There is nothing worse than bills piling up while waiting for payday. If your bank account doesn’t have enough funds, it can be a very stressful situation.
Fortunately, cash advance apps can help you bridge that gap. Unlike traditional personal loans, cash advance apps provide smaller amounts of money to hold you over in the short term.
And best of all, they often come without an interest rate.
In this post, you’ll learn about the best paycheck advance apps on the market today. I’ll dive into each app’s features, benefits, fees, and more, so you can easily find the best cash advance app for you.
So let’s jump into it!
7 Best Cash Advance Apps
Here are the 7 most reliable cash advance apps. Each app is available in the App Store and Google Play.
Earnin is an app that allows you to access your paycheck early, interest-free. To use it, all you need is a steady paycheck, a checking account, and a smartphone.
Earnin offers three main features: Cash Out, Balance Shield, and Earnin Express. Together they operate as a paycheck advance, budgeting tools, and early direct deposit.
Cash Out is Earnin’s main feature and allows you to access your money as soon as you earn it. Of course, you’ll need to meet its eligibility requirements first.
Once you download the app, you need to enter your employment information and a linked bank account. Earnin uses this information to confirm your current earnings. If your earnings are approved, you can request up to $100 per day or $500 per pay period.
You then receive your Cash Out directly in your linked account, and Earnin will deduct the amount you borrowed on your payday.
Fortunately, there are no hidden fees or interest associated with a Cash Out. Earnin relies on tips from its customers instead, which are entirely optional.
Balance Shield is a budgeting tool that helps keep you aware of a low balance and out of the red. If Earnin determines that your linked account is about to overdraw, it’ll automatically send a $100 Balance Shield Cash Out to protect you from overdraft fees.
Like standard Cash Outs, Balance Shield is fee and interest-free.
Earnin Express is a feature designed to get more of your paycheck into your account, earlier. With Express, you can arrange for your direct deposit up to two days earlier than normal. With this feature, you can also request up to $1,000 per pay period, rather than the $500 limit with Cash Out.
Dave is an app-based banking platform with a mission of leveling the financial playing field. You can use it without paying interest or running a credit check. To use it, all you pay is a low $1 monthly fee.
Dave offers three main services: A cash management account, credit score rebuilding, and payday cash advances.
With Dave, you can request up to $250 as a payday advance. There’s no interest or fees tied to the advance, and there’s no credit check required.
To qualify, you need a linked bank account that has received at least two direct deposits. Dave will determine the maximum amount you can request based on those deposits.
While Dave doesn’t charge fees on each advance, you pay a $1 monthly fee to maintain the link to your bank account.
Another handy tool is Dave’s credit building feature. The app partners with LevelCredit, which allows Dave users to report rent payments to the major credit bureaus. This service normally costs $100, but Dave customers get it free of charge.
Dave Spending Account
Dave also offers an in-house online checking account. It isn’t interest-bearing, but it comes with some useful budgeting tools and allows you to get your paycheck up to two days early.
In this post, I’ll focus on two main aspects of the MoneyLion app: InstaCash advances and the RoarMoney bank account.
With InstaCash, you can request a payday advance of up to $250. There is no interest rate or mandatory fees associated with an advance.
When you request an advance, you can expect it to show up in your account within five business days. If you need it faster, you can pay a small fee (up to $7.99) for Turbo delivery, and it’ll hit your account in a few hours.
To qualify for InstaCash, your linked checking account must meet the following requirements:
- Open for at least two months
- Has a history of recurring deposits
- Has a positive account balance
- Is active
With that information, MoneyLion will determine your limit. However, if you opt to open a RoarMoney account, you’re in line for a much higher loan amount. Once repayment is due, MoneyLion automatically draws it from your linked account.
With a RoarMoney checking account, you’re in line for an InstaCash limit of up to $1,000. You also qualify for truly instant cash advance delivery with lower fees (up to $5.99). The account also offers access to early direct deposit and a connected investment account.
There’s a $1 monthly membership fee for the account, but otherwise, it’s free. The account comes with a debit card, which you can use at Allpoint ATM locations without charge.
Brigit is an app built around three pillars: Cash advances, credit rebuilding, and savings tools. It’s free to download and takes just a few minutes to sign up. It’s also backed by celebrities like Will Smith and Kevin Durant (if that sort of thing matters to you).
Brigit offers two different membership plans. The standard plan is completely free, but you need to upgrade to Plus if you want to unlock all of the app’s features.
Here’s an in-depth look at what you get with either option.
Brigit’s Free Plan is essentially a budgeting app. When you use it, you get balance alerts, budgeting tools, and helpful analysis of your finances. Unfortunately, you cannot access cash advances with the Free Plan.
With Plus, you get everything included in Free, plus a lot more. There’s a $9.99 membership fee, which might seem high compared to other apps. However, Brigit has no other fees and won’t encourage you to tip for its services. Here’s everything else that comes with a Plus Plan:
- Instant cash advances (up to $250)
- Credit Builder
- Credit Protect & Secure
- Auto Advances
- Flexible Repayment
- ID Theft Protection
To qualify for a Brigit cash advance, link your bank account. The account must have a positive balance, be open for at least 60 days, and receive regular deposits.
Moves is an app designed to empower app-based workers in the gig economy. If you regularly work for an app like Uber or Grubhub, you can use it to access up to $1,000, interest-free.
