Loan Apps Like Dave, SoLo, Brigit, Earnin, MoneyLion, PossibleFinance

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: July 14, 2022 Answers Apps Banking Loan Reviews Loans

If you suffer unexpected financial hardship, there are affordable options to help you weather the storm. For example, if you need $50, $100, or $300, you may think that payday loans are your only option. However, several reliable cash advance apps help finance borrowers with bad credit.

For your reference, ElitePersonalFinance continuously scans the marketplace to find payday loan alternatives for people with bad credit. And if you’re unfamiliar, payday loans have an average APR of 400% and can trap you in a cycle of debt. Along the way, they can also ruin your credit.

Conversely, cash advance apps offer affordable financing and reasonable terms. As a result, apps like Dave, Brigit, Earnin, and MoneyLion can provide funds to hold you over until your next paycheck arrives.

Pros:

  • Cash advance apps offer cheaper financing for borrowers with bad credit.
  • Many cash advance apps don’t charge interest.

Cons:

  • Loans typically max at $300.
  • Many cash advance apps have membership fees or charge administrative fees.

Thus, before submitting your application, you should consider all of your options. For example, personal loans have higher loan amounts of up to $100,000 and can even reach upwards of $250,000 under certain circumstances. Moreover, repayment terms are much more flexible, and cheap APRs of 5.99% to 35.99% make personal loans more affordable than payday loans. Therefore, please visit our marketplace and browse your available options to learn more.

Best Cash Advance Apps 2022

While there are plenty of cash advance apps in the marketplace, there are also plenty of scams. For example, bad actors try to take advantage of the momentum when an industry experiences rapid growth. Moreover, we found that some cash advance apps are payday loan sites in disguise.

But how do you spot them?

If you find an app that mentions a 400% APR, it’s a payday loan provider. And we recommenced that you avoid these platforms, as there are much better options available.

ElitePersonalFinance only covers legitimate cash advance apps. We don’t list or review any payday loan apps!

Lender: Loan Amount: APR: Fees: Credit Check:
Dave Up to $250 0%
  • $1/mo.
  • $1.99 to $5.99 for same-day cash advances
No
SoLo Funds Up to $500 3% – 10%
  • $0/mo.
  • Late payment fee is 15% of the loan amount + $5
No
Brigit Up to $250 0%
  • $9.99/mo.
No
Earnin Up to $150/Day or $500/Period 0%
  • $0/mo.
  • Up to $3.99 per $100 for same-day cash advances (first is free)
No
MoneyLion Up to $250 0%
  • $0/mo.
  • $1.99 to $7.99 for immediate cash advances
No
Possible Up to $500 150% – 200%
  • $0/mo.
No
Vola Up to $300 0%
  • $4.99/mo.
No
Varo Up to $100 0%
  • $0/mo.
  • $3 to $5 per cash advance
No
Albert Up to $250 0%
  • $0/mo.
  • $6.99 per cash advance to an external bank account
No
Chime Up to $200 0%
  • $0/mo.
No
Empower Up to $250 0%
  • $8/mo.
No
Branch Up to $150/Day or $500/Period 0%
  • $0/mo.
  • $2.99 to $4.99 for same-day cash advances to an external bank account
No
Cleo Up to $100 0%
  • $5.99/mo.
  • $3.99 for same-day cash advances
No
Current Up to $100 0%
  • $4.99/mo.
No
Grain Up to $1,000 Line of Credit 15% – 17.99%
  • $0/mo.
  • 1% per withdrawal
  • Late payment fee is the lesser of 5% of the balance due or $5
No
Even Up to 50% of Your Paycheck 0%
  • $8/mo.
No
Extra Varies by Bank Balance 0%
  • $7/mo.
No

Dave App

Loan Amount: Up to $250
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay manually or with your next paycheck
Fees:
  • $1 monthly membership fee
  • $1.99 to $5.99 for same-day cash advances
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have at least two qualifying direct deposits
  • Have cash leftover after paying your bills
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Dave is like MoneyLion because it provides cash advances of up to $250, with no interest and no credit check. To qualify, you need to provide your direct deposit information and have at least two qualifying direct deposits. After that, Dave will analyze your income and determine if you are eligible for a cash advance. For context, you need to demonstrate that you have cash left over after paying your bills. If not, Dave may not approve your application. However, if you’re approved, standard funding is free, taking up to three business days. Conversely, express deposits provide same-day financing, but like Earnin and MoneyLion, there is an extra charge. For example, the fee ranges from $1.99 for cash advances of $5 or less to $5.99 for $100 to $250.

But does Dave work with Capital One? Yes, Dave allows you to link several checking accounts that meet the requirements above. Thus, whether you bank with Capital One, Chase Bank, or Bank of America, you shouldn’t have any problems merging your account with Dave.

Also, cash advances are only open to Dave members. And membership costs $1 per month. In addition, you can also provide periodic tips, though it’s not a requirement. Moreover, you can repay the advance manually or, like Brigit, have Dave automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck.

All in all, Dave is a reliable service that can help bridge the gap between paychecks. As a result, if you have a steady job and can demonstrate a predictable income, Dave can save you money relative to a payday loan. Furthermore, the Dave app should be functional in all states.

Pros:

  • Like MoneyLion, Dave provides cash advances of up to $250.
  • The is no interest or credit check.
  • Standard three-day funding is free.
  • Like Earnin, you can link an external bank account.

