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Alternatives to 5k Funds

5k Funds works with tribal lenders, which can charge sky-high interest rates. Here are 10 alternatives that are generally cheaper and safer to use.

5k Funds is a lending marketplace advertising loans with rates between 5.99% and 35.99%. But these claims may be too good to be true. The company works with tribal lenders, debt settlement companies, and auto title lenders — products that come with sky-high interest rates and other risks to your credit.

Even if you have bad credit, there are other lenders that may be willing to work with you. Here are 10 alternatives that generally offer cheaper and safer solutions for accessing quick cash when you need it.

LenderLoan amountFeesSpeed
EarnInUp to $750 per pay period, but only $100 per dayFree1 to 3 business days or instant for a fee
Chime SpotMeUp to $200FreeInstant
CleoUp to $250$5.993 to 4 days standard delivery, instant with delivery fee.
OppLoans$500 to $4,000N/AAs soon as the same business day
Fiona$1,000 to $100,000Varies by lenderVaries by lender
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Brigit$50 to $250$8.99 to $14.991 to 3 business days or instant with a Premium subscription or for a fee
Avant$2,000 to $35,000Up to 9.99%As soon as the next business day
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BestEgg$2,000 to $50,0000.99% to 8.99%As soon as one business day
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MoneyLionUp to $500 or $1,000 with RoarMoney accountFree (or $1 to $5 for RoarMoney account)1 to 5 days or instant for a fee
Possible FinanceUp to $500FreeAs fast as 1 business day

10 alternatives to 5k Funds

  • Alternative for employed borrowers: EarnIn
  • Alternative for overdraft feature: Chime SpotMe
  • Alternative for gig workers: Cleo
  • Alternative for higher loan amounts: OppLoans
  • Alternative for comparing loans: Fiona
  • Alternative for payment flexibility: Brigit
  • Alternatives for bad credit lending: Avant
  • For quality customer reviews: Best Egg
  • Alternative for no monthly fees: MoneyLion
  • Alternative for building credit: Possible Finance

Alternative for employed borrowers

EarnIn

4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

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EarnIn is a cash advance app that lets you borrow up to $750 of your earned wages before payday with its Cash Out feature. This borrowing limit is significantly higher than most cash advance apps and unlike payday loans, there's no interest or financing fees to use Cash Outs.

To qualify for EarnIn Cash Outs, you need to be employed, have regular direct deposits and earn a minimum of $320 each pay period. You can transfer $100 a day to a linked bank account, or more than $100 per day to an EarnIn card. Regular transfers are available in one to three business days or in minutes for a fee.

  • Not available in: Connecticut
Pros
  • No credit check required
  • No mandatory fees, interest or tipping
  • Free credit score tracking included
  • Cash Out more than $100 per day with an EarnIn card
Cons
  • Verification of employment earnings required
  • Same-day (Lightning) transfers attract a fee
  • Can only qualify with employment income
  • Class-action lawsuit in 2021
Loan amountUp to $750 per pay period, but only $100 per day
Loan Term1 to 4 weeks
Turnaround time1 to 3 business days or instant for a fee

Alternative for overdraft feature

Chime SpotMe®

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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While it isn't a loan, SpotMe is a free, optional feature in Chime that lets account holders overdraw their accounts from $20 to $200 with no overdraft fee. It's best for people that use Chime to receive direct deposits — but you only need $200 direct deposited into your Chime checking account every month to qualify.

The SpotMe feature works with the Chime debit card. If you accidentally spend over your account limit, SpotMe kicks in to cover the difference. SpotMe limits start at $20 but could increase to $200 with a history of regular direct deposits and account activity. Chime also allows you to get paid two days early — another benefit for customers with direct deposit.

  • 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.
Pros
  • No fees or obligation to tip
  • Just need $200 deposited per month to qualify
  • Get paid two days early with a Chime account
Cons
  • SpotMe limits start at $20
  • Must have Chime Checking account and debit card
  • Only covers debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals
Loan amountUp to $200
Loan TermNext deposit
Turnaround timeInstant

Alternative for gig workers

Cleo

4.1 / 5 ★★★★★

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If you're a gig worker with irregular paychecks, Cleo is a budgeting and cash advance app that's side job friendly. Unlike some apps, you don't need to show a minimum amount of recurring deposits to qualify for cash advances. As long as you have consistent income coming in from your job(s), you could qualify for an advance.

