Personal Loans

5 Paycheck Advance Apps That Loan You Money Instantly

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If you’re running short on cash before payday, you may be able to borrow small amounts of money using paycheck advance apps like Earnin or Dave. Often, these smartphone apps let you borrow funds from your next paycheck without charging interest or conducting a credit check.

Apps that let you borrow money for free without a credit check may sound too good to be true, but paycheck advance apps are a growing product in the financial services industry. While many of these apps are free to download and use, some charge a monthly membership fee or let you leave an optional tip.

Here are five popular apps that let you get paid before payday:

How paycheck advance apps work

Paycheck advance apps like Earnin don’t just give out money for free — they lend people money based on hours that they’ve already worked. Each app on this list has its own eligibility requirements, funding timeline and cash advance limit. But for the most part, paycheck advance apps work like this:

  1. You connect a bank account where you’re paid via direct deposit.
  2. You verify your income and pay schedule using your bank account info or time sheets.
  3. You request to borrow money you’ve earned from your next paycheck based on hours you’ve already worked.
  4. If approved, the app deposits your paycheck advance into your linked bank account.
  5. The money you borrowed is automatically deducted from your account on your next payday.

Are paycheck advance apps legit? Yes. You really can borrow small amounts of money for free and without a credit check using a paycheck advance app like the ones below. These apps can be a good 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. Make sure that you don’t regularly spend more than you earn.

Earnin

Earnin is a popular paycheck advance app that lets users borrow up to $100. You have the potential to borrow up to $500 after continued use of the app too, which is 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.

Earnin app key takeaways
Interest or fees None, but voluntary tips are accepted
Credit check None
Cash advance limit $100, or 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 direct deposited.
  • A regular pay schedule (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly).
  • A fixed work location or paper/electronic timesheets.

Is this a good option for you?

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

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 $130 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.

Klover app key takeaways
Interest or fees None
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $100
Funding timeline Within minutes
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.

Is this a good option for you?

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 is a banking app that offers paycheck advances up to $100 as well as credit-building services, automatic budgeting tools and an in-app debit account.

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.

Dave app key takeaways
Interest or fees $1 monthly membership fee, plus voluntary tip
Credit check None
Cash advance limit $75, or $100 with a Dave debit card
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 direct deposited to your account on consistent dates.
  • Enough funds after your next paycheck to repay Dave.

Is this a good option for you?

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

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:

  • Mobile banking with an in-app debit card
  • Credit-builder loans
  • Automated investing
  • 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.

MoneyLion app Instacash 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: 3 to 5 business days for free.

Turbo (instant) delivery

  • To your RoarMoney account: $3.99.
  • To an external checking account or debit card: $4.99.
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 direct deposited to your linked account.

Is this a good option for you?

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 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.

Brigit app cash advance key takeaways
Interest or fees $9.99 monthly membership fee required
Credit check None
Cash advance limit Up to $250
Funding timeline
  • 1-3 days: Free, typically on the same business day or the following business day.
  • Instantly: Free with connected debit card.
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.

Is this a good option for you?

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. And if you want more features like credit monitoring and budgeting insights, then the $9.99 per month fee 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.

 

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