Best Apps That Loan You Money Instantly in 2020

EPF Last Update: September 9, 2020

As Fin tech firms look to disrupt the traditional lending space, personal loan and cash advance apps are right at the top of their list. Whether its debt consolidation or emergency expenses, lending apps give you the ability to apply for a loan without ever setting foot in a bank.

Offering loans that range from $50 to several thousand, we compiled a list of the best lending apps in the marketplace today. And because many of the apps below link your bank account to the service, lending solutions are available to borrowers with bad or even no credit. Moreover, with most services, you can also manage your loan directly within the mobile app and apply for refinancing when necessary.

NOTE! If you conduct a quick search, you’ll find plenty of payday loan apps eager to lend you money. However, at ElitePersonalFinance, we highly recommend you avoid these services. Predatory in nature, payday loans come with APRs that average 400% and a limit borrowing amounts to $1,000. Moreover, if you’re late on your payment, you can incur significant rollover and bank overdraft fees. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that 20,000 bank account holders who made payments to online payday lenders incurred an average of $97 in overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees. This figure is nearly three times the $34 incurred by the average American.

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As a leading mobile finance platform, offers $500 personal loans with a fixed APR of 5.99% and a minimum loan duration of one year. Even those with bad credit can still receive a 5.99% APR if they secure the loan against their savings or investment account.

Keep in mind though, personal loans from MoneyLion are only available to Plus members. For $29 a month, you receive a zero-fee checking account, zero-fee managed investing and 0% APR cash advances. You also receive free credit monitoring, fee-free access to 55,000 ATMs and eligibility for the $25 gift card rewards program. As well, all banking funds are held by Lincoln Savings Bank, where deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

The best part about MoneyLion is they give you $1 per day in cashback for logging into the mobile app. This way, if you swipe through all of the cards on the MoneyLion app each day, you recoup your entire membership fee. But remember, you are required to make a deposit of at least $50 into your investment account each month.

To be eligible for a MoneyLion Plus Account you need:

  • Verified identification.
  • Employment income.
  • The ability to meet their repayment criteria.
  • A checking account with a positive balance and direct deposit.

When you become a Plus member, you never need to re-apply for a loan. Because your information is already verified, the company will automatically re-deposit funds into your checking account. As well, there are no origination fees or early repayment fees, and because APRs and installments are fixed, your monthly payment always stays the same. Moreover, if you increase your investment savings and continue to build your credit profile, your borrowing limit will also increase.

Despite the positives, there are some cons to consider:

  • A Plus membership costs $29 a month and you’re required to deposit at least $50 into your investment account each month. However, as we mentioned above, you receive $1 in cashback for logging into the app each day, so you can recoup the entire fee.
  • If you don’t pass MoneyLion bank verification process, your loan application can be delayed for at least 30 days.
  • MoneyLion does not offer refinancing options.
  • A $500 means MoneyLion person loans won’t cover large expenses.

Loan Example:

If you take out a $500 MoneyLion personal loan with a 5.99% APR spread over 12 months, your total outflow looks like this:

  • Monthly Payment: $43.03
  • Total Interest Paid: $16
  • Total Outflow: $516


Opportun loan you money ranging from $300 to $8,000, with repayment duration ranging from seven to 46 months, aims to help borrowers build a better future.

While Oportun APRs are on the high-end – ranging from 20% to 67% – their products are still more affordable than alternative lenders. Also beneficial, Oportun reports your repayment behavior to major credit bureaus, which helps build your credit score over time and leads to more favorable terms in the future. As well, if you’re denied a personal loan because of your income status, a co-signer option is available.

While no credit history or collateral is required to receive an Oportun personal loan, the company does require:

  • Verified identification.
  • A verified address and phone number.
  • Proof of recurring income using either bank statements or pay stubs.
  • Residence in either Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. Or if applying online, Idaho, Missouri or Wisconsin.

As a testament to its outstanding reputation, Oportun is recognized by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) for its dedication to delivering responsible and affordable lending solutions to low-income and distressed communities.

Some cons to consider:

  • Loans are only available in 12 states, so your location may not be applicable.
  • Loan re-payments are made bi-weekly rather than monthly.

Loan Example:

If you take out a $2,000 Oportun personal loan with a 30% APR paid bi-weekly over 12 months, your total outflow looks like this:

  • Bi-Weekly Payment: $89.48
  • Total Interest Paid: $326.42
  • Total Outflow: $2,326.42


Avant loan app allow you to receive loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000, offers lending solutions to those with bad credit. Through its mobile app, you can manage your loan, alter payments dates and receive important information about your loan. While the company has a minimum FICO Score requirement of 580, APRs fall in the healthy range of 9.99% to 35.99%.

At initiation, you pay a loan origination fee of 4.75%, and you must have an annual gross income of at least $20,000. However, the company doesn’t charge any penalties for early repayment. Keep in mind though, Avant personal loans are not available in Colorado, Iowa, Vermont or West Virginia, however, lending options are available in all other states.

Through its internal research, Avant found the majority of its borrowers take out personal loans for debt consolidation. And while the company allows some borrowers to refinance their loans, you first need to make six months of on-time payments to qualify.

Some cons to consider:

  • You need an annual gross income of at least $20,000.
  • A loan origination fee of 4.75% is applied at initiation.
  • To refinance a loan, you first need to make at least six months of on-time payments.
  • Personal loans are not available in Colorado, Iowa, Vermont or West Virginia.