Cons:

  • Dave has a membership fee of $1 per month.
  • Same-day cash advances cost $1.99 to $5.99, depending on the amount.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Dave’s policies didn’t change during the pandemic, the cash advance company still offered helpful tips to mitigate the financial difficulties. To learn more about potential hardship programs, you can call Dave at 1-844-857-3283, email support@dave.com, or use the chat function within Dave’s mobile app.

SoLo Funds App

Loan Amount: Up to $500
APR: Typically 3% to 10%
Terms: Up to 15 days
Fees: Late payment fee is 15% of the loan amount + $5
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Depends on the P2P lenders’ criteria
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Operating a different business model than the other apps on our list, SoLo Funds is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lender that connects you with ‘investors’ willing to help. For example, loan amounts range from $50 to $500, repayment terms max out at 15 days, and you don’t need a credit score to qualify. Moreover, like Dave, same-day funding is usually an option, and the app should be functional in all states. In addition, tips typically range from 3% to a 10% maximum. But since they are not mandatory, you may score a 0% APR under optimal circumstances.

However, please note that late payment fees are 15% of the loan amount plus $5. As a result, if you borrow $100 and can’t meet your repayment deadline, the $20 penalty bumps your expense rate up another 20%. Moreover, unlike payday loans, you can’t roll over your loan if you default. However, it’s probably for the best since it keeps you from amassing charges upon charges that could exceed the initial loan amount. Also, please remember that defaulting on your loan may disqualify you from obtaining future financing.

Pros:

  • SoLo Funds lets you borrow up to $500 with no credit check.
  • Tips range from 3% to a 10% maximum, which is cheaper than a payday loan.
  • Like most loan apps, same-day funding is usually an option.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • SoLo Funds late payment fees are 15% of the loan amount plus $5.
  • Approval varies by P2P lender.

The impact of COVID-19:

While SoLo Funds provides helpful tips on how to safeguard your finances during these troubling times, you need to contact the company directly to learn about its hardship programs. To do so, you can email help@solofunds.com or submit a ticket through SoLo Funds’ help center.

Brigit App

Loan Amount: Up to $250
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay manually or with your next paycheck
Fees: $9.99 monthly membership fee
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have at least 60 days of checking account activity and maintain a balance above $0
  • Have a cash surplus every two weeks after receiving your paycheck
  • Have a Brigit Score that ranges from 40 to 100
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Like Dave and MoneyLion, Brigit also offers cash advances of up to $250, with no interest or credit check. Moreover, you can repay the advance manually or have the funds automatically deducted from your next paycheck. Furthermore, the Brigit app should be functional in all states. However, to qualify, there are a few stipulations. You need to have a checking account and use it daily. In addition, you need to have at least 60 days of activity and maintain a positive balance. Moreover, it’s crucial to have a cash surplus every two weeks after receiving your paycheck.

On top of that, Brigit determines your eligibility by analyzing your “Brigit Score.” For example, scores range from 0 to 100, and Brigit doesn’t specify a minimum to qualify. However, the alternative lender notes that the most successful scores range from 40 to 100.

Also, please consider that you can only have one cash advance at a time, and you can’t obtain a new one until you repay the old one in full. However, approved borrowers should receive the funds within one to three business days. Moreover, unlike Dave, Brigit offers no-fee instant funding that you can receive in as little as 20 minutes. On the flip side, Brigit is like Vola and Cleo because it has a monthly membership fee of more than $4. For example, you need to pay $9.99 per month to access cash advances.

Pros:

  • Like Dave, Brigit offers cash advances of up to $250.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • You can receive your funds in as little as 20 minutes without paying a fee.
  • Like Earnin, you can link an external bank account.

Cons:

  • Brigit has a membership fee of $9.99 per month.
  • Your Bridgit score should be between 40 to 100 to qualify.

The impact of COVID-19:

Brigit provided external resources for those struggling during the pandemic. However, to learn more about company-specific programs, you can email info@hellobrigit.com. But please note that the company recommends that you submit a request through Jess, its automated 24/7 chat function.

Earnin App

Loan Amount: Up to $100 per day and $500 per pay period
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay manually via money order or with your next paycheck
Fees: Up to $3.99 per $100 for same-day cash advances (first is free)
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Have a checking account with frequent direct deposits
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

As another excellent cash advance app, Earnin allows you to access up to $100 per day, and like SoloFunds, $500 per pay period. You need a checking account and frequent direct deposits to qualify. However, if approved, there is no interest. Like Dave, you can repay the advance manually, or Earnin will automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck. In addition, Earnin doesn’t list any monthly membership fees, and like the other apps on our list, its products should be available in all states. However, the company encourages users to provide a tip when receiving their funds, though this is voluntary.

In addition, standard cash outs provide funds in one to three business days, and your first same-day cash out is free. After that, the maximum fee is $3.99 per $100 cash advance. As a result, if you have stable earnings and meet the qualifications, Earnin is a solid option. Moreover, the company doesn’t charge a monthly fee to access cash advances, so like MoneyLion, it’s cheaper than Brigit and slightly cheaper than Dave.

However, please note that Earnin requires privacy disclosures. For example, the company analyzes your work email, timesheets, wage stubs, and GPS locations to verify your income and workplace attendance. Of course, this requires your approval. As a result, if you’re uncomfortable with this level of scrutiny, you should consider the drawbacks before signing up.

Pros:

  • Earnin can offer you $100 to $500 in cash.
  • Like Dave, there is no interest or credit check.
  • You first same-day cash advance is free.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • Earnin requires several identity and location disclosures.
  • It costs up to $3.99 per $100 for subsequent same-day cash advances.

