If I had a dollar for every time I Googled “payday loan” or “Get Money Today”…well, I probably wouldn’t need those things on Google anymore.
In college especially, the first of every month creeped in and financial panic set in brutally and quickly.
How am I going to pay the rent?
How many meals can I replace with this huge bag of jerky?
how can i get money today?
I was 20 when I succumbed to my first traditional payday loan. I borrowed about $850 with 300% interest.
I was young and stupid. Had never had a credit card with no idea how interest or APR worked. All I saw was that I could get $850 today and pay it off every two weeks in $250 increments.
It wasn’t until my fourth month of payments that I realized what I had done. That by taking $850 to help pay the rent, I agreed to pay back over 3 times that amount when all was said and done.
I wish I could say that was the last time I took out a payday loan, but I would be lying.
And so began a vicious circle until a few years ago when I started earning enough adult money to finally pay off the last of my financial vampires. At that time, it was unknown how much money I had paid in interest, just that it was at least a few thousand dollars.
I’m very lucky to say that I haven’t had to fall back into this payday loan cycle yet and hope I never have to. But situations arise (like a two-year pandemic) that can upset people’s finances. Money is sometimes needed quickly and for reasons essential to livelihoods.
It is these emergencies where payday loan companies thrive. They make themselves accessible to sensitive borrowers who are desperate to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. These types of loans are easy to find and even easier to obtain. But they can, and often do, bury any hope of financial freedom for those who fall prey to them. However…
Payday loans at 500% interest are no longer your only option. The apps below offer short-term, low-interest cash advances with no credit check, which means you can have the money in your bank account today.
We are going to tell you a bit about each. And if you ever find yourself stuck in a cash-strapped corner again, know that these apps really do their best to make sure you can get away with it with as little damage as possible.
To win lives believing you should have access to your pay today. When you download the app, it will ask you to link your bank account and then ask you some questions about your job. These questions explain how they track your working hours, either through geolocation or electronic timesheets using your work email address. Once it syncs everything, you can then cash out your earned salary, and the refund will be made with your next paycheck.
Amount of the loan: up to $500
Advantages: No fees or interest (you only give what you think is right), same day withdrawal option, maximum withdrawal adjusted based on payment history and bank statements, no credit check, “Tip Yourself” savings option to set aside a few dollars each salary
The inconvenients: Lightning Speed is now $3.99, customer service may be slow if there are issues with your bank account sync.
If you want to try Earnin, use my affiliate link for $5 free in your Earnin Tip Yourself jar.
David is technically a mobile banking application. It is intended to help with budgeting and provides smaller loans to cover expenses until payday. Additionally, they have their Dave Spending checking account which offers cash back on select purchases and allows users to access higher cash advance amounts. One of Dave’s most unique features is the inclusion of a “Side Hustle” menu where you can find ways to earn money in your area.
Amount of the loan: Up to $250
Advantages: No fees or interest (you only give what you think is right), same day payment option, no credit check, side hustle feature.
The inconvenients: Fees for same day payout range from $1.99 to $4.99, you must open a Dave Spending account to receive the maximum payout.
Dave is running a promotion where first-time qualified users get $15 free when registering with a referral link.
First of all Brigitte is a budgeting app, meant to help you see where your expenses are going and adjust those expenses to save for certain goals. Whereas Brigitte offers the easiest advance option (once approved, you can borrow up to $250), you must have the paid plan to receive it. For a monthly fee of $9.99, the paid plan also gives you access to Brigit Credit Builder, which will take a micro “loan” from your checking account to report to credit bureaus and boost your credit score with on-time payments. .
Advantages: No fees or interest, free same day payment option, no credit checks, recently added side hustles, Credit Builder is a simple tool for long term results.
The inconvenients: $9.99 monthly fee
If at any given time you take out more than one loan from Brigit, the $9.99 is amortized against the other apps on this list. Start using Dave and get $10 free when you go Pro.
So. Three alternatives to the traditional crippling payday loan. There are more, but these are the ones I have found to have the fastest turnaround time. Of course, as should always be the case when it comes to financial matters, use your best judgment when borrowing from these apps. They do not provide additional income in any way. Just a way to help you reach your next paycheck. Good luck and happy budgeting.
This article contains affiliate links.