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Best Cash Advance Apps: Alternative to Payday Lender

If you are in emergency and need cash, these cash advance apps are a cost-effective (sometimes free) alternative to payday lenders.

78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, so it’s no surprise that people run out of cash occasionally. And there have been plenty of payday lenders established to “help” those in need of fast cash — approximately 18,000 in the United States. Try another way, there are only 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States.

Yes, it’s true… There are more payday loan locations than McDonald’s restaurants. Those lenders fulfill a genuine need, but with interest rates ranging from 391% to 521%, their methods can only be described as predatory. What’s worse is that payday loans often address an acute issue while making the borrower’s financial situation far worse.

It’s also because, when the loan expires (usually in two weeks), the borrower is frequently unable to pay it back. The debt rolls over, and the interest rates rise even more. This happens 80% of the time.

Fortunately, these lenders are no longer the only option. Advances in financial technology and increased consumer pressure on financial services providers to offer transparent and fair products have helped to create several new options that can assist you when you need money fast without putting your financial future at risk.

This article will mention some of the best cash advance apps available today. While these applications are superior to payday lenders in terms of convenience, they don’t truly address the underlying issue: that you require a fast influx of money in the first place.

In this article, we’ll give you some pointers for breaking the cycle of payday to payday for good.

What Is A Cash Advance App?

A cash advance app is a type of short-term loan. You can often apply for these loans using your phone and deposit the money into your account within 24 hours. The repayment terms are usually flexible, and you can choose to repay the loan over weeks or months.

The most significant advantage of cash advance apps is that they’re much cheaper than payday loans. The interest rates are lower, and there are no fees associated with early repayment.

You’ll get access to your cash advance sooner if you use an app. It’s comparable to payday loans, with one key distinction: these applications don’t charge triple-digit interest rates or massive fees. They’re usually free or cost little to nothing.

When Should You Use A Cash Advance App?

A cash advance app should only be used in an emergency, such as if you need to pay for car repairs or cover a medical bill. If you’re facing long-term financial difficulty, using a cash advance app will not solve your problems. It could make them worse.

 The cash advance app might be a good option if:

  • You must meet unexpected expenditures like vehicle repair or medical treatment. On the other hand, these things may frequently result in missed work and transform your short-term financial crisis into a long-term problem that derails your finances.
  • It may help you avoid getting fined. If a cash advance app lets you pay your bills on time and avoid late fees or an account overdraft, it’s a fantastic way to go.
  • To prevent a check from bouncing. Banks usually charge around $25 to $35 for a bounced check, and the person who received the check may charge you an additional $20 to $40 (or a percentage of the amount written on the check).

But you should NOT use a cash advance in these cases:

  • To acquire a “want,” you must first make a purchase. Cash advances should only be used for bills and costs, not shopping. To pay a bill with a grace period. If you plan to be late paying a bill, call to see whether there’s a grace period if it’s paid within several days after the due date.
  • Cash advance software is a stopgap measure for a limited time when you’re not willing to address the root of the problem. Your long-term objective is to find yourself in a financial position where such a program isn’t necessary.
  • More accurately, to correct the source of the problem. That entails setting up an emergency fund, paying down your debt, and/or developing a better relationship with money.

Best Cash Advance Apps

There are several cash advance apps accessible. Each has its own set of characteristics and advantages. The four below are worth considering, even though the best cash advance app will vary depending on your specific demands.

#1. Earn

The Earning app is ideal for those who work at a job with pay periods spanning more than one week.

The app allows you to access your earnings swiftly after working your hours. Simply provide the program information about your workplace and link your bank account, and it will keep track of how long you spend there and let you see your revenue as soon as possible.

The amount of money you can borrow using a payday loan is determined by your state law. Most states impose restrictions on how much you may borrow; in many cases, the maximum amount is $500.

Requirements for advance: Advance is not required for employees who work at a physical location or use an electronic time tracking system and are paid via direct deposit.

Cost of advance: There is no cost. The software is based on a tipping system. Users can choose to tip the value they feel the service deserves if they wish, but there’s no requirement to do so.

