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Need money before your next paycheck? These 6 cash advance apps can get you paid early

Updated January 19, 2023, 10:30 PM UTC
Photo illustration of three hands holding cell phones that are showing the logos of Earnin, Chime, and Dave loan apps.
Cash advance apps can come in handy for consumers dealing with unexpected costs.
Photo illustration by Fortune; Original photos by Getty Images (3), Original logos by Earnin, Chime, and Dave

Sometimes you need some extra cash to tide you over when you’re between paychecks. Luckily, there are options out there. You can borrow from a friend, put your necessary expenses on a credit card, take out a payday loan or, thanks to a growing number of cash advance apps, tap your upcoming paycheck early.

With the latter option, you’ll get a portion of your next paycheck in exchange for a transfer fee or monthly subscription cost. In some cases, there’s no cost at all. You can then use the funds however you’d like and pay them back when your next paycheck arrives.

What is a cash advance app? 

Cash advance apps are tools that can bridge the financial gap between paychecks. You connect your bank account, upload employment and earnings info, and then you can transfer a portion of your upcoming earnings right into your bank account or on a designated debit card.

“These apps are designed to provide users with access to small amounts of money on a short-term basis, typically until the user’s next payday,” says Andrew Lokenauth, a finance professor at the University of San Francisco and founder of Fluent in Finance. 

Cash advance apps can come in handy for consumers dealing with unexpected costs (like car repairs, for example) or those who need cash fast.

“One of the main advantages of cash advance apps is their convenience and speed,” Lokenauth says. “They can provide users with quick access to cash when they need it, without the need to visit a bank or other lender.”

They can also be helpful for consumers facing potential penalties when their checking account funds are low. 

“You can pay bills on time, and you can avoid overdraft fees,” says Ram Palaniappan, CEO of Earnin, one of the cash advance apps outlined below. “That’s money that stays in your pockets.”

The exact cost of cash advance apps varies. Some tools require one-time transfer fees or subscription fees. Others operate on tips only. 

6 cash advance apps to borrow against your next paycheck

There are many cash advance apps to choose from, so make sure to compare your options before choosing which one to utilize. Consider the app’s fees, cash advance maximum, any interest charged, and other perks the service may feature—like overdraft protection or early access to your full paycheck.

“With any of these options, it’s important to know what you are getting into before moving forward,” says Jason Noble, a certified financial planner and financial advisor with Prime Capital Investment Advisors in Charleston, SC. “Read the fine print, as that is where you will really know what you are buying.”


Earnin is a cash advance app available on both Apple and Android devices. It offers cash advances of up to $750 per pay period and operates on a tip-based platform. Users have the option to add tips on each transaction to support Earnin’s services.

Here are the details of Earnin:

  • Advance amount: Users can access up to $100 per day and $750 per pay period.
  • APR: Earnin doesn’t charge interest for cash advances.
  • Repayment: Earnin automatically debits your account for the cash advance once you’ve been paid by your employer. You can also manually pay Earnin back via money order. 
  • Fees: Fees: There are no fees for Earnin’s basic services, though the service’s automatic debits could result in overdraft fees if your pay dates aren’t correct in the system. Earnin offers several added features, including Lightning Speed transfers, which enable payouts in just minutes. The fee for Lightning Speed transfers range from $0.99 to $3.99 per transaction. 

Earnin offers several added features, including Lightning Speed transfers, which enable payouts in just minutes. It also offers Earnin Cards, which are Visa credit cards that allow for a larger cash advance than the typical direct-to-bank payouts. With an Earnin card, users can spend up to $1,500 per day or get cash withdrawals of up to $300 per day (as long as your upcoming paycheck supports these amounts).   


Brigit is a financial health app you’ll find in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Its Instant Cash feature allows its users to get advances of up to $250 on their next paycheck. The basic version of the app is free and also offers overdraft alerts, budgeting, and credit-building features.

Here are the details of Brigit:

  • Advance amount: The maximum amount a user can receive is $250, though Brigit calculates a unique approved amount for each user based on their deposits and expenses. 
  • APR: No interest is charged on Brigit cash advances.
  • Repayment: Brigit gives you a repayment date when you request your cash advance and will debit the money from your bank account on this date. There are no late fees or penalties, and users can request repayment extensions if needed. 
  • Fees: Brigit comes with a $9.99 subscription fee for most services. If you only want the budgeting and account monitoring tools, it’s free. 

Brigit comes with several added features, including budgeting tools, overdraft alerts, and a credit builder, which helps users increase their credit score over time. There’s also an Earn Extra feature that identifies potential income-earning opportunities and Flexible Repayment if you need to reschedule when your cash advance is due. 


Chime is a mobile banking app that also has a cash advance feature called SpotMe, which allows qualifying users to get up to $200, fee-free. The app also offers credit-building and payment features and access to Chime banking and savings accounts.