Cleo cash advance amounts start at $20 to $70, but that could level up to $250 with a history of consistent income. The app also features handy tools to help you budget and track your spending and bills better. To get advances through the Cleo app, you'll need to subscribe to the Cleo Plus paid plan, which costs $5.99 per month. If you need a same-day transfer, it costs an additional $3.99 - $9.99.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • No employment verification required
  • No credit checks or interest charged
  • Free AI financial planner, bill tracker, and low-balance alerts
Cons
  • Cleo Plus plan required to access cash advances
  • Same-day transfers cost $3.99 - $9.99
  • Mixed customer reviews
Loan amountUp to $250
Loan TermNext deposit
Turnaround time3 to 4 days standard delivery, instant with delivery fee.

Alternative for higher loan amounts

OppLoans Installment Loans

4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

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OppLoans offers personal loans to bad credit borrowers. But it's typically cheaper than 5k Funds, with APRs on its loans capping out at 179%. While still expensive compared to other types of personal loans and cash advance apps, it can be a lifeline if you need fast funds: same-day funding is possible if your loan is approved before noon CT.

OppLoans also offers higher loan amounts than what most cash advance apps offer. If eligible, you could secure a loan between $500 to $4,000 and have up to six months to three years to pay it back in most states. It also reports your on-time payments to the major credit bureaus, which could help boost your credit score.

  • Not available in: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia
Pros
  • Reports to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Same-day funding available
Cons
  • Rates run high compared to many personal loans
  • Bank account must be at least 90 days old
  • Must receive income through direct deposit
Loan amount$500 - $4,000
Interest rate typeFixed
Loan Term9 to 18 months
Turnaround timeAs soon as the same business day

Alternative for comparing loans

Fiona personal loans

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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Like 5k Funds, Fiona is a free-to-use online loans marketplace with 34 personal loan providers. Unlike 5k Funds, Fiona works with legitimate personal loan lenders like Upstart and Avant that work with lower credit borrowers. You won't get connected to predatory tribal lenders that could cost more than you bargained for.

Loan amounts at Fiona reach $100,000 with rates as low as 5.2% — although what you qualify for varies by your credit score and the lenders you're matched with. While Fiona is a legitimate marketplace, be aware you may be inundated with marketing emails and calls from Fiona's lending partners after applying.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • Free to use with soft credit check
  • Compare lender offers in minutes
  • Highly rated by past users and the Better Business Bureau
Cons
  • Shares your information with third parties
  • You may be shown offers you didn't search for
Loan amount$1,000 to $100,000
APR5.20% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. credit scorePoor
Turnaround TimeVaries by lender
Maximum Loan Term12 years
Minimum Loan Term0.33 years

Alternative for payment flexibility

Brigit

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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Brigit is a no-credit-check cash advance app that lets you access up to $250 per pay cycle for a monthly fee of $8.99 to $14.99. Unlike 5k Funds, it's not a loan. Rather, it's a cash advance against your next paycheck with 0% interest and no funding fees. This can make it more economical than a payday loan, which typically costs $10 to $15 per $100 borrowed.

Brigit also allows you to request a free payment extension if you're short on cash. As long as you've had two previous consecutive on-time payments, you can request a payment extension. You can store up to three payment extensions to use later, giving you more flexibility in how you repay your cash advance.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • No interest charged on advances
  • Credit-builder program included in monthly fee
  • Up to $1 million in identity-theft protection
Cons
  • Must establish a direct deposit history
  • Relatively low maximum $250 advance limit
  • Some users report poor customer service
Loan amount$50 to $250
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround time1 to 3 business days or instant with a Premium subscription or for a fee

Alternative for bad credit lending

Avant personal loans

3.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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Unlike many other lenders, Avant accepts self-employment income and less-than-perfect credit. To qualify, you need a credit score of at least 580, whereas most other lenders require upwards of 600 to 670 minimum. While Avant is more flexible with credit scores and employment history, it has high rates between 9.95% to 35.99% — so if you have a higher credit score, you may be able to find lower rates elsewhere.

