Early direct deposit: 10 banks that help you get paid early

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In a Nutshell

If your checking account offers early direct deposit, you can sometimes receive your paycheck up to two days early. We’ve rounded up 10 banks that offer early direct deposit, giving you a bit more flexibility in managing your money.
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The U.S. Department of the Treasury considers direct deposit to be a fast, safe and efficient way to receive your paycheck.

When you set up direct deposit, your employer deposits your paycheck electronically. This means you don’t have to pick up a paper check, deposit it into your checking account, and wait for the funds to clear — your bank takes care of all this for you. 

And now, many banks are speeding up this process by offering early direct deposit. This allows you to receive your paycheck up to two days early. If you want to take advantage of early direct deposit, here are 10 banks to consider.

Best for overdraft protection: Chime

When you open a Chime checking account online and sign up for direct deposit, you can get your paycheck up to two days early. To get started, you’ll log into your account via the mobile banking app and email yourself a prefilled direct deposit form to pass on to your employer.  

In addition, Chime offers overdraft protection for up to $200 with no overdraft fees. The bank will simply apply your next direct deposit toward the negative balance. Your account also comes with a free debit card, no monthly fees and access to over 60,000 ATMs.   

Best for no fees: Axos

When you sign up for an Essential Checking account from Axos, you’ll have access to direct deposit and can receive your money two days early. And Axos never charges any overdraft fees, nonsufficient funds (or NSF) fees or monthly maintenance fees. Also, there are no minimum balance requirements.

The account comes with other helpful features like peer-to-peer payments, online bill pay and unlimited ATM-fee reimbursements. Axos will also always monitor your accounts and alert you if it suspects any fraud activity. 

Best for online and in-person banking: Capital One

When you open a Capital One 360 account and enroll in direct deposit, you can get your paycheck two days early. Capital One gives you a prefilled form to give your employer to help ease the sign- up process. 

With Capital One, you can take advantage of both online and in-person banking. You can use the bank’s mobile app to monitor your account, lock and unlock your debit card, and redeem any rewards. 

But if there’s an issue you want to address in person, you can also visit one of Capital One’s branch locations. And you’ll have access to over 70,000 no-fee ATMs. 

Best for a cash sign-up bonus: SoFi

When you set up direct deposit with SoFi, you can receive your money up to two days early and your checking account will earn interest. And there’s no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify to earn interest.

Plus, when you open your account and set up direct deposit within 25 days, you could receive a one-time sign-up bonus. The exact amount depends on your direct deposit amount.

  • $1,000–$4,999 deposit = sign-up bonus of $50
  • $5,000 or more deposit = sign-up bonus of $250

Best for reversing overdraft fees: Citizens Bank

When you sign up for a checking account with Citizen’s Bank, you can receive a two-day early direct deposit. To sign up, you can either log into your account and print off a prefilled form or you can ask your employer for a direct deposit form.

Citizens Bank also offers a feature called Citizens Peace of Mind, which gives you time to fund your account and refund overdraft fees. And Citizens will send you a text message or email when the account is overdrawn, so you’ll have plenty of time to take care of it.

Best for account security: Credit Karma Money

Credit Karma Money™ offers a checking account — Credit Karma Money™ Spend — with no minimum balance requirements. And when you set up a direct deposit to your account, you’ll get access to your money up to two days early. 

This online checking account is FDIC-insured for up to $5 million through a network of banks (in comparison, the standard checking account is insured for up to $250,000 per depositor). And you can use the Credit Karma mobile app to instantly lock your debit card if there’s ever a problem, giving you peace of mind over your account’s security.

Best for instant access to funds: Huntington Bank

Huntington’s Asterisk-Free Checking account is free to open and there are no monthly maintenance fees. You can also receive your paycheck up to two days early when you sign up for direct deposit.

If you do have to deposit a check, you’ll receive instant access to up to $500 of the funds. This feature is available at no extra charge and it doesn’t matter whether you deposit the check through the mobile app, at an ATM or at a branch location. 

Best for receiving government benefits: GoBank

With GoBank, you can avoid a monthly maintenance fee by setting up direct deposit (of $500 or more), and you’ll receive the funds two days early. If you receive government benefits like Social Security or state unemployment benefits, you can receive them up to four days early. You can also use the mobile app to easily send and receive money within minutes. 

Best for unlimited ATM rebates: LendingClub Bank

LendingClub is known for its personal loans, but they also offer a rewards checking account. Not only can you receive your paycheck two days early with direct deposit, but LendingClub also offers 1% cash back on all qualified purchases made with your debit card.

Along with having no monthly maintenance, overdraft or incoming wire draft fees, LendingClub will reimburse you for any ATM fees you incur at other banks. 

Best for cash back rewards: Varo Bank

When you open a checking account at Varo Bank, there are no minimum deposit requirements or monthly fees. In addition to receiving your paycheck two days early with direct deposit, you can easily transfer money from one Varo bank account to another. 

And you can earn cash back rewards every time you use your Varo Bank debit card to shop select brands. When you reach $5 in rewards, the money is automatically deposited into your checking account. 

How does early direct deposit work?

When you sign up for direct deposit, your paycheck is automatically deposited into your account on payday. If the deposit is received during normal banking hours, the deposit should be ready by the following business day.  

But most banks make the money available immediately, and some banks offer early direct deposit so you can access your money even sooner. Early direct deposit generally means that you’ll receive your funds two days before payday. 

How early can direct deposit hit?

How soon you can receive direct deposit depends on your bank, but all the banks listed in this article offer direct deposit two days early. Without early deposit, your paycheck will usually hit your account by 9 a.m. on your designated payday. Timing can also depend on the type of payment you’re receiving — for instance, GoBank deposits government benefits four days early. 

In some cases, some banks may also put a hold on your paycheck, though they can’t hold the funds indefinitely. 

How we picked these banks

We compared 16 different banks before narrowing the list down to our picks for the 10 best banks offering direct deposit. The minimum criteria these banks had to meet was offering early direct deposit — but beyond that, we also considered …

  • Fees
  • Options to avoid fees 
  • ATM access 
  • Whether they reimburse for ATM fees 
  • Mobile app availability for account monitoring

About the author: Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who specializes in finance and business. She covers a variety of personal finance topics, including building credit, credit cards, personal loans and student loans… Read more.