Earnin is a cash advance app that gives you early access to your paycheck before payday. Previously referred to as Activehours, Earnin is designed for people whose necessities and lifestyles do not suit the regular paycheck schedule.
Its other features include low balance alerts, a cashout that lets you receive up to $500 of your paycheck, and a chance to win free cash when you save with the platform.
Earnin is a great cash advance app. However, it is not the only one, and neither is it the best cash app. While the app offers its services for free, it also asks for a donation of up to $14 instead of just asking you to pay for it.
If you doubt that Earnin will give you optimal financial assistance, have a look at the list of alternatives we have curated.
1. Cash App
Cash App is one of the top cash apps with the same functionality as Earnin that works well for people who desire more than cash advances.
With Cash App, you can send, receive funds, and borrow up to $200 for emergencies. Unlike Earnin, which does not charge interest, Cash App gives you four weeks to pay your loan back at a flat fee of 5%.
It’s hard to tell who is eligible for Cash App loans as the app is yet to give an official word for eligibility. However, once you see the ‘Borrow’ option on your account it means you are eligible.
Its small loan amounts make it ideal for personal loans or if you want to borrow less. The app also gives you an option for a credit card if you can’t borrow money from the app.
- It takes steps to ensure your information and data are safe.
- It has an additional feature that allows you to invest in stocks and bitcoin.
- The app is not insured by the FDIC, so there is no guarantee that you’ll get your money back in case something unfortunate happens.
- It’s still in its testing stages so it’s not available everywhere.
Cash App is free for download plus its core functions.
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The Dave cash app is another app similar to Earnin that I highly recommend. What makes Dave an excellent choice over Earnin is its ability to help you earn credit, thanks to its affiliation with LevelCredit.
LevelCredit lets you record your rent payments to credit agencies, helping your credit rating increase thus your total credit score.
The Dave app lets you get paid up to two days before your payday. The app has additional features, most notably, the budgeting feature, the build credit feature, and the find work feature.
- It offers FDIC-insured accounts.
- Allows you to take advance up to two days to your payday.
- It gives you a chance to grow your credit score.
- It gives you a warning when your balance is low.
- You have to pay for a monthly membership.
- The app requires access to your bank account.
Dave is free to use but has a $1/month membership fee.
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Payactiv is one of the few free cash apps like Earnin that lets you withdraw up to $500 from your balance. Unlike Earnin, which gives you direct access to loans, Payactiv must have access to your company payroll for you to use it to access your paycheck before payday.
Payactiv gets more interesting when your employer partners with Payactiv, as you can pick up your pay advance at Walmart in cash.
Unlike Earnin, which pays you out based on your financial health since it has access to your bank account, with Payactiv, your employer can limit how much you will receive based on their willingness to offer you advance payment.
- It gives you a prepaid card for easy access to your funds.
- It offers low-cost advances with no bank account requirement.
- It benefits both salaried and hourly employees.
- To access most Payactiv benefits you need to sign up for a direct deposit to a Payactiv card.
- Limited options if your employer is not enrolled with the platform unless you sign up for a prepaid Visa card.
Payactiv is free when you sign up for direct deposit; otherwise, you may end up paying up to $5 per month.
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Earnin offers a maximum withdrawal amount of $100 per day. Most people deem it reasonable, but truly speaking, the amount might not be sufficient to take care of emergencies such as hospital bills and emergency auto repairs.
The Brigit cash app comes in to raise your daily limit as the app allows you to borrow up to $250. Brigit offers two simple plans: free and plus with no hidden charges and works efficiently as a cash app.
Like Earnin, it does not have monthly charges. However, their Plus package, which costs $9.90 per month gives you additional perks like cash advances, overdraft protection, protection of up to $1 million for identity theft, and monitors your credit reports.
- It helps you build your credit and save.
- It does not require a credit check and has no interest.
- It offers great insights into your spending habits, budgeting, and how to keep tabs on bills before they arrive.
- It offers real-time alerts.
- Brigit must keep track of your bank account.
- It is not available for joint checking accounts.
Brigit offers a free basic plan to access payday loans. However, the basic plan has limited functionality; therefore, if you feel like you need cash often, subscribe to their Plus plan for $9.99 per month.
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Chime works like a bank more than anything else and is one of the most convenient cash apps like Earnin. It allows you to take advance pay up to two days before payday and is slightly different from Earnin as you receive a debit card upon signing up.
The app also lets you set up a savings account and gives you access to advance loans of up to $200.
