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Pay advance apps

Compare apps that could loan you money today — without having to wait until your next paycheck.

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Although still new, pay advance apps are cornering the market on more affordable short-term loan alternatives. You can get the money you’ve already made when you need it, and often at a much lower cost than payday loans. But most apps have strict eligibility criteria you’ll have to meet first.

What do you want to do first?

Our top pick: Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans

  • Max. amount per pay period: $500
  • Turnaround Time: As fast as 1 business day
  • Costs: Rates vary by state, though you’ll likely be charged around $15 or $20 per $100 borrowed.
  • Requirements: Checking account with 3+ months of banking history, $750+ monthly income, live in eligible state, ages 18+
  • Repayments aligned with your pay day
  • No credit check
  • Can build your credit
  • Good customer service
  • Quick turnaround with Visa

Our top pick: Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans

Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 5 states.

  • Max. amount per pay period: $500
  • Turnaround Time: As fast as 1 business day
  • Costs: Rates vary by state, though you’ll likely be charged around $15 or $20 per $100 borrowed.
  • Requirements: Checking account with 3+ months of banking history, $750+ monthly income, live in eligible state, ages 18+
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What is a pay advance app?

If you’re currently employed and work steady hours, a pay advance app — also known as a cash advance app or paycheck advance app — may be able to advance you up to 50% of your earned income. And if you’re between paychecks or waiting for your employer to deposit your funds, a pay advance app can help you meet financial obligations on time.

Pay advance apps work off a tipping system or a small monthly membership fee, so you won’t have to worry about interest or other costs. The turnaround time varies widely between apps, but most can deposit funds into your bank account in less than three business days.

Should I use a pay advance app during the coronavirus?

Using a pay advance app may be a good idea if you need the cash to buy groceries and other supplies in bulk before isolating yourself or your family. However, a week or two without regular income can leave your budget thin when your advance comes due on your usual payday.

Check to see how much you’ll need for bills and other regular expenses before getting an advance.

Financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak

How do pay advance apps work?

Because pay advance apps are meant for your mobile device, you’ll need to download the app to your smartphone and follow the directions to create an account. And be sure to check for updates frequently. This will allow you to take advantage of new programs and features as they come out.

To create an account, you need to supply some basic information. Enter your contact details, bank account and routing numbers, information about your employment and when you’re paid. This will help most apps determine how much you can borrow and when you’ll have to repay your advance.

From there, it may take a few days for the app to confirm your identity and direct deposits. Once it does, you can navigate to its pay advance section and select how much you want to borrow.

How much can I borrow?

It varies by provider, you can typically borrow a percentage of the money you’ve already earned. Some have a small maximum limit of just $75, while others may advance you up to $500 per pay period.

The total depends on the app and your hourly wage. Many are constantly doing the math for you and show you how much you have available at any given time so you can make an informed decision.

How much does it cost to borrow?

It depends on the app. Some charge a monthly membership fee that can range from $1 to $10, while others ask you to tip — though it’s usually optional. And none of the apps listed below charge interest — a far cry from the costs of payday lenders.

Some apps may increase limits due to the coronavirus

Only Earnin is considering an increase to its advance limit as of March 18, 2020. But Brigit and MoneyLion also have features that may be able to help if money is tight during the outbreak.

  • Earnin. It may increase its advance limit for those affected by the coronavirus. But if you’ve already been infected — or are dealing with unrelated medical bills — it also has a Health Aid program that will negotiate your medical bills to reduce your monthly payments.
  • Brigit. It may not have any special options for people impacted by the coronavirus, but it does allow you to extend your due date at no extra cost. Just remember that Brigit has a monthly fee, so it may not be the best choice if your income is limited.
  • MoneyLion. While it lacks special options for the coronavirus, MoneyLion’s banking platform can help you improve your finances and take control of your budget while you’re quarantined. But like Brigit, it has a fee to access its payday advance option.

Compare apps to get a cash advance

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
$500
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.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do repayments work?

Usually, the pay advance app automatically deducts your funds from your bank account on the due date — which is typically your pay day. If you don’t have enough in your account, many will hold off on withdrawing your payment to prevent you from overdrafting.

However, you won’t be able to borrow again until you repay your current advance. And some apps like Dave may ban you if this happens too frequently.

Employer-based pay advance apps

Some companies like Walmart and Comcast have started partnering with pay advance apps to offer both wage advances and installment loans specifically to employees. These work similarly to pay advance apps for everyone, but instead it’s your employer that advances you money and deducts repayments from your future paychecks. You can learn more with our guide to employer-based paycheck advances.

Pros and cons of pay advance apps

Pros

  • Limited costs. Pay advance apps usually charge zero interest, so you’re only on the hook for a small monthly membership fee or optional tip — if that.
  • Quick turnaround. You may be able to get your money the same day depending on the app you use.
  • Budgeting features. Almost every pay advance app tracks your income and spending to give you a heads up if you might overdraw your account.

Cons

  • Must be employed. Pay advance apps give you an advance on your paycheck, so you need to be employed to qualify.
  • Limited loan amount. The amount you can borrow is typically based on the money you’ve already earned — usually no more than $500 per pay period.
  • May pay a membership fee. Some apps charge a monthly membership fee — whether or not you take out an advance.

Am I eligible to use a pay advance app?

Eligibility criteria vary between providers, but there are a few basic requirements you need to meet:

  • Be gainfully employed
  • Work regular hours
  • Receive a consistent paycheck
  • Have an operational checking account
  • Receive direct deposits

Some apps may also require you to work for a specific employer or make a minimum amount of money each month to qualify.

Will pay advance apps affect my credit?

In general, no. Most pay advance apps don’t check your credit history when you request an advance, nor will they report your on-time or missed payments to the major credit bureaus.

Alternatives to pay advance apps

Pay advance apps are only one option when you’re looking for cash fast. If you need to borrow more than these apps offer, you might want to look into these alternatives:

Compare short-term loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
$5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
CreditLend connection service
$2,500
Varies by lender
Regular source of income, checking account, not currently involved in bankruptcy or bankruptcy relief
Find a line of credit — even if you don't have a perfect score.
Check Into Cash Payday Loan
$1,000
1 to 2 business days
Bank account, email address, phone number, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 21+
Plus, get access to check cashing, cell phone top ups, bill pay and more at one of its many storefronts.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$15,000
Same business day to 1 business days
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

If you need a $100 or so to hold you over until your next paycheck, consider using a pay advance app. They usually don’t charge interest, so you’ll only be on the hook for a minimal membership fee or optional tip — if that. But you’ll need to be employed to qualify, and you’re limited to borrowing a percentage of the money you already earned.

Don’t have a regular source of income or need to borrow more? You might want to look into your payday loan options instead.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DustinSeptember 6, 2019

    Can I get an advance without any form of ID?

    • Default Gravatar
      AshSeptember 8, 2019

      Hi Dustin,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      Yes, you may request for a paycheck advance through any of the Lenders listed on the table above. Most of the Lenders’ requirements are a proof of your income and you having an account with them. Creating an account may not need you to provide your ID thus can request for an advance without it.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again if you have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

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