Personal LoansLender Reviews

Earnin App Review

Earnin is an app that allows users to access earned funds ahead of their payday. It is an affordable alternative to payday loans, which charge exorbitant fees for borrowing.

Earnin users who connect their bank account to the app can withdraw up to $100 per day. When payday comes around, Earnin deducts the money that they lent from the deposited paycheck — at 0% interest and with no mandatory fees. Read on to learn more about the app.

Earnin app highlights

  • Borrow up to Earnin per day: Borrowers can tap into the value of what they’ve earned before payday. The borrowed amount gets deducted from their next deposited paycheck.
  • Pay no interest: All Earnin disbursements come with a 0.00% APR. Borrowers are only required to repay the borrowed amount on their next payday.
  • Fast loan funding: Your Earnin loan will be disbursed within one to two business days. If your bank is eligible for Lightning Speed and you set up the service, you can receive funds within minutes, no matter what day you choose to borrow.
  • App helps protect users from overdraft fees: Earnin can notify customers if their bank balance is low and disburse up to $100 to keep the account in the black.
  • Earn cash back: Customers can participate in Earnin’s cash back program by enrolling an eligible card and making purchases at thousands of approved restaurants and shops. Customers can earn between 1% to 10% back, cash out at any point, and have the funds deposited directly into their bank account.

Earnin at a glance

Terms Fees and penalties
  • Terms: The amount you borrow is automatically deducted from your account when your paycheck is deposited.
  • APR: 0.00%
  • Loan amounts: Up to $100 per day
  • Time to funding: Within 1-2 business days; within minutes with Lightning Speed
  • Credit check: No credit check
  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment fee: N/A
  • Late payment fee: None
  • Other fees: Borrower responsible for returned payment fees incurred by Earnin.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Not specified.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

To use Earnin’s services, borrowers must:

  • Be U.S. residents and be of legal age to enter into binding contracts.
  • Have more than 50% of their pay direct deposited into a checking account
  • Get paid weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly
  • Work in a fixed location or track their work hours online or electronically

In addition, they must affirm that any loan requested is for money that they have earned, will receive, and have not previously been paid. Borrowers must agree to maintain sufficient funds in their bank account in order to repay their loans. If they fail to do so, Earnin will not try to sue the borrower or place their account into collection. However, they will be prohibited from borrowing additional funds until they have repaid the lender. In addition, they will be responsible for any fees Earnin incurs due to failed debit transactions.

Getting a loan using Earnin

  1. Download the app: To apply for a loan from Earnin, prospective borrowers must download the company’s mobile app, available in the Android Play Store and Apple App Store. You may also enter your cell phone number on Earnin’s website; you’ll thereafter receive a text message with a download link.
  2. Provide employment information: Once the app is downloaded, Earnin will ask potential borrowers for employment details, such as how you’re paid and where you work. Hourly workers will also need to disclose how their hours are tracked (online, paper, or Excel).
  3. Connect your bank account: You’ll also need to connect your checking account to Earnin. To do this, you’ll choose your bank from a supplied list of banks within the app and then enter your online banking login credentials. If the financial institution does not appear on Earnin’s list, it means the lender does not currently support it.
  4. Verify your identity: Earnin may then take steps to verify your identity which could include checking third-party databases. This review process may take a couple of days.
  5. Log your hours: To receive an advance on your paycheck, you must keep the Earnin app updated on your work hours. You can do this by uploading a picture of your timesheet to the app. If you’re salary or don’t use a timesheet, you can track your hours with Earnin’s Automagic Earnings feature, which uses your cell phone’s GPS to determine when you’re at work.
  6. Put in a request for funds: You’ll see money in your Earnin app that represents how much you have made. You can access this earned pay instantly, by requesting a cash out. With the Lightning Speed feature, you can get funds deposited into your checking account within minutes. If Lightning Speed is not available with your bank, you’ll see your loan funds in one to two business days.

Keep in mind that Earnin will automatically deduct whatever amount you borrow (plus any tips you opt to leave for the lender) from your next deposited paycheck. While tips are voluntary and amounts given are solely at your discretion, Earnin makes it clear that they rely on those contributions to keep the service running.

Pros Cons
  • Get money in a pinch: Borrowers can access their paycheck early to cover expenses.
  • No interest loan: Borrowers only repay the amount borrowed.
  • Pay what you can: There are no required fees. Borrowers only pay what they wish to support the lender.
  • Overdraft protection: Balance Shield alerts borrowers when their account balance is low and can automatically top it off with funds.
  • Limited borrowing capacity: Customers can only borrow up to $100 per day.
  • Short term loan: The amount you borrowed will be automatically deducted from your account the next time you’re paid.
  • Scant details about the app on the Earnin website: Prospective borrowers must download the app to see how the Earnin process works.
  • Limited eligibility requirement information listed: Earnin’s website does not disclose income or credit score requirements.

Who’s the best fit for the Earnin app?

The Earnin app could be a great fit for borrowers who:

  • Live paycheck to paycheck
  • Need to borrow small amounts to get by between paydays
  • Need to borrow small amounts to cover unplanned expenses

Compared to a payday loan, which typically charges extraordinarily high rates, Earnin is a solid alternative, allowing app users to pay what they want on each cash out. However, potential users should be mindful that the app automatically deducts the borrowed amount when your paycheck is deposited. If you struggle to keep tabs on your financing, this app may not be the best idea, as you could get hit with overdraft fees if you overspend after taking out an Earnin loan.

The app’s low borrowing amount also means that if you’re facing costs amounting to more than $100, you’ll need to look elsewhere for funds. A personal loan, which may be an affordable option for those with strong credit, can be used for a variety of purposes, from a car emergency to debt consolidation. You could find bad credit personal loans, but you’re liable to pay high fees on funds, such as triple-digit rates.

Alternative loan options

Avant

  • APR: 9.95% to 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: Up to 4.75%

With the majority of its borrowers’ credit scores falling in the 600 to 700 range, an Avant personal loan can help those with less-than-perfect credit. The lender offers loans for between 24 to 60 and $35,000, and approved loan funds can be disbursed as soon as the next business day.

However, as with other companies in this list, Avant may charge an origination fee, which increases your loan costs. Earnin doesn’t charge this type of fee.

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30.

Based on the responses from 11,574 customers in a survey of 210,584 newly funded customers, conducted from 1 Feb 2018 - 1 Aug 2019 95.05% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Upgrade

  • APR: 7.99% to 35.97%
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 2.90% - 8.00%

Compared to other personal loan lenders, Upgrade offers a low borrowing limit, with a $1,000 minimum. Loan funding is fast, too, with borrowers seeing funds as soon as within one business day of loan acceptance.

To help borrowers understand and improve their credit, Upgrade provides free access to a tool called Credit Health. Credit Health gives users a weekly updated credit score, personalized tips to bolster their score, a summary of their credit report, and a library of educational articles.

Upstart

  • APR: 7.00% to 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 36 or 60

Upstart is a lending marketplace where borrowers with less than perfect (or virtually non-existent) credit may access larger sums of money, from $5,000 to $30,000. The marketplace evaluates prospective borrowers based on more than just their credit score, such as their work history and education. Approved borrowers can receive loan funds the next business day and may repay their debt early without penalty.

 

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