Jackson Hewitt Early Access payday loan alternative review

Unfortunately, it stopped offering this line of credit in 2019.

Must read: Jackson Hewitt no longer offers the Early Access Line of Credit. Instead, explore other options with our guide to payday loan alternatives.

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Product NameJackson Hewitt Early Access Line of Credit
Max. Amount$400
Loan TermRepayment due on your next payday
Loan SecurityUnsecured
Turnaround TimeWithin 24 hours
RequirementsPaid via direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, age of majority in your state
Jackson Hewitt might be known for its tax preparation services, but recently it’s started offering short-term loan alternatives. In 2018, it released a line of credit that allows you to get an advance of up to $400 before your payday. It could be a more affordable option for borrowers who regularly rely on payday loans — it’s generally cheaper. But if you’re only looking for a one-time loan, this might not be for you.

What is Jackson Hewitt Early Access?

Jackson Hewitt Early Access is a line of credit that gives you an advance on your paycheck. It works like a prepaid debit card, where you request up to your credit limit and have the funds loaded onto the card. After you get paid, you’re required to pay off your balance in full.

The tax preparation company offers this service in partnership with American Express and Republic Bank. American Express provides the card, while Republic Bank funds the advance. It’s easier to use if you already bank with Republic Bank, since you can have repayments directly withdrawn from your bank account. But you can also repay your advance by logging in to your online Jackson Hewitt account.

What states are Jackson Hewitt Early Access pay advances available in?

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

What are the benefits of a Jackson Hewitt Early Access pay advance?

From no credit score requirements to lower costs than payday loans, here are a few perks of taking out an Early Access line of credit:

  • Cheaper for larger amounts. No matter how much you borrow, you’ll always pay the same $20 flat fee. So you’ll get the best deal if you borrow up to your credit limit.
  • All credit types accepted. Jackson Hewitt doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement.
  • No late fees. You don’t get charged extra if you don’t repay your advance on time.
  • Reports to the credit bureaus. Unlike payday lenders, Jackson Hewitt reports repayments to at least two credit bureaus, which can help build your credit if you pay on time each month.
  • Faster tax refunds. You can get your tax refund loaded onto your prepaid debit card up to two days earlier by signing up for this service.
  • Swipe or get cash. You can swipe your card at the store, use it to shop online or withdraw cash for no fee from one of the over 24,000 ATMs in its network.

What to watch out for

Consider these potential drawbacks before signing up for Jackson Hewitt Early Access:

  • Monthly fee. Regardless of whether or not you request an advance, you still have to pay that $20 monthly fee.
  • No online application. You can only apply in person at a participating Jackson Hewitt location.
  • Limited availability. Currently, this product is only available in 18 states and Washington, DC.
  • Direct deposit required. You must receive direct deposit from your employer or government benefits program to qualify.
  • New product. This product was only just released in 2018, so it’s possible Jackson Hewitt and its partners are still working out the kinks.

Beware of monthly fees

Jackson Hewitt’s monthly fees kick in as soon as you request your first advance and apply, whether you use the line of credit or not. This could add up to being even more expensive than a payday loan if you only need an advance once in a while.

Looking for an affordable one-time payday loan alternative? You might want to consider other options like pay advance apps or payday alternative loans from a federal credit union.

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Is it safe to apply for a Jackson Hewitt Early Access pay advance?

Generally, yes. Applications are only taken in person at a Jackson Hewitt location near you. Call ahead to make sure they’re participating in the Early Access program — not all are. This means there’s less chance of your information being compromised since it’s impossible to guarantee the safety of information you submit online.

This product also follows American Express’s privacy policy, which shares your personal information with partners for marketing purposes. You can change your direct marketing preferences by calling 855-297-7748.

Jackson Hewitt reviews and complaints?

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews1.09 out of 5 stars, based on 43 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints178
Trustpilot score3.8 out of 5, based on 15 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of16 October 2020
Jackson Hewitt’s Early Access product is new, so there hasn’t been a lot of time for borrowers to comment on their long-term experience. But Jackson Hewitt itself doesn’t get very good reviews.

A few users complained on online forums that it took too long to receive the card. Others were concerned about how long it took to load the funds on the card, with some pointing out that the offices aren’t open on Sundays.

Am I eligible?

You must meet the following criteria to qualify for Jackson Hewitt Early Access:

  • Paid via direct deposit. You must receive $100 over your credit limit from an employer or government benefits program each month.
  • Age of majority in your state. To take out a loan, you need to be 18 in most states, 19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi.
  • US resident. You must be a permanent US resident to qualify for this loan.

How do I apply?

You can only apply at a Jackson Hewitt store that participates in the program. Before you apply, make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements.

Here’s how to set up an appointment:

  1. Go to the Jackson Hewitt website and scroll down to Need your paycheck before payday?
  2. Choose Find out more.
  3. Enter your ZIP code or city and hit Find an Office.
  4. Review the addresses and call the phone number to make sure that location offers Early Access pay advances.

Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a prepaid debit card to start borrowing. To activate your card, you’ll need to set up direct deposit to your Early Access account. Do this by giving your employer or the government your account and routing number.

The monthly card fee of $5 kicks in as soon as you receive your first direct deposit into the account. However, you don’t have to pay the $15 line of credit fee until you request a payday advance.

I got a Jackson Hewitt Early Access pay advance. Now what?

Request an advance by logging in to your online account at any time. Enter the amount you want to borrow and Jackson Hewitt should transfer the funds to your card within 24 hours.

You don’t need to do anything other than keep an eye on your account. Jackson Hewitt automatically deducts repayment from your account once your direct deposit appears in your account.

If you have any questions or concerns, call customer service at 800-234-1040.

Bottom line

Jackson Hewitt’s Early Access pay advance could be a more affordable alternative to payday loans if you need funding each month. But it might not be worth it if you’re only looking for a one-time advance — you have to pay the $20 monthly fee whether you use it or not.

Find out how it stacks up to other providers in our guide to short-term loans.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my credit limit below $400?

Jackson Hewitt determines your credit limit based on how much you earn each month. And you must earn at least $100 over your credit limit — so if you only bring in $400 a month, your credit limit will be no higher than $300.

What are Jackson Hewitt’s hours?

It can vary. Its customer service line is available 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on weekdays only. But its offices often have different hours — and it also partners with Walmart to offer additional locations. Often, some offices can be open after business hours or on Saturdays, though some users had trouble finding an office open on Sundays.

How do I know if a location offers Easy Access?

The best way to find out is to call ahead and ask. Find your office’s phone number following the instructions under the “How do I apply?” section on this page.

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  1. Default Gravatar
    June 7, 2019

    I am not understanding the repayment of the Early Access payday loan. Can someone please explain?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      June 8, 2019

      Hi Lina,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Jackson Hewitt Early Access is a line of credit that gives you an advance on your paycheck. It works like a prepaid debit card, where you request up to your credit limit and have the funds loaded onto the card. After you get paid, you’re required to pay off your balance in full. This is not a good option if you’re looking for a one-time loan that you’ll pay a certain amount each month on a specific term.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    May 15, 2019

    How do you know that you are approved?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      May 16, 2019

      Hello Rashonda,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You will be notified if you’re approved. Once you’re approved, you will receive a prepaid debit card to start borrowing.


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