Loan Example:

If you take out a $5,000 Avant personal loan with a 25% APR spread over 12 months, your total outflow looks like this:

  • Monthly Payment: $475.22
  • Total Interest Paid: $703
  • Total Outflow: $5,703


Though it’s an invitation-only service, offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, with APRs ranging from 10% to 24%. As well, loan duration range from three to five years and APRs are fixed throughout the entire term.

However, to be eligible for a Varo loan, you need to open either a checking or savings account with the company. By doing so, this allows Varo to screen customer’s financial behavior and decide who meets the criteria as an eligible borrower. If you do receive an invite, the application takes minutes to complete and you receive the funds within one to four business days.

Through its mobile app, you can also manage your checking and savings accounts and stay on top of your day-to-day finances.

Currently, Varo offers personal loans in 21 states across the U.S. with late payment fees in each state ranging from 5% of the amount due to $25.

Some cons to consider:

  • Personal loans are invitation-only and require you to have a checking or savings account with the company.
  • Personal loans are only available in 21 states.

Loan Example:

If you take out a $1,000 Varo personal loan with a 15% APR spread over 12 months, your total outflow looks like this:

  • Monthly Payment: $90.26
  • Total Interest Paid: $83
  • Total Outflow: $1,083


Designed specifically for college students, offers loans ranging from $50 to $500. To apply, all you need is a checking account that accepts ACH transfers.

When you first download the mobile app, the process starts by creating a profile and answering a few questions about your financial needs. Next, you tell Vola how much you need to borrow and the repayment terms that work for you. If your application is accepted, you receive funding within hours. Like some of the options above, as you build a relationship with Vola and demonstrate your reliability as a borrower, you’re able to lock in better terms for future loans.

While the company does not disclose its range of APRs, it claims to determine your interest rate using its proprietary Vola Score. Through its unique algorithm, the technology applies multiple variables to help quantify a borrower’s credit risk. But like a traditional credit score, as you continue to make on-time payments, your Vola score continues to increase.

The company also allows you to restructure your loan directly from the app. If you can’t make a payment, Vola will work with you to help figure out a solution. As a side benefit, Vola also offers 24/7 customer support and provides blog articles within the app to help increase financial literacy.

Some cons to consider:

  • Loans are capped at $500.
  • APRs are not disclosed and interest rates are determined by its proprietary Vola Score.


As another great lending app, offers loans up to $250. The company also charges no fees, interest or late payment penalties. Rather than apply a specific APR to each borrower, Brigit charges a $9.99 monthly membership fee, which includes access to short-term cash.

Designed specifically as a cash advance service, Brigit requires you to link your bank account to the app. As its algorithm analyzes your spending behavior, it determines when you’re getting low on funds. If necessary, the service then offers a personalized cash advance to help you cover expenses until your next payday.

Because your bank information is already linked to the app, repayment is automatically deducted from your account. The company notifies you 24 hours before a withdrawal occurs and also offers refinancing options in case of emergencies.

Some cons to consider:

  • Membership fees are $9.99 a month.
  • Loans are capped at $250.


True to its slogan of ‘Make Any Day Payday,’ acts as a bridge between money you’ve already earned but have yet to collect. Through its app, you can borrow up to $100 a day from your pending paycheck without incurring the exorbitant fees you see with payday loans.

The process works like this: Through the Earnin app, you tell the company where you bank and where you work. Next, the app uses its location services to determine how long you spent on the job that day. Multiplying hours worked by your hourly rate, Earnin allows you to use the ‘cash out’ button to collect the money you earned that day. When it comes time to pay the company back, it automatically withdraws the same amount from your bank account once you’re paycheck is deposited.

What makes the service so unique is Earnin allows you to ‘pay what you think is fair.’ Rather than charging fees, interest or a monthly membership, the app simply asks for a ‘tip’ after each transaction. You’re able to donate up to $14 per withdrawal, or less if that’s what you prefer.

Some cons to consider:

  • The app requires access to your location.
  • ‘Tips’ can add up over time.


As another reliable cash advance app, offers loans up to $75 and doesn’t charge any interest or fees. For compensation, the company charges a $1 a month membership fee and also requires you to link your bank account to the service.

When it comes to receiving funds, you can choose between standard or express delivery. With standard, the transaction is free, but funds take up to three business days to arrive in your account. Conversely, with its express option – for $4.99 per transaction – you can receive your funds in as little as eight hours.

To qualify for a Dave loan, the company requires some form of recurring income and that you show a positive balance in your bank account most of the time.

Some cons to consider:

  • Loans are capped at $75.
  • Same-day access to funds costs $4.99 per transaction.

Are Mobile Lending Apps Right for Me?

Without a doubt, mobile lending apps are easy-to-use applications that allow you to receive funds more quickly compared to filling out forms at a traditional bank branch. However, despite the added benefits, you’re still subject to increased privacy and security risk.

So, before you decide to take out your next loan, we have some pros and cons you should consider:


  • Quick and easy application process.
  • Low rates and more favorable loan terms.
  • Products are more customization to your needs than traditional bank loans.
  • Products can provide bridge financing in between paychecks.
  • You have a better chance of being approved if you have bad credit.


  • Risk of a data breach or having your identity stolen.
  • Providing personal information to companies that don’t have an established track record or reputation.
  • Technical glitches can lead to problems accessing the app.
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction can make problem solving difficult.
  • Most Fintech firms are unregulated and not subject to the same standards or requirements as traditional banks.

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