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8 apps like Dave for small cash advances

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Dave is one of the most popular financial apps. It has made a name for itself by eliminating overdraft fees for its customers. Famous for receiving an investment from Mark Cuban of Shark Tank in its early days, Dave is well known as one of the best no-fee cash advance apps.

A cash advance, in simple terms, is a short-term loan issued by an institution, usually for a relatively small sum. Dave is not the only one to offer this service. Thus, consumers must weigh their options and choose the one that suits them best.

What apps are similar to Dave?

Many consumers may have questions like, “Which apps will let me borrow money instantly?” and “Which app will give me money now?” Along with Dave, here are eight of the best cash advance apps people can use to get some quick cash right now.

1. Chime

Chime offers a free overdraft service called SpotMe for its customers. Users can claim up to $20 through SpotMe, with the limit rising to $200 once a customer meets certain criteria regarding account history and activity.

To qualify for SpotMe, members simply need to have received at least $200 via direct deposit in the previous 34 days and have an active Chime debit card. Once the conditions are met, customers are automatically set up for free overdraft, subject to their own limits. The negative balance will be refunded on the user’s next deposit.

Another added benefit with Chime is payment up to two days in advance. If a user is also set up with direct deposit, they are eligible.

Advantages

  • No charges
  • Two-day advance pay
  • Up to $200 cash advance

The inconvenients

  • Limits depend on user activity
  • Must have an active debit card and direct deposit set up
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $200 Up to two days in advance None

2. Varo

Varo offers similar cash advance services, but with stricter eligibility requirements. The service, known as Varo Advance, requires an active account that has been open for at least 30 days. In the past 30 days, $1,000 in direct deposits must have been made and the user must have an active Varo debit card linked to a Varo bank account.

Varo members can obtain a cash advance of $20 or less free of charge, but beyond that, charges will apply depending on the amount borrowed. Varo’s cash advance limit is $100.

Once direct deposit is set up with Varo, users can also take advantage of its two-day advance paycheck. This benefit also includes advance payment of tax refunds.

Advantages

  • No fees on cash advances of $20 or less
  • Two-day advance pay

The inconvenients

  • High percentage fees
  • Low cash advance limit
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $100 Up to two days in advance $0 – $5

3. Win

Earnin is unique on this list because it allows customers to access the money they’ve earned from their work before payday arrives. It determines what percentage of a user’s paycheck is available for buyout based on how far along the revenue cycle is.

For example, let’s say a user is paid monthly and has already worked half the month. Before payday, they can claim their wages. However, certain restrictions apply. A maximum of $500 can be preclaimed per pay period and only $100 can be redeemed per day.

Most withdrawals take 2-3 business days. However, depending on a user’s primary bank, they may be eligible for a “Lightning Speed” payment. In this case, withdrawals can be processed within 30 minutes, but members should be aware that charges may apply in this scenario.

If a user decides not to use this service, a two-day prepayment option is also available. Earnin does not charge user fees directly, but customers can choose to tip for services.

Advantages

  • No charges
  • Two-day advance pay
  • Up to $500 cash advance

The inconvenients

  • Bank charges may apply to “Lightning Speed” payments
  • Only available to US citizens
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $500 Up to two days in advance None

4.Albert

Albert provides cash advances up to $250 with no interest or late fees. The negative balance will be deducted from the next paycheck once the user has been paid. Users are not required to enroll in Albert’s paid subscription level to access cash advances.

A limiting factor to consider, however, is the $4.99 fee for instant cash access. Otherwise, the cash transaction will take 2-3 days to arrive in a customer’s account.

Additional perks include two-day advance paychecks and no impact on credit scores for cash advances.

Advantages

  • No charge for standard delivery
  • Two-day advance pay
  • Up to $250 cash advance
  • No effect on credit scores

The inconvenients

  • $4.99 for instant cash advances
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $250 Up to two days in advance None

5. Silver Lion

MoneyLion operates a service called Instacash which allows users to claim up to $250 in cash advances. To be eligible, customers simply need to link to a checking account. Initially, members can request a cash advance of up to $50, but limits will increase once MoneyLion determines that a user has recurring monthly income.

No fees apply to MoneyLion’s Instacash service and it does not affect customers’ credit scores. However, if money is needed quickly, “turbo charges” will apply. Regular delivery takes 12-48 hours with a RoarMoney account, or 3-5 business days with a regular bank account. For instant cash advances, fees can be as high as $5.99 for RoarMoney accounts or $7.99 for external cards and accounts.

MoneyLion members can also get paid 2 days early by opening a RoarMoney account and linking direct deposit.

Advantages

  • No charge for standard delivery
  • Two-day advance pay
  • Up to $250 cash advance

The inconvenients

  • “Turbo Fee” applies to Instant Cash Advances
  • No effect on credit scores
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $250 Up to two days in advance None

6. SoFi

SoFi offers cash advance services through its credit card. Unlike the other companies mentioned on this list, SoFi is a bank, so the limits are much higher. The minimum cash advance is $40, but members can also use up to $1,000 in cash advance credit per day.

Due to larger cash advance options, standard fees apply. It’s either $10 or 5%, and the interest charged is the higher of the two. SoFi members can also claim paychecks up to two days in advance.

Advantages

  • Large cash advance payments available
  • Two-day advance pay

The inconvenients

  • Must have a SoFi credit card
  • Fees higher than most
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $1,000 per day Up to two days in advance Up to 5%

7. Empower

The Empower app allows users to claim up to $250 in cash advances. No credit checks, interest or fees apply. Eligibility considers earned income and account activity to decide how much a client can borrow. Empower also offers a two-day advance paycheck program.

An Empower card must be activated for a cash advance. It charges a monthly subscription of $8, but that comes with additional perks like cash back and free ATM withdrawals.

Advantages

  • No interest or fees
  • Two-day advance pay
  • Up to $250 cash advance

The inconvenients

  • Account criteria determine cash advance amounts
  • Paid subscription service
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $250 Up to two days in advance $8 per month

8. Bridget

The Brigit app gives users the ability to claim up to $250 in cash advances. It does not include interest, fees or “tips” like many other apps.

However, to qualify for cash advances, a paid subscription of $9.99 per month is required.

On top of that, benefits like overdraft protection, identity theft insurance, flexible repayment schedules, and credit builders are available.

Advantages

  • No interest, fees or tips
  • Up to $250 cash advance
  • Additional benefits included

The inconvenients

  • Account criteria determine cash advance amounts
  • Subscription service
Cash advance Paycheck Standard fees
Up to $250 No benefits $9.99 per month

Final take

Interest-free cash advances can certainly be helpful. However, in most cases, consumers should strive to only use apps like Dave for emergency cash advances. Regular use of cash advance services can tend to lead to poor financial habits and result in the accumulation of high interest rates when not managed appropriately.

Information is accurate as of June 16, 2022.

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About the Author

David is a qualified financial adviser in the Republic of Ireland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and entrepreneurship, as well as more than five years of investment experience.