2023 Earnin App Review
|Loan amounts |
$100 per day
Earnin is a paycheck advance app that allows you to borrow up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period with no interest or fees. Paycheck advance apps allow you to connect an app to your bank account in order to receive funds you’ve “already earned” to avoid overdrawing. Then, when your paycheck is deposited in your account, Earnin deducts the amount it lent. While you won’t have to worry about paying interest or fees, Earnin does accept voluntary tips.
- Quick funding: If you sign up for Earnin’s Lightning Speed program, you can access your funds instantly by connecting an eligible debit card to your Earnin account. If you don’t use Lightning Speed, you’ll have to wait for one to two business days.
- Zero mandatory fees: Earnin doesn’t charge any fees unless you opt in to the Lightning Speed program, which charges from $0.99 to $3.99 per transaction.
- No interest charged: Unlike alternative forms of credit, such as credit cards and personal loans, Earnin doesn’t charge any interest.
- Amount limit: With Earnin, you can borrow up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period. This is higher than what other paycheck advance apps offer.
- No credit check: Earnin doesn’t require a credit check to use the app. Hard credit pulls — which allow creditors to view your credit background when considering whether to lend you money — can temporarily cause your credit score to go down.
- Balance Shield feature: Because your bank account is connected to the Earnin app, you can set the app to alert you when your account falls below a certain threshold.
- Good fit for occasional emergencies: In the case of a rare emergency, some consumers may find Earnin helpful to make ends meet. However, because paycheck advance apps can encourage poor financial habits, we recommend investing in building an emergency fund instead.
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Earnin pros and cons
Despite offering benefits such as no fees and no interest, Earnin still has a few downsides consumers should consider.
Doesn’t charge any interest
No mandatory fees
Quick funding timeline (up to two business days)
Requires sharing bank account information
Low borrowing amounts
May result in poor financial habits
Unlike other forms of credit, Earnin doesn’t charge users interest or mandatory fees. Fees only come into play if you want to instantly transfer funds to your bank account. Otherwise, you can wait one to two business days for free. If you want to add a voluntary tip to your transaction, you can offer up to $14. (If the fee-free approach to lending is appealing, consider these no-fee lenders.)
However, using paycheck advance apps like Earnin could lead borrowers to practice poor financial habits, like spending beyond their means and not building up a savings account. You’ll also have to share sensitive information with the app, such as your bank account information, in order to use it.
The Earnin app doesn’t have many eligibility requirements. Here’s what you need to know:
|Minimum credit score||None|
|Bank account||Verifiable checking account into which at least 50% of your direct deposit goes|
|Regular pay schedule||Must be on a weekly, biweekly, semimonthly or monthly pay schedule|
|Verifiable earnings||Must provide your timesheet to demonstrate hours worked to date|
If a paycheck advance app won’t work for your borrowing needs, consider shopping around for a personal loan lender that helps you meet your financial goals and can offer you the best-fitting rates, terms and amounts.
Best personal loan options for:
How does the Earnin app work?
To use the Earnin app, you’ll need a consistent paycheck, a checking account and a smartphone. Using and signing up for the Earnin app is a simple process:
Download the app
Visit your smartphone’s app store (Android and iOS) to download the free Earnin app. When the download is complete, you can create an account and wait for Earnin to verify your information.
Connect your bank account
Next, you’ll connect your bank account to your Earnin app and provide information about your current employment.
You’ll also need to provide information about your earnings. You can provide documentation by doing one of the following:
- Submitting a copy of your electronic timesheet
- Signing up your work email address
- Use the Earnin’s Automagic Earnings feature to add your earnings automatically
Request a withdrawal
Once your account is set up, you can request your funds from Earnin. If you sign up for Lightning Speed, you can receive your money instantly, though you’ll have to pay fees of $0.99 to $3.99, depending on the transfer amount. If you want to avoid fees altogether, you can opt for the standard fund transfer, which takes one to two business days.
How Earnin compares to other paycheck advance apps
Even if you believe Earnin aligns with what you’re looking for, it never hurts to shop around and compare other apps. Here’s how Earnin stacks up against similar paycheck advance apps.
|Loan amount||Up to $100 per day; $750 per pay period||Up to $200||Up to $500 per pay period with ExtraCash|
|Fees||No mandatory fees; $0.99 to $3.99 in fees for Lightning Speed service||No service fees||$1 monthly membership fee; fees for instant transfer may apply|
|Funding timeline||Receive funds instantly if you use Lightning Speed; otherwise, in one to two business days||Receive funds up to two days before your paycheck comes in||Receive funds up to two days before you receive your paycheck or instantly (fees may apply)|
|Bottom line||Earnin offers much higher amounts than competitors like Chime and Dave. Earnin also offers instant funding for a small fee.||Chime is less of a paycheck advance app and more of an overdraft protection app (up to $200). It doesn’t charge any service fees except in the case of out-of-network ATM withdrawals.||For a $1 monthly membership fee, you can get a paycheck advance of up to $500 with Dave. Like with Earnin, you can receive your funds instantly if you’re willing to pay a fee.|
The Earnin app may be a good fit for you if you’re facing a small financial emergency and need to come up with a few hundred dollars fast. Paycheck advance apps may not be a good idea as a long-term solution.
Instead, you should consider building an emergency fund and examine your budget to prevent further overspending.
Earnin does not require you to submit to a credit check, nor does it report payment activity to any of the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your credit score likely won’t be impacted by using Earnin.
However, this may be a downside if you’re looking to build your credit. If this is the case, a credit builder loan or another form of credit may be a better fit for your financial goals.
You have two options for receiving your money: Lightning Speed or standard transfer.
You can sign up for instant funding via the app’s Lightning Speed program, but you’ll pay $0.99 to $3.99 in fees.
If you want to avoid paying any fees to access your paycheck advance, you can wait for one to two business days for your funds to be deposited in your bank account. This timeline is similar to how long it takes to receive personal loan funds.