Get Paid Fast With These 7 Easy Payday Loan Alternative Apps

Chang Fu
May 20, 2020

First, what’s a payday loan?... A payday loan is a short-term loan usually repaid in a single payment on your next payday. It’s also referred to as a cash advance or a short-term loan. However, in recent years, there have been many new products that look nothing like a traditional payday loan but are similar, like Possible. Payday loans have a simple and fast application process, normally do not require a credit check, and have a higher interest rate than credit cards or personal loans.

There’s an app for everything - stocks, meditation, hiking, and more - so why shouldn’t there be apps for payday loans as well? Well, there are! Quite a few actually and many of the most popular payday loan apps might not be payday loans from payday lenders regulated by the state and federal governments, but instead, apps that solve a very similar issue - the need for money quickly.

Our methodology for choosing easy payday loan apps

What does it take to make our list of top payday loan apps? Below are our requirements and there’s a good reason for each of them:

  1. Direct lender or direct provider. The app can’t be a reseller that just sends your information to the highest bidder. Not only is this not secure, but it’s also a terrible experience to be called and messaged by the payday lenders you’ve never heard of.
  2. Credit score not a requirement. If you’re using a payday loan and paying higher interest than credit cards or a personal loan, you shouldn’t need a good credit score. Checking your credit score just doesn’t make sense.
  3. Over 5,000 reviews on either the iTunes or Google Play Store. It’s easy for apps to get a few hundred fake reviews. It’s a lot harder to do that with over 5,000 reviews. The more reviews, the more likely the reviews represent the experience of real customers.
  4. Personal experience. We’re not going to review a payday loan app we haven’t tried ourselves. Each of the below apps have been downloaded and tried by the Possible team.
  5. Exclusion of most traditional payday lenders. Traditional payday loans offered by payday shops and other companies can be predatory and have average annual percentage rates of interest (APR) of 400%. With a single payment and no ability to build credit history, it puts borrowers in a cycle of debt that’s hard to get out of.

Why we stayed away from traditional payday lenders and lead resellers

Many traditional payday lenders such as Speedy Cash, TitleMax, LoanMart, and others don’t have apps or if they do, they’re poorly built. They may use 3rd party app developers to create apps cheaply and quickly but are less secure and don’t work well.

In addition, traditional payday lenders are slow to upgrade technology and move to mobile so the payday loan application process is not meant for a mobile experience. Instead, these financial institutions focus on an in-person or online desktop experience.

Lead resellers are common and in many cases, you might not even realize you’re working with a lead reseller. Once you leave your application information on a lead reseller’s website, the lead re-seller sells the information to the highest bidder. Not only is this unsafe from a security perspective, but you also might not be matched with the best company for your needs. Furthermore, you’ll likely receive a wave of calls and messages pushing you this way and that.

Reviews of the top apps

So let’s get right to it! Here are the top seven fast payday loan alternative apps in the app store today:

Possible Finance

Summary

How could we not mention ourselves? Possible Finance is the best payday loan alternative to a traditional payday loan that is actually still a loan, fully licensed, and regulated. You can borrow up to $500 depending on the state you reside in. To apply, you’ll need a mobile phone, an online bank, and a photo ID. Possible won’t check your credit score so it doesn’t matter if you have a low credit score or no credit at all. Because it’s an installment loan, you repay the loan in multiple installments over several pay periods, allowing you to pay back in manageable chunks and catch your breath in between.

Possible reports all payments to the major credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, allowing borrowers to build credit history. The best part? If you can’t make a payment, you can simply reschedule the payment directly within the app - up to 29 days later without hurting your credit. Only live in 7 states today (CA, OH, TX, FL, UT, ID, and WA) due to state regulations, Possible is steadily expanding into more states over time. In addition to Possible’s loan product, users can get bank fees refunded through Possible’s fee recoup program. If you have bank fees such as NSF fees over the last few months, Possible can get those bank fees back for you.

A quick rundown

  • Borrow up to $500 with no credit or bad credit
  • Repay in multiple installments while building credit history
  • Flexible rescheduling of payments directly within the app
  • Loan product live in 7 states (CA, OH, FL, TX, UT, ID, WA)
  • Get bank fees refunded
  • 4.8 rating (26k reviews) on iTunes and 4.6 rating (10k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use Possible if you need a fast sizable online loan that’s similar to a traditional payday loan but cheaper and on a mobile app. The cherry on top - it’ll build credit history!