Payback terms: When you get your pay direct deposited, Earning will take the amount you were credited.

Non-payment: The lack of non-payment penalties is one of Earning’s most distinctive features. If you don’t have enough money in your account when the firm attempts to bring back the money you borrowed, your Earning account will be placed on hold, and you won’t be able to take any more loans. You won’t be charged any late fees, and they won’t send your account to collections either.

Pros: No cash advance fee.

Cons: The $100 limit is low.

#2. Dave

Dave is a great budgeting tool that also offers an interest-free cash advance of up to $75.

Requirements for advance: You must be employed and have your paycheck deposited into a checking account.

Cost of advance: There is no cost.

Payback terms: When you get paid, Dave will take the amount you were advanced plus a $1 fee.

If you can’t repay Dave when you’re supposed to, there are no late fees or penalties. However, if you use Dave too often, your account may be restricted.

Non-payment: There are no non-payment penalties, but your account may be restricted if you use Dave too often.

Pros: No cash advance fee and no late fees.

Cons: Restrictions on account usage.

#3. MoneyLion

MoneyLion is a financial wellness platform that offers a 0% APR cash advance of up to $500.

“Instacash” advances are priced at $250 for 0% APR “Instacash,” but Credit Builder loans with an APR of 5.99 percent are available for up to $500.

Requirements for advance: You must be employed and have your paycheck deposited into a checking account.

Cost of advance: Either 0% or 5.99%, as noted above.

Payback terms: When you get paid, MoneyLion will take the amount you were advanced plus a $1 fee.

If you can’t repay MoneyLion when you’re supposed to, there are no late fees or penalties. However, if you use Dave too often, your account may be restricted.

Non-payment: There are no non-payment penalties, but your account may be restricted if you use Dave too often.

Pros: No cash advance fee and no late fees.

Cons: Restrictions on account usage.

#4. Brigit

Brigit is a financial management app that offers its users access to up to $250. There are no fees for using Brigit, and the money is deposited into your account as soon as you approve.

Requirements for advance: You must be employed and have your paycheck deposited into a checking account.

Cost of advance: No fees.

Payback terms: Brigit will take the amount you were advanced and a $1 fee when you get paid.

If you can’t repay Brigit when you’re supposed to, there are no late fees or penalties. However, if you use Brigit too often, your account may be restricted.

Non-payment: There are no non-payment penalties, but if you use Brigit too often, your account may be restricted.

Employer-Sponsored Cash Advance Apps

While the cash mentioned above advance applications are available to anybody who satisfies the user conditions, the following services work directly with businesses. They don’t necessarily cash advance apps as described in the previous section. Still, they operate similarly by allowing workers to withdraw money they’ve earned as soon as possible.

Some deposits are made to your checking account, and others are given debit cards that may be used for purchases.

These are most effective when viewed as a perk that employers may provide to their workers. Money difficulties can be anxiety-inducing, and they have the potential to affect an employee’s performance.

In this scenario, an employee who can’t afford a car repair might also prevent them from getting to work. As a result of this, these services benefit both parties.

#1. Branch

Employees’ own money is used to make interest-free advances on the money they have previously earned. The maximum advance per day and pay period is $150, depending on the number of hours worked. An instant loan of $3.99 is offered with no charge if you wait three days after applying.

To employ Branch, simply install the app and connect it to your bank account and working schedule. You’ll be placed on a waiting list if your employer does not have a Branch account. On the next payday, your advance will be reimbursed.

Target, McDonald’s, and Foot Locker are just a few of the large, well-known firms that give their workers with Branch.

#2. DailyPay

DailyPay is a service that allows you to access your earnings as soon as you’ve earned them, rather than waiting for payday.

There’s a $2.99 charge for each withdrawal, but if you wait until the next day to withdraw your earnings, it’s free. You may also elect to have your earnings deposited into a debit card, which can be used like a regular debit card.

There’s no minimum balance, and you can withdraw as much or as little as you want.

DailyPay is available through employers such as CVS, Uber, Lyft, and Postmates.

#3. FlexWage

FlexWage is a payroll debit card that allows you to access your earnings as soon as they’re earned. The card may be used like a regular debit card, and there are no minimum balance requirements.