The impact of COVID-19:

Providing pandemic assistance on a case-by-case basis, Earnin helped its customers navigate the uncertainties of COVID-19. To learn more about the options available, please email support@earnin.com.

MoneyLion App

Loan Amount: Up to $250
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: $1.99 to $7.99 for immediate cash advances
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have a checking account that’s been open for at least two months
  • Make sure the account is active and has a positive balance
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Like Dave, MoneyLion Instacash can spot you up to $250 with no interest or credit check, and the app should be functional in all states. However, the only repayment option is to have MoneyLion automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck. To qualify, you need to link an external checking account open for at least two months, and it has to remain active and maintain a positive balance. Also, MoneyLion restricts new accounts to $25 or slightly more at the outset. However, once you build a reliable history, you’ll have access to $50 and then up to $250. For context, the company notes that it can take three to eight weeks to qualify for the $250 Instacash maximum.

Moreover, there are no standard fees to receive your funds. For example, regular delivery is three to five business days or 12 to 24 hours under certain circumstances. However, like Dave and Earnin, charges for immediate access apply. They range from $1.99 for cash advances of $5 or less to $7.99 for $100 or more.

For your reference, MoneyLion has a Credit-Builder account tailored to individuals with bad credit. It costs $19.99 per month, provides access to personal loans of up to $1,000, and has APRs ranging from 5.99% to 29.99%. Moreover, the company found that more than 50% of its borrowers increased their credit score by 42 points (or more) within 60 days. As a result, if you need longer-term financing, MoneyLion may be a suitable option. However, our marketplace has similar products that don’t require a monthly membership fee if you’re interested.

Pros:

  • Like Dave, MoneyLion Instacash can advance you up to $250.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • You can receive your funds in 12 to 24 hours with no fee.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like Earnin, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • It costs $1.99 to $7.99 for immediate cash advances.
  • You may only qualify for $25 or slightly more when you first sign up.

The impact of COVID-19:

While MoneyLion doesn’t list any coronavirus-specific policies, help is available if you need it. To learn more, you can call MoneyLion at 1-888-704-6970, email customercare@moneylion.com, or use the company’s 24/7 chat function.

Possible App

Loan Amount: Up to $500
APR: 150% – 200%
Terms: Eight weeks + 29-day grace period
Fees: None
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have a checking account that’s at least three months old
  • Have direct deposits of $750 per month
  • A balance surplus each month can increase your chances of qualifying
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Possible offers loans of up to $500, and like SoloFunds, there is no credit check, and financing is obtainable by individuals with bad credit. However, loan amounts vary by state and max at $250 in California. Thus, it’s essential to contact Possible before you submit your application. Also, some applications are approved in minutes, while others can take up to five business days. Moreover, Possible reports your repayment behavior to the major credit bureaus, so your hard work will be rewarded if you pay on time.

Conversely, the downside is that Possible’s APRs range from 150% to 200%, so loan apps like Dave and MoneyLion are cheaper options. However, since payday loans have an average APR of 400%, it’s a decent fallback option. In addition, Possible allows you to repay your loan over eight weeks, and there is a 29-day grace period if you run into financial trouble. In contrast, payday lenders usually require repayment in two weeks, and hefty penalty fees can apply if you miss a payment.

You need a checking account at least three months old with direct deposits of $750 per month or more to qualify. Also, having a balance surplus each month can increase your approval odds. For your reference, the company’s disclosures note that loans are only available in select states: “At the moment Possible is available in Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.”

So, overall, Possible’s APRs are pretty high, and you’re better off browsing the bad credit personal loans that we have in our marketplace. However, if your only choice is Possible or a payday loan, the former is better.

Pros:

  • Like SoloFunds, Possible lets you borrow up to $500.
  • There is no credit check.
  • There is a 29-day grace period if you can’t make a payment.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • Possible’s APRs range from 150% to 200%.
  • Maximum loan amounts differ by state.
  • Approval can take up to five business days.

The impact of COVID-19:

Standing by its customers in their time of need, PossibleFinance created forbearance plans for borrowers struggling with financial difficulties. To learn more, PossibleFinance recommends that you use the “contact us” function within its app or submit a ticket through its help center.

Vola App

Loan Amount: Up to $300
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: $4.99 monthly membership fee
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have a checking account that’s at least three months old
  • Have regular income deposited
  • Maintain an average balance of more than $150
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Offering cash advances of up to $300, Vola has your back when you need short-term financing. For example, its products are like Dave and MoneyLion’s offerings because there is no interest or credit check associated with your loan, and the app should be functional in all states. However, cash advances are only available to Vola members, and a subscription costs $4.99 per month.

Moreover, to qualify, you need to link a checking account at least three months old. In addition, you must maintain regular activity, have an average balance of more than $150, and have steady income deposited in the account. However, as part of your monthly membership, you can receive your loan proceeds in five business hours or less. Furthermore, please note that, like Dave, Vola will automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck, or you can make manual repayments at an earlier date.

And like Brigit, Vola tracks your progress using a proprietary scoring method. For example, the more you read Vola’s educational content, increase your average balance, and avoid non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, the more your Vola Score increases. Likewise, the company notes that individuals with higher scores are “eligible for more benefits” on the platform.

Pros:

  • Vola provides cash advances of up to $300.
  • Like Dave, there is no interest or credit check.
  • You can receive your funds in five business hours or less.
  • You can link an external bank account.

Cons:

  • Vola has a membership fee of $4.99 per month.
  • Your checking account needs to have an average balance of more than $150 per month to qualify.

