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Best cash advance apps to cover you until payday

Compare cash advance apps by turnaround time and fees & get covered until payday.

Good for free same day loans: Chime SpotMe®

  • Get up to $200
  • Receive funds on the same day
  • Fee free overdraft
  • No credit check

Good for no-fee, 0% interest cash advances: EarnIn

  • Borrow up to $750 per pay period
  • No credit check
  • No monthly fees or interest

For money management tools: Cleo

  • Borrow up to $250
  • No credit check required
  • No interest on cash advances

Good for borrowing more: MoneyLion Instacash advances

  • Borrow up to $500
  • Turnaround time as fast as 12 hours
  • No credit check required

Best cash advance apps

Cash advance apps are a convenient way to borrow money before payday. Unlike loans, cash advance apps don’t charge
interest. Instead, you pay a monthly fee to use the service, although some apps are free, generally making them
cheaper than a loan.

Here are 4 of the best apps to help you make it to payday.

Best for overdraft feature: Chime SpotMe

Chime SpotMe®

Chime SpotMe is a no-fee service offered through Chime that allows overdrafts of up to $200
for your Chime Checking account. To qualify for an advance, you need to have at least $200 direct deposited into
your Chime checking account every month.
Limits also start at a low $20 — but with regular deposits and a solid account history,
this limit can increase to $200. And if you receive your paycheck via direct deposit to
your Chime Checking Account, you can get your paycheck up to two days early.
  • Available in all states
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. Direct deposit: Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date. SpotMe: Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

Best for building a portfolio: Albert


  • Available in all states

Best for payment flexibility: Brigit


  • Available in all states

Best for smaller cash advances: MoneyLion

MoneyLion Instacash advances

MoneyLion offers no-fee cash advances up to $1,000, depending on your direct deposit activity and the services you
sign up for. You can qualify up to $700 of your paycheck per pay period if you sign up for its CreditCredit Builder
Plus program for $19.99 a month. And you may qualify for up to $1,000 if you set up direct deposit to
a RoarMoney account.
MoneyLion also offers a suite of products, including an investment account and a crypto trading feature. The
MoneyLion app gets mostly positive reviews on Trustpilot, but some customers have complained about glitches with the
app on Google Play.
  • Available in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Methodology: How we chose the best cash advance apps

Our team of loan experts looked at 16+ cash advance apps before narrowing it down to the best eight. We also
regularly review and update our selections to make sure our picks are the best in the market and best suited for
their categories.
Each app is weighed across 10 key metrics: Borrowing limits, monthly subscription fees, turnaround time, transfer
fees, tip requirements, ease of use, state availability, additional financial features, ease of verifying accounts
and overdraft protection features. We also consider customer reviews and BBB accreditation.

Pros and cons of cash apps

Compared to payday and installment loans, which can be predatory and charge sky-high interest rates exceeding 700%
or more – cash apps are a cheaper alternative to borrowing money.
Here are the main pros and cons of using a cash app.


  • No interest or finance fees charged. Unlike payday, installment and personal loans,
    cash apps don’t charge interest or finance fees.
  • Low or no fees. Most cash apps come with nominal fees, usually between $1 and $10
    per month. Some charge no fees and only require you to pay for optional instant transfers.
  • No credit check. Unlike most loans, cash apps don’t require a credit check and have
    no minimum credit score to qualify. This is great if you have bad credit or no credit history.
  • Overdraft protection. Many cash apps monitor your bank balance and will alert you
    or send funds automatically if you’re at risk of an overdraft.
  • Good for emergencies. A cash app is generally a cheaper way to access small amounts
    of cash than using a credit card advance or in-store payday loan, which typically costs $10 to $30
    per $100 borrowed.


  • Low amounts. Most apps only lend up to $250 per pay period. This is fine for
    smaller expenses like fuel but won’t cover major ones like car repairs.
  • Transfers can take a few days. Most cash apps offer free transfers, but they can
    take a few days. To get cash sooner, you typically have to pay a fee. Brigit is one app that allows
    free instant transfers with a linked bank account.
  • May overdraft your account. Cash apps deduct money from your bank account to repay
    your cash advance, which could cause an overdraft if you’re not careful.
  • Can feel invasive. Cash apps require a link to your bank account to monitor your
    direct deposits, and some require you to upload your work schedule or enable GPS tracking to verify
    you’re at work.
  • May lead to dependency. Repeatedly borrowing against your paycheck can lead to poor
    financial habits that discourage you from spending wisely.

Are cash apps payday lenders?

Cash apps are not payday and installment lenders. Payday lenders and the like are known for
charging mega-high rates, often exceeding 700% APR or more. Cash apps never charge interest on what you borrow — and
you only borrow against your future earnings, which can help keep you out of a cycle of debt.

