Financial emergencies have a habit ofÂ cropping up at the worst possible time â€” when youâ€™re stuck in-between paychecks.Â Perhaps you need $250 for an emergency car repair, but you just paid rent and wonâ€™t have the funds until your next payday in two weeks. Normally, you might want to turn to a credit card or a payday loan, racking up onerous fees in the process.
What if you could get a portion of your next paycheck early without paying hefty fees or interest?
Thatâ€™s the premise behind the following four services. They try to help workers make ends meet without taking on debt by giving them access to the money they earnÂ when they earnÂ it.
What it is:Â Earnin is an app-based service available on Android and iPhone smartphones. Once you download the app and create an account, you connect your bank account and verify your paycheck schedule. You must have direct deposit set up and linked to a checking account.
How it works:Â In order to use Earnin, youÂ need to upload your timesheet, either manually or by connecting a time-tracking account to the app (your employer must useÂ one of the eligible timesheet partners in order for this to work). Using this information, Earnin estimates your average take-home hourly rate after taxes and deductions.
As you work, the hours will be automatically shared with Earnin, or you may have to upload your timesheet. You can then cash out a portion of your earned pay before payday.
You can withdraw up to $100 each pay period.Â Based on your account balances and Activehours use, the pay-period maximum could increase up to $500. The payment will arrive in your checking account within a few seconds, or within one business day, depending on where you bank.
Earnin doesnâ€™t connect to your employerâ€™s payroll. It connects to whatever bank account you use to collect your pay. The next time your paycheck hits your bank account, Earnin will automatically withdraw what you owe. There arenâ€™t any fees or interest charges for using the service, however Earnin does ask for support in the form of tips.
What it is:Â DailyPayÂ caters to workers who are employed by ride-share orÂ delivery services, such as Uber,Â Postmates, Instacart, Fasten, and DoorDash. It can also be used by workers at restaurants that use delivery apps, such as GrubHub, Seamless, or Caviar.
How it works:Â After signing up for DailyPay, youâ€™ll need to connect a bank account where DailyPay can send you payments. Next, youâ€™ll need to connect your DailyPay account with the system yourÂ employer uses to track your hours. DailyPay tracks the activity within the accounts and sends you a single payment with the dayâ€™s earnings, minus a fee. Restaurant workers get paid for the previous dayâ€™s delivery earnings, minus a fee, from all the connected delivery programs.
DailyPay charges a fee of $1.25 for every transfer that you make, with the funds being delivered the next business day. If you need your money before tomorrow, you can do an instant transfer that has a fee of $2.99.
PayActiv is an employer-sponsored program that allows employees to withdraw a portion of their earned wages before payday. While you canâ€™t sign up on your own, you can ask PayActiv to contact your employer about offering the service. Thereâ€™s no setup or operating costs for employers.
Once your employer offers PayActiv, you sign up and withdraw money as soon as you earn it. You can withdraw up to 50% of your earned income during each pay period via an electronic transfer or withdrawal from a PayActiv ATM (available at some employersâ€™ offices).
The early payment comes fromÂ PayActiv, but it isnâ€™t a loan and you wonâ€™t need to pay interest. Instead, your employer will automatically send PayActiv an equivalent amount from your next paycheck.
There is $5 fee per pay period when you use the service, although some employers cover a portion of the fee, according to Safwan Shah, PayActiveâ€™s founder. As a member, youâ€™ll also get free access to bill payment services and savings and budgeting tools.
FlexWage is an employer-sponsored program that relies on the use of a payroll debit card and integrates with employersâ€™ payroll systems. If your employer offers FlexWage, you can get your paycheck deposited into an FDIC-insured account with the linked Visa or MasterCard debit card. You can also add earned, but unpaid, wages to your account before payday without paying any fees.
With FlexWage, the employer determines how often you can make early withdrawals and the maximum amount you can withdraw. Unlike PayActiv, FlexWage doesnâ€™t act as aÂ middle-man.Â Your paycheck advancesÂ will come directly from your employerâ€™s account.
While cash advance apps can help when you are in a small pinch, they often cannot help when you have a larger expense that needs to be paid quickly. They can also cause short-term financial troubles, since the amount of your advance is going to be subtracted from your next paycheck, simply delaying your financial troubles.
If you need more money and want to have more time to pay off your loan, you might want to take a look at getting a personal loan. Personal loans often come with fixed interest rates and fixed loan amounts that are paid out over a specific period of time. Money is deposited directly into your bank account and some lenders can get you your funds the same day that you apply.
Want to compare multiple personal loan offers from a variety of personal loan lenders? Check out LendingTree, our parent company, where you can easily compare personal loan offers and find the best rate on your loan.
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These four companies work slightly differently, but they share the same basic premise: giving you early access to the money you earned, without saddling you with a painful assortment of fees. If youâ€™ve had to rely on borrowing money in the past when funds are tight,Â these could be a better alternative to credit cards or payday loans.
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