Life would be so easy if everything went according to plan. You work, earn money, pay for what you need, and maybe even put a little away for savings. But of course that’s not how it works. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and unexpected expenses arise, what can you do?

You can always turn to a payday loan or take out a credit card cash advance as a quick fix.  The problem is, these options are expensive and may end up being more trouble than they’re worth.

Thankfully, several new apps let you get your pay early. Paycheck advance apps or early payday apps can help you get the cash you need when you need it usually without high interest rates, fees, or credit checks

Let’s go over our 5 favorite paycheck advance apps and what makes them stand out.

Our 5 “Best For” Paycheck Advance Apps

1. Current: Best for Spending

Current is ideal for anyone who wants their banking and cash advance needs in one place. It’s not just an early payday app; it’s also a full-fledged spending account that comes with budgeting tools, spending insights, a credit builder Visa, and cashback rewards

Current’s cash advances come in the form of free overdraft coverage up to $200. You never have to worry about overdrawing your account and paying large fees.

There are no minimum balance fees, no overdraft fees, and you have access to up to 40,000 fee-free ATMs. It releases gas hold immediately so your funds are never tied up. Current even lets you get your direct deposit up to two days early! It’s a great choice for managing your entire financial life.

Current Details and Fees: 

  • Advance Amount: $25 to $200
  • Fees: No fees
  • Time to Fund: Instantly
  • Repayment: Current will automatically apply your next deposit to your negative balance.

Check out our Current review to learn more about how it can help you.

Current mobile banking… The best

“Love it! I constantly recommend it. Get paid 2 days earlier so it always comes in handy. No overdraft fees. Points so when they add up I can redeem them for cash or gift card. Also you can have savings pods for whatever you need to save for and you can add the round off to them. It’s a wonderful card in general 😄”

Celeste Rodriguez, Google Play Review

2. Earnin: Best for Large Paycheck Advances

Earnin is designed for those who need a bit more from their cash advance. Offering up to $100 per day and $750 per pay period, Earnin gives you flexibility if you need more than one advance between paychecks or need to cover larger expenses.

What sets the paycheck advance app apart is its unique approach to cash advances; it allows you to withdraw wages you’ve earned but haven’t been paid yet. You’re not simply borrowing against your next paycheck, you’re cashing out money you’ve already earned with no interest or mandatory fees.

All you have to do is link your checking account with direct deposit and add your employment information so Earnin will know how much you’ve already earned based on your timesheet.

Besides cash advances, Earnin offers credit monitoring, AutoSave feature, and Balance Shield. Balance Shield helps you avoid overdrafts by monitoring your bank account and providing alters and automatic cashouts when your account is too low. 

Earnin Details and Fees: 

  • Advance Amount: Up to $100 per day and $750 per pay period
  • Fees: Voluntary tip, no mandatory fees.
  • Lightning Speed (Fast Funding) Fee: $1.99 to $4.99
  • Time to Fund without Express Fee: 1-2 business days
  • Time to Fund with Lightning Speed: Within minutes
  • Repayment: Earnin automatically debits your account for the amount borrowed when you’re paid by your employer.

Read our Earnin review for more details.

Lightning Fast Cash

“This is an extremely helpful service! Sometimes you get hit with an unexpected event or you’re going somewhere and need funds. Earnin has you covered! They have great customer service and you tip what is fair or what you can instead of high interest rates. Then you pay back what you borrow on your next paycheck. Very simple process and very much appreciated! You don’t have to be stuck with an issue between paychecks. Helps in a pinch. 5 stars! ❣️Thank-you Earnin!”

Laney DeJesus, Google Play Review

3. Albert: Best for Overdraft Protection

Albert is an all-in-one-money-management app offering a new way to bank, save, and invest. Among Albert’s perks are receiving your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit, access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs, no minimum balance fees, and of course fee-free overdraft protection.

Members can access up to $250 in instant overdraft coverage. There is no credit check and no fees but a Genius subscription is required to qualify.

Albert is so much more than just a cash advance app; it’s a financial advisor in your pocket, offering automatic savings, money advice from experts, budgeting tools, customized investment portfolios, cashback rewards, and credit monitoring to help manage your finances effectively.

Albert Details and Fees: 

  • Advance Amount: $25 to $250
  • Fees: No fees
  • Time to Fund: Instantly
  • Repayment: On your next payday or as agreed

Find out more about how Albert can help you by reading our full review.

THANKYOU

“I had a family emergency that drained my bank account until my next pay day, but with Albert I was able to borrow money until then! I 10/10 recommend!”

C WINSLOW, Trustpilot Review

4. Chime: Best for Low Fees

Chime1 is a fintech app that provides banking services with a focus on affordability. This makes it a great choice for anyone looking to avoid banking fees. There are no monthly feesno overdraft fees no minimum balance feesno monthly maintenance feesno foreign transaction fees – and no annual fees

To take advantage of these benefits, you must open a Chime Checking Account and set up direct deposit.

