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9 Best Cash Advance Apps (Borrow Instantly Until Next Payday)

Nov 14, 2023
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Cash advance apps provide a means to bridge the gap between paydays or address unexpected expenses. Unlike traditional borrowing methods that tack on APR interest charges, these apps offer more accessible alternatives. Some help you save balances, which you can use like collateral for a secure loan. Others opt to charge subscription fees, instant transfer fees, or optional tips instead.

By tracking your salary and spending patterns, these apps calculate the maximum cash advance you can access. Most of them don't impose interest rates, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements.

In this guide, we delve into the nine best payday loan and cash advance apps in the United States for 2023, including Current, Brigit, and Dave. Whether you're seeking a safety net for unexpected bills or a cushion between pay checks, our list will guide you toward the most efficient, reliable, and affordable cash advance apps available.

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With Current, you can get fee-free overdrafts up to $200 and get paid up to 2 days faster. The account even comes with a card to help you build credit with everyday purchases and earn points on swipes for cash back.

The Top 9 Instant Cash Advance Apps in the US in 2024

In addition to offering payday advances to qualifying customers, these cash advance apps provide a wide range of other impressive features. Many of them come with a credit monitoring feature, which can calculate your credit score without pulling any hard credit checks. Some offer budgeting tools, savings accounts, spending rewards, debit cards, and ways to get paid early.

All of the instant money borrowing apps reviewed in this guide partner with FDIC Member banks in order to keep your balances insured and safe. Let's have a look at the top 9 cash advance apps (all available on Android or iPhone) and how they can help you manage your personal finances with ease:

Current Overdrive

Current offers the Overdrive™ feature, granting access to up to $200 without incurring overdraft fees. To be eligible, you must receive $500 or more in qualifying deposits into your current account within the past 30 days:

  • Advance amount: Between $25 to $200
  • Processing time: Immediate
  • Repayment date: Within 60 days.
  • Membership fee: None

Beyond its borrowing feature, Current boasts saving pods with competitive APY rates, a credit builder card, and the opportunity to receive your salary up to two days earlier.

Current offers a points program for spending at participating merchants, and it doesn't impose any monthly fees. Additionally, Current presents a robust network of 40,000 fee-free ATMs and the convenience of depositing paper checks.

More info: read our in-depth Current review or visit the Current website
FDIC-insured parter: Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC

Brigit Instant Cash

Brigit's Instant Cash feature offers a $250 cash advance for qualifying Plus members. Brigit offers a free plan, which comes with financial planning tools to monitor spending and a marketplace for opportunities to earn extra income. Only Plus members can access Brigit's cash advances, fee-free overdrafts, and credit builder. If you often find yourself losing money to overdraft fees from your main bank, Brigit may be the right app for you.

  • Advance amount: Up to $250
  • Processing time: 2-3 banking days. Instant feature expedites the process for $0.99-$3.99
  • Repayment date: Flexible due date that aligns with income schedule
  • Membership fee: $9.99 per month for Plus

Brigit works by integrating with your primary bank accounts. As long as it can confirm that your account has been active for at least 60 days, has a balance above $0, and has 3 recurring deposits from the same source, you may be approved for a cash advance.

One great aspect about Brigit is that it is open to US residents, not just US citizens. If you are an immigrant with US residency, Brigit may the most accessible option on this list. Like Chime® and Dave, you'll get access to a catalog of side gigs that you can choose from to get some extra income.

More info: read our Brigit comparison guide or visit the Brigit website
FDIC-insured parter: Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

Dave ExtraCash™

Dave members can use the ExtraCash™ service to get a $500 cash advance transferred immediately to your account, also free of interest charges or late fees. You can spend the money on anything you need, from gas to groceries to rent. A minor downside is that Dave charges a $1 monthly membership.

  • Advance amount: Up to $500 per pay period
  • Processing time: 2-3 banking days. Instant feature expedites the process for $0.99-$3.99
  • Repayment date: Your next payday
  • Membership fee: $1 per month

You should have at least three regular deposits to be eligible. You can enhance your eligibility when you link your bank and have a 60-day account history of positive balances. A consistent income history and responsible spending habits will also improve your profile. You can increase your advances by having a total monthly deposit of $1,000 or more.

