Earnin is a cash advance app that makes it easy and convenient to be paid early whenever you need it. Using the app, you can quickly access your paycheck early before payday.
For some people, a regular paycheck just doesn’t work. However, depending on your lifestyle or specific requirements, you may need to access your hard-earned cash sooner.
It’s money that you have earned, so why not?
Earnin is a solution that makes this possible. But it is not the only cash advance app, and there are several others you might want to consider. You may end up using Earnin, or you might prefer to use a similar app.
This guide will take a closer look at how Earnin works and some reasons you may want to use it. We’ll also look at 17 of the best Earnin alternatives you can consider.
How Earnin Works
First of all, we’ll look at how exactly Earnin works. Essentially, it is a paycheck advance app where the basic purpose of the app is to allow users to receive a portion of their paychecks early before payday arrives.
It claims to ‘help you get paid as you work,’ and the idea is that you should not have to wait until the end of the month to access your earnings if you don’t want to.
The current maximum is $500 of your paycheck, but you can receive less if you don’t need this much.
Earnin Express is another useful feature that Earnin provides. You can access your entire paycheck two days earlier than payday.
You can cash out up to 80% of your paycheck, or $1,000, whichever is less and get faster Cash Outs. At the time of writing, there is a waitlist you can sign up for.
You must have a regular payday and a checking account to use the app. You’ll also need a phone to use the app. Then you simply connect your bank account, add your employment information, and add your earnings directly to the app.
You can do this in several ways, like sending your electronic timesheet or using the Automagic Earnings feature.
It is free to use, but you can tip if you want. It asks the community to tip what they think is fair, which goes towards paying the transaction fees.
Other than that, there are no fees, interest, or hidden costs. In addition, Earnin claims to be ‘95% community-supported.’
There is a daily maximum of $100, and the Pay Period Max starts at $250. But it can go up to $500 as you use it and pay back the money. Remember that Earnin does not work for Social Security or government benefits.
While this is the main service, it has some useful extra features. For example, it will alert you when your account balance falls below $200 with the Balance Shield so you can avoid going overdrawn.
Pros and Cons of Cash Advance Apps
Cash advance apps are very popular. This is because they provide a useful service for people who often need to get paid faster, whether regularly or occasionally.
One of the main benefits is that they are often free or have low fees. They are not loans because you are essentially spending your own money. As long as you pay it back, there is no interest charged.
However, this depends on the service. While some apps will advance you money from your paycheck, other cash advance apps will lend you money and charge interest, so you have to be aware of the specifics of the service.
Many come with extra services like warnings about low balances, budgeting tools, overdraft protection, and spending trackers. Some provide you with a bank account, debit card, or credit card.
The disadvantage of these services is that there are often some costs involved. While some are free, others charge a monthly fee.
When borrowing money, you should also be very careful about paying it back to avoid further charges. Some apps will charge high interest rates even if you pay it back on time.
There are also privacy concerns to be aware of. You must be comfortable sharing your employment information and banking details with some apps, so you should trust the app you are using.
Alternatives to Cash Advance Apps
If you want to get access to cash quickly, there are several alternatives to cash advance apps that you may want to consider.
Credit card cash advance
Credit cards are practical and easy to use, but cash advances come with high interest rates.
Loans from family or friends
Borrowing money from someone you know is often a cheap option, but it is not as convenient as using an app. It can also lead to problems if you don’t pay them back.
Personal loans may be an option, but they can take longer to arrange. You will pay interest on the loan, and there may be fees if you fail to pay the loan back on time.
Payday loans are convenient, but they have very high interest rates. Car title loans are another option with high interest rates.
You may be able to borrow funds with a 401(k) loan, but they are often more hassle to arrange, and there are usually fees involved.
If you have real assets like a property, you can get a loan against these, which will often be cheaper than an unsecured loan.
Your employer may offer this option, and while they are usually cheaper than payday loans, the interest rates can still be high.
Best Apps Like Earnin
There are lots of other apps like Earnin that might be a good fit for your needs. Here are 17 of the best Earnin alternatives you should check out.
Chime provides checking and savings accounts rather than cash advances. Therefore, it is more of an online bank than a way to borrow money. However, it has a Direct Deposit feature where you can get paid two days early, which is free to use.
