7 Paycheck Advance Apps That Help You Get Paid Early

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
Short on cash? A paycheck advance app could help you cover an unexpected expense and make it to your next payday.
Updated April 17, 2024
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7 Paycheck Advance Apps That Help You Get Paid Early

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Finances would be simple if everything went according to plan. You work and make money, then you pay for what you need. But what if you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you have an unexpected expense?

According to a survey by the American Payroll Association, nearly 69% of Americans would experience financial difficulties if their paychecks were delayed for a week. You could turn to a payday loan or cash advance on a credit card to help get the money you need. But these options can be expensive and may end up being more trouble than they’re worth.

With some help from technology, you have a more favorable option. Paycheck advance apps can help you get the cash you need to make ends meet without the scary feeling of getting into high-interest debt. Here are seven apps that can help you get a paycheck advance when you need it most.

Featured checking account

Discover®️ Cashback Debit Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

In this article

Chime®

Chime® offers financial services through a mobile app that’s available on iOS or Android devices.2 Services include the Chime® Checking account and Chime Savings account. The Chime savings account can't be opened without the Chime Checking account.3

If you want to get money early with Chime, you need to open a Chime Checking Account and set up direct deposit. This will connect the account with your employer and automatically qualify you to get early access to your paychecks. Paychecks could arrive up to two days early with this feature. This may come in handy if you run into unforeseen circumstances or want to get a head start on paying for certain expenses.45

Chime has no monthly fees and often has better benefits than many traditional banks. No monthly fees means no overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, monthly maintenance fees, or foreign transaction fees. You also get access to tens of thousands of fee-free ATMs in the MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance networks and up to $250,000 in Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. coverage on eligible Chime accounts.6

In addition, the Chime Savings Account allows you to earn a generous annual percentage yield (APY) of 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023).7 This is much higher than the national average for savings accounts of 0.46% (as of May 16, 2024).8 

Read our Chime review for more details.

Chime® Benefits

  • Get fee-free overdraft up to $2009with SpotMe®
  • Get paid up to 2 days earlier4than you would with some traditional banks
  • 24/7 live support with a real human
  • FDIC insured through The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC

Dave

Dave is a mobile app (available on both iOS and Android devices) that offers certain banking services and a way to get your paycheck earlier than traditional banks.10 To get your paycheck early, make sure you sign up for a Dave spending account and set it up with direct deposit through your employer. Following these steps could get you access to your paycheck up to two days early.

Dave spending accounts have no minimum balance fees or overdraft fees. You also get access to 32,000 fee-free MoneyPass ATMs, and your account is covered for up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance. In addition, Dave partners with the LevelCredit service to help you build your credit by reporting rent payments to the major credit bureaus. LevelCredit typically costs $100 per year, but it’s free for Dave banking members.

Dave also offers an ExtraCash account, which provides an advance of up to $500 if you're approved. There's no credit check involved in the application. For a small fee, you can transfer the advance to a Dave Spending account instantly. You can also transfer funds to a different debit card within an hour. 

When you get the advance, you decide on a date to repay it, and Dave doesn't charge interest or late fees. 

Dave Benefits

  • All-in-one banking app
  • Get — and spend — up to $500 instantly
  • Enjoy early paydays and earn cash back
  • Save with goals and even find a side hustle!

Empower

Empower offers Cash Advance, which can provide from $10 to $250 instantly,1112 with no interest or late fees, to help you get by. Empower will check your account history, account activity, and direct deposit information to see whether you qualify for Cash Advance.

If you qualify and need Cash Advance, simply request it in the mobile app (available for both iOS and Android devices). Empower can deposit money into your account for your immediate use. The exact Cash Advance offer is decided by Empower, so you don’t get to select the number. Repayment occurs automatically when you receive your next paycheck.13 

Empower is designed for people who want easy access to their money and want to continue improving their financial situation. It’s helpful to get automatic insight into your finances from Empower. Getting alerts about banking fees or subscription price increases can save you a lot of money over time.