How cash advance apps work

Cash advance apps analyze your finances and offer cash advances of varying amounts — anywhere from $20 to $500 and
up. How much you can borrow typically depends on a mix of the following factors:

  • Direct deposit history
  • Minimum bank balance
  • Number of hours worked
  • Spending habits
  • Upcoming bills

How to find the best loan app

Here are six considerations when choosing a cash advance app:

  1. Customer reviews. Online reviews on Google Play, the App Store and Trustpilot are great
    places to get a sense of real-life customer experiences as well as how easy or difficult it is to qualify
    for advances and receive money.
  2. Fees. Compare monthly fees, tipping requirements and instant transfer fees. For example, if
    you do a lot of instant transfers, you’re better off with an app that charges $3.99 per instant transfer
    versus one that charges $11.99 per transfer.
  3. Cash advance limits. Apps vary widely in how much you can borrow, with limits ranging
    anywhere from $20 to $500 and up. To get higher advance amounts, you need to set up direct deposit and
    establish a history of regular deposits.
  4. Repayment requirements. Most apps automatically deduct what you owe from your next
    paycheck, but some apps, like Brigit, allow you to change or extend your repayment due date if you need more
    time. This can be helpful if you’re worried about overdrafts.
  5. Employer requirements. Most apps don’t require you to work for a specific employer, but
    apps like Even, Payactiv, FlexWage and Branch require that your employer supports the app.
  6. Security and hacks. While no app provider is 100% secure, most use 256-bit encryption and
    adhere to PCI DSS standards – the same used by all major banks. But hacks and data breaches can occur on
    cash advance apps.

Should I use a cash advance app?

You might be a good candidate for a cash advance app if:

  • You receive a biweekly paycheck that doesn’t align with your monthly billing cycle.
  • You regularly find yourself overdrafting your account and paying hefty fees.
  • You’re willing to pay extra for services that can improve your personal finances, such as credit-building
  • You rarely need to borrow more than $250 per pay period.
  • You currently have bad credit or no credit history.

You want to avoid a cash advance app if you have trouble maintaining a positive bank balance due to overdraft fees.
If you’re self-employed and don’t think you’ll be eligible for a cash advance app, read our guide to getting a loan
while self-employed. Those who just started a new job or have a job offer, consider your options as a new employee.

What if I can’t pay back my cash app advance?

If you can’t pay back your advance, your bank account will likely be overdrawn, leading to an overdraft fee.
However, some apps, like Brigit, may let you change your due date if you foresee being unable to repay on time.
You’ll want to stay on top of your bank balance to make sure you don’t end up paying overdraft fees on your cash app

Alternatives to cash advance apps

Cash advance apps can’t help in every situation. If you have irregular paychecks or need to borrow higher amounts,
you may want to look into these alternatives:

  • Ask your employer for an advance. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, your employer is
    a logical place to ask for help. If it’s a one-time situation, HR may be willing to help by advancing part
    of your paycheck.
  • Consider a loan from a CDFI. You may be able to get a small-dollar, short-term loan at a
    lower cost than from a payday lender by going through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
    These are typically local banks or credit unions that serve low-income or rural areas.
  • Compare alternative short-term lenders. While more expensive than a personal loan from a
    bank, providers like LendUp offer short-term loans at a lower cost than payday lenders, with a chance to
    build your credit.
  • Take out a personal loan. If you’re willing to borrow at least $500, check out
    Monevo to choose the best offer from several lenders that meet your needs.
  • Take out a credit card cash advance. If you have enough credit available, you can consider
    getting cash from an ATM in an emergency. Cash advance rates run high, so have a plan to pay it off sooner
    than later. Consider a card like the PenFed
    Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card that offers a lower than
    average cash advance rate.
  • Get a payday loan — as a last resort. If you’ve exhausted other options, payday lenders can
    get you cash as soon as the same day. But beware — a typical $375 payday loan comes with $520 in fees, and
    borrowers can stay in debt for as long as 11 months. Consider OppLoans for
    lower rates.
  • Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) apps. While not a cash advance, BNPL apps let you purchase items
    you need and pay them off later. Choose from the best BNPL apps for cash-free purchases today.

Need cash right away?

A handful of cash advance apps can get you funds within minutes or 24 hours or allow for instant cash pickup at
storefront locations. But not all cash advance apps have an instant turnaround time — it may take up to three
business days unless you pay an instant transfer fee.
And keep in mind that “instant loans” usually come as a paycheck advance, which means they may only be available to
users with a history of regular direct deposits. For example, it may require direct deposits from the same source
for 60 days before you’re eligible for advances.

  1. Fast Cash and Payday Loans,Federal Reserve Bank of St.
  2. Louis
  3. CFPB Data Point:Payday Lending,The CFPB Office of
  4. Research

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