Cash Advances and Overdraft Protection in 2022

Cash advance apps like Earnin, Dave, and Brigit allow you to borrow money from your next salary. If you need cash fast, an app can help for bad credit too, but be sure you don’t have cheaper options before borrowing from one.

Unlike credit cards or personal loans, an app’s fee isn’t advertised as an interest rate. They may charge subscription or expedited fundraising fees, and many recommend tipping.

Interest and additional fees are included in the annual percentage rate (APR) that lenders and credit card companies quote. Small-dollar lenders and loan apps complain that APR isn’t a reasonable way to reflect their costs, but we’ve given an example.

Here are five apps that let you borrow against future profits, plus some cheaper alternatives.

1. Earnin: Lowest fees

Earnin is a paycheck advance software that monitors your hours worked and lets you borrow your earned money. The software also warns you when your bank account balance is low and can top it up for a fee.


Earnin asks for a $14 optional tip. Setting a regular tip of at least $1.50 protects you from overdrafts.

Earnin’s Lightning Speed function gets you money instantly. Otherwise, one or two business days.

Repayment: Earnin debits your bank account on your next payday.

Assume you borrow $100 seven days before payday and tip $2.

2. Dave: Smaller advances

To avoid overdrawing your account, you can use the Dave app to borrow a small sum. Those with a Dave spending account can borrow more money than those without. Also, the app offers a “Side Hustle” option that helps users find extra work.

Amount: $5 to $200 for Dave spending account users; $5 to $100 for non-users.

Some expenses, however, the company insists they’re entirely optional:

  • $1/month subscription cost, cancelable in the app.
  • Fees range from $1.99 to $5.99. Le montant du charge varies.
  • Tip-up to 20% of the loan amount.

Dave’s money can take up to three days to arrive. The firm claims you’ll get your money in eight hours if you pay the express price.

Repayment: The default payment date is your next payday, but you can modify it.

APR example: Borrowing $100 seven days before your next paycheck, paying a $5.99 expedited fee, a $1 monthly subscription fee, and a $1 tip totals $7.99. That loan’s APR would be over 400 percent.

3. Brigit: Budgeting tools

Brigit is a budgeting app that can lend you up to $250. You can use the app’s free financial and budgeting assistance. The paid plan contains all the free features program plus cash advances, automated deposits in your account if you’re going to overdraft, and credit monitoring.

  • $50-$250.
  • The premium plan is $9.99 monthly.
  • Speed: If you request an advance before 10 a.m. ET, Brigit claims it will come the next business day.
  • Repayment: Brigit calculates your next payment based on your income. You can extend your repayment date in the app once for every two timely paid advances.
  • With a $9.99 Brigit subscription and only one $100 advance, your APR is nearly 500%.

4. Chime: For existing client overdraft protection

With Chime’s SpotMe feature, consumers can overdraw their checking account without incurring fines. SpotMe asks whether you want to tip. According to Chime, purchases that leave you below your permitted amount will be denied. SpotMe requires monthly direct transfers of $200 into your Chime account.

  • $20-$200. Limits start at $20 and go up based on usage.
  • Fees: None. It asks if you want to tip.
  • Instant. SpotMe is set up before you overdraw, and it stays in your account.
  • Repayment: Chime will reimburse you by direct deposit on your next payday.

If Chime lends you $50, you repay it in seven days and tip $1. You’ve essentially got a $50 loan with a 104.3 percent APR.

5. MoneyLion: Multi-product best

A credit builder loan and cash advances up to $250 are available through the MoneyLion app. Who Can Get an Instacash Advance? If you don’t have a MoneyLion account, a fee is charged, and dollars urgently. MoneyLion claims no interest or fees but asks for an optional tip.

  • Limit: $25 to $250. However, only MoneyLion was checking account holders to get the maximum.
  • MoneyLion charges a gratuity and a cost for rapid delivery.
  • Those with a MoneyLion checking account: $3.99 for the same-
  • Non-MoneyLion checking customers: $4.99 for same-day delivery.
  • Non-MoneyLion checking account holders take 3–5 business days, whereas MoneyLion was checking account holders take 12–48 hours.

Upon receipt of your next deposit, the monies are automatically deducted from your account. If your budget is depleted, the app will keep trying to withdraw funds. Your payment will be late if it is more than five days late.

APR: If you acquire a $100 cash advance for $4.99, add a $1 tip, and pay it back in seven days, your APR will be almost 300 percent.

Are cash advance apps safe?

NerdWallet advises against paying for early access to earned funds. However, financial experts warn that these apps aren’t long-term answers for crises like auto repairs or unexpected vacations.

Repeatedly borrowing from an app may indicate that you need to earn more money or create a budget.

Pros and Cons of loan apps


  • Several apps can deposit money directly into your bank account for a fee in an emergency.
  • A paycheck advance may be cheaper than an overdraft fee. Amounts charged by apps range from $10 to $35.


  • Some apps demand access to your bank account to withdraw funds when due. While applications claim to avoid overdrafts, they cannot guarantee it.
  • Apps that make borrowing from your next paycheck easy may lead to a debt cycle if users rely on loans to cover monthly costs.

Are payday loan apps legal?

Cash advance apps are not payday lenders and are not subject to payday lending legislation.

But they share several qualities with payday lenders. These applications offer small-dollar loans with high-interest rates. Because cash advance apps don’t disclose payments to credit bureaus, they can’t help or hurt your credit score.

Payroll advance research

Part of the probe is a New York Department of Financial Services investigation that includes regulators from 10 other states and Puerto Rico. For example, the probe examines whether these apps charge interest disguised as tips or subscription fees.

Cash advance alternatives

Compare all your choices before taking out an app loan. There may be less expensive ways to enhance your finances, credit or both.

Modest personal loans: An online lender may approve you for a small personal loan. Many financial experts believe that an affordable loan can have the highest rate of 36 percent. Some online lenders specialize in negative credit loans.

Members of credit unions may be eligible for a low-interest personal loan of up18 percent. Some credit unions provide $500 personal loans, and while your credit score is considered, your membership status is also considered. Some credit unions offer low-interest small-dollar loans that you return over a few months to a year.

Other ways to acquire money: Instead of borrowing, you may work extra hours. You may drive for Uber, do online questionnaires, or babysit. You can take on a quick side gig to pay an unexpected expense or keep it as a long-term source of income.

Loans from friends and family: Nobody loves asking for money, but it may be your only alternative. Borrowing from a trusted source can save you time and money, such as a friend or family member. You can even write down payback conditions and interest rates.

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