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Payday advance apps

See how these apps could loan you money today — without having to wait until your next paycheque.

Although still relatively new in Canada, payday advance apps are cornering the market on more affordable payday loan alternatives. You can get the money you’ve already made when you need it, and often at a much lower cost than payday loans.

Below we’ve outlined pay advance app options in Canada, including payday loan apps, to help narrow down your options and decide what works best for you.

What is a payday advance loan app?

Provided you’re currently employed and work steady hours, a payday advance app — also known as a cash advance app — can advance you a portion of your paycheque. The time it takes varies by provider, though many can deposit your funds into your bank account in as little as one hour or up to three business days. Most of the apps are free to download, although in most cases you’ll have to pay interest on however much your advanced.

How do payday advance apps work?

In general, payday advance apps work by downloading the app to your smartphone and following the directions to create an account. You typically need to enter your contact details, bank account numbers and information about your employment and when you’re paid.

From there, it may take a few days or even a couple months for the app to confirm your identity and direct deposits. It needs to make sure you have an established history of employment and pay. Once it does, you can navigate to its pay advance section and select how much you’d like to borrow then submit your request.

How much can I borrow?

It varies by provider, you can typically borrow a percentage of the money you’ve already earned. Some have a small maximum limit of just $100, while others may advance you up to $1,500 per pay period.

The total you’re approved for depends on factors like the app and your personal financial situation. Many are constantly doing the math for you and show you how much you have available at any given time so you can make an informed decision.

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How much does it cost to borrow?

It depends on the app. Some charge a monthly membership fee that can range from $1 to $10, while most will charge interest on the amount borrowed – sometimes up to a 300% or 400% if it’s a payday loan. There are some options that won’t charge any fee whatsoever, although the amount you can borrow will be lower with those options.

How do repayments work?

Usually, the payday advance app automatically deducts your funds from your bank account on the due date — which is typically your pay day. So the money essentially comes off your paycheque once you actually receive it. If you don’t have enough in your account, many will hold off on withdrawing your payment to prevent you from entering overdraft.

However, you won’t be able to borrow again until you repay your current advance. And some apps may even ban you if this happens too frequently.

Employer-based pay advance apps

Some companies in the US, like Walmart and Comcast, have started partnering with pay advance apps to offer both wage advances and installment loans specifically to employees. These work similarly to pay advance apps for everyone, but instead it’s your employer that advances you money and deducts repayments from your future paycheques.

Types of payday advance apps available

There are generally two types of payday advance apps in Canada: cash advance apps and pay advance apps. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Cash advance apps

Cash advance apps are generally offered by payday loan companies as a convenient way to access their products. You’ll be able to fill out an application, get approved and arrange to have the money sent to your account all through the app.

Keep in mind that, like any payday loan, these loans are highly regulated in Canada. The maximum you can borrow at a time is $1,500, fees typically range from $15-$25 per $100 borrowed and you’ll have to pay back everything you borrow from your next paycheque. Since payday loans are so expensive, it’s important to ensure that you can afford the repayment before taking out the loan.

If you’re looking for the convenience that comes with a cash advance apps in order to get you through to your next paycheque, here are 3 options in Canada.

AppCost to download appPlatform (user rating)Cash advance amount
iCASH app

iCASH

Free
  • Apple App Store (4.8 / 5)
  • Google Play (4.6 / 5)
Up to $1,500Go to site
money mart app

Money Mart

Free
  • Apple App Store (4.7 / 5)
  • Google Play (4.0 / 5)
Up to $1,500Go to site
cash money app

Cash Money

Free
  • Apple App Store (2.2 / 5)
  • Google Play (4.6 / 5)
Up to $1,500Go to site

Pay advance apps

Pay advance apps are different to cash advance apps in that, unlike a payday loan, you typically can can only borrow smaller amounts that you’ll only have access to in the few days leading up to payday. To help you understand how these work better, let’s look at a specific example: Koho Early Payroll.

Koho offers the Early Payroll program for its members, where you can borrow $100 for free within the 3 days leading up to payday, or for a $5 fee if you want to borrow earlier then 3 days. You repay that $100 via automatic debit from your Koho account as soon as your pay is deposited. The nice thing about this service is that it’s free and doesn’t charge interest. The downside is that you can only borrow up to $100 at a time and you must have your paycheque set up for direct deposit in your Koho account.