The impact of COVID-19:

Vola has agents available if you’re struggling financially. For more information about the company’s policies, you can call Vola at 1-929-295-6847, email hello@Volafinance.com, or use the chat function within Vola’s mobile app.

Varo App

Loan Amount: Up to $100
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay in 15 to 30 days
Fees: $3 to $5 per cash advance
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
    • Have a bank account that’s been active for at least 30 days
  • Have direct deposits of at least $1,000 combined in your checking and savings accounts
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Like Cleo and Current, Varo extends short-term financing of up to $100. Moreover, there is no interest or credit check, and unlike many of the other cash advance apps on our list, you can choose a repayment date that ranges from 15 to 30 days after receiving the funds. However, while there are no late payment or penalty fees, there are tired administrative fees:

  • For cash advances of $20, there is no fee.
  • For cash advances of $50, there is a $3 fee.
  • For cash advances of $75, there is a $4 fee.
  • For cash advances of $100, there is a $5 fee.

To qualify, you need to have a bank account active for at least 30 days and direct deposits of at least $1,000 combined in your checking and savings accounts. However, approved borrowers can opt for free same-day funding, and, like Dave and MoneyLion, the app should be functional in all states.

Pros:

  • Like Cleo, Varo lets you borrow up to $100.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • With repayment periods of up to 30 days, Varo’s cash advances have more flexible terms.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • Varo charges administrative fees that range from $3 to $5 per cash advance.
  • To qualify, you must have direct deposits of at least $1,000 combined in your checking and savings accounts.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Varo doesn’t list any pandemic policies, help is available if you need assistance. For example, you can call Varo at 1-800-827-6526 or email help@varomoney.com to inquire about potential hardship programs.

Albert App

Loan Amount: Up to $250
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay manually or with your next paycheck
Fees: $6.99 per cash advance to an external bank account
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have a bank account with a positive balance that’s been open for at least two months
  • Have regular direct deposits from the same employer
  • Have an account surplus the day after your paycheck arrives
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Albert rivals companies like Dave and MoneyLion because you can borrow up to $250 with no interest or credit check, and the app should be functional in all states. Moreover, like Dave, you can repay the advance manually or have the funds automatically deducted from your next paycheck. In addition, there are no late payment fees, but you can leave a voluntary tip. However, please note a $6.99 administrative fee for cash advances applies for deposits to an external bank account.

To qualify, you need a linked bank account with a positive balance open for at least two months. Moreover, you need to have regular direct deposits from the same employer, and you must have an account surplus the day after your paycheck arrives. Then, if approved, you can receive your funds in two to three business days. However, for expedited deposits, there is another “small fee.”

Pros:

  • Like Dave, Albert lets you borrow up to $250.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • Albert charges a $6.99 administrative fee for cash advances deposited to external bank accounts.
  • Albert requires regular direct deposits and payday cash surpluses to qualify.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Albert’s policies didn’t change during the pandemic, you can inquire about assistance programs by emailing the company at support@albert.com.

Chime App

Loan Amount: Up to $200
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: None
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Have a checking account with Chime
Link External Bank Account: No
Learn More

As a hybrid feature similar to a cash advance, Chime’s SpotMe program offers up to $200 in overdraft protection, and like Dave, the app should be functional in all states. Now, you need an in-house checking account for loan apps that work with Chime. However, if you already bank with Chime, SpotMe can save you a bundle in fees.

For example, most members that have direct deposits of at least $200 per month can enroll in SpotMe. Moreover, if your checking account balance dips into negative territory, Chime will provide you with an advance of up to $200 to bring the balance back to even. Then when your next direct deposit arrives, Chime pays itself back.

Furthermore, don’t worry about fees, interest, or credit checks, and debit purchases and cash withdrawals are eligible. However, please note that payments to friends don’t qualify. In addition, you can leave Chime a tip, but like Albert, the action is voluntary and not a requirement.

Pros:

  • Chime provides up to $200 in overdraft protection.
  • Like Dave, there is no interest or credit check.
  • Debit purchases and cash withdrawals are eligible.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • The service is only available to Chime members.
  • You can’t link an external bank account.

The impact of COVID-19:

Chime’s policies didn’t change during the pandemic. However, customer service representatives are available if you need help. For example, you can call Chime at 1-844-244-6363, email support@chime.com, or use the chat function within Chime’s mobile app.

Empower App

Loan Amount: Up to $250
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: $8 monthly membership fee
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have a checking account that’s at least 60 days old
  • Have at least $1,000 in recurring income per month
  • Have the same employer direct deposit at least $200 in your account three times
  • Have an account surplus of $100 or more after you receive your paycheck
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Empower’s cash advance is also a reliable alternative to a payday loan, and like Dave, you can borrow up to $250. Moreover, there is no interest or credit check, but like MoneyLion, the only option is to repay the funds when your next paycheck arrives. However, after a 14-day free trial, it costs $8 per month to use Empower. To qualify, you need to have a checking account at least 60 days old, have at least $1,000 in recurring income per month, and have the same employer direct deposit at least $200 in your account three times. In addition, you need to have an account surplus of $100 or more after you receive your paycheck.

However, if you’re interested in building a relationship, it may be worthwhile over the long run. For example, Empower notes that it will “soon” offer lines of credit that range from $200 to $1,000 with APRs of 0% to 36%. The only problem is that you have to pay off your balance when you receive your next paycheck to receive a 0% APR. If not, your APR is 36%. However, like SoloFunds, you don’t need a credit score to qualify, and Empower’s product is a solid payday loan alternative under either scenario. Furthermore, the Empower app should be functional in all states.