It provides you with a debit card and overdraft protection up to $200, which is called its SpotMe feature. Once you deposit your paycheck, you can set this up. If you make a debit card purchase over your balance, it lends you the money without fees or interest.
It’s a useful option if you want a cheap bank account with a debit card. You can also withdraw money for free at thousands of ATMs.
Dave provides you with an FDIC-insured bank account and a debit card that you can use to withdraw money free at ATMs around the country. It is a paid service, but the monthly fee is only $1.
You can get a cash advance of up to $500 using the app with its ExtraCash feature. This has no fees or interest charges, and it does not require a credit check.
It also has an affiliation with LevelCredit. You can use this to record rent payments, which can help to improve your credit rating and boost your credit score.
It provides several budgeting tools, and it also has a Side Hustle feature where you can find a side job. You also get a warning when your bank account is low to prevent you from going overdrawn.
It does require access to your payroll if you want to get your paycheck early, but you can get up to 50% of your earnings for every day you work and a total of up to 90% of your paycheck.
Another perk offered is that if your employer partners with it, you can get your advance in cash at Walmart.
You also get a Visa debit card, which is an easy way to access your money at a low cost, and you can enjoy discounts when shopping using this. Again, there is no need to link your bank account.
MoneyLion provides a large cash advance limit of up to $1,000 with 0% APR.
You can only get the full amount if you use the Safety Net service to make direct deposits. Otherwise, the limit is lower, with a limit of $250. You can also get your paycheck two days early using the app.
The app provides an FDIC-insured deposit account called RoarMoney. It also has a debit card you can use and an option to invest the round-ups. You can access thousands of free ATMs as well, and you can also earn cash back from purchases.
There are no credit checks, and creating an account is free, but it requires access to your bank account.
Brigit provides users with a cash advance up to a limit of $250. It does not charge any fees or interest for this.
There are no monthly charges for the basic plan, which provides insights into spending, real-time alerts, and budgeting tools.
But there is also a paid Plus Plan that costs $9.99. This has more features, including a cash advance and overdraft protection called Auto Advances.
Also, on the Plus Plan, you can use the credit builder. With this, you can set aside a small amount of money each month, from as little as $5, into a credit builder loan.
It then reports your payments on time to the credit bureaus, which can help increase your score. You also get identity theft insurance up to $1 million.
Empower provides users with a cash advance of up to $250. There is no interest, and you won’t pay late fees or have to do a credit check. However, there is a monthly fee of $8 to use the service.
With Empower Thrive, you can grow your line of credit up to $1,000 and build credit.
When you sign up, you can get an Empower Card, which is a debit card. You can earn cash back on your debit card purchases up to 10%, and you can enjoy free withdrawals at thousands of ATMs.
Paycheck deposits are also available. With this, you can get paid up to two days before your paycheck arrives, like with Earnin.
You can get up to 100% of your income with DailyPay, but it does not provide many other services.
It allows you to build up a Pay Balance as you work, and you can then withdraw it at any time and transfer it to your bank account or debit card. You can also get instant notifications via the app.
DailyPay is only an option if your employer uses it because it partners with employers. They integrate the payroll with the system, allowing you to access your full wages before payday.
It’s free to use apart from withdrawing money. You can get a next-day transfer for a fee of $1.99 or an instant transfer for $2.99.
8. Cash App
Cash App is one of the most popular finance apps, making it easy to receive money and send funds. The Cash Card is the debit card it provides users with. There are no fees to use this, and you can also get discounts on your shopping.
You can get your paycheck up to two days early and even invest via the app in stocks and Bitcoin.
With Cash App Borrow, you can borrow up to $200 with a 5% fee. You will have to pay it back in four weeks. When you sign up, you cannot borrow, but the option may appear later on. There are no specific details on eligibility, however.
Branch is not available in the United States, but it is popular in developing countries like India, Kenya, and Nigeria, with over 40 million downloads.
The whole aim of the app is to provide fair access to finances. Part of this involves a loan service where loans can be paid back over up to 48 weeks. Monthly interest is charged, but there are no fees.
The app also provides features like money transfers and investments. It also has a debit card, which is currently only available in Nigeria.
10. SoLo Funds
SoLo Funds is a good Earnin alternative where you can borrow and lend money. This peer-to-peer loan platform offers micro-loans of up to $575, but your SoLo score determines the amount you can borrow.
