If you are living paycheck to paycheck, a small problem can throw a big wrench in your plans.
Without any emergency savings to fall back on, an unexpected issue such as a flat tire could derail your carefully laid spending plans. If you aren’t able to make it an entire two weeks until your next paycheck, you might be tempted to take out a payday loan or throw that expense on a credit card. But those solutions will lead to more long-term financial trouble with high interest rates that have the potential to spiral out of control.
You’ll want to find another way to solve your short-term liquidity issues. In a perfect world, you would not have to access a portion of your paycheck early to be able to afford, say, buying groceries. But millions of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and may need an option when their cash flow is especially tight. Luckily, there are several apps out there to help you. Let’s take a closer look at these options to help you stretch your funds farther.
6 apps that can help you make it to payday
Whether you need a short-term loan with a low-interest rate or help managing your funds, these apps can help you stay afloat until payday.
Earnin is an app that allows you to borrow against your next paycheck quickly without any fees or interest payments attached. If you have a job in which your paycheck is direct deposited into your bank account, Earnin can help you.
After you sign up for the app, Earnin will connect to your bank account to verify your payment schedule. As it confirms your payment schedule, it will also determine your average take-home hourly pay. Once the app has an idea of what you earn on an hourly basis, it will keep track of the money you earn while you are at work each day. The app will track your hours based on your phone’s GPS or you can upload your timesheet for the most accurate representation of your hours.
You’ll be able to withdraw some of the wages you’ve already worked for but haven’t gotten paid for yet. When your next paycheck hits your bank account, Earnin will automatically debit your account for the amount you borrowed.
When you first start using the app, you’ll only be able to withdraw up to $100 per pay period. But after using the app regularly, you may be able to withdraw up to $500 per pay period ahead of your paycheck.
There is no fee attached to this service. But you’ll be able to support this app through tips that fit into your budget.
If overdraft fees are cutting into your budget, Dave can help. When you connect your bank account to Dave, the app will look for potential overdrafts on the horizon. With a warning from Dave, you’ll have the opportunity to move funds around to avoid an overdraft fee. Dave will use the information from your checking account to determine when you’ll be paid and when your automatic bill payments are expected to process.
If you don’t have the funds available, Dave can spot you a small advance. When you borrow these interest-free funds, you’ll be expected to repay the loan as soon as your next paycheck is deposited.
Beyond helping you manage your bills until payday, Dave can also help you find a side hustle. With the help of a quick side hustle, you may not need to take out a short-term loan with Dave. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to use a side hustle to bring in more income until your paycheck hits your account.
If you are interested in using Dave, you’ll be happy to know that this service only costs $1 per month. But you’ll also have the option to tip Dave if you want to.
You can also sign up for Dave Banking, a digital-only deposit account.
Brigit is another app that helps manage your budget and offers cash advances to stretch your funds between paychecks.
In order to work with Brigit, you’ll need to connect a checking account with an active history for at least 60 days. Additionally, the checking account must have a positive balance and a record of at least three direct deposits from your employer. After your account is set up, you’ll be able to request a cash advance on your upcoming paycheck. Depending on your income, you might qualify for a cash advance up to $250.
A unique feature Brigit offers is that the app automatically transfers a short-term loan to your account when it notices you are in danger of overdrawing your account. Plus, like the Dave app, Brigit can help you find a side hustle to bring in extra income when you need it.
Although the basic membership to Brigit is free, you won’t have access to most of Brigit’s features. Upgrading to Brigit Plus costs $9.99 per month, and you’ll have access to instant cash advances whenever you need them.
Current is a checking account offered only through a mobile app. The app’s goal is to help you spend less money on fees and find ways to manage your spending more effectively.
With this account, you’ll be able to get paid up to two days faster. That feature can help you stay afloat financially by receiving your paycheck earlier. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to overdraft your account up to $100 for free. A final feature that stands out with Current is the instant gas hold refunds when you use your card at the pump. Instead of waiting days to get your funds back, you can pump gas knowing your funds will be available immediately.
Current offers a free version of their account, but you’ll need to pay $4.99 for a premium account to access most features. Luckily, there is a free 30-day trial to decide whether or not you like the service enough to pay for it.
Chime is an app that is associated with Chime’s Spending Account. With the help of this app, you can receive your paycheck up to two days faster. The app will alert you when you make a transaction and provide an updated account balance. If you notice a transaction you didn’t authorize, you can immediately disable your debit card with one touch.
You’ll also have access to the SpotMe service, which can allow you to overdraft your account by up to $100 without any fees. When your next paycheck arrives, Chime will automatically deduct the amount that you’ve overdrafted. This feature can help you survive until your next paycheck.
The best part about Chime is that your account is free to use. Instead of charging typical bank fees, Chime earns money when you swipe your debit card. So, you’ll enjoy a host of helpful features to help you make ends meet without another expense to add to the list.
MoneyLion is another option that could help you stretch your funds between paydays. The platform helps you receive your paycheck two days early and provides access to small loans with no interest attached.
When you have a MoneyLion account, you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of its Instacash option. You’ll be able to get up to $250 at any time without any interest attached. Plus, you won’t have to pay a monthly fee to access this service. The only fees you’ll be responsible for with Instacash are any expedited transfer fees. But you’ll be able to avoid those if you can wait for a few days for the funds.
Without an emergency fund, a small hiccup to your plans can cause a big financial headache. The days between paychecks can seem like a major obstacle. But with the help of these apps, you’ll find that stretching funds between paychecks is a little less stressful. Just remember: Getting access to money early means you will have less money in your next paycheck.