Pros:

  • Like Dave, Empower lets you borrow up to $250.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • You can link an external bank account.

Cons:

  • After a 14-day free trial, Empower has a membership fee of $8 per month.
  • You need at least $1,000 in recurring income per month to qualify.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Empower’s policies didn’t change during the pandemic, you can inquire about hardship assistance by calling 1-888-943-8967, emailing help@empower.me, or by using the chat function within Empower’s mobile app.

Branch App

Loan Amount: Up to $150 per day and $500 per pay period
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: $2.99 to $4.99 for same-day cash advances to an external bank account
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify:
  • Have two months of direct deposits of at least $40 from the same employer
  • Your debit card needs to match your checking account
  • Disclose your workplace location
  • High spending activity can reduce your chances of qualifying
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

If you need money between paychecks, Branch can help cover the shortfall. For example, Branch offers no-interest cash advances, and there is no charge to receive the funds within three business days. And like MoneyLion, Branch will automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck, and the app should be functional in all states.

To qualify, the same employer needs to make two months of direct deposits of at least $40 into your checking account, and your debit card needs to match. As well, you need to input your workplace location. However, as long as the disclosure is correct, it won’t cause any issues when you work from home. Moreover, Branch notes that low budgets and high spending activity can reduce your odds of qualifying for a cash advance. As a result, you should consider a prudent banking history as one of the requirements.

Like Earnin, cash advances max at $150 per day and $500 during the pay period. And if you have a Branch debit card and digital wallet, you get free same-day funding. However, if you want instant access to your funds and have an external bank account, the charges vary from $2.99 to $4.99.

In contrast, there are no monthly fees, and like Albert, tips are voluntary. In addition, since Branch doesn’t consider the transaction a loan, it shouldn’t require a credit check.

Pros:

  • Like Earnin, Branch lets you borrow up to $150 per day and $500 per pay period.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • Instant deposits to external bank accounts cost $2.99 to $4.99 per cash advance.
  • Low budgets and high spending activity can reduce your odds of qualifying.

The impact of COVID-19:

The pandemic didn’t influence Branch’s policies. However, if you want to learn more about the assistance programs available, you can call Branch at 1-866-547-2413, email support@branchapp.com, or use the support portal within Branch’s mobile app.

Cleo App

Loan Amount: Up to $100
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay manually or with your next paycheck
Fees:
  • $5.99 monthly membership fee
  • $3.99 for same-day cash advances
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Cleo’s algorithm analyzes your spending habits, payroll, and how well you budget
Link External Bank Account: No
Learn More

Cleo is like Current and Varo because it provides cash advances of up to $100. Moreover, there is no interest or credit check, and the app should be functional in all states. However, please note that new members usually qualify for $20 to $70 until they build a reliable history. But if you demonstrate prudent repayment habits, you shouldn’t have any problem getting the total of $100. Moreover, you can repay the advance manually, or Cleo will automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck.

However, your eligibility depends on your spending habits, payroll, and how well you budget. But if you qualify, you can receive the funds in four business days free of charge or have instant access by paying $3.99 per cash advance. One of the downsides is that you need to pay a $5.99 monthly subscription fee, which is higher than other companies on our list like Dave and Vola. Another is that Cleo doesn’t list any options to link an external bank account, so, like Chime, you need to bank with Cleo to access its cash advance service.

All in all, the cost of the subscription is lower than what you’ll pay in overdraft charges. And Cleo Plus offers access to exclusive cash-back deals from popular stores. As a result, you can often earn back the $5.99 monthly fee if you spend $100 or more per month on eligible cash-back purchases. Moreover, you can also opt for a secured credit card as part of Cleo’s $14.99 per month subscription package. However, Cleo’s Credit Builder card limit depends on the amount you deposit, and it isn’t much different from other secured credit cards in the marketplace.

Pros:

  • Like Varo, Cleo’s cash advance can score you up to $100.
  • There is no interest or credit check.
  • There is free four-day funding.

Cons:

  • Cleo has a membership fee of $5.99 per month.
  • It costs $3.99 for same-day cash advances.
  • The service is only available to Cleo members.
  • Like Chime, you can’t link an external bank account.

The impact of COVID-19:

To help struggling borrowers during the pandemic, Cleo created a program where users could donate $5 or more to other members. Then, Cleo’s algorithm would disperse $250 from the pool to the members that needed the money the most. To lean more, please email Cleo at team@meetcleo.com.

Current App

Loan Amount: Up to $100
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: $4.99 monthly membership fee
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Have at least $500 in qualifying monthly direct deposits
Link External Bank Account: No
Learn More

With the same benefits and different terminology, Current doesn’t offer cash advances like Varo and Cleo. However, “Overdrive” still provides up to $100 in fee-free overdraft protection. To qualify, you need to sign up for Current Premium, which like Vola, costs $4.99 per month. In addition, you need to have at least $500 in qualifying monthly direct deposits. For context, these include payroll or social security benefits. Likewise, since Current’s overdraft service only applies to purchases made with your Current debit card, linking an external bank account is likely out of the question.

Conversely, there is no interest or credit check, and there are no additional withdrawal expenses. Moreover, like MoneyLion, Current will deduct the repayment from your next paycheck, and the app should be functional in all states. However, please note that new members will start with $25 in Overdrive protection, and Current will decide when/if you can make the jump to $100. As a result, while Current takes a responsible approach to extending credit, it may be easier to gain approval through other apps.

Pros:

  • Current provides overdraft protection of up to $100.
  • Like Dave, there is no interest or credit check.
  • Current encourages responsible borrowing.