Dave

Summary

Have you seen a cuddly bear on the app store? Well, that’s Dave! Dave is a payday advance and budgeting app that can advance you up to $100 from your paycheck without interest. What’s the catch? No catch really, except there’s a $1/mo subscription fee and you’ll be asked to tip a percentage of the money you advance to Dave. It’s simple to advance money from your paycheck and there’s no credit check.  When your next payday comes around, Dave will automatically deduct the amount you advanced from your bank account.

In addition to the cash advance, Dave monitors your budget and predicts upcoming expenses. If it seems like you’ll be spending more than you have in your bank account, the app will alert you. You can also have a bank account and debit card with Dave. Lastly, if you’re looking to make more money, Dave will show “side hustles” offered by its partners - essentially jobs you can apply for.

For every percentage tip you leave, Dave will plant a tree in partnership with Trees for the Future. However, the fees and tips can add up if you’re not careful! If you get 2 advances of $100 ($200 total) in a month and leave 15% tip each time, that’s $31 total in fees ($30 in tip, $1 membership fee) for very short advances - the APR can be as high as a traditional payday loan or even more!

A quick rundown

  • Advance up to $100 without a credit check, interest-free
  • Monitor your budget and predict upcoming expenses
  • Apply for side hustles to earn more money
  • $1/month membership fee plus % tips on each advance
  • 4.8 rating (295k reviews) on iTunes and 4.6 rating (263k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use Dave if you need a small advance on your paycheck frequently and need help monitoring your bank balance to prevent overdrafts. Just remember - tips and subscription fees can add up so take that into consideration.

Earnin

Summary

Earnin is another payday advance app that can advance you up to $100 per day and up to $500 per paycheck with no interest or hidden fees. The app has a host of other tools as well such as medical bill negotiation, overdraft alerts, cashback for shopping, and a budgeting calendar. You’ll be asked to tip $0-14 for each advance that you receive which can add up. However, there are no membership fees with Earnin.

With the coronavirus pandemic, Earnin allows you to cash out on your unemployment checks as well. Other apps that will use unemployment benefits and other non-job income include Possible Finance and Brigit.

In addition to the cash advance feature, the app has “Health Aid” - you can send your medical bills to Earnin and the app will negotiate the bill with your medical provider to lower it. Furthermore, Earnin has shopping partners within the app that give you additional cashback for shopping at their stores, many of which are online. With “Balance Shield”, you’ll get notifications when you run the risk of overdrafts, similar to what Dave offers.

A quick rundown

  • Advance up to $100 per day and up to $500 per paycheck interest-free
  • Keep tracking of upcoming expenses and prevent overdrafts from happening
  • Reduce your medical bills by having the app negotiate them
  • Get up to 10% cashback for shopping at popular stores
  • $0-14 tips for each advance you take
  • 4.6 rating (111k reviews) on iTunes and 4.3 rating (130k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use Earnin if you need a small advance frequently and if you have lots of medical bills that you can’t pay. Just like Dave, tips can add up if you’re not careful!

MoneyLion

Summary

MoneyLion, in their own words, is an “all-in-one mobile banking membership” that does a lot of things such as cash advances, credit builder loans, checking accounts, managed investing, personal loans, and credit score tracking. Yes, I know it’s a mouthful but they have a lot of products - not all of them well-made according to the reviews but still comprehensive.

One of the core products is a checking account without fees and cash advances that are interest-free. However, this product is tip-driven like Earnin and Dave’s cash advance so monitor how much you give in tips each month because that can add up! MoneyLion also has a 5.99% APR credit-building loan that is available if you sign up for the $19.99 monthly membership. The membership fee is high but it does qualify you for certain products such as the credit builder loan.

In addition to these core products, MoneyLion offers managed investing, credit tracking, a loan marketplace, and cashback. Here at Possible, we haven’t tried all these specific products so we can’t review them. Before you decide to use these products, be sure to compare them to options available in other apps. For example, you can compare the managed investing to Betterment or Personal Capital. You can compare the loan marketplace to the one on Credit Karma.

A quick rundown

  • Advance money on your paycheck and get a credit builder loan up to $500
  • Get a checking account with no fees, managed investing, credit score tracking, and more
  • Cashback from shopping at major stores
  • $19.99 per month membership fee and tips on cash advances
  • Long wait times and poor customer service has resulted in lower review ratings
  • 4.7 rating (57k reviews) on iTunes and 3.6 rating (32k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use MoneyLion if you need an app to do it all for you while paying a monthly fee. The MoneyLion “membership” is more complicated than those on other apps so understand the terms and rules before you pay.

No hidden fees, subscription fees, or tips.

