end when it comes to the cost of borrowing.

Who Brigit is best for

If for some reason, you simply don’t like any of the free apps mentioned on this list, Brigit could be a good option should you need a paycheck advance.

If you want more features like credit monitoring and budgeting insights, then the $9.99 per month fee for Brigit Plus may be worth it. However, if you only need some money to tide you over, then you have free options that are likely to work just fine as long as you’re employed and you have a checking account.

Chime

Chime key takeaways
Interest or fees None
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $200
Funding timeline Up to five business days
Eligibility requirements To use Chime, you must…

  • Have your information confirmed by a third party
  • Have received a direct deposit of $1 or more from one of the following:
    • Employer/payroll provider
    • Gig economy payer
    • Government benefits

Not only does Chime offer checking and high-yield savings accounts, but it also offers a secured credit card for those looking to beef up their credit score. Unfortunately, it can take up to five business days for funds to transfer using Chime, making it one of the slowest timelines on our list.

Chime offers paycheck advance services via a program called SpotMe. SpotMe acts as an overdraft protection for your account, up to $200, which provides you with a buffer should you overspend during a pay period.

Who Chime is best for

If you’re someone who lives paycheck to paycheck and worries about overdrawing on your banking accounts, Chime might be a good fit for you with its lack of fees and SpotMe coverage. SpotMe may help you to avoid getting stuck with overdraft fees from your bank.

Chime may also be helpful if your credit rating could use some work and struggle to qualify for unsecured types of credit. However, a secured form of credit comes with its risks as well as a lender can seize the collateral you put down.

Alternatives to paycheck advance apps

Signing up for paycheck advance apps comes with its pitfalls, so it’s important to weigh other options as well that may prove to be a better fit for your financial situation. Here are several examples of other routes you could take instead of using paycheck advance apps:

  • Personal loan: If taking on a personal loan sounds intimidating, consider taking out a small loan to cover expenses. Many lenders offer personal loans as low as $1,000 at low APR rates, depending on your credit score. For those whose credit scores could use some polishing, bad credit loans are also available to help you increase your rating.
  • Credit card: While credit cards, like personal loans, can come with high interest rates, you may qualify for 0% intro APR rates. These promotions can range from 12 to 21 months. This means within that specified time period, you can charge expenses to your credit card without incurring interest. However, once the promotional period ends, interest will be applied to whatever is not paid off on the card.
  • Borrow from friends and family: Borrowing from friends and family comes with its own set of drawbacks, such as potentially creating resentment between both parties if the loan isn’t repaid back on time, if at all. However, by borrowing from loved ones, you may be able to avoid interest and fees depending on the agreement you settle on. To avoid

Making it to the next paycheck

While paycheck advance apps may come in handy temporarily, if you’re sweating profusely between each paycheck, a closer look at your finances may be in order. If you’re struggling to make basic ends meet, it may be time to seek assistance from a debt counseling service, which is often free or provided at a low cost. Implementing a budget like the debt avalanche or snowball methods may help you to manage and pay off various debts that hang over your head. No matter how you choose to ultimately address your financial challenges, however, keep in mind that no method offers a magic wand solution and may take not only some hard work, but patience as well.

 

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