- It offers a spending account and a debit card to new members.
- You can withdraw funds through an ATM.
- Chime does not collect tips, processing fees, or membership fees.
- It follows eligibility and overdraft limit requirements.
- Requires access to your bank account.
Chime is free to use with no monthly tips or fees. However, Chime charges interchange fees whenever you use a debit card.
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MoneyLion is another Earnin alternative that helps you earn debit card rewards on purchases and build credit.
The platform offers a cash advance limit of $1000 with 0% APR if you have direct qualifying deposits. If you don’t have direct qualifying limits, your advance limit will be $250. The best thing about MoneyLion is that you can get a loan regardless of your credit score.
Getting paid up to two days earlier is a good reason to open an account with MoneyLion and enjoy price protection for up to 90 days.
MoneyLion is pricier than Earnin. It charges $1 per month as you start, $2.45 for using an ATM out of network, and $19.99 per month to use the credit builder plus plan.
- MoneyLion is legit.
- No overdraft or service fee
- It does not run a credit check.
- It requires access to your bank account.
- Sometimes it might take up to five days to receive funds.
Creating an account with MoneyLion is free. The app offers the Credit Builder Plan at $19.99 per month, unlocking your eligibility for Credit Builder Plus loans and other exclusive benefits.
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Possible Finance offers short-term loans and can be a great alternative to Earnin if you need fast cash. Unlike Earnin, Possible Finance reports your payments to major credit bureaus to build your credit score.
Possible Finance requires you to pay interest charges on your payday loan of $23.53 for every $100 borrowed.
Therefore, a Possible Finance online installment loan is a better option than payday loans, and since you won’t pay a fixed monthly fee like in the case of some platforms, it’s best if you took a one-off loan.
To qualify for a loan through this platform, you must be 18 years old, have a checking account with at least three months’ history, and receive monthly deposits of $750 or more.
- No interest or late fees
- Allows you to pay over time in four installments
- It helps you build your credit history by minimizing the mounting debt.
- Only available in 18 states which excludes many borrowers.
Download Possible Finance for free and borrow up to $500 instantly without origination fees, late fees, or penalty fees.
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DailyPay instantly offers you up to 100% of your earned income. While this might be exciting, the app doesn’t provide more functionality besides pay advances.
DailyPay partners with employers where they integrate their system to the company payroll so that you can access your wages before payday at a fee of $1.99.
Unlike Earnin, DailyPay can be limited to its users. You only qualify for a loan if your employer partners with the platform and financial wellness perks may be limited to a few features to help you build your savings.
- DailyPay does not require your social security number.
- Automates your savings
- Allows you to access up to 100% of your earned income
- It is hard to get help from the customer service desk.
- You can only use it if it’s available for your workspace.
DailyPay is free. However, to withdraw your balance, they charge a nominal fee of $1.99.
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Albert is a free cash app like Earnin that is feature-rich and can get you up to $250. As long as you pay your advances on time, Albert lets you request up to three advances per pay period.
Albert offers banking services provided by Sutton Bank. While it was created to be more of a financial advisor, it also provides cash advances, cashback on selected purchases made through debit cards, and helps you invest in stocks.
- It does not charge interest or late fees.
- It helps you maintain your saving goals.
- Requires you to give a lot of information before using the app
- To access features like saving goals, you need to subscribe to Genius.
Albert charges no fee no matter how low your balance goes. However, if you subscribe to Albert Genius, you’ll be required to pay a monthly fee of between $6 – $16.
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If you are looking for an Earnin alternative with budgeting tools that lets you create an online checking account, look no further than Current.
If you open a free monthly account with Current, you will get a debit card, over 40,000 fee-free ATMs, a budgeting category, and a savings pod account. However, the free account doesn’t allow you to access your paycheck like Earnin does.
Therefore, you may need to upgrade to a premium account to enjoy overdraft protection, up to three savings pods, unlimited budgets based on spending categories, and receive direct deposits up to two days early.
While the platform doesn’t offer cash advances, it allows you to qualify for overdraft protection of up to $100, which is an excellent alternative.
- The app is safe and secure with instant transaction alerts.
- It has no hidden fees and requires no minimum balance.
- Delivers paychecks two days faster than traditional loans.
- The free plan has limited features.
The current account has no monthly fees and comes with three savings pods, a budget for various spending categories, and up to $200 in overdraft protection when you overspend.
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11. Varo Money
Varo Money is a platform that offers free online banking and up to a $100 cash advance with no unexpected fees or interest.