Loans must be repaid in 15 days, and there are no hidden fees. It’s easy to apply for a loan, and you simply make a request and wait for approval.
There are no fees, but you can pay tips to the lender. You can also make donations to SoLo Funds.
Even is one of the best free apps like Earnin, and you can use it to get pay advances when you need up to 50% of your total paycheck. The key difference is that your employer has to partner with it.
There are no fees or interest charges; you can simply send the money to your bank account or pick it up in cash in Walmart stores.
You can also choose a percentage of your paycheck to save if you want to become a regular saver. The app also makes it easy to budget, giving you a snapshot of your expenses. Overall, it’s a good option if you want more control over your finances.
12. Varo Bank
Varo Bank offers a free banking service with no credit check, minimum balance, or fees. It provides you with a Visa debit card and credit card, and you can earn up to 6% cash back. You can also use the service to get paid two days early.
You can also get a cash advance of up to $100 with Varo Advance. This is not that high compared to other apps.
Cash advances also come with fees. If you borrow $20 or less, you do not have to pay for the cash advance. However, there is a fee of $3 to borrow up to $50, $4 to borrow up to $75 and $5 to borrow up to $100.
Yotta is a savings account that offers the potential to win weekly prizes. You get entries for your balance, any new deposits you make, and debit card purchases.
It is not an app for cash advances but a good option for saving money in an FDIC-insured account. It also provides you with a free debit card.
On top of that, you can get direct deposits two days before your paycheck arrives. You also get bonus entries when you deposit your paycheck using Direct Deposit.
Current provides you with a checking account that comes with budgeting tools. It’s a free account with a debit card that you can use at over 40,000 ATMs with no fees.
You can set up Savings Pods to save more money. There is also an Overdrive feature which provides overdraft protection up to $200 with no fees.
If you want to get your paycheck early, you must get the Premium Account. You can get your wages deposited two days before your paycheck date. You can also invest in crypto with the app.
15. Possible Finance
Possible Finance provides you with a payday loan of up to $500. There are no late fees, but you pay the loan interest. This is an alternative to Earnin if you need to get access to cash fast.
With Possible Cash, which is coming soon, you can borrow up to $200 with no interest or credit check. A credit card is also coming soon, with an $800 credit limit with no late fees or interest fees.
There is no fixed monthly fee, and it’s more suitable for a one-off loan. Unfortunately, it’s also not available all over the United States.
Albert provides checking and savings accounts with lots of perks. For example, you can earn up to 20% cash back with the debit card.
There is a free paycheck advance feature similar to Earnin’s, where you can get up to $250 with no credit check. There is a small fee for instant payment, or you can get a free transfer if you can wait 2-3 days. You can also get your paycheck two days early.
There is an option to invest using the app for as little as $1. You have to subscribe to Albert Genius to get access to the best features, but you only pay what you think is fair.
17. Vola Finance
Vola Finance provides cash advances up to $300 with no interest or credit checks. The app is free to use and has no fees.
It also provides the Vola Card, a debit card, and the app offers insights into your finances to help you to manage your money better. You can also receive alerts when your bank balance is low to avoid being overdrawn.
Apps Like Earnin Summary
In the table below, we have summarized the Earnin alternatives so you can quickly see the features that each provides.
|App||Cash Advances||Fee-Free Overdraft||Borrowing Limit||Debit Card||Bank Account||Fees|
|MoneyLion||Yes||No||$1,000||Yes||Yes||$0 to $19.99/month|
|Brigit||Yes||Yes||$250||No||No||$0 to $9.99/month|
|DailyPay||Yes||No||100% of income||No||No||$1.99 to $2.99|
|Cash App||Yes||No||$200||Yes||No||5% of loan|
|Even||Yes||No||50% of paycheck||No||No||$0|
|Varo Bank||Yes||No||$100||Yes||Yes||$0 to $5|
We have used a few factors to determine the best apps like Earnin in this list. These include accessibility, fees, transparency, features, and ease of use. All the apps included above have good reputations and make it easier for people from all walks of life to manage their finances.
If you want to get early access to your paycheck, borrow money, or get some assistance managing your finances more effectively, Earnin and the alternative apps listed above may be worth looking into.
All of these apps have similarities and differences, so take a look at them all, try them out, and work out which is the most suitable for you, depending on your specific situation and needs.