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Cash advance app ratings methodology

We score cash advance apps based on nine factors.

Our star ratings give a snapshot of how cash advance apps stack up against each other. The ratings factor in a provider’s range of advance amounts, requirements, how long it takes to receive funds and customer service reviews. If a provider has extra perks, those are also factored into the score.

The star rating is there to give you an overview of the provider and is meant to act as a starting point while you’re comparing products. But it can’t tell you if a provider is the right choice for you. That’s where our reviews come in.

Our ratings

We rate cash advances using a system of 1 to 5 stars:

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

What a 5-star cash advance rating means

Providers that get the highest rating with Finder meet these criteria:

  • Minimum loan amounts of $10 or less
  • Maximum loan amounts of $250 or more
  • Same-day turnaround for application to funding
  • No subscription requirements
  • No bank account requirement with cash advance app provider
  • Fully transparency about its fees, terms, advance amounts and eligibility
  • Offers wide support options like live chat, email, social media and a phone number
  • Has excellent app reviews
  • Has at least one bonus perk

What factors go into our star ratings

We consider nine factors when calculating the star rating of each cash advance app:

How we rate minimum loan amounts

Typically, cash advance apps start around $10 and rarely require more than $50. We consider any starting amount $10 and under to be the most competitive and worthy of 5 stars. Anything over $50 is restrictively high for a minimum and only earns 3 stars.

★★★★★ — $10 and under

★★★★★ — $11 to $30

★★★★★ — $31 to $50

How we rate maximum loan amounts

Most providers cap out at around $250. We gave the highest rating to any provider that offers advances or overdrafts above this range. The lowest rating goes to cash advance apps that offer no more than $100, since that meets fewer needs.

★★★★★ — $251+

★★★★★ — $200 to $250

★★★★★ — $100 to $199

★★★★★ — $99 and under

How we rate turnaround time

Turnaround time is how long it takes to get an advance from the moment you start an application to the moment the money appears in your bank account.

The most common turnaround time for cash advance apps is one day or more. Providers that beat that with same-day advances earn a perfect score. Those that lag behind earn a lower score.

★★★★★ — Same day

★★★★★ — 1+ business days

★★★★★ — 2+ business days

★★★★★ — 3+ business days

How we rate subscription requirement

If a provider doesn’t require a subscription to its service to get cash advances, it earns 5 stars. If you can’t apply for a cash advance without having a subscription, it earns 3 stars.

★★★★★ — Doesn’t require a subscription

★★★★★ — Requires a subscription

How we rate bank account requirements

If a provider doesn’t require you to have a checking account with the actual cash advance app’s bank to access cash advances, it earns 5 stars. If you can’t apply for a cash advance without having a checking account with the app’s bank, it earns 2 stars.

★★★★★ — Doesn’t require a checking account with cash advance provider

★★★★★ — Requires a checking account with cash advance provider

How we rate transparency

If a cash advance app provider is forthcoming on their website about late fees, subscriptions requirements, repayment terms, advance amounts and eligibility, it receives a perfect score. However, the less details a provider is willing to share with customers online, the lower the star rating.

★★★★★ — Transparent about all these fees and requirements: late fees, repayment terms, advance or overdraft amounts and eligibility requirements

★★★★★ — Transparent about three out of five fees and requirements

★★★★★ — Transparent about two out of five fees and requirements

★★★★★ — Transparent about one out of five fees and requirements

★★★★★ — Offers no product details

How we rate customer service

This rating shows how easy it is to get in touch with customer service when you have questions or concerns. A 5-star rating means the company offers a phone number, email address, social accounts and live chat. Providers who offer less means of communication, receive a lower star rating.

★★★★★ — Live chat, phone number, email and social media

★★★★★ — Two to three customer support options

★★★★★ — At least one customer support option

★★★★★ — Offers no forms of customer service communication

How we rate customer reviews

This rating is optional, since not all providers have enough online reviews to give a meaningful picture of the customer experience. It only applies if a provider has over 100 reviews on the Apple App Store, since cash advance apps primarily operate via an app. We use the actual customer review rating from the App Store.

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

How we rate perks

We judge perks as a bonus factor. If a provider checks off at least one of these bonuses, it earns an extra 5 stars. Otherwise, it doesn’t factor into the rating.

  • Repayment date extension
  • 24 hours or less between advances
  • AI assist
  • Budgeting tools
  • Ways to easily boost your cash advance limit

What we don’t consider

Our star ratings can tell you how a provider stacks up against the competition. But what it can’t tell you is if it’s right for your specific needs. In addition to our star rating, you might also want to look at the following factors before you sign up:

  • State availability. Some cash advance apps don’t operate in all 50 states, meaning they might not be available to you.
  • Other eligibility requirements. Cash advance apps typically require a varying amount of monthly direct deposits in your bank account.

More guides on Finder

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