FlexWage also offers an employer-sponsored wage advance program that allows you to withdraw up to 50% of your earned wages in advance. There’s a $5 fee for each withdrawal, and the funds are deposited into your FlexWage account as soon as you’re approved.

FlexWage is available through employers such as UPS, CVS, and Costco.

#4. PayActiv

PayActiv is an app that allows you to access your earnings as soon as you’ve earned them, rather than waiting for payday.

There’s a $5 fee for each withdrawal, but if you wait until the next day to withdraw your earnings, the fee is waived. You may also elect to have your earnings deposited into a debit card, which can be used like a regular debit card.

There’s no minimum balance, and you can withdraw as much or as little as you want.

PayActiv is available through employers such as Walmart, Lowe’s, and Verizon.

Tips To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck

Now that you’ve seen some of the best cash advance apps, it’s time to look at tips that can help you break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.

Make A Budget

The first step is to figure out where your money is going. Track your spending for a month, and then categorize your expenses. This will help you figure out where you can cut back.

Build An Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is crucial. This will help you cover unexpected expenses without resorting to a cash advance. Aim to save enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.

Get Rid Of High-Interest Debt

If you have high-interest debt, getting rid of it as soon as possible is essential. The sooner you do this, the more money you’ll save in the long run.

Invest In Your Retirement

It’s never too early to start investing for retirement. The sooner you start, the better off you’ll be.

Live Below Your Means

One of the best ways to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is to live below your means. This means spending less than you make and investing the difference.

Following these tips can break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and start building a bright financial future.

There Are Other Ways To Earn Extra Cash When You Need It Right Now

Sell Unused Items

Do you have clothes, electronics, or other items taking up space in your home that you no longer use? If so, consider selling them.

There are several ways to do this, such as using an online consignment shop or having a garage sale.

You can request a payroll advance right from your employer.

Some businesses will allow staff to borrow money from their payroll without using one of the abovementioned services. Inquire with your Human Resources department if they have any loans available.

Get A Personal Loan

If you have good credit, you may be able to get a personal loan from a bank or credit union. The interest rate will likely be lower than what you’d pay for a cash advance, and you’ll have a set period to repay the loan.

Start A Side Hustle

If you need extra cash right now, one option is to start a side hustle. This could be anything from dog walking to freelance writing.

There are several ways to make money on the side, many of which can be done with little to no upfront investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a cash advance?

A cash advance is a short-term loan that allows you to access your earnings before payday. There are a number of ways to get a cash advance, such as through an app or by borrowing from your employer.

  1. How do cash advances work?

Cash advances work by allowing you to borrow money against your next paycheck. The amount you can borrow depends on your income and employment status. You’ll typically have to pay a fee for the loan, and the funds will be deposited into your account as soon as approved.

  1. Are there any alternatives to cash advances?

Some alternatives to cash advances include personal loans and credit cards. However, these options may not be available to everyone. Additionally, they may not be as convenient or quick as a cash advance.

  1. What are the benefits of using a cash advance?

Cash advances can be helpful when you need access to cash right away. They’re typically quick and easy to obtain, and you can often get the funds you need within 24 hours.

  1. Are there any risks associated with cash advances?

Some risks are associated with cash advances, such as high fees and interest rates. Additionally, you may face additional fees if you cannot repay the loan. Understanding all of the terms and conditions is essential before taking out a cash advance.

Cash advances can be a helpful tool if you need access to cash right away. However, there are some risks to consider before taking out a loan. Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions before borrowing money.

Cash Advance Apps: Final Thoughts

If you need cash right away, a cash advance may be the best option. There are a number of cash advance apps available, and many of them offer quick and easy access to funds.

However, it’s essential to understand the risks associated with cash advances before taking out a loan. Make sure you know all of the terms and conditions, as well as the fees and interest rates, before borrowing money.

Watch Out For Scams

There are a number of scams associated with cash advance loans. Be sure to research any lender before borrowing money. Also, never give out personal or financial information to someone you don’t know. If you’re ever asked to pay an upfront fee for a loan, it’s likely a scam.

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