Earnin Review 2023: Features & Alternatives

Kristina Knight-1
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Reviewed by Randolph Vialva, MBA
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  • Cost Value
  • Customer Service
  • Ease of Use
  • Included Features

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Earnin is a financial services company that allows users to access cash for their payroll and wages before the funds are deposited into their linked account.

Pros

  • No mandatory fees
  • Avoid overdraft fees
  • Same business day funding

Cons

  • The low limit for loans
  • Tips may result in high annual percentage rates
  • Shared personal information

Earnin connects to the member’s bank or checking account and will use an electronic timesheet to track hours worked and upcoming payroll to determine loan amounts before the employer’s scheduled payment date. 

With Earnin’s cash, users can link accounts, including a checking account or savings account, to access cash as it is needed.

earnin review

Earnin is a financial technology company offering independent financial advice to its users. Earnin users can get paycheck loans, direct deposits, and such deposits for individuals who have an account with them which may give some financial protection against unexpected bills between pay periods. They don’t require a qualifying purchase. The paycheck advances are available through the main app stores and give users the ability to access money and payroll funds before they’re actually deposited into the bank account. There are no mandatory fees for using the product, but users typically “tip” up to $14 per advance transaction; this “tip” may result equate to a very high annual percentage rate for the loan amount.

Read more: Best online banks

Earnin App Advantages

Earnin’s cash offers direct deposit before a user would typically receive their paycheck. This payday loan can then be used in any way the customer needs. The app doesn’t charge an annual percentage rate for the paycheck advances, allowing the user to access money and a cash advance as they need it. Earnin is not a Stride Bank or NBKC Bank but is a financial service affiliated with Evolve Bank. 

No hidden fees, just tips

There are no hidden or mandatory fees with Earnin. Instead, the company uses a tip structure of up to $14 per payday loan. Because of the no-fee structure, many may turn to this option, but paycheck loans should not be used as a permanent solution to cash advance needs. 

Works with your bank

Earnin works by linking their account with your bank account to access money and direct deposits and deposit funds before they’re actually put into your bank. This solution is good for people who may need to cover an emergency bill, but because it is attached to your paycheck, it shouldn’t be used by people who regularly need additional cash advances between paychecks. You do have to be employed and have a regular pay schedule to access their financial solutions. 

Lightning Speed

In most cases, cash advances are immediately available to the user, as long as they have more than half of their direct deposit sent to a checking account. Then, users can withdraw between $100 and $500 for each pay period. Using paycheck deposit funds depends on the member’s actual needs, and the maximum withdrawal can be increased by up to $50 if other users vouch for the member. Funds are then paid back with the next paycheck.

Tip Yourself

One Earnin feature that is different from other payday loans is the Tip Yourself feature. This is a savings account type feature that will transfer between $1 and $50 per day, you decide, into a tip jar. That money accumulates over time and can be used by the member at any time with no penalties. The member doesn’t earn interest and the account doesn’t charge interest; what the member chooses to put in is what they will ultimately receive. This won’t replace a high-yield savings account but can be useful.

Earnin App Review: Features

Cash Out: Every day is Payday

By linking your paycheck and personal accounts with Earnin, the member can turn any day into a payday. Earnin allows paycheck funds to be “deposited” and then withdrawn up to two days before the paycheck arrives. That means the member can withdraw money as it is needed, in amounts of up to $100 per day or $500 per pay period. 

Balance Shield Feature: Keep your account balance in check

Balance Shield Feature is another interesting feature from Earnin; with this, the app will monitor your linked bank accounts and send an alert when funds are low. Cash advances from Earnin can then be used to keep the linked checking account from being overdrawn. 

Earnin Express Feature

Using Earnin Express Feature you bypass your personal bank and instead place paycheck funds directly into your Earnin Deposit Account.

Earnin Quick Overview

earnin logo

4.5 stars

Best Overall Value

  • No fees
  • Avoid fees
  • Same day funding

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Earnin Customer Reviews

earnin (1)

Earnin has average reviews, with some saying they have issues with the platform and others generally favorable.

One day my bank connects and the next they cant connect.

User Review

They have a bunch of options if you’re self employed. Then they refuse to give money to the self employed.

User Review

I have had excellent experience with Earnin’. Literally every time. If there have been issues, it’s been my bank.

User Review

Earnin Service Review

Review of Earnin

Overall Pricing and Value
90%
90%
Cost Value
90%
90%
Customer Support
100%
100%
Ease of Use
80%
80%
Included Features
80%
80%

There is a per pay period limit of $750 for withdrawals using Earnin, but many other features may be helpful for people who need occasional help between pay periods. 

Is Earnin Right For You?

