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EarnIn app review — a new payday loan alternative?

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Our verdict

Access the wages you've earned before your next payday — with zero fees or interest.

EarnIn is a financial app with a feature called “Cash Out” that allows qualified users to access up to $750 of their earned wages before payday. Cash Outs have two delivery speeds: one to two business days for regular transfers or in minutes for a fee. As an earnings-based app, you can’t withdraw more than you’ve earned, and if you want to access more than $100 per day, you’ll need to get an EarnIn card.

Best for: Employees who earn at least $320 per pay period and want a no-fee, 0% interest way to access money before payday.

Pros

  • No credit check
  • Tips never required
  • Borrow up to $750 per pay period
  • No monthly fees or interest charged
  • Cash Out more than $100 per day with an EarnIn card
  • Instant transfer fees lower than some other apps
  • Lightning Speed works on weekends and holidays

Cons

  • Can only qualify with employment income
  • $100 daily borrowing limit without EarnIn card
  • Same-day transfers attract a fee
  • Regular direct deposits required
  • Verification of earnings required

In this guide

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  • Details
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Details

Product details

Product Name EarnIn
Max. Amount $750
Turnaround time 1 to 3 business days, or same-day for a fee
Costs Free to use or $3.99 for Lightning Speed transfers.

What is the EarnIn card?

The EarnIn card is a Visa debit card that lets you access your earnings and spend up to $1,500 immediately. Unlike transfers to a linked bank account, the EarnIn Card isn’t limited to $100 a day. To qualify for the EarnIn card, you need to receive a qualifying direct deposit of $500 into your account every two weeks. The EarnIn card is compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

What makes EarnIn shine?

EarnIn shines for its high Cash Out limits compared to competing cash advance apps. With EarnIn, you can borrow up to $750 per pay period — higher than Brigit’s limit of $250 or Dave’s maximum of $500. There are also no mandatory monthly fees to use EarnIn, which could save you $9.99 a month or more. All this makes it a completely free and cost-effective way to cash out your wages before payday — as long as you’re willing to wait one to two business days for regular transfers.

If you want instant transfers, EarnIn’s Lightning Speed fees apply. However, the app shines here as well, charging much lower fees than many other apps. For example, if you have an EarnIn card, instant transfers over $200 cost just $4.99, which is lower than what other apps may charge — which can be as high as $15 to $25 with the Dave app. EarnIn’s Lighting Speed fees are also much cheaper than what payday loans charge, which is typically $10 to $15 per $100 borrowed.

And while the app has a tipping feature, you’re not required to leave one. Not leaving a tip does not impact how much you can borrow, and if you accidentally leave a tip, you have up to 30 days to request a refund.

Where EarnIn falls short

Probably the least appealing aspect of EarnIn is that it needs to verify your wages to determine your eligibility to borrow. This may include uploading your timesheets, allowing GPS access while at your job or providing your work email. While this may feel intrusive, EarnIn’s other benefits may outweigh this, including its no-cost paycheck advances, no monthly fees and no tipping required.

And while EarnIn allows eligible users to borrow up to $750 per pay period, there is a $100 per day transfer limit to bank accounts. If you want to borrow more than $100 at a time and save on instant transfer fees at the same time, you’ll need to get an EarnIn card — which requires you to earn at least $500 every two weeks.

EarnIn loan details

Minimum credit score/credit rangeNo minimum credit score required
APR
  • 0% APR for regular transfers
  • 17.34%–216.17% APR for Lightning Speed transfers
Borrowing amounts
  • Up to $750 per pay period total
  • $100 per day to a bank account
  • $100+ per day to an EarnIn card
Repayment termsAdvances are due on your next payday
Turnaround time
  • Regular transfers: 1–2 business days
  • Instant transfers: 30 minutes or less
Application processNo application but will need to connect bank account
CostsFree to use
AvailabilityMost states

How to qualify for EarnIn

To qualify for EarnIn, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be employed and have a regular direct deposit pay schedule that is weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly.
  • Earn a minimum of $320 each pay period.
  • Have either a fixed work location or an employer-provided email address.
  • Primary residence must be in the US (includes US territories).
  • You must be at least 18 years old and have a US bank account.
  • You must have a valid US mobile phone number.

How to apply

To apply with the EarnIn app, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Install the app. Download the EarnIn app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and install it on your mobile device.
  2. Create an account. Create a new account using your email address.
  3. Verify your employer. After setting up your account, add information about your employer and paycheck information.
  4. Connect a bank account. Link your checking account to the app. This allows EarnIn to transfer your Cash Outs and deduct your Cash Outs from future paychecks.
  5. Wait for bank verification. Once your bank is linked, you may need to wait for EarnIn to verify your earnings and work hours.
  6. Request a withdrawal. After your account is verified, you can request up to $100 until you establish a direct deposit history (about two weeks). After that, you can potentially request up to $750 per pay period, depending on your eligibility.
  7. Open an EarnIn card (optional). If you wish to Cash Out more than $100 per day (up to $750 per pay period), consider opening an EarnIn card.

Keep in mind that EarnIn has specific eligibility requirements, such as a regular pay schedule and direct deposits. Be sure you meet these requirements before applying with the EarnIn app.

How EarnIn compares to other lenders

Select your state of residence to see available lenders in your area. Explore your options by maximum amount per pay period, turnaround time and costs, or choose the Go to site button for more information about a particular lender.

Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
Chime SpotMe®
Not rated yet
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
No fee
Access fee-free overdrafts up to $200 when eligible. Plus get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. See Chime terms and conditions.
EarnIn
Not rated yet
EarnIn
Get up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period.
1 to 3 business days, or same-day for a fee
Free to use or $3.99 for Lightning Speed transfers.
No mandatory fees, no interest, and no credit checks. Subject to EarnIn terms & conditions
Albert
Not rated yet
Albert
Up to $250
2–3 business days or instant for a fee
$14.99 monthly subscription to access overdraft protection
Get up to $250 overdraft protection if you sign up for Albert's banking app.
Brigit
Not rated yet
Brigit
Up to $250
1 to 3 business days or instantly with a fee
$8.99 monthly membership fee, up to $3.99 in express fees
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $8.99 membership fee.
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EarnIn reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A-
BBB customer reviews 2.66 out of 5 stars, based on 311 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 510 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 35 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 210,100 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4.4 out of 5 stars, based on 178,655 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 22 January 2024

The EarnIn app earns overwhelmingly high ratings on Google Play and the App Store, but a fair number of recent reviews have been negative. Some users report problems with Cash Out limits being reduced and repayments being taken out of bank accounts before the user’s paycheck has arrived.

Several hundred complaints have also been registered on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, with some related to payments being taken out too early. To its credit, EarnIn’s customer service team took the time to read the complaints and respond to each user, offering to rectify the issues.

EarnIn has hundreds of thousands of reviews on Google Play and the App Store. Happy users mention the lack of subscription fees as a plus, as well as the app’s Balance Shield feature, which can prevent overdrafts with notifications and instant transfers to your bank account via the Lightning Speed service.

Is EarnIn legit?

Yes, EarnIn is legit. Formerly known as Activehours, EarnIn is a financial services company located in Palo Alto, California, that offers cash-out services and free credit monitoring. It was founded in 2012 and launched its app in May 2014. It’s powered by Evolve Bank & Trust, an FDIC member.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to use EarnIn?

EarnIn is completely free to use. It doesn’t charge monthly subscription fees, and tipping is strictly optional. However, instant transfers, aka “Lightning Speed” transfers, attract a fee.

How much do EarnIn’s instant transfers cost?

EarnIn’s instant transfers, also known as Lightning Speed transfers, cost between $1.99 and $4.99, depending on the amount cashed out. Your first transfer is free, however.

Can I get EarnIn transfers on weekends and holidays?

Yes, EarnIn’s website states that Lightning Speed transfers work on weekends and holidays. However, it also states some transfers may be delayed, so it’s not an ironclad guarantee.

What are the requirements for EarnIn?

To qualify for EarnIn, you need to have regular full- or part-time employment and a minimum qualifying direct deposit of at least $320 every pay period.

Do Social Security benefits work with EarnIn?

No, EarnIn does not count Social Security benefits as income. However, other cash advance apps, like MoneyLion, may accept Social Security benefits and other sources of income, including child support and alimony payments. Compare the best cash advance apps of 2024.

EarnIn is a financial technology company, not a bank. Bank products are issued by Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC. EarnIn services may not be available in all states. (1) Subject to your available earnings, Daily Max and Pay Period Max. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see EarnIn.com/TOS for details. (2) Fees apply to use Lightning Speed. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Transfers may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Cash Out User Agreement for details. (3) EarnIn does not charge hidden fees for use of its services. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more info visit earnIin.com/TOS.

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Kat Finder

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Mack

August 28, 2019

Can I use this in other countries?


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Charisse Finder

August 28, 2019

Hi Mack,


Thanks for reaching out to Finder.


Earnin is only available in the US so unfortunately, you cannot use it if you are in another country.


In order to use Earnin, you will have to connect your bank account and add your employment info. If your bank account is not on their list of supported banks, you will also not be able to use their service.


I hope this helps.


Cheers,

Charisse


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Kaii

August 27, 2019

I have been stuck on verifying for about a week now. How long does it take?


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Joshua Finder

August 27, 2019

Hi Kaii,


Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃


I’m sorry to hear about the issue you are having. It normally takes a few days for Earnin to verify your account. However, if after three business days you haven’t heard from Earnin or your account has not been verified, it is recommended that you get in touch with them. They will then investigate the issue and would work to help you out.


I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.


Have a wonderful day!


Cheers,

Joshua


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Lisa perry

August 06, 2019

How do I get work time sheet?


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fayemanuel Finder

August 07, 2019

Hi Lisa,


Thanks for contacting Finder.


You may seek help from your employer on how to access your work time sheet if you are being paid hourly. If you work for a on-demand ride/task company, you can upload a photo of your trips summary.


Kind Regards,

Faye


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Stephanie

July 23, 2019

I am trying to download the app but I can’t find it in my Google Play Store. Is it still available?


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Jhez Finder

July 23, 2019

Hi Stephanie,


Thank you for your comment.


Yes, the Earnin app is still available in Google Play Store and App Store. Just search, Earnin – Get Paid Today, that’s the name of the app.


Regards,

Jhezelyn


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Lisa

June 22, 2019

So I got the response about my account and I decided to sign up for Earnin everything was fine until I got to my financial institution verification, it would not take my login info, I even went into it just to be sure but it kept telling me it was incorrect?


Avatar

Bella Finder

June 22, 2019

Hi Lisa,


Thanks for your inquiry.


As I checked, Earning account set up may take 72hours for verification. If it takes longer, you may contact support using their help button in the app. They can help you figure out what’s going on.


I hope this helps.


Kind regards,

Bella


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