Cons:

  • Like Vola, Current has a membership fee of $4.99 per month.
  • The service is only available to Current members.
  • Like Chime, you can’t link an external bank account.

The impact of COVID-19:

Current’s policies remained constant throughout the pandemic. However, if you need assistance or want to inquire about potential hardship policies, you can email the company at support@current.com or submit a ticket via Current’s help center.

Grain App

Loan Amount: Up to $1,000
APR: 15% – 17.99%
Terms: Repay in full each month or incur interest
Fees:
  • 1% per withdrawal
  • Late payment fee is the lesser of 5% of the balance due or $5
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Grain’s algorithm analyzes your linked checking account’s cash flow to determine eligibility
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

If a weak credit score keeps you from obtaining affordable financing, Grain can help. For example, the alternative lender offers lines of credit up to $1,000, with an APR of 15% if you enroll in Auto-Pay. For context, the APR jumps to 17.99% if you repay your loan manually. However, like Dave, there is no credit check, and the app should be functional in all states. But if you don’t pay off your balance each month, you will incur interest. Moreover, you need a checking account to get started.

In addition, Grain charges a 1% fee each time you make a withdrawal, and late payment fees range from the lesser of 5% of the balance due or $5. As a result, while the charges can add up if you’re not careful, Grain is like Possible in that its products are still more affordable than payday loans.

Also noteworthy, applicants that don’t qualify for unsecured financing may be offered a secured line of credit. For context, Grain monitors the activity in your linked checking account to determine your eligibility. Thus, if your cash flow is a little light, the lender may require a security deposit to obtain approval. However, you should receive the proceeds in one business day or less if approved.

Pros:

  • Grain’s line of credit can reach upwards of $1,000.
  • You can obtain an APR of 15% if you enroll in Auto-Pay.
  • You can link an external bank account.
  • Like MoneyLion, there is no monthly membership fee.

Cons:

  • Grain charges a 1% fee each time you make a withdrawal.
  • The late payment fee is the lesser of 5% of the balance due or $5.

The impact of COVID-19:

As a show of solidarity during the pandemic, Grain cut borrowers loan payments in half to help them stay above water. To learn about how the company can help you, please call Grain at 1-833-755-0809, email help@trygrain.com, or submit a ticket through Grain’s help center.

Even App

Loan Amount: Up to 50% of your paycheck
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay with your next paycheck
Fees: $8 monthly membership fee
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: The payroll advance service only works with select employers
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Even is another reliable company that provides cash advances, and like Dave, the app should be functional in all states. For example, Even Instapay allows you to access up to 50% of your paycheck, and you should receive the proceeds within one business day. For context, you can also pick up the cash in person at a Walmart MoneyCenter or Walmart’s customer service desk. Moreover, there are no interest charges or credit checks, and like MoneyLion, Evan will automatically deduct the funds from your next paycheck.

However, please note that Even’s services only work with select employers. The app lists companies like Walmart, Humana, and PayPal for context. However, it doesn’t provide a concrete list. As a result, if you work for a qualifying employer, you made find Even helpful.

Also, please note that an Even Plus subscription is required to access Instapay. And for that, you need to pay $8 per month. Thus, like many loan apps, Even has good and bad qualities. However, its services may be beneficial under the right circumstances.

Pros:

  • Even Instapay allows you to access up to 50% of your paycheck.
  • Like Dave, there is no interest or credit check.
  • Even partners with companies like Walmart, Humana, and PayPal.
  • You can link an external bank account.

Cons:

  • The service only works with select employers.
  • Even has a membership fee of $8 per month.

The impact of COVID-19:

If you want to inquire about Even’s assistance programs, you can email the company at support@even.com. However, please note that Even recommends that you submit a request via its chat function for immediate help.

Extra App

Loan Amount: Varies by bank balance
APR: 0%
Terms: Repay the next day
Fees: $7 monthly membership fee
Credit Check: No
How to Qualify: Connect your bank account
Link External Bank Account: Yes
Learn More

Home to a debit card that functions like a credit card, Extra’s credit-building service works with more than 10,000 banks across the U.S. As a result, the Extra app should be functional in all states. It works like this: you link your external bank account to Extra’s app, and the company’s algorithm will analyze your spending behavior. After that, Even applies a purchase limit to your Extra card. Then, when you go shopping, you pay with your Extra card, and the company will deduct the funds from your bank account the next day. The benefit of the service is that Extra reports your spending habits as credit purchases. As a result, agencies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion will be aware of the transactions, and like Possible, the disclosures can help boost your credit score.

Moreover, there is no interest or credit check. However, Extra’s cheapest membership fee is $7 per month. And like Brigit, Even, and Empower, Extra has one of the highest monthly charges on our list. But it’s still a win-win for people trying to build credit. Thus, if you have bad credit and can’t get approved elsewhere, Extra can help you rebuild your reputation, allowing you to qualify for more affordable loans in the future.

Pros:

  • Extra helps you rebuild your credit.
  • Like Dave, there is no interest or credit check.
  • You can link an external bank account.

Cons:

  • Extra’s membership fee starts at $7 per month.
  • Your spending limit depends on your bank balance.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Extra’s policies didn’t change during the pandemic, you can contact the company to inquire about potential hardship programs. To do so, please send an email to hey@extra.app and a representative will respond with possible solutions.

Are Apps Like Possible Risky?

Yes. Some of the cash advance apps in our study have no interest or fees, while others have no fees but charge for monthly subscriptions. As a result, while all apps are better than payday loans, those with low or no membership fees (like Dave and MoneyLion) stand out from the competition.