Here’s how it works:
First, you need to open a Moves Financial Spending Account. It’s the only bank account specifically designed for app-based gig workers. Then, set up direct deposit with the app(s) that you work for. Once you make deposits of $100 or more for four consecutive weeks, you qualify for an advance.
From there, you’re eligible to request an amount equal to your average weekly earnings. So, for example, if you earn $500 per week with Lyft, you can request $500 at a time. You then repay that amount over 10 weeks.
Rather than an interest rate, Moves includes a one-time 3.5% fee on all loans. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay the fee all at once. Instead, it’s split between your 10 repayments.
Currently, Moves is compatible with the following apps:
- Amazon Flex
Empower is cash advance app service that claims to have fronted over $100 million to its users in 2021. In basic form, Empower is a simple app that allows you to borrow interest-free. It offers a handful of other useful features.
Empower is broken down into three main products, which work in conjunction, as follows:
Empower Cash Advance
With Cash Advance, you can request up to $100 in advance if you qualify. There is no interest and no credit checks, and you won’t pay any late fees if you need extra time.
You can also get instant cash delivery, but only if you open an Empower card (more on that in a sec). Otherwise, you can expect your advance to show up within a few business days.
With Empower Thrive, you can work your way up to a $1,000 advance limit. Thrive members start with a $200 limit, which will increase over time with on-time repayments. Plus, all of your payments are reported to credit bureaus, so you can build up your score over time.
The downside here is that you might be subject to interest. There’s still a 0% APR on advances, but only if you pay on time. If you have to push your repayment to your next paycheck, you pay a 36% APR.
Of course, this also means that the tool designed to build your credit could actually hurt it. If you’re not sure you can make on-time payments, you probably want to pass on this feature.
Empower also offers a digital debit card account. Its features are somewhat limited, but you can enjoy instant cash advance deposits and early direct deposits. You can also earn up to 10% cash back on select retail purchases.
Unfortunately, the account comes with an unfriendly $8 monthly fee after the 14-day trial.
Chime is a well-known neobank and one of the best ones around. It offers a bunch of different financial products, but it’s best-known for its high-yield checking and savings accounts. It’s an entirely online bank, so it doesn’t have branch locations.
On top of its stellar banking products, Chime also offers a feature called SpotMe. SpotMe is included with all eligible Chime checking accounts. It’s effectively an overdraft protection tool rather than a true cash advance option but should similarly serve you. Here’s how it works:
To use SpotMe, you need to receive at least one direct deposit of $200 or more in your Chime account. This deposit must be from an employer or government benefits and in the form of an ACH transfer. Once you receive the deposit, your SpotMe limit will show up in your account.
So, what is SpotMe? Once the feature is active, you can overdraw your account up to $200 without penalties. However, you have to build your way up to that amount. SpotMe users start with a $20 limit, and you can increase it over time by staying in good account standing.
It’s also important to note that SpotMe only covers certain transactions. You can use it for debit card purchases, cashback transactions, or ATM withdrawals. Anything else is treated as a regular overdraft and might be subject to fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Cash Advance App?
A cash advance app, also known as a paycheck or payday advance app, is a platform that floats you extra cash until your next paycheck comes in. Unlike payday loans, which are often predatory and capitalize on high interest rates, cash advance apps may help you stay out of financial trouble.
Each app works differently. Some offer subscriptions, while others may charge a one-time fee. Some are even tied to a specific bank account.
Overall, you should think of cash advance apps as an alternative to overdraft fees, credit card debt, and high-interest loans. That said, you should always understand terms thoroughly before borrowing money, no matter what platform you use.
How can I get a cash advance instantly?
Choose an app that offers it and, most likely, pay a small fee. Most cash advance apps offer instant payments, but rarely without a cost. You might need to sign up for additional features or pay a premium upfront.
Which cash advance apps work with Chime?
Most cash advance apps work with any major bank account, Chime included. However, if you already have a Chime account, you might want to look into SpotMe (covered above). Rather than paying a fee for another app, you can use your SpotMe limit to cover bills till payday.
Does Cash App let you borrow money?
Yes, short-term loans are one of the financial services that Cash App offers. But, unfortunately, these loans are not interest-free.
According to Cash App’s borrowing agreement, you could be subject to a credit check, an APR, and late fees. All these factors considered, Cash App is not a preferred source of payday cash advances.
What’s the app that lets you borrow $75?
You’re probably thinking of Dave, which previously allowed members a limit of up to $75 per advance. However, the app now offers up to $250, depending on how much you qualify for.
Otherwise, each of the apps I covered here offers limits exceeding $75, with varying requirements to get it.
Are Cash Advance Apps A Good Idea?
Gone are the days of sweating it out till your next payday. Instead, you can try one of these low-cost payday alternatives. If you don’t have time for a side hustle and want to avoid credit card debt, these apps could be what you’re looking for.
Historically, payday lenders have a horrible reputation. Inflated interest rates for high-risk loans almost always do more harm than good in the long term.
Fortunately, a better option has emerged. Without late fees or interest, you can pay bills on time without digging yourself in a hole. Plus, many of these apps can help with other financial troubles like bad credit.
The key here is to read the fine print and look for any questionable disclaimers. Remember that any time you borrow money, it’s never entirely free. Make sure that the loan app you choose will serve you well. Also, never take more than you can afford to pay back.
If you stick to those rules, you should be fine. Think of these apps as a tool to help get you where you want to be financially. If you’re careful and smart, you won’t be needing them for long.