Like other apps on this list, Dave offers a function to get paid up to two days earlier than your traditional bank if you set up a qualifying direct deposit. Like Chime® and Brigit, you'll access a large portfolio of businesses that offer gig work for you to earn a side hustle.

Dave's express fee for sending cash advances to the Spending account ranges from $1.99 to $9.99, depending on the size of your advance. You can also send the cash advance to an external debit card within 1 hour. These card transfer fees cost a little more, ranging from $2.99 to $13.99.

More info: read our Dave comparison guide or visit the Dave website
FDIC-insured parter: Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC

Varo Advance

Varo introduces the "Advance" feature, accessible to those with a minimum of $1,000 in qualifying direct deposits to their Varo Bank Account. Varo's Advance feature allows you to borrow up to $250. While borrowing $20 is fee-free, Varo does charge flat fees for borrowing anything above that. The fees go up from $4 to $15, depending on the size of the advance.

  • Advance amount: Between $20 - $250
  • Processing time: Immediate
  • Repayment date: Select your own date, within 15 to 30 days.
  • Membership fee: None

In addition to its borrowing feature, Varo offers a credit builder card and a checking account without a monthly maintenance fee. While no interest fee is charged, a fixed fee of between 6% to 8% will accompany every cash advance exceeding $20. It also has a feature to get you paid up to two days earlier.

Unique compared to other cash advance apps on this list, Varo is a duly-licensed bank in the United States and a Member FDIC.

More info: visit the Varo website
FDIC-insured parter: Varo Bank, NA, Member FDIC

Albert Instant

Albert is another app that provides access to cash advances of up to $250. To qualify, establish a direct deposit setup and offer evidence of steady income for at least the past 60 days from the same employer. Similar to the other cash advance apps, Albert's "Instant" feature doesn't impose interest or late fees. You're allowed up to three cash advances during each pay period, with the total capped at $250.

  • Advance amount: Up to $250
  • Processing time: 2-3 days, or instant loans for a small fee
  • Repayment date: Your next payday
  • Membership fee: None (Genius plan is $8 per month)

Albert offers an optional premium membership known as "Genius," which costs $96 per year. This subscription unlocks additional features, including investment options. In our opinion, Albert's additional features do not greatly differ from those you'd find in Chime®, Revolut, or Dave. It's also worth noting that when you create an account with Albert, you will be automatically enrolled in the Genius free trial, which must be canceled after 30 days if you do not want to pay the full year's membership fee.

More info: visit the Albert website
FDIC-insured parter: Sutton Bank, Member FDIC

Empower Cash Advance

Empower provides you with cash advances by linking your primary bank account via Plaid. Empower then determines your eligibility for a cash advance by reviewing your transaction history and a consistent source of income. Cash Advance offers range between $10 - $250.

  • Advance amount: Up to $250 per pay period
  • Processing time: 2-5 banking days. "Instant" delivery for $1.00-$8.00
  • Repayment date: Empower sets a flexible date within the app
  • Membership fee: $8

Empower sets a repayment date, which you will be able to review before taking the cash advance. If you do not pay on time, you will be able to re-set the date, and Empower will not charge late fees or interest.

More info: visit the Empower website
FDIC-insured parter: nbkc bank, Member FDIC

EarnIn Cash Out

EarnIn has their "Cash Out" feature, which allows you to access up to $750 per month of your pay early (eligibility based on your hourly wage), with a daily limit of $100. To access this feature, you must verify your income and employment. If you have a consistent source of income, EarnIn can help you spread out access to your paycheck throughout the whole month.

  • Advance amount: Up to $750 per pay period
  • Processing time: 1-2 banking days. "Lightning Speed" feature expedites the process for $0.99-$3.99
  • Repayment date: Your next payday
  • Membership fee: None

Instead of transferring funds to your main bank, you can also use their EarnIn Card, a Visa contactless card. This card enables immediate access to your earnings, allowing you to spend up to $1,500 per day. You can also take a no-fee cash advance of up to $300 per day from an ATM using the card.

EarnIn also offers a credit monitoring feature at no cost. Notably, this service doesn't involve hard or soft credit pulls, ensuring that your credit score won't be affected. Unlike some others, EarnIn does not offer features like savings, rewards, roundups, or cash back.

