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Alternatives to 5k Funds

5k Funds works with tribal lenders, which can charge sky-high interest rates. Here are 7 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 places for loans besides 5k Funds. Here are 7 alternatives that generally offer cheaper and safer solutions for accessing quick cash when you need it.

7 alternatives to 5k Funds

Alternative for gig workers: Cleo

Cleo

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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 pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99. If you need a same-day transfer, it costs an additional $3.99.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • No payslips or W-2 forms required
  • No credit checks or interest charged
  • Free AI financial planner, bill tracker and low balance alerts
Cons
  • Monthly fee to access cash advances
  • Borrowing amounts are limited initially
  • Mixed customer reviews
Loan amountUp to $250
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround time3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.

Alternative for overdraft feature: Chime SpotMe

Chime SpotMe®

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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 timeSame day

Alternative for higher loan amounts: OppLoans

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 160%. 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 9 to 18 months 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
  • No credit check required
  • Reports to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
  • No prepayment penalties
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

Fiona personal loans

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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Like 5k Funds, Fiona is a free-to-use online loans marketplace with 31 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

Brigit

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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. 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 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 amountUp to $250
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround time1 to 3 business days or instantly with a fee

Alternative for no monthly fees: MoneyLion

MoneyLion Instacash advances

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
  • Use spare change to buy Bitcoin
Cons
  • Must establish a direct deposit history
  • Normal funding takes 24 to 48 hours
  • Instant delivery costs $8.99 per $100 borrowed
Loan amountUp to $500 or $1,000 with RoarMoney account
Loan TermDue by your next pay date
Turnaround timeUp to 5 days or instant for a fee of $0.49 to $8.99

Alternative for building credit: Possible Finance

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. Like 5k Funds, its APRs can run high, reaching up to 460%. 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
  • Offers longer repayment terms than cash apps
Cons
  • APRs can reach up to 460%
  • 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

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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