  • Advance amount: Qualifying users can get up to $200 via cash withdrawal or in debit card purchases with no overdraft fees. Friends on Chime can also “boost” this limit.
  • APR: Chime does not charge interest on SpotMe advances.
  • Repayment: Chime will withdraw the repayment amount, plus any tips, automatically from the user’s next direct-deposited paycheck. 
  • Fees: There are no fees to use SpotMe, but you must have a Chime bank account to qualify. Additionally, users can tip Chime after repaying the balance. 

Chime also offers an Early Direct Deposit program which allows users to access their paychecks (as long as they have direct deposit enabled) up to two days early. There is also a payment feature users can leverage to pay friends, regardless of their bank.


Dave is a cash advance app you’ll find on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It offers cash advances up to $500, as well as budgeting features and side-hustle opportunities.

  • Advance amount: Dave’s advances go up to $500. The exact amount depends on your eligibility and identity verification when you sign up for the app, but the average amount is $120.
  • APR: Dave charges no interest for its cash advances. 
  • Repayment: Your payment is due on your next payday or, if Dave cannot determine that date, the nearest Friday. The payment, plus any applicable fees, is debited out of your linked bank account. 
  • Fees: In some cases, there are fees for transferring your advance. These range anywhere $1.99 to $13.99, depending on the amount and the type of account you’re transferring to. You can also opt to tip Dave for its service. 

In addition to its cash advance feature (called Extra Cash), Dave also offers a “side hustle” feature, which connects users with local flex jobs that work with their schedule. You can also earn money by taking surveys through Dave.


Empower is a cash advance app that offers up to $250 with no interest or credit check. It’s available on Apple and Android devices, and you can choose to have money deposited in your existing bank account or on an Empower Visa card for faster payment. Empower is a subscription-based service.

Here are the details of Empower:

  • Advance amount: Empower offers up to $250 per paycheck, but the exact amount depends on your financial activity, including your spending habits and the amount and frequency of your paychecks.  
  • APR: There is no interest charged on Empower cash advances.  
  • Repayment: You’ll be given a repayment date based on your pay schedule. The amount will be debited from your linked bank account. If your bank charges you any overdraft charges due to this debit, Empower will reimburse you. 
  • Fees: There are no fees for a cash advance, though the entire Empower service costs $8 per month. This fee is charged automatically every month to the bank account you link to your account.

Users that choose to have their advance deposited on an Empower debit card can receive up to 10% cash back on purchases, as well as other perks from retailers and businesses. Empower also has a credit-building feature in the works called Empower Thrive. It gives users a $200 line of credit that grows up to $1,000 with consistent, on-time repayment. 


MoneyLion is a mobile banking app that offers features like cash advances, credit building, and investing services. You can also open a bank account, access your full paycheck two days early, track your spending habits, and buy and sell cryptocurrency. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

  • Advance amount: MoneyLion’s cash advances go up to $500 per pay period, though users start at $25 and move up from there based on their deposit history. If you opt to use MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus feature and open a RoarMoney account, you can access up to $1,000. 
  • APR: There is no interest on MoneyLion cash advances. 
  • Repayment: MoneyLion automatically deducts your repayment amount from your linked bank account on the assigned due date. If you don’t have enough in your account, a partial repayment amount is deducted, and MoneyLion will deduct the remaining amount the following day.  
  • Fees: There are no fees for cash advances, but there are fees ranging from $0.49 to $8.99 for transferring the money to your RoarMoney account or an external bank account. You can also choose to tip for the service.

The MoneyLion app has many other features that users might find valuable. Its investment feature, for example, offers personalized investment portfolios with no minimum balances. You can also choose to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and have the extra cash put toward your investments. If you open a RoarMoney bank account with MoneyLion, you can also access your paycheck in full up to two days early.

Alternatives to cash advance apps

Cash advance apps aren’t the only choice if you’re in need of cash before payday. Personal loans and credit cards may also be options, though those charge interest and can get expensive if not paid off quickly. 

“Someone would use a credit card if they could pay back that debt within a few months,” Noble says. “This is due to the large interest rates usually associated with them.”

If you’re a homeowner, a home equity line of credit may work. These let you borrow against your house and then withdraw funds as needed. You only pay interest on the funds you use.

“If you have a HELOC for $100,000, you will not pay any interest on what is not being used,” Noble says. “So, if you get into a pinch and need to borrow $20,000, you will only be charged interest for the $20,000. That interest will usually be lower than a credit card, and the payoff term can be longer.”

Payday loans offer services similar to cash advance apps, but they often come with high fees, ranging from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the typical two-week payday loan with a $15 fee per $100 would come to a 400% APR. Credit card APRs are usually 11 to 20%.

The takeaway 

Cash advance apps let you access a portion of your paycheck early and may be a good option on occasion. As Lokeneuth explains, though, “These should not be used as a long-term financial solution.”

Using cash advances often may indicate a deeper financial issue, so if you find yourself needing the help regularly, consider working with a credit counselor or budgeting professional for help. Building up an emergency fund can also help you better handle a financial emergency should one arise.

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