Download possible finance

Brigit

Summary

Brigit is a cash advance app/payday advance app that allows you to get up to $250 without a credit check and without interest. Instead of interest or tips, Brigit charges a flat $9.99 membership fee per month which comes with the ability to get paycheck advances and some other budgeting and monitoring tools. There are also no late penalties for repaying your advance.

To round out its cash advance service, Brigit has overdraft predictions similar to Dave and Earnin, balance alerts about bills coming up so you can manage your finances more effectively and flexible repayment options if you need to extend out the repayment of your advance a week or two.

Lastly, Brigit promotes side gigs for its partners in the form of jobs. You can earn extra cash on the side by being referred to as its partners. You’ll also be able to see your budget and spending habits over time, similar to what you would see on Mint or another comparable budgeting service.

A quick rundown

  • Advance up to $250 interest-free without a credit check
  • Budget, overdraft monitoring, and payment extensions will help you manage your cashflow
  • Apply for jobs with Brigit partners to earn more
  • $9.99 a month membership fee to access its premium tools and paycheck advances
  • 4.8 rating (111k reviews) on iTunes and 3.8 rating (25k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use Brigit if you need a small advance on your paycheck frequently and you don’t want to worry about tipping - instead, pay a monthly membership fee for a suite of budgeting and cashflow tools.

Branch

Summary

Branch is a finance app that has wage advances, budgeting, and a checking account. In the app’s own words, it is “Banking for Working Americans.” You can get paid up to $100 early and get your paycheck 2 days earlier than normal as long as your paycheck goes to your Branch checking account via direct deposit. There’s no hidden fees or membership fees related to using this feature - however, to access funds instantly, there’s a $3.99 transaction fee - otherwise, you’ll need to wait up to 3 business days to get the funds.

Branch is more than just a payday advance app - because of how it works with employers, you can review schedules, swap shifts with other employees, and even chat with coworkers directly through the app - as long as your employer has an account set up. Branch also includes a checking account with over 40,000 partner ATMs and no fees related to the account.

In addition, there’s a suite of budgeting and finance tools to help you stay on track. There are real-time transaction and payment notifications and track your spending and budgets through the app and 24/7 customer support available.

A quick rundown

  • Advance $100 before payday and get paychecks 2 days early
  • No-fee checking account and a suite of budgeting tools to stay on track
  • Review work schedules, swap shifts, and chat with coworkers through the Branch app
  • $3.99 instant transfer fee with no other membership fees or hidden fees
  • 4.8 rating (34k reviews) on iTunes and 4.5 rating (13.5k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use Branch if your employer has a Branch account to get advances early, maximize your work schedule and stay on track.

CashNetUSA

Summary

CashNetUSA is one of the few traditional payday lenders that have iTunes and Google Play Store apps that fit the criteria and work well. The payday lender offers payday loans, installment loans, and lines of credit through the mobile app - most of the functionality is similar to what is available online or through a store except somewhat trimmed down.

You can get loans from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, apply for a line of credit, request an extension, make payments and more. Note that as with most payday lenders, interest rates (annual percentage rate of interest or APR) will be high and can run in the hundreds of percentage points. However, unlike Dave, Earnin, and others, there’s no tips or membership fees that can complicate things and the interest and fees are shown very clearly and according to regulations.

Reviews for the app are mostly solid and customers like the simplicity, no hidden fees, the speed, and the pleasant and honest experience. CashNetUSA was founded in 2004 and is owned by Enova International, a publicly traded company located in Chicago.

A quick rundown

  • Get payday loans, large installment loans, and a line of credit even with bad credit
  • Apply for a loan, request extension, and pay off loans directly within the app
  • APR (interest rates) can be high but no membership fees or tips
  • 4.8 rating (9k reviews) on iTunes and 4.5 rating (16.5k reviews) on Google Play Store

Final verdict

Use CashNetUSA if you need a significant loan amount and don’t mind paying higher interest to borrow the funds you need.

Recap of payday loan apps

We’ve reviewed seven of the top payday loan apps in the iTunes and Google Play Stores, including our own, the Possible Finance app. Not only are these apps already popular on the app store, but they’re also direct lenders and providers, don’t require a credit score, and we’ve tried them all! If you need cash fast all while staying in the comfort of your home, these apps are the way to go. Have questions or feedback? Send us an email at [email protected]

Chang Fu

Chang is an avid writer, among other things, at Possible. He grew up loving reading and writing, creating his own poems and even a book he's now hidden in an old closet, unpublished. His financial experience at a large bank along with his passion for technology to help undeserved communities inspires him to write for Possible.

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