Category: finance

Best 5 Loan Apps in 2021

 If you find yourself strapped for cash before your next paycheck, it might be worth researching apps that loan money to find one that can provide the funds you need.

Here’s our take on the best apps currently available to help you decide which one — if any — is right for your situation. Note that we only included apps where you can apply for loans directly through the app and not just manage payments.

Best for low fees: Earning

Why Earnin stands out: When you borrow money through the Earnin app, the company doesn’t charge interest or fees on your paycheck advance. Instead, it asks customers to consider providing an optional tip in an amount they think is appropriate. (But you don’t have to tip to use the app.)

Eligibility requirements — To use Earnin, you must have a consistent pay schedule — weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly. More than 50% of your paycheck must be sent to a single checking account by direct deposit each pay period. And you’ll need to either work at the same location every day or use electronic timesheets to track your hours.

Withdrawal limits — You may borrow up to $100 per pay period when you begin using the app. As you continue using the app and paying Earnin back successfully, that limit may increase to up to $500.

Funding timeline — If you have Earnin’s “Lightning Speed” feature, the lender says you may be able to receive your money immediately. But if your bank doesn’t support this option, you won’t be able to use it. Without Lightning Speed, Earnin says you’ll typically receive your money in one to two business days.

Overdraft protection — If you sign up for Balance Shield alerts, Earnin will notify you when your bank balance is getting low, which can help you avoid overdraft fees. If your checking account balance falls below $100, you can sign up for Balance Shield Cash Outs, which automatically cashes out up to $100 of your earnings, which could help you avoid incurring a negative balance on your account.

Best for small loan amounts: Dave

Why Dave stands out: If you need extra cash to cover an expense before your next payday, Dave offers cash advances of up to $100.

Eligibility — There’s no credit check required to use the Dave app. But you must have a steady paycheck that’s set up with direct deposit into your checking account, and you need to show that you have enough money in your account to pay the advance back once you receive your next paycheck.

Membership fee — Dave charges a monthly membership fee of $1.

Low balance alerts — Dave sends alerts when your checking account balance is getting low or when you have a bill due, so you can decide whether to request a payday advance to help prevent overdraft fees.

No interest — Dave doesn’t charge interest on cash advances, but it asks for optional tips to help support the app.

Funding timeline — You can choose from two funding options: standard or express.  Standard funding is included with your monthly membership fee, but it takes up to three business days to receive your money. You may be able to get your money the same day you request it with the express option, but it costs a small fee (Dave doesn’t specify how much the fee is).

Best for suite of online services: MoneyLion

Why MoneyLion stands out: MoneyLion offers a 0% APR “Instacash” cash advance up to $250 once you sign up for a free account and link an eligible checking account. There’s no credit check required. But the MoneyLion app is really worth a look because of what else it brings to the table: a mobile banking account, an auto investing account with no management fees, and access to a credit-builder loan (with a monthly membership fee).

Tipping is optional: MoneyLion doesn’t charge any mandatory fees for its cash advances, though you can tip for the service.

Pay for speed: MoneyLion doesn’t charge for “regular delivery,” but if you need money in a hurry, you can pay for “instant” delivery. The app charges $3.99 for this type of transfer to one of its RoarMoney accounts or $4.99 to an external checking account or debit card.

Loan amounts: How much MoneyLion approves an advance for depends on activity in your linked checking account. Typically, larger deposits mean larger advance amounts (the minimum is $25). The app also says you may be able to raise your Instacash limit by switching your direct deposits to MoneyLion.

Best for access to banking services: Branch

Why Branch stands out: Not only does Branch allow you to request cash advances for hours you’ve already worked, the company offers fee-free checking accounts, debit cards and ATM withdrawals at more than 40,000 locations.

Eligibility requirements — To use Branch Pay to get a cash advance, you must have at least two months of direct deposits from the same employer. Each deposit must be more than $40 and deposited into the same bank account with a participating bank.

Cash advance limits — The amount of money you can request for a cash advance is based on two things: your bank account direct deposit history and how much you spend compared to what you earn. When you first start using the app, Branch says your cash advance limit will be low. But as you use the app over time and repay your advances, your limit may increase.

Fees and interest — Branch doesn’t charge interest on cash advances, and its fees vary based on how you choose to receive the money. You can get “instant” access for free when the money is sent to your Branch debit card. Standard delivery to an external bank account or debit card, which should take three days, is also free. But if you want your money sent to an external bank account or debit card right away, Branch will charge you a fee of $2.99 to $4.99, depending on the amount you transfer.

Best for helping you track your finances: Brigit

Why Brigit stands out: Brigit may advance you between $50 and $250, but you’ll have to pay $9.99 a month for its Brigit Plus plan to qualify for “instant transfers” and other features. The app, which is available on Android and Apple devices, stands out for its budgeting tools that help you track your spending and its “Brigit score” model. Your Brigit score ranges from 0 to 100 and measures three financial wellness metrics: bank account health, spending behavior and earnings profile. You’ll need a Brigit score of at least 70 to be approved for Brigit Instant Cash.

