Earnin review — a new payday loan alternative?

Get an advance on the wages you've already earned — with no fees or interest.

finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0


  • Best for workers who want to avoid membership fees and high interest.
  • Pick something else if you don’t have a regular pay date.


Max. Amount

Same business day to 2 business days

Turnaround time


Product NameEarnin
Max. Amount$500
Turnaround timeSame business day to 2 business days
CostsOptional tip of up to $14 per withdrawal

How do Earnin advances work?

  • Maximum advance: Up to $500 per pay period
  • Cost: Optional tip of $0 to $14
  • Turnaround: One to two business days without Lightning Speed

Earnin is an app that allows you to draw fee-free advances on your wages before payday rolls around. It uses your time sheet and mobile location to track how often you work and how much you earn.

When you need money, you can get an advance, called a Cash Out, on the hours you’ve already worked — you won’t be able to withdraw more than you’re scheduled to earn. You’ll start off with $100 per paid period, but the pay period max will depend on your work schedule. Your max can be as low as $50 to as high as $500.

After you download the app, you’re walked through a brief signup process. Earnin takes a few days to verify your bank account, sending two small test transactions to confirm ownership. To take advantage of its services, you need direct deposit of your paycheck into a checking account and a regular place of employment or electronic time sheet.

When you request money, Earnin verifies the hours you worked that week. It does this through a process that varies by how you’re paid: Hourly workers submit photos of their time sheets, while salaried workers allow access to mobile location tracking to confirm commuting to and from their job location.

Check out our short video where we give you a rundown on how to use the app!

What fees does Earnin charge?

Earnin is a free app that doesn’t charge any interest or membership fees. Instead, Earnin makes money from tips. Each time you draw from your pending paycheck, you have the option to leave a tip of $0 to $14. If one week you can’t afford to tip, you don’t have to. If you work extra hours during the month and want to tip extra, you can do that, too.

Keep in mind that a tip can add to the cost of your loan. A $10 tip on a $100 advance is similar to the fee charged by many payday lenders. So while it isn’t required, be sure you can handle the cost of each tip. But when used in an emergency, Earnin is a less expensive option than overdrafting your bank account or borrowing a short-term loan.

How do I repay my advance?

Earnin automatically deducts your advance — plus any optional tips — from your checking account on your payday. You can choose to pay manually as well, but unfortunately, Earnin requires you to send in a money order.

But there is one major downside: You can only reschedule your payment once. If you need to change your due date again, you may not be able to.


  • No membership fees or requirement to tip
  • Same-day funding available
  • Multiple financial-help programs


  • Limited to hours already worked
  • Must upload weekly schedule or use location services
  • Must have a regular pay date

Compare pay advance apps options

Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
B9 pay advance app
Up to 100% of your salary
Withdraw 100% of your paycheck with no extra fee for instant funding.
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
As fast as 1 business day
Rates vary by state, though you’ll likely be charged around $15 or $20 per $100 borrowed.
Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 5 states.
Same business day to 2 business days
$9.99 monthly membership fee
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $9.99 membership fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

Is Earnin safe to use?

Earnin is safe to use. While it does require you to sign in to your bank account, it never stores your login information. The app uses 256-bit encryption to protect your information, and Earnin states that it regularly performs audits to prevent security issues. Its privacy policy covers the standard ways it collects and uses your information, including how that information is shared.

Earnin reviews and complaints

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews4.15 out of 5 stars, based on 480 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints346
AppStore score4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 176,885 customer reviews
Google Play score4.3 out of 5 stars, based on 137,260 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of16 October 2020
Earnin receives a positive response across the board, but many of the most recent reviews have been negative. Users report problems with Earnin not crediting their account, withdrawing funds too soon or not registering uploaded time sheets.

However, the few problems people experienced were typically resolved, and Earnin’s customer service team took the time to write unique comments to each user.

Earnin vs. payday loans

Though it may sound like your typical cash advance, Earnin is not a payday loan. Rather, it’s an app that allows you to borrow small amounts from your pending wages with no fees or penalties.

EarninPayday loans
AmountUp to $100 daily and up to $500 per pay periodTypically up to $1,000, and most states allow only one at a time
Turnaround timeOne to two business days or immediately with Lightning SpeedTypically next business day
Application processSimple mobile app signup that requires connection to bank accountSimple online application, typically requires Social Security number and bank account numbers
CostsOptional tip up to $14High interest rate that can equal fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
AvailabilityAnywhere in the USProhibited in some states

How do I use the app?

You can get an advance for up to $100 when you first sign up. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Download the Earnin app from Google Play or the App Store.
  2. Sign up for an account, connect your bank account and upload your work schedule.
  3. Click Cash out.
  4. Select the amount you want advanced and your tip.

Earnin will verify your account and income. You will need to enable location services if you’re a salaried worker or upload photos of your daily time sheet if you’re paid hourly.

If eligible, your advance will be transferred to your account within one to two business days. If you choose Lightning Speed, your advance should be available within a few minutes.

Do I qualify for an advance?

To qualify for an advance, you must meet these requirements:

  • Earned money through employment this pay period
  • Not reached daily or pay period max
  • Bank account balance less than $100 in the negative

Workers who make tips or commissions must make at least $4 an hour after taxes to qualify.

Additional programs available to Earnin users

Earnin has several programs to help its users make the most of their finances:

  • Balance Shield. With Balance Shield, as long as you’re adding regular timesheets, Earnin automatically deposits up to $100 to your bank account each time your balance slips under $100 to help you prevent overdraft fees.
  • Lightning Speed. Lightning Speed allows you to withdraw your pending earnings in minutes, meaning you can use the money you’ve already earned sooner than waiting for a payday loan. But to use it, your bank must be part of Earnin’s Lightning Speed program.
  • Cashback rewards. Much like a credit card, you can enroll in Earnin’s cashback rewards program with an eligible Mastercard, Visa or American Express debit or credit card. To earn rewards, simply make a purchase using your card at a participating store. You can redeem your rewards into your connected bank account — and there’s no limit to how much you can redeem.
  • Health aid. Health Aid is a free program to help you negotiate medical bills and lower your payments. It accepts both current and past due bills, including dental and vision.
  • Financial calendar. Earnin uses your bank account to keep track of your regular bills, advances, due dates and daily income so you can plan ahead and take control of your budget.

Can I cancel my Earnin membership?

Since Earnin doesn’t require you to have a membership to borrow an advance, there’s no need to cancel it. You can cancel an advance by selecting the Calendar icon and selecting the Cancel button. However, if you bank has already processed your advance, you won’t be able to cancel it.

Should I use the Earnin app?

Earnin can be an affordable solution to unexpected expenses. But be careful — it’s no replacement for an emergency fund. And if you’re stuck with a low pay period max, consider other pay advance apps similar to Earnin or read our guide on pay advance apps.

Frequently asked questions

Pictures: earnin.com

Short-term loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze short-term loan providers and similar services to help you weed out predatory lenders and find a company you can trust. We rate providers on a scale of one to five stars. Our ratings are based on factors that are most important to you, which include: loan amount, application process, fees, customer reviews and borrower experience.

Read the full methodology of how we rate short-term loan providers and similar services.

Ask an expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our finder.com Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.


    Default Gravatar
    August 28, 2019

    Can I use this in other countries?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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.


    Default Gravatar
    August 27, 2019

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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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!


    Default Gravatar
    August 6, 2019

    How do I get work time sheet?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      August 7, 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,

    Default Gravatar
    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?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      July 24, 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.


    Default Gravatar
    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?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      June 23, 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,

Go to site