Like Earnin, Varo Money comes in handy when you need some extra cash for unforeseen expenses. Varo Money’s cash advance limit is low but can help you sort out a few necessary expenses.
Once you qualify for a cash advance, Varo Money gives you access to your money directly through the app.
It allows you to make as many payments as possible as long as you pay the loan back in 30 days. Borrowing $20 is free, $50 attracts a fee of $3, while $100 attracts a fee of $5.
- Over 55,000 fee-free ATMs
- No hidden fees or monthly fees
- It helps you get paid up to two days earlier when you enroll in direct deposit.
- Varo accounts are insured by the FDIC.
- It has limits on how much you can deposit per day every month.
- Out-of-network ATM fees apply.
Varo Money has no monthly subscription fees.
Rainy Day Lending is one of the few online lenders offering personal loans and cash advances from as little as $200 to as much as $2,500.
It is one of the best Earnin alternatives, as it delivers quality support and assistance, it is easy to apply for a loan on the app, and helps you increase your credit score with proper repayments.
Unlike Earnin, Rainy Day Lending is not a lending platform but merely a middleman that connects you to lenders. With this in mind, it becomes difficult to predict the actual interest rates as you need to talk directly to lenders to determine how much you need to pay for a loan.
Rainy Day offers you the flexibility to choose your terms, which is a great way to find something that fits your needs perfectly.
- The application process is fast.
- The platform offers 24-hour support.
- You can borrow regardless of your credit score but expect to pay high interest if you have a bad credit history.
- It might take you longer to find a suitable lender.
Rainy Day Lending does not charge consumers any fees to submit information online.
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13. SoLo Funds
SoLo Funds is another exciting Earnin alternative that not only lets you borrow money for short-term purposes but also allows you to lend money and earn money. The app gives you more flexibility than Earnin; however, it only gives you 15 days to repay your loan.
SoLo Funds offers peer-to-peer micro-loans to cover emergency expenses for people living paycheck to paycheck.
There are no hidden fees with SoLo Funds, and how much you pay for the loan depends on your working lender.
The good thing with SoLo Funds is that you can get better loan terms. The application process is easy and takes around three hours to complete. Loan requests remain active for up to three days as you wait for your lender’s approval.
Before you can agree to the terms, ensure that you review interest rates and total fees, and if you are in good financial shape, you can also lend out money to earn interest income.
- It has a same-day turnaround.
- It has no option to roll over your loan; hence can help you avoid a cycle of debts.
- SoLo Funds are legitimate.
- It only gives you 15 days to repay your loan.
- You can be disqualified based on your previous charge-offs.
SoLo Funds does not charge any fees to take out a loan. However, you can pay your lender a tip of 10% (optional) or donate to SoLo Funds.
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Empower helps you get the credit you deserve. Its cash advance feature allows you to get cash from $25 to $250 directly to your bank account. Like Earnin, Empower lets you access loans with no interest charges, no late fees, and no need for a credit check.
You can also sign up for an Empower debit card with various valuable features. For instance, if you set up a paycheck deposit, you can use the card to access your paycheck up to two days early.
You can also use the card to make purchases, fee-free withdrawals at over 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs, and up to 10% cash back on purchases at selected retailers.
- It does not affect your credit score.
- Empower provides monthly statements directly from the app, available each fourth business day of the month.
- It helps you get fast cash directly to your bank account.
- Empower does not have a web-based version as it is mobile-based.
- No option to deposit cash to your Empower account.
The platform is free for use on android and IOS for the first 14 days, after which Empower charges a monthly fee of $8.
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Even is similar to Earnin, but your employer has to partner with Even to access your paycheck. It features instant wage payments like Earnin and additionally provides free access to budgeting tools and a savings feature that is FDIC-insured.
Even gives you access to up to 50% of your paycheck, a high-interest savings account, and the ability to track your projected earnings.
- It gives you control of your financial life.
- It helps you avoid predatory payday loans.
- It enables you to build emergency savings.
- Your company has to partner with Even for you to access your paycheck.
Even does not have a monthly charge. However, to access instant payments, you must subscribe to a monthly plan at $8.
Taking advance loans has become a critical way of making ends meet for an average American.
If you are living from one paycheck to another, you’ll agree that apps like Earnin play a crucial role in keeping your life afloat.
These apps will help you get paid early, maximize your purchases, and earn high-interest rates on your savings. However, the app that stands out from the rest is Dave.
Dave gives you a lot of flexibility, and it’s legit so you can trust them with your money.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.