  • Not available in: Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, New York, Vermont, West Virginia
Personal loans from $2,000–$35,000. If approved, the actual loan amount, term, and APR that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
Pros
  • Quick approval and funding
  • Pay no fee for early repayment
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus to help build your credit
Cons
  • Maximum loan amount varies by state
  • May not be available in all states
  • Potentially high origination fees if approved
Loan amount$2,000 to $35,000
APR9.95% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. credit score580
Turnaround TimeAs soon as the next business day
Maximum Loan Term5 years
Minimum Loan Term1 year

Alternative for quality customer reviews

Best Egg personal loans

3.8 / 5 ★★★★★

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Best Egg offers loans up to $50,000 and is one of the few lenders with positive reviews across the board. It's consistently received high ratings on reputable review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Credit Karma. Best Egg also accepts fair credit borrowers making it a good option if you're not sure you'll qualify for other direct lenders.

  • Not available in: Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia
*Trustpilot TrustScore as of December 2022. Best Egg loans are personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. The Best Egg Credit Card is issued exclusively by First Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, Brookings SD pursuant to a license by Visa International. Visa is a registered trademark, and the Visa logo design is a trademark of Visa International Incorporated. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Best Egg Technologies, LLC. Offers may be sent pursuant to a joint marketing agreement between Cross River Bank, Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. and/or First Bank & Trust and Marlette Marketing, LLC, a subsidiary of Best Egg, Inc.

The term, amount, and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. About half of our customers get their money the next day. After successful verification, your money can be deposited in your bank account within 1-3 business days. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000– $50,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; Ohio, $5,001; and Georgia, $3,001.

For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $100,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 8.99%–35.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–8.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. For example: a 5‐year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3‐year $5,000 loan with 7.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $155.12. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents. Best Egg products are not available if you live in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories. TO REPORT A PROBLEM OR COMPLAINT WITH THIS LENDER, YOU MAY WRITE OR CALL–Operations Manager, Email: crt-resolutions@bestegg.com, Address: P.O. Box 42912, Philadelphia, PA 19101, Phone: 1-855-282-6353. This lender is licensed and regulated by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Financial Institutions Division, P.O. Box 25101, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504. To report any unresolved problems or complaints, contact the division by telephone at (505) 476-4885 or visit the website https://www.rld.nm.gov/financial-institutions/
Pros
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Accepts fair credit
Cons
  • High APRs from 8.99% to 35.99%
  • Origination fee of 0.99% to 8.99%
Loan amount$2,000 to $50,000
APR8.99% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. credit score640
Turnaround TimeAs soon as one business day
Maximum Loan Term5 years
Minimum Loan Term3 years

Alternative for no monthly fees

MoneyLion Instacash advances

4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

MoneyLion is a money management app that offers $500 cash advances per pay period with 0% interest and no monthly fees. And you could qualify for up to $700 per pay period with a Credit Builder Plus paid subscription and up to $1,000 if you open up a RoarMoney account and set up direct deposit.

MoneyLion doesn't just offer cash advances. It's a full-fledged money app offering a banking account, an investment account and a crypto-trading feature. MoneyLion has mostly positive reviews on Trustpilot, but if you need same-day “turbo” transfers, fees can add up quickly and may be higher than other apps.

  • Available in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Pros
  • No credit check required
  • No fees and no obligation to tip
  • Credit builder and crypto features
Cons
  • Must establish a direct deposit history
  • Pattern of negative customer complaints
  • Instant delivery to external accounts costs $8.99 per $100 borrowed
Loan amountUp to $500 or $1,000 with RoarMoney account
Loan TermDue by your next pay date
Turnaround time1 to 5 days or instant for a fee

Alternative for building credit

Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans

Possible Finance is a bad credit online lender offering loans of up to $500 that you pay back in four installments. Fees vary per state and can run anywhere from $10 to $25 per $100 borrowed. But Possible reports your payments to Experian and TransUnion to help build your credit, and you don't have to pay back the full loan on your next paycheck, as with cash advance apps.

