Apps like Earnin that let you get paid today, as in before payday, have become very popular recently.
There are times when you need an advance on your paycheck. You likely don’t want to go through the hassle of commuting to a cash advance store or hitting your friends and relatives up for money. For times like that, Earnin and similar apps are worth using.
What will I learn?
What is Earnin, You Ask?
It’s an app that lets you withdraw up to $100 per day (or $50 to $500 per pay period) from your wages until your official pay date arrives. Also, as I explained in our Earnin app review, you can tip Earnin up to $14 each time you cash out, which is entirely voluntary, by the way.
Sadly, over 6 out of 10 Americans live paycheck to paycheck. As a result, many desperate workers turn to payday loans. These loans come with hefty fees, and many people get trapped in a vicious cycle of debt unless they’re lucky to pay it off on time. (And few are lucky to pay it off on time.)
Earnin solves this problem since it doesn’t charge you any fees, making it a much better alternative to payday loans. But, it does have its drawbacks.
In order to use it, you have to be a salary/hourly employee working for one employer. Freelancers, remote workers, and those with multiple employers aren’t eligible. However, the other apps below might better complement your needs and situation.
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Apps Like Earnin
I rank the following 10 Earnin alterative apps according to convenience, uniqueness, and cost-effectiveness.
If you want to transfer up to $1,000 a day to your account, sign up for DailyPay.
You can withdraw your earnings instantly any day of the week or the next business day. In addition, you have access to Work Life, a blog containing tips on financial wellness. Even better, you don’t need to pay overdraft or late fees.
While these are awesome features, you’re probably wondering why I place it at number 10.
Though DailyPay lets you transfer money to your bank account, payroll card, or debit card when you feel like it, it isn’t free.
You’re charged a fee — about a couple of dollars — per transaction. You also need to work for an employer who partners with its service, making this option very limited.
PayActiv allows you to withdraw up to $500 before payday. Feel free to transfer your wages to PayActiv Card, bank account, or debit card.
No bank account? No problem! You can pick up cash payments from Walmart when your employer partners with PayActiv.
Why do I rank it at number 9?
Technically, PayActiv is open to everyone. I say “technically” because if your employer isn’t a partner with the company, the only other option you have is to apply for its PayActiv card. And unless you have direct deposit, you have to pay transaction fees.
Want fast cash while building credit? MoneyLion may be the app for you!
Its Instacash program lets you get $25 to $250 in cash advances with no fees or interest. If you want up to $300 in cash advances, you can sign up for the Credit Builder Plus plan and receive non-stop credit monitoring.
Nevertheless, MoneyLion’s pretty expensive. Its administrative fee is $1/month, and its credit-building membership is approximately $20/month.
Furthermore, it takes several weeks to qualify for Instacash’s maximum cash advance payout, which is inconvenient if you’re behind on utility bills or rent.
Possible Finance prides itself on offering a fair payment plan compared to typical payday loan services — and it makes an excellent point.
After all, it doesn’t charge you any penalty or late fees, and you can pay off what you own in four installments.
For one, you have to pay interest fees of approximately $24 per $100 you borrow. Plus, while people in several states can borrow up to $500, Californians can only borrow up to $250.
As of now, Possible Finance services 21 US states. So, if you’re not a resident of any of its listed states, you’ll need to wait until it’s available where you live.
With Brigit, you can get between $50 to $250 in about one to three days. Unlike some cash advance apps, there are no tips or fees to pay.
Would you like your money faster? You can take advantage of the Plus membership option, which grants you flexible repayment plans, instant cash within 20 minutes, extra money-making opportunities, and much more.
That said, the Plus plan will cost you about $10 per month.
Are you a 1099 worker? If so, then Branch is a great app for you since it’s open to employees and independent contractors.
Employees can access up to half their wages before payday, and contract workers can receive payments after each job through their Branch Bold Cards. There are no membership fees or interest charges.
Unfortunately, if you work from home, you won’t be able to use it.
If you need money in a hurry, consider Albert.
You can receive up to $250 within two to three days. (You can get your funds even faster after paying a small fee). And you don’t need to go through a credit check nor pay interest or late fees.
Albert even offers Genius, a service that connects you with experts who aid you in financial matters like budget plans and credit cards. To access this handy service, you’ll have to pay at least $6 a month. However, it’s up to you if you want to pay Genius more each month.
Dave is an ideal app for you if you want a cash advance, budgeting assistance, and side hustle opportunities under one low price.
Request $200 to $500 as a new member, and you get your money instantly transferred to your Dave Debit Mastercard.
Additionally, it has no late fees, credit checks, or interest fees.
What’s the membership price? Only a single dollar per month.
While Current doesn’t offer cash advances, there are other reasons why I put it in the number two spot.
Provided you have direct deposit, you can get your payment two days early. You don’t have to pay any fees, and if you receive at least $500/month in qualifying direct deposits, you get overdraft protection of up to $200.
Have teenagers? You can get them started with banking by creating a Teen Account and helping them manage their spending.
1. Cash App
Cash App permits you to borrow between $20 to $200. You have a month to pay off your balance at a five-percent flat fee and 1.25 a week if you go past its grace period.
As of now, the Cash App Borrow feature is still somewhat new, so it’s only available to a few users.
But why do I rank it number 1?
I currently use this app, and I think it’s the best on the list because you can use it to prepare taxes as well as obtain loans.
Until late 2021, there was a service called Credit Karma Tax where customers can fill out and file their state and federal taxes for free. Now it’s Cash App Taxes.
It costs about $78 to $192 for an accountant to prepare taxes. You can forgo those fees by using Cash App Taxes and deposit your refund afterward. How cool is that?
Other Earnin App Alternatives
Though I highly recommend the 10 aforementioned apps, there are other similar apps you can check out below:
- FlexWage– App for workers who lack bank accounts: Google Play/Apple
- Zirtue– A peer-to-peer borrowing and lending app: Google Play/Apple
- Varo– Online bank for getting short-term funds: Google Play/Apple
- SoLo Funds– App that lets users borrow and earn money: Google Play/Apple
- Empower– Credit building/cash advance app: Google Play/Apple
- Even– Instant wage payment app: Google Play/Apple
- Speedy Cash– App for title, online, and installment loans: Google Play/Apple
- Vola Finance– Loan/money management app: Google Play/Apple
- FloatMe– Cash advance/budgeting app: Google Play/Apple
- Aspiration– Cash advance app with an environmental bent: Google Play/Apple
Wrapping It Up
Nearly everyone finds themselves in a tough financial bind where they need cash today and wants more options than pestering loved ones for cash or (shudder) getting payday loans.
Fortunately, you now know that you can use Earnin or apps like Earnin to pay for groceries, rent, or anything else. Best of all, many of them make it possible for you to obtain funds without leaving home.