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Best payday advance apps

These apps can give you access to your paycheck early, but are they a good deal?


If you find yourself short of money at the end of the month, these payday advance apps can offer a fee-free way to cover an unexpected bill.

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Have you ever been in a situation where your paycheck just won’t stretch until the end of the week or month?

Perhaps it’s been a bad month, or you’ve had unexpected expenses such as a car repair bill. Whatever the reason for being short this month, you may be on the hunt for solutions.

One such solution is a payday advance app.

Payday advances offer a quick and easy way to access the money you’re owed a little faster. Keep reading to learn about some of the best payday advance apps on the market at the moment.

What is a payday advance app?

A payday advance is a way to get paid a little earlier than usual. Rather than waiting until the end of the month for your paycheck, a payday advance app will release some of that cash a bit sooner.

When you receive your paycheck, the amount you have already taken as an advance is simply deducted from it. The great news is, unlike for payday loans, there are no interest charges for most payday advance apps. Instead, you can choose to tip the app if you wish to support the service or pay a small monthly fee.

Earnin: Best for no fees

Earnin is a free app that allows you to take out up to $100 a day or $500 per pay period from your next paycheck. With zero fees or interest, Earnin makes its income through tips. The tip system allows you to tip an amount you think is fair to support the service. But if you can’t tip, you don’t have to.

Setup is easy with Earnin. All you need to do is download the app to your smartphone, create an account and add in your payment information. When you request an advance, you should have your money in one to two business days – or in a few minutes, if you’ve signed up for the Earnin Lightning Speed program.

Dave: Best for budget management

Dave is an online checking account that offers interest-free cash advances. It can be a helping hand if it looks like you’re about to go over your account balance. If that happens, the app will send you a notification that gives you the option to request a payday advance of up to $100.

Aside from the payday advances, Dave offers a handy way of managing your budget. With the Dave app, you can see an overview of how much you’re spending and track whether you’re about to go over budget.

Dave has a small fee of $1 a month to support the service.

MoneyLion: Best for larger advances

MoneyLion offers a range of different financial products, one of which is Instacash, a cash advance service. Instacash lets you borrow up to $250 from your next paycheck with no interest fees charged.

Download the MoneyLion app, set up an account and link your checking account to see if you qualify. Once you request an advance, you will be able to get your cash in seconds. However, to get it this quickly, you’ll be charged a fee for Turbo delivery. This is between $3.99 and $4.99, depending on where you want to send the money.

Free delivery is also available, but in that case funds will take between 12-48 hours to arrive in your MoneyLion account or 3-5 business days to be deposited in an external checking account.

Branch: Best for employers

Branch is a payday advance app that is mostly designed for employers. With the Branch app, employers can keep track of their workforce, absences, vacation days and shift patterns. The Branch card can also be used to pay employees digitally and immediately after each shift.

With Branch’s Instant Pay feature, employees can access earned wages before their salary payment is due. This can help them avoid a cycle of debt at no extra cost to the employer.

Brigit: Best for extra features

Brigit is one of the more flexible payday advance apps, allowing you to access up to $250 of your paycheck. Unlike with most payday advance apps, Brigit offers you the ability to delay when the payment is taken out of your new paycheck. The due date can be extended up to three times without incurring late fees or penalties.

Brigit will also notify you if your bank balance is looking low, with the option to request an advance if needed. You can even set up automated advances if your balance dips below a certain figure to help you avoid overdraft fees. However, to use this feature, you’ll need to pay a $9.99 monthly fee for Plus membership. Otherwise, Brigit is free to use.

Should you use a payday advance app when you need money quickly?

Using a payday advance app can be a big help if times are tough at the end of the month. It can help you avoid overdraft fees or taking out payday loans. Considering the lack of interest charges, this makes payday advances a great alternative to payday loans and the high interest rates that tend to come with them.

Still, just because there are no interest rates doesn’t mean there are no downsides. The disadvantage of a payday advance is that you’re essentially taking money out of next month’s pay. This can quickly lead to a cycle of you having to take an advance out of next month’s money to cover your current bills. Taking out advance after advance can become a bad habit that leaves you with less at the end of each month.

If this is the case, revise your budget and create an emergency fund for future unexpected expenses. However, in a financial pinch, a payday advance can be very useful.

Bottom line

Using a payday advance app can be a great solution for those looking to avoid overdraft fees or payday loans if they have an emergency. With no interest fees to pay, a payday advance is an excellent way to cover a sudden expense until your next paycheck arrives. But it’s not recommended for long-term use.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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