5 Apps That Loan You Money Before Payday

Updated on Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

paycheck advance apps
iStock

Financial emergencies have a habit of cropping up at the worst possible time — when you’re stuck in between paychecks. You might be tempted to turn to a credit card or a payday loan, but those could rack up costly fees.

You may be able to get a portion of your next paycheck early using apps like Earnin or Dave. These paycheck advance apps let you borrow small amounts of money, often without charging interest. With some, you may just pay a membership fee or a voluntary tip.

1. Earnin

  • Withdraw up to $100 per pay period, or up to $500 after continued use of the app.
  • Paycheck advance is available without a credit check
  • No fees or interest — Earnin makes money from voluntary tips

The Earnin app lets you borrow money from your next paycheck without charging fees or interest. However, Earnin does ask for support in the form of tips.

At the start, you may only be able to withdraw up to $100 each pay period. But based on your account balances and use, the pay-period maximum could potentially increase up to $500. The payment will arrive in your checking account within one business day, or even a few seconds, depending on where you bank.

The next time your paycheck hits your bank account, Earnin will automatically withdraw what you owe.

How it works: Earnin keeps track of the money you earn while you work, and you can withdraw a portion of your unpaid wages before your next payday.

Connect your bank account (if Earnin supports your bank) and verify your paycheck schedule. You must have direct deposit set up and linked to a checking account.

2. Dave

  • Interest-free cash advances worth up to $75, or $100 with a Dave debit card
  • Banking app with expense tracking and option to open debit account
  • $1 monthly membership fee and a small fee for expedited delivery, plus voluntary tip

Dave is a membership service that costs $1 per month. Qualified members can get paycheck advances worth up to $75, or up to $100 with a Dave debit card.

The money can take up to three business days to reach your account. There is also an express funding option that will get the money deposited quickly for a fee. You can also choose to give a tip when you take out an advance, but tipping is optional.

How it works: Connect a checking account where your paychecks are directly deposited and have an account history with several consistent paychecks. Your approval may also depend on whether Dave determines whether you’ll have enough money to repay the loan — so if you generally get paid and spend all your money the next day, you might not get approved.

You can repay the loan automatically from your connected checking account, or repay part or all of the advance early if you want.

3. MoneyLion

  • Up to $250 cash advance at 0% APR with Instacash
  • No credit check for using Instacash
  • Personal finance app offering various financial products

MoneyLion is a personal finance app with a variety of features, including interest-free cash advances worth up to $250 with its Instacash feature. MoneyLion also offers mobile banking, credit builder loans, automated investing, financial tracking and cashback rewards.

How it works: Download the MoneyLion app and create an account with your email address. Link your checking account to see if you qualify for 0% APR cash advances of up to $250 without a credit check.

To qualify for Instacash, you should use a checking account that’s been open for at least two months that shows a positive balance and regular income deposits.

4. Brigit

  • Borrow up to $250 with a cash advance without a credit check using Brigit Plus
  • $9.99 monthly membership fee, which includes free instant transfers
  • Banking app that helps with expense tracking

Brigit is a personal finance app that allows you to take out cash advances worth up to $250 with its Brigit Plus plan, which costs $9.99 per month. The amount you can borrow is based on your bank account activity rather than your work schedule.

Brigit Plus offers other features, such as account monitoring, and members are eligible for free extensions if they’re having trouble repaying the loan. Brigit doesn’t charge late fees or instant transfer fees, and it doesn’t ask for tips.

How it works: Connect a checking account that’s been active for at least 60 days, has a positive balance and has at least three recurring direct deposits from the same employer. You’ll also need to have a history of maintaining a positive balance the day of (and day after) your payday.

Once you’re set up, you can request an advance on your next paycheck. The amount will depend on your checking account’s history and can be worth up to $250. You can receive one advance at a time, which will automatically be repaid from your bank account on your next payday. However, you are also able to repay the advance early.

5. Branch

  • Withdraw up to 50% of your earned wages per pay period
  • No fee for standard (three-day) withdrawals or instant withdrawals to your Branch wallet, but $2.99 to $4.99 for instant withdrawals to accounts at any other bank
  • Banking platform partners with employers to offer more financial features

Branch is a financial wellness app that offers interest-free paycheck advances with its Instant Pay feature. You can request an advance of up to 50% of your next paycheck using the app — the money will be deposited into your account, and then paid back with an automatic withdrawal on your next payday.

A standard withdrawal into your bank account is free and could take up to three days. There is a $2.99 to $4.99 fee if you want to request an instant payment to a third-party bank, but instant transfers are free into your Branch Wallet.

How it works: To be eligible for Branch Instant Pay, you must have a checking account with two months’ worth of consecutive direct deposits from the same employer. The company also offers more features if multiple employees at the same company use the app, or if your employer signs up.

Need more money? Consider a personal loan

While a paycheck advance can help when you are in a small pinch, they often cannot cover a larger emergency expense. If you need more money, you might want to take out a personal loan.

Personal loans are often unsecured loans, meaning you’ll qualify based on your creditworthiness. You’ll receive the money and repay the loan over a predetermined period of time. Many personal loans have a fixed interest rate, and you can know exactly how much your monthly payments will be and how much you’ll pay overall before accepting a loan offer.

The downside is that you may wind up paying fees to take out the loan and a lot of interest, especially if you take out a large loan and then spend several years repaying it.

If you have poor or no credit, watch out for online lenders that offer high-rate installment loans. These can seem like good options when the monthly payments are affordable, but the fees and interest can result in repaying several times as much as you borrow. You can explore bad credit loan options here.

How MagnifyMoney Gets Paid

Advertiser Disclosure

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
Upgrade

6.94% - 35.97%

36 or 60

months

620

Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Lender Disclosure

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.

8.05% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

Not specified

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

3.99% - 19.99%*

with AutoPay

24 to 144*

months

Not specified

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Lender Disclosure

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

18.00% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Not specified

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Lender Disclosure

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $400. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. West Virginia: $14,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
SoFi

5.99% - 20.69%*

24 to 84

months

680

Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Lender Disclosure

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 20.69% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 19, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.