More info: read our EarnIn comparison guide or visit the EarnIn website
FDIC-insured parter: Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC

Revolut Early Salary

Revolut doesn't offer a loan feature, but does have the "Early Salary" feature. If your salary is connected by direct deposit into your Revolut account, you'll be eligible to receive your funds up to two days earlier than traditional banks.

  • Early salary: Don't wait on your conventional bank
  • Processing time: 2 days early
  • Fees: No fees
  • Membership fee: None

Revolut extends its appeal with features that allow you to manage and block unwanted subscriptions, access secure savings vaults with attractive APY rates, earn rewards from participating merchants, and enjoy travel perks as a paid member.

Unlike other cash advance apps on this list, Revolut offers a multi-currency account supporting 28 foreign currencies for exchanging up to $1,000 per month without any fees. In addition to cheap international money transfer capabilities, Revolut provides access to a fee-free network of 55,000 ATMs, budgeting features, and more.

More info: read our in-depth Revolut review or visit the Revolut website
FDIC-insured parter: Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Member FDIC

Pros and Cons of Using Instant Cash Advance Apps

While instant cash advances can be useful for emergency funds before payday, they do come with some limitations and drawbacks:

Pros of Cash Advance Apps:

  • Cover emergency expenses before next paycheck;
  • Usually come with no interest rate fees;
  • Often come with budgeting tools and get paid early features;
  • Send alerts when accounts are running low;
  • Repayment dates are often flexible;
  • Can help you build habits to avoid credit card debt.

Cons of Cash Advance Apps:

  • Come in small amounts, unlike personal loans for large purchases;
  • Some charge monthly membership fees;
  • Extra fee if you need the cash advance to be transferred instantly;
  • Since they are not loans, repayment won't increase credit score;
  • Accounts will be closed if you cannot repay the cash advance;
  • Eligibility requirements include salary and direct deposit history.

Alternatives to Cash Advance Apps

Cash advance apps are generally intended for emergency use before payday, or when you need to make a purchase that will send your bank account into overdraft. While cash advance apps can help you avoid overdraft fees, there are lending alternatives better suited for borrowing medium to large sums of money:

Credit Cards

Credit cards extend lines of credit to you, which will cost you money if you cannot repay the debt you have taken on each month. The fees are expressed in the form of APR (Annual Percentage Rate), which is the actual yearly cost of borrowing that money.

If you had a credit card with 30% APR and borrowed $1,000 without paying it back over one year, you would have to pay a $300 fee at the end of that year. If you can repay your debts each month, then the credit cards can be great options because they come will cash back rewards, airline point programs, and fraud protection. Responsible use can also improve your credit score.

Personal Loans

Personal loans use APR, like credit cards, to charge you for borrowing money. While credit cards are often used for day to day purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, online shopping, and air travel, personal loans often have a specific purpose.

Banks, credit unions, and even online platforms can issue you a personal loan for purchases such as a wedding, a vacation, a medical bill, an emergency, home improvements, and more. When your lender issues your loan, the size of the loan and its APR will likely vary based on your creditworthiness, expressed in your credit score.

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Have a look at our list of apps that let you borrow money.

In Summary: Top 9 Instant Cash Advance Apps in 2024

Here are our recommendations for the best cash advance apps in 2024:

  1. Brigit Instant Cash — Open to US residents w/o social security number
  2. Dave ExtraCash™ — Offers large cash advance of $500
  3. Varo Advance — Not just a fintech platform, but a duly-licensed bank
  4. Current Overdrive — Tech saavy app with spending rewards debit card
  5. Albert Instant — Standard payday advance app open to US residents
  6. Empower Cash Advance — Also open to US residents w/o SSN
  7. EarnIn Cash Out — Highest advance of $750, with repayment flexibility
  8. Revolut Early Salary — App with most diverse & international features

Frequently Asked Questions About Apps That Let You Borrow Money

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References Used In This Guide

Empower. Empower. Accessed 1 September 2023.
Cash Out. EarnIn. Accessed 1 September 2023.
Dave. Dave. Accessed 1 September 2023.
Finance Helper. Brigit. Accessed 1 September 2023.
Albert. Albert. Accessed 1 September 2023.
Cash Advance. Varo Money. Accessed 1 September 2023.

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