Thus, please think of our list as broken down into three groups:

  1. Cash advance apps that have no interest, fees, or credit checks.
  2. Cash advance apps with no interest, some fees, and no credit check.
  3. Cash advance apps that have interest and fees but no credit check.

As a result, Possible is in the third group. For example, with APRs that range from 150% to 200%, we recommend that you only use the app as a last resort. However, since it’s an alternative payday lender with lower interest rates and better terms than a payday loan, we felt it was prudent to let you know that the option exists.

Do We Recommend Payday Loans or List Payday Cash Apps?

No. At ElitePersonalFinance, we want to help you find the cheapest loans available. And to meet our criteria, products need to have low APRs, flexible terms and originate from a reputable lender. Thus, our marketplace has several options that meet these requirements.

Conversely, we don’t and never will recommend payday loans. And when it comes to high APR alternative payday loans like Possible, we only recommend them for emergencies.

Moreover, if you have bad credit, you may not know that several lenders are willing to offer you affordable financing. As a result, please browse our marketplace or contact us if you have any questions. In addition, if you want to learn more about the options available, please consult our guides below:

In addition, for a quick rundown of the best options available, our marketplace includes several lenders that can help:

What Are Cash Advance Apps and How Do They Work?

Cash advance apps provide short-term funding until your next paycheck arrives. Amounts often range from $5 to $300, and some companies will let you repay the balance in 30 days.

However, the critical point is that these products are for short-term financing. Moreover, all companies on our list require proof of payroll or government benefits to approve your application. Thus, if you have regular income and suffer unexpected expenses, these apps can help until your next payroll deposit arrives.

Also, please keep in mind that the small payouts won’t provide much of a financial cushion. For example, if your car breaks down, your roof suffers a leak, or an unfortunate accident leaves you with a hefty medical bill, $300 likely won’t be enough. However, if you’re short on rent and only need a few hundred dollars, cash advance apps can help.

All in all, the products should be thought of as bridge financing. Thus, if you’re in a tight spot and need cash quickly, they can keep you going until payday.

Do Cash Advance Apps Conduct Credit Checks?

No. Most cash advance apps do not conduct credit checks. For context, non of the lenders on our list perform a credit check. Instead, they monitor your bank balance and perform cash flow analysis. It works like this: cash advance apps’ algorithms quickly scan your account history and determine the surpluses and deficits that you carry each month. In addition, companies’ algorithms may also have proprietary metrics that they use. Then, if they determine that your spending and savings habits meet their criteria, they will extend credit due to the expectation that you can repay the funds.

And that’s all there is to it. As long as your cash flow metrics come back clean, there is little need to analyze your credit score.

Can I Qualify if I Have Bad Credit?

Yes. As mentioned above, lenders care more about your cash flow than your credit score. As a result, if you have bad credit or no credit, it won’t stop you from gaining approval. Now, instant approval is uncertain, and not all applicants will qualify. However, if you meet the company’s banking criteria and maintain a positive account balance during most weeks and on payday, you shouldn’t have any problem obtaining a cash advance.

Moreover, these companies fill a void in the lending market. For example, some traditional lenders shun borrowers with bad credit. And unfortunately, one slip hurts your chances of obtaining affordable loans. However, cash advance apps realize that many borrowers are underserviced and want to help. As a result, your credit score matters much less to them, and cash advance apps can act as a bridge to rebuilding your credit.

How Quickly Will I Get My Cash?

Unfortunately, many cash advance apps charge a fee for instant access to your funds. Conversely, if you wait for one to four business days, you can receive the money free of charge. However, in our opinion, the policy is kind of disappointing. For example, many of these companies advertise saving on overdraft fees by using the apps. And they’re right.

However, instant access to your cash is why you’re applying in the first place. If you didn’t need the money right away, you would wait until payday. As a result, waiting for one to four business days may not fit your needs. And since many lenders know this, it’s an opportunity for them to make money by capitalizing on your desperation.

Thus, the product almost defeats the purpose in some ways: if you could plan for when you need cash, you would never apply for an advance. Moreover, when an unfortunate event occurs, the fee worsens the unpleasant situation. As a result, while cash advance apps are helpful under certain circumstances, they don’t consistently deliver the best results.

Pros and Cons of Cash Advance Apps

For a quick rundown of the benefits and pitfalls of cash advance apps, please consult our list below:

Pros:

  • Cash advance apps are cheaper than payday loans.
  • Cash advance apps are cheaper than alternative payday loans.
  • Cash advance apps usually don’t charge interest.
  • There is no credit check to use a cash advance app.
  • You can qualify if you have good, fair, bad, or no credit.
  • Many cash advance apps allow you to link an external bank account.
  • You can receive your funds in one to four business days without fees.
  • Many cash advance apps let you repay your funds manually or with your next paycheck.
  • Many cash advance apps don’t charge late payment fees.

Cons:

  • Many cash advance apps have monthly membership fees.
  • Many cash advance apps charge a fee for same-day funding.
  • Cash advance apps require a direct deposit history, so you need to have recurring income to qualify.
  • Some cash advance apps require personal, identity, and mobility disclosures.
  • Cash advances are short-term loans, and you usually have to repay the balance within 15 days.
  • Though voluntary, tips can increase the total cost of your cash advance.

Are Cash Advance Apps Better Than Payday Loans?

Absolutely. And we can’t stress this enough. While cash advance apps have good and bad qualities, they’re much cheaper than payday loans.