Pros and cons of payday advance apps

Pros

  • Limited costs. Some pay advance apps charge zero interest, and you may only be on the hook for a small monthly membership fee — if that.
  • Quick turnaround. You may be able to get your money the same day depending on the app you use.
  • Budgeting features. Almost every pay advance app tracks your income and spending to give you a heads up if you might overdraw your account.

Cons

  • Must be employed. Pay advance apps give you an advance on your paycheque, so you need to be employed to qualify.
  • Limited loan amount. The amount you can borrow is may be based on the money you’ve already earned — usually no more than $1,500 per pay period.
  • May pay interest. Some apps charge interest of up to 300% or more if it’s a payday loan.

Am I eligible to use an advance pay app?

Eligibility criteria varies between providers, but there are a few basic requirements you need to meet:

  • Be gainfully employed
  • Work regular hours
  • Receive a consistent paycheque
  • Have an operational chequing account
  • Receive direct deposits

Some apps may also require you to work for a specific employer or make a minimum amount of money each month to qualify.

Will payday advance apps affect my credit?

In general, no. Most pay advance apps don’t check your credit history when you request an advance, nor will they report your on-time or missed payments to the major credit bureaus.

Alternatives to cash advance apps

Cash advance apps are only one option when you’re looking for cash fast. If you need to borrow more than these apps offer, you might want to look into these alternatives:

  • Payday loans. Depending on what state you live in, you may be able to get a payday loan between $100 and $500. However, these usually come with APRs in the triple digits and loan terms of just a month. Compare lenders below.
  • Installment loans. Looking for larger loan amounts or longer terms? Installment loans have more flexibility than payday loans, but often come with the same sky-high APRs.
  • Auto title loans. Own your car? Auto title loans use your vehicle’s title as collateral, which means they’re often cheaper than payday loans. However, you risk losing your car to repossession if you default.
  • Local programs and resources. Many local government agencies, nonprofits and charities offer free financial services and help with things like food or utilities for those in need.
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
Payday loans are expensive. If you're experiencing financial hardship call Credit Counselling Canada for free financial counselling (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm at +1 866-398-5999). Consider alternatives instead of a payday loan:
  • Local resources. Government programs and nonprofits offer free financial services and help with food, utilities and rent.
  • Debt relief companies. There are services to help you reduce your debt payments.
  • Payment extensions. Talk with bill providers about longer payment plans or due-date extensions.
  • Side jobs. Sell unwanted items online, sign up for food delivery and more.

Compare payday loans

Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province or territory of residence.

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Loan Amount Loan Term Interest Rate Turnaround Time Serviced Provinces Offer
Money Mart Payday Loan
$120 - $1,500
1 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 1 hour after getting approved
AB, BC, MB, NS, ON, SK
To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age with a steady source of income and a chequing account. No credit check required.
Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
5 - 40 days
Varies by province
As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
BC, NL, NS, ON, SK
Apply for your first $300 payday loan at a $20 cost (excludes SK applicants).
Have your banking details ready to get a loan in 2 hours. You'll need to be 18 years of age or older and have a net income of at least $1,000/month. Residents of MB and NB must apply in-store for a loan.
iCASH Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
7 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI
Get up to 20% in cash back once your payday loan is fully repaid. Conditions apply.
To be eligible, you'll need to be at least 19 years of age and have a net income of at least $800/month deposited into your bank account.
GoDay Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
Up to 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI, SK
To apply, you'll need to be a Canadian resident over the age of 18 with a valid email address, phone number and an open bank account with a Canadian bank or credit union.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Maximum borrowing costs per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs as they may vary from our results.
Province Maximum allowable cost of borrowing
Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario & Prince Edward Island $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba & Saskatchewan $17 per $100 borrowed
Nova Scotia $19 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland and Labrador $21 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon $60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)

Bottom line

If you need a few extra bucks or so to hold you over until your next paycheque, consider using a payday advance app. They usually don’t charge interest, so you’ll only be on the hook for a minimal membership fee or optional tip — if that. But you’ll need to be employed to qualify, and you’re limited to borrowing a percentage of the money you already earned.

Don’t have a regular source of income or need to borrow more? You might want to look into your payday loan options instead.

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