SpotMe2 is their cash advance feature. Get fee-free overdraft up to $200 with SpotMe. You can cover your expenses without worrying about pesky overdraft fees. To qualify for SpotMe, you must have a Chime Checking Account, an active Chime debit card, and a direct deposit of $200 or more.

Chime users automatically get paid up to two days early with direct deposit3, adding to its appeal for those in need of quick cash. You also get access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs in the MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance networks – more than most brick-and-mortar banks!

Chime Details and Fees: 

  • Advance Amount: $20 to $200 via cash withdrawal or debit card purchases
  • Fees: No fees but an optional tip
  • Time to Fund: Instant
  • Repayment: Chime will withdraw the repayment amount from your next paycheck.

Read our Chime review for details about this innovative fintech app.

Love My Chime

“Never have a problem with Chime. Early payday and Spot Me are two of the great things about Chime. I definitely recommend this for everyone.”

John, Trustpilot Review

5. Brigit: Best for Automated Advances

Brigit is a financial health and cash advance app with a wide range of features including instant cash advances, budgeting tools, spending insights, overdraft alerts, credit building, and job listing opportunities.

What makes Brigit stand out is its Auto Advances. This feature proactively monitors your checking account and sends a cash advance if you’re at risk of an overdraft. So you don’t have to worry about overdrawing your account and paying hefty bank fees. You can get an instant cash advance with no late fees, no interest, and no credit check.

To access Brigit Instant Cash and Auto Advances, you do have to pay a $9.99/month subscription fee (The basic version of the app is free) and meet certain qualifications.

Yes, there’s a subscription fee, but it’s cheaper than most overdraft fees – traditional banks charge around $35 per overdraft – and worth it if you plan on using Brigit’s additional features. Like their budgeting tools aimed at helping you manage your money better or their job listings so you can find extra income. 

Brigit Details and Fees: 

  • Advance Amount: $50 to $250
  • Fees: No interest or late fees. A $9.99 monthly subscription fee (if you only want budgeting and account monitoring tools then it’s free)
  • Express Delivery Fee: $0.99 to $3.99
  • Standard Delivery: 1-3 business days
  • Express Delivery: 2-20 minutes
  • Repayment: Brigit automatically deducts the advanced amount from your next paycheck. You can request a repayment extension if needed.

See everything Brigit has to offer by diving into our extensive review.

Love Brigit!

“Brigit is the best instant cash advance that I have received. The fees are relatively low and if you are consistent with paying your loan back on time, may have the option to extend your payment. Brigit has definitely been a help to me when I’m short on cash 😍

Gretchen Kindle, Trustpilot Review

Pros and Cons of Using Paycheck Advance Apps

PROS

Conveniently access your funds in minutes to cover emergency expenses.

Low fees – or none at all – compared to payday loans and credit card cash advances.

A lot of apps also include budgeting tools and additional benefits.

Helps you avoid overdraft fees by spotting you or automatically funding your account if it’s low.

You can access cash instantly in an emergency (most will charge you a small fee).

There’s usually no credit check, making them easy to qualify for with a low credit score and they won’t hurt your credit if you don’t pay the advance back.

CONS

Paycheck advance apps can lead to a cycle of debt if you can’t pay back the loan with your next paycheck.

They can encourage bad spending habits and tempt you to rely on advances to cover regular expenses and not only emergencies.

Fees and tips can add up: subscription fees, fast-funding fees, and optional tips.

You are sharing your personal data and potentially putting it at risk.

Repaying the advance may cause an overdraft if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover it when it’s due. Some paycheck advance apps will try to avoid triggering an overdraft, but not all.

Final Thoughts

Everyone needs extra cash from time to time. Paycheck advance apps can be the perfect fix to cover emergencies between paydays without high-interest rates, mandatory fees, or credit checks. But remember, they are a short-term solution and it’s best not to become reliant on borrowing your own money. 

Borrowing money from future paychecks means when your paycheck arrives it will be for a smaller amount. This can lead to a vicious cycle where you have less and less money to work with over time.

Use paycheck advance apps when you need them but focus on making extra cash and budgeting effectively so you don’t become dependent on these apps. They are to be a helping hand in an emergency and not an additional financial stress.

A Note on Chime Products: 

1 Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. The secured Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A. 

2  SpotMe® on Debit is an optional, no fee overdraft service attached to your Chime Checking Account. To qualify for the SpotMe on Debit service, you must receive $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account each month and have activated your Visa debit card. Qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their Chime Checking Account for up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially but may later be eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. The SpotMe on Debit limit will be displayed within the Chime mobile app and is subject to change at any time, at Chime’s sole discretion. Although Chime does not charge any overdraft fees for SpotMe on Debit, there may be out-of-network or third-party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe on Debit will not cover any non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. SpotMe on Debit Terms and Conditions.

3 The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 20, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.