For example, payday loans have an average APR of 400%, and your interest expense is more than 10x higher than a bad credit personal loan. Likewise, payday loans often have hefty penalty fees that add to your outstanding balance every two weeks. As a result, if you take out a $300 payday loan, most lenders will charge $45 (15% interest rate over two weeks). But, if you can’t repay at maturity, you may incur a penalty fee of $45. Thus, your total balance owing is $390, and the vicious circle can continue for months. Sometimes, borrowers pay fees that exceed the original loan proceeds.

Conversely, cash advance apps have clearly defined parameters, and your loan is repaid directly from your next paycheck. Moreover, an app like Dave has a membership fee of $1 per month. So on a $250 cash advance, it only costs you $1 in fees (0.40% interest rate over two weeks). Likewise, even though Brigit has the highest membership fee on our list at $9.99, a cash advance of $250 only results in a roughly 4% interest rate over two weeks.

As a result, if someone offers you a payday loan, you should run, not walk, in the other direction.

Are Cash Advance Apps Better Than Alternative Payday Loans?

Yes. Some cash advance apps have no interest, fees, or credit checks. Moreover, even the cash advance apps that charge a monthly subscription fee are cheaper than alternative payday loans.

For example, if you pay $4.99 per month for a Vola membership, you can qualify for a cash advance of up to $300. And that works out to roughly $1.66 per $100 borrowed over two weeks. Conversely, a loan from Possible with a 151% APR results in $15 in expenses for every $100 borrowed over eight weeks. As a result, the more extended payback period still results in higher sunk costs. Thus, with cash advances from Dave and MoneyLion even cheaper than Vola, you should only consider an alternative payday loan if you have no other option.

How Do I Find the Best Cash Advance App?

Separating the good from the great comes down to your personal preferences. For example, paying a membership fee at Brigit, Vola, or Empower may work for you if you want additional banking services. However, if your sole focus is to obtain the cheapest short-term financing, we like to focus on a few criteria.

The value proposition:

We want the best product that offers the lowest fees. For example, Earnin provides cash advances of up to $500, which is higher than other lenders on our list, and it doesn’t have a monthly membership fee. Likewise, MoneyLion offers cash advances of up to $250 with no monthly membership fee. As a result, the pair offer borrowers the best bang for their buck.

Banking freedom:

When creating our list, we noticed that some cash advance apps let you link an external bank account, and others require you to bank directly with them. For example, Chime’s SpotMe cash advance service is an additional feature that works with its other products. Conversely, MoneyLion and Dave have stand-alone cash advance services that work with external bank accounts. As a result, the latter two offer more freedom.

Security:

Since cash advance apps are relatively new, spotty regulations can be harmful. As a result, some of the protections you have with traditional banks, credit card companies, and established lenders may not apply with cash advance apps. Thus, it’s critical to determine the least risky companies.

Dave and MoneyLion’s partner banks are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) members. Therefore, it gives us confidence that the pair adhere to regulatory standards and have met the minimum requirements of trustworthy institutions.

The verdict:

We think that Dave and MoneyLion check off the most boxes. They have the lowest fees, allow you to link an external bank account, and have their activities overseen by the FDIC. So, as a result, they should be the first options you consider.

How Do Cash Advance Apps Make Money?

When a loan app offers you a no-interest cash advance and even waives late fees, isn’t there a catch? Don’t worry. Like most 0% APR lenders, loan apps find other ways to monetize their services.

Word of mouth:

When cash advance apps experience robust growth, they offer their customers ancillary services. And this generates more revenue as users take advantage of the platform’s other features. Then, as word spreads, the apps become more popular online, with users and personal finance websites recommending them. Therefore, it helps sustain growth and increases brand awareness. However, we only recommend cash advance apps based on merit. If a platform has less-than-stellar service, we don’t include it in our guides.

Membership fees:

If you read the reviews above, you can see that several lenders charge membership fees to access cash advances. However, the practice is pretty standard. When consolidating several services, loan apps encourage prospects to pay for bundles. Think of it like Amazon Prime: while some members may sign up for the free one-or-two-day shipping, others do so to watch Prime Video, listen to Prime Music, or enjoy Prime Reading. As a result, cash advance apps are no different. Whether it’s budgeting tools, cash advances, or exclusive cash-back shopping offers, no-interest loan apps earn most of their revenue through membership fees.

Tips:

As a play on members’ generosity, voluntary tips can also increase lenders’ revenue. For example, when you dine at a restaurant or have food delivered, most connoisseurs will add a tip to their bill. Therefore, loan apps hope you will do the same for them. However, since tip revenue is much more volatile than membership revenue, the former likely fluctuates materially from month to month.

Advertisements:

With eyeballs the most critical metric in the advertising space, the more you use an app, the more management can charge advertisers for product placements. As a result, lenders often monetize their platforms through ads, whether direct ads for a specific product or indirect ads such as cash-back offers.

Data:

Data is king in the Fintech world. And whether it’s Google, Facebook, or Amazon, what you do and how you do it is of immense value to the platform. For example, loan apps can use your viewing habits to determine which products sell and which don’t. In addition, they can use the data to teach advertisers which strategies are most effective. Overall, many technology companies are willing to offer free services due to the valuable insights they obtain by monitoring your browsing behavior.

Conclusion

While cash advance apps are the latest invention to disrupt the lending market, there is a lot to like. Many have no interest, no credit check, and even function with your traditional bank account. However, the downside is that loan amounts are small, and the repayment terms are short. As a result, if you need more significant proceeds and want more flexible terms, a personal loan may be suitable. Conversely, cash advance apps make life easier if you only need a few hundred dollars to assist until payday.

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