Earnin may be the right choice for people who only need occasional help between pay periods or who have an unexpected bill – like a car repair or need of a new home appliance – but who are in between pay periods. Those who need more regular help may not be a good fit for the app because repayments come directly from your paycheck.

Earnin Cost Value 

Because Earnin doesn’t charge a monthly fee or high APRs for their payday loans, the service may seem to have a good value. However, they do require tip amounts of up to $14, which is taken directly from the account. This amount, if Earnin is used too often, will equate to a higher-than-average APR than if they actually charged interest.

Customer Service

Earnin does offer 24/7 support as long as the member is using chat or live chat features. Their representatives will also reply to questions posted via social media, however, there is no direct phone number to speak to a live representative in the case of an emergency or larger account issue.

Ease of Use

As with other cash advance apps, Earnin has a simple-to-navigate mobile app and online feature. The service connects to existing accounts like a Bancorp bank seamlessly, and the prompts for paycheck information are simple enough to follow.

Included Features

Earnin has many features that will be of use to people who need access to fast cash between the per pay period. These include direct deposit, payday loan and cash advance apps, balance shield cash outs, and may help to protect against fees. However, Earnin is not a bank and shouldn’t be used as a bank by consumers who are in need of financial advice. Instead, it should be used as a temporary solution or emergency fund with early access to a paycheck or debit card. There is also Earnin’s Automagic Earnings Feature which adds to your available balance based on your work address rather than an electronic timesheet.

Overall

An Earnin account may be a good solution for people who need a small amount of money early or to get their paycheck early, who can abide by a $500 per pay period max, and who can afford to pay back the loan amount the next pay period. Earnin deducts money from your paycheck to provide a short-term solution to a money crisis and allows you to use cash advances to pay for emergency needs. These kinds of banking services are a good solution as long as they aren’t overused. 

2 Top Earnin App Alternatives

MoneylionDave AppEarnin
Amount You Can Withdraw EarlyUp to $250Up to $100Up to $100 per day ($500 per pay period)
Mobile BankingNot includedNot included
Fee$1/ month$1/ month$0 (tips are optional)
Cash Flow/Expense Tracking FeaturesNot included
DetailRead Review Read Review Read Review
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Moneylion

There are both pros and cons to the MoneyLion financial institution. The short-term, don’t-pay-interest loans are a bonus, but the monthly fees may be steep for some users. The MoneyLion app makes it easy to link a bank account, use debit card purchases, and create better financial habits. However, the loan amounts are small compared to other such services. For those just getting started or wanting other options, the MoneyLion app may be a good fit.

Dave App

The Dave app also offers short-term personal loans. The app charges a monthly subscription fee of $1 and has a maximum loan amount of $250. The money can take up to three days to become available, and the app also has steep transaction fees – up to $5.99 per transaction – for faster deposit times. The Dave app does not include overdraft fees or low balance alerts with an account.

Conclusion

For people living paycheck to paycheck, who need a cash advance to get through, Earnin can be a short-term financial solution. With the company, you don’t pay interest, and will not affect credit bureaus’ reports. Their financial protection from fees, balance drops, or other reasons needs to be paid early. If you can’t wait to pay a bill until your paycheck arrives, cash advances can help to bridge the gap. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a payday loan?

A payday or paycheck loan typically has a high-interest rate and is meant to be repaid with the individual’s next paycheck. Apps like Earnin do not have the steep fees associated with more payday loans. This is because most require a linked bank account and access to your wages and/or job information. In this way, they know you will have the money coming in shortly to be paid back. Also, most charge a monthly fee rather, which is more lucrative to them than very high-interest rates.

Who needs a personal loan?

Many people may need access to a personal loan for unexpected expenses like a car breaking down or a problem in their home. Personal finance is a complicated thing, and a financial advisor can be expensive. Overdraft fees and final transaction posts can cause undue worry, but Earnin’s lightning-speed feature gives you money fast. These types of personal loans help people learn how to manage money, invest, and save.

What fees should I expect from a credit builder plus a loan?

Most personal finance apps will charge a monthly fee to use the program; these can range from $9.99 per month to $19.99 per month.

Why should I worry about building credit?

Most people need help building credit. A good credit check will affect the type of interest rates offered for car loans, buying a house, and other empower card purchases. A good credit check will also determine how much interest regular credit cards charge, so those who build better credit get the best rates – meaning they save more money over time.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
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Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.

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Bizreport Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Bizreport, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. BBB: Start with Trust® | Better Business Bureau®. www.bbb.org. Accessed October 29, 2022. https://www.bbb.org
  2. Credit Karma. Credit Karma. Accessed October 29, 2022. https://www.creditkarma.com
  3. Trustpilot. Trustpilot. Published 2019. Accessed October 29, 2022. https://www.trustpilot.com