Empower deposits are insured up to $250,000.14

Empower Benefits

  • Cash Advance is available instantly
  • No interest or late fees
  • Easy automated repayment
  • No credit score or security deposit required

Current

Current offers an account you can use through a mobile app that’s available for both Apple and Android devices.1516 This makes it easy to budget and manage your money and access your account balance while you’re on the go. We like Current's 24/7 customer service availability and ability to send your paychecks early.

To get access to your paychecks up to two days early, you need to open a Current account and set up direct deposit.17 This will connect your Current account to your employer’s payroll services and qualify you for early direct deposit. When Current receives your paycheck information from your employer, you may gain immediate access to your funds.

Current accounts also come with many other helpful benefits. You may qualify for up to $200 in fee-free overdraft protection, and you have access to 40,000 fee-free ATMs.18 You’ll also pay no minimum balance fees. You can also earn rewards points with your Current debit card at participating merchants. These points can be redeemed for cash in your Current account.19

The Current account comes with up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance. 

Read our Current review for all the details about this account.

Current Benefits

  • Online-only banking service15 offering individual and teen accounts
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster with direct deposit17
  • Saving Pods offering earnings up to 4.00% (as of Nov. 21, 2023) bonus20 and automatic roundups
  • $0 monthly fees21
  • FDIC Insured through Choice Financial Group

Brigit

Brigit is a mobile app (available on both iOS and Android devices) designed to help improve your financial situation through cash advances, by avoiding overdraft fees, and by providing other helpful services.22 To qualify for Brigit Instant Cash, you need to sign up for a Brigit Plus account (there is a $9.99 monthly fee) or Brigit Premium account ($14.99 per month) and meet all bank and deposit requirements.

If you qualify for the early pay, you’ll be approved for a loan. Your repayment date is set when you first request an advance and should coincide with the date of your next payday. There are no fees for this service, and no interest will be charged.

Brigit also offers spending habit insights, overdraft predictions, credit score tracking, up to $1 million in identity theft protection, and job listings for opportunities to earn more income.

Brigit Benefits

  • Get a cash advance up to $250
  • Find full or part-time jobs to increase your income
  • Track your spending and earning trends over time
  • Start building your credit

EarnIn

EarnIn23 is a free mobile app (available on both iOS and Android devices) that lets users get cash early before their paycheck arrives. You could get up to $100 per day from EarnIn on the money you’ve already earned from working.24 EarnIn requires you to link a checking account with direct deposit and add certain employment information before you can receive a paycheck advance.

With this information, EarnIn can know how much money you’ve already earned based on the hours you’ve logged on your timesheet. You can then request a cash-out (up to $100 per day24) if you need money between pay periods. EarnIn will automatically debit your linked bank account for the amount you cashed out when you receive your next paycheck.

EarnIn also offers other features like Tip Jar, Balance Shield, and Lightning Speed:

  • Tip Jar lets you put money into your Earnin account for specific savings goals you can track.
  • Balance Shield helps you monitor your bank account for overdrafts.
  • Lightning Speed (fees may apply) enables Cash Out funds to be deposited to your Bank Account much more quickly, sometimes within minutes, though some may take up to 30 minutes. Any applicable fees will be disclosed to you before you initiate the transfer.

EarnIn Benefits

  • Get up to $100 per day of access to your paycheck24
  • Access up to $750 per pay period
  • No mandatory fees or interest25
  • Option for instant transfer for a small fee26
  • No credit check ever

MoneyLion

MoneyLion offers a variety of financial products and features, including mobile banking and cash advances.27 Its cash advance feature is called Instacash, which you can set up in three simple steps. First, download the app (available on both iOS and Android devices) and set up an account. Then link a checking account that meets the eligibility requirements. And finally, request Instacash from the app. 

If you transfer to a RoarMoney account, you should receive your funds in 1-2 business days. If you transfer funds to an external account, the funds should arrive in 2-5 business days.