While it's expensive compared to cash apps, some customers report their credit scores going up after taking out a loan with Possible. But others warn against taking out too many loans in a short time frame since this can lead to a credit score drop. Due to its cost, Possible is best for emergency borrowing when you need a little longer to pay back your loan.

  • Available in: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington
Pros
  • No credit check required
  • Same-day funding available
  • Reports to two credit bureaus
Cons
  • Borrowing fees range from $10 to $25
  • A history of negative customer reviews
  • Typically more expensive than a cash advance app
Loan amount$50 - $500
Interest rate typeFixed
Loan Term2 to 8 weeks
Turnaround timeAs fast as 1 business day

How does 5k Funds compare?

5K Funds advertises a secure online application process for borrowers, no matter your credit rating. Although 5K Funds offer APRs as low as 5.99%, there are plenty of other reliable options available to you, considering 5k funds’ customer experience reputation. If you want to look at direct loans that are lenient on credit requirements, you can look at brands like Avant or Best Egg. If you want to look at a marketplace like 5k Funds that offers a chance of lower APRs, you can check out Fiona.

BBB accredited No
BBB rating N/A
Trustpilot Score 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 78 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 09 June 2024

5k Funds is not BBB accredited, and it has a rating of 1.5 stars on Trustpilot. In some reviews, customers mentioned they decided not to complete their application process because 5k Funds asked for their bank account details before providing an offer.

Is 5k Funds legit?

We don’t know. While it advertises low rates of up to 35.99% APR on its homepage, the company buries information about its predatory lending partners — including tribal lenders — in its terms and conditions and has many disclosures designed to protect its parent company, Warmest Dear LLC from liability. Even if 5k Funds is legit, there are a lot of red flags that make us wary of recommending it.

Other alternatives to 5k Funds

Cash advance apps and loans may not help in every situation. If you have irregular paychecks or need to borrow higher amounts, consider these alternatives.

  • Ask your employer for an advance. If you’re employed, check to see if your employer offers cash advances against your paycheck. Some employers partner with cash advance apps like Even or DailyPay, which let you access larger portions of your paycheck early.
  • Consider a loan from a CDFI. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) offer small-dollar, short-term loans at a lower cost than a payday or installment lender. CDFIs are typically local banks or credit unions that serve low-income or rural areas.
  • Take out a personal loan. If you need to borrow $500 or more, don’t overlook online bad credit lenders like Upstart, OneMain Financial or Avant. These lenders work with lower credit scores and cap rates at 36% APR. As long as you have regular income, you may qualify.
  • Take out a credit card cash advance. Credit cards offer a way to access cash from an ATM in an emergency. Cash advance rates run high, so consider a card like the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card that offers a lower-than-average cash advance rate.
  • Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) apps. While it’s not the same as cash, BNPL apps let you purchase items you need and pay them off later, which could help in an emergency. Choose from the best BNPL apps for cash-free purchases today.

Compare local resources and more payday loan alternatives to explore more alternative funding options.

Is 5k Funds legit?

We don’t know. While it advertises low rates of up to 35.99% APR on its homepage, the company buries information about its predatory lending partners — including tribal lenders — in its terms and conditions and has many disclosures designed to protect its parent company, Warmest Dear LLC from liability. Even if it is legit, there are a lot of red flags about this company that make us wary of recommending it.

Bottom line

5k Funds is a loans marketplace that isn’t what it appears on the surface. While it seems similar to other personal loan marketplaces like Fiona or LendingTree, it works with predatory lenders like tribal lenders and auto title companies — which typically charge sky-high interest rates.

If you have bad credit, you may believe that your options for a loan are limited. However, having bad credit doesn’t mean you need to turn to expensive payday and installment loans or predatory loan marketplaces like 5k Funds for cash.

There are generally many much cheaper options available, including legitimate bad credit lenders, 0% interest cash advance apps, as well as other alternatives for accessing money.

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