No interest or tips — Unlike Earnin and Dave, Brigit doesn’t ask for tips when you borrow money. The company also won’t perform a credit check. But keep in mind that if you’re paying for a Brigit Plus membership, the money isn’t free of fees.

Eligibility requirements — Brigit requires you to have at least three recurring deposits from the same employer to qualify.

Not compatible with all banks — Brigit says it works with more than 6,000 banks and credit unions, but that doesn’t guarantee it will work with yours. The company notes that it isn’t yet compatible with Chime Bank, Capital One, Net Spend or Varo.

Auto advances available — Brigit will analyze your spending habits in your checking account to predict if your balances are low and you’re in danger of overdrafting. Its “Auto Advances” feature will transfer money to your bank account automatically to prevent an overdraft from occurring.

What you should know about apps that loan money

A number of apps that loan money allow you to borrow small amounts against your next paycheck. Since these apps typically charge lower fees than payday lenders, one of these apps may be a good choice if you’re in a pinch and need some extra cash to bridge the gap until you get paid.

But before you borrow money from an app or a traditional lender, it’s important to compare interest rates, fees and terms and calculate what you can afford to pay back. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, taking out a high-interest loan or a cash advance app with a monthly fee is not a long-term solution. Instead, try negotiating with lenders, utilities and other companies to get a lower interest rate or work out a payment plan.

How we picked these apps

We reviewed 10 apps to come up with our picks. The criteria we used to make our choices included eligibility requirements, fee structures, interest rates, loan amounts and the ability to build credit. We also considered what benefits each app offers, such as financial education resources, overdraft protection, and the availability of additional products and services.


THE FUTURE OF FINANCE: Check out the 60 fintech startups VCs are betting will be breakout hits Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Please subscribe to Business Insider here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Courtesy of Tusk Venture Partners; Accel; Lightspeed Venture Partners; Spark Capital; Yuqing Liu/Business Insider Hello!

The financial-services industry is changing at a rapid clip, with fintechs addressing people’s needs among the big winners in the wake of the coronavirus, as Dan DeFrancesco and Shannen Balogh reported this week.

For example:

Robinhood, which has seen massive growth as market volatility continues, is now valued at $8.3 billion after its most recent funding round in May. Meanwhile, other personal finance apps like Chime and Stash have also seen record sign-up numbers recently.

With that in mind, Dan and Shannen polled 27 investors to discover the fintechs that are on the cusp of breaking out. While investors could pitch companies both inside and out of their portfolio, the caveat was that none could have surpassed a Series B raise.

The response was impressive, with 60 fintechs nominated. Overall, investors seem more bullish on the future of startups catering to businesses, not consumers, as more than 63% of the selections were B2B.

You can read both lists here:

Investors say these 38 fintechs are the next generation of breakout B2B stars, following in the footsteps of Stripe and Plaid
22 fintechs that VCs and big investors say are on the brink of becoming household names
Speaking of fintech investors, Megan Hernbroth profiled 25 young investors in the space, highlighting what drew them to fintech and what they think are the biggest opportunities.

The investors also shared some tips on how to snag a role in their competitive field. You can read both stories here:

These 25 investors are hunting for the next big fintech unicorn. Here’s what founders should know before pitching them.

The latest class of successful young fintech investors reveals how to land a job in the notoriously exclusive field

Trump’s most important 2016 donor is sitting out 2020 Robert and Rebekah Mercer Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Dave Levinthal reports:
Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah ranked among President Donald Trump’s most influential backers in 2016. But they’ve all but abandoned the embattled president and aren’t likely to help him in the home stretch for 2020, five people who know the media-averse Mercers tell Insider.

“They’re 100, 100, 100% out,” an associate of Rebekah Mercer said.

You can read that story in full here:

Trump’s most important 2016 donor is sitting out 2020

In other politics news:

The transformation of the real estate business Shutterstock

We’ve written at length in recent months about the future of the office, as the coronavirus pandemic forces employers to rethink their needs and landlords to reimagine their model. This week: In related news, the rapid shift to ecommerce that’s been accelerated by COVID 19 is putting severe pressure on malls and placing fresh emphasis on warehouse space.
Separately, I want to highlight a couple of things before I go:
Below are headlines on some of the stories you might have missed from the past week.

— Matt Inside the rise of Ram Sundaram, the leader of a secretive Goldman Sachs desk that’s minting billions by designing some of the bank’s most imaginative — and controversial — trades

Top management-consulting salaries, revealed: How much Bain, BCG, and McKinsey consultants make, from entry level through partner roles

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Insiders at Complex Networks said the company was built on Black culture but that the sales team ‘whitewashed’ advertising deals for brands, replacing Black people with white people in pitch decks

In March, Trump announced Google would build a coronavirus testing tool. Some employees working on it describe exhausting conditions, stress, and tears as they work around-the-clock to pull it off.

Leaked documents reveal Exxon changed its employee-ranking system amid the coronavirus pandemic, putting more workers at risk of getting cut

POWER LIST: Here are the 18 most outstanding women transforming the sneaker industry today, from designers to influencers