You don’t have to pay any interest on Instacash, and paying back the borrowed amount is straightforward. MoneyLion will automatically deduct the Instacash amount from your linked bank account according to your paycheck cycle. Keep in mind that increasing your direct deposit amount into your linked checking account will typically increase the limit on how much Instacash you can borrow.

MoneyLion also offers personal finance tracking to help monitor your money, as well as opportunities for investing and earning cashback rewards. MoneyLion mobile banking accounts (called RoarMoney accounts) include up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance.

Another option to consider

One Benefits

  • Earn 3% cash back at Walmart28and up to 5% cash back29on select brands
  • Get paid up to 2 days early30
  • Earn 5.00% APY31on Savings with eligible deposits
  • No monthly fees or minimum balances
  • FDIC insurance through Coastal Community Bank32

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Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.1 No minimum deposit or balance. FDIC Insured.

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Earn up to $700

When you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through June 27, 2024. Member FDIC. Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm

Open and fund your accounts to earn up to $700
SoFi Checking & Savings - Earn Up to $300 When You Set Up Direct Deposit

Earn 4.60% APY33 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.34 FDIC Insured.

Open Account

Paycheck apps for employers

Employers can also use apps to help their employees get the money they need between paychecks. If you’re an employer, you may want to look into these apps for your employees. If you’re an employee, ask your human resources department if any of these apps are available.

Here are some apps to help employers provide additional financial benefits to their employees:

  • FlexWage: Employees get instant access to earned wages and can use wages to pay anywhere Visa or Mastercard are accepted.
  • DailyPay: Employees get instant access to earned wages, including tips and gratuities, and can use savings features to put away money.
  • PayActiv: Employees get instant access to up to 50% of earned wages and can pay for Uber or Amazon expenses, or online bills, directly through the PayActiv app.
  • Branch: Employees get instant access to earned wages, whether you’re a W-2 or 1099 employee.

FAQs

What is the best payday advance app?

The best payday advance app is the one that best suits your needs. Apps like Chime and Current offer online financial services and could help you receive your paycheck up to two days early. 

Apps such as Empower and Dave could offer cash advances, but these need to be paid off when your next paycheck arrives. Each app also has unique features, so see which features most align with your financial goals and needs.

What happens if you don’t pay a paycheck advance app back?

Most paycheck advance apps don’t charge interest or late fees if you don’t pay back the money you borrowed. But you typically won’t be able to borrow more money until you make your repayment. In some cases, you may be banned from an app if you continue to not pay back money you borrowed.

How can I get a quick loan with no credit?

Many lenders offer quick personal loans that don’t require good credit, but you’re likely to pay higher interest rates or fees for them. These types of loans may include installment loans or money from payday lenders. Potentially safer options include paycheck advance apps and credit builder loans.

Paycheck advance apps could help you receive paychecks early or get a cash advance against a future paycheck. Credit builder loans typically put the money you borrow into a savings account until you’ve paid off the loan. 

Once you pay off the loan, you can access the money and sometimes also the interest it earned (if applicable). Making payments on the loan can help you build credit, which can be useful in opening up more financial opportunities in the future, as well as helping you create a savings habit.

Bottom line

Paycheck advance apps can help provide you with needed financial assistance when the unexpected happens in the middle of a pay cycle when you don’t have cash. There are some things even the best banks can't do for you. So it makes sense to use these online banking apps when you need them, as everyone needs extra cash sometimes. But don’t become too reliant on borrowing your own money.

Remember that focusing on the short term won’t necessarily help you achieve your financial goals in the long run. If you borrow money from future paychecks, those paychecks immediately arrive with less money. This can become a vicious cycle where you have less and less money to work with over time.

Instead of falling into this cycle, use these cash advance apps when you need them. Then focus on how to make extra cash on the side or learn how to manage your money more efficiently. This can help you escape from living paycheck to paycheck and constantly stressing over your finances.

Discover®️ Cashback Debit Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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