4 apps like Brigit for small cash advances

Young woman in her living room reviewing other apps like Brigit on her mobile phone.Image: Young woman in her living room reviewing other apps like Brigit on her mobile phone.

In a Nutshell

Cash advance apps like Brigit can spot you small amounts of cash in between paychecks. And some even offer extra features like budgeting and savings tools or overdraft protection. But they could come with membership fees or other costs. 
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The Brigit app is a cash advance app that provides cash advances up to $250 between paychecks with no interest fees or credit checks. And Brigit offers the ability to help build up your credit.

But Brigit isn’t the only app that can help you get an advance on your paycheck or access to cash. So if you’re looking for an alternative option, you might consider other apps like Dave, Earnin, MoneyLion or Affirm. But before choosing another app, it’s a good idea to compare their features to make sure you’re selecting the best app for your financial situation.

Best cash advance app to avoid fees: Dave

Why Dave stands out: If you have a steady paycheck but occasionally need a small cash advance to tide you over until payday, Dave may be a good option. Dave doesn’t charge any overdraft fees or minimum balance fees. Instead, the company asks for optional tips from people who use the service. But you’ll have to pay a $1 monthly membership fee.

  • No credit check required — There’s no credit check required to begin using the app and Dave doesn’t report your payments to the three major credit bureaus.
  • Budgeting tool — Dave users can also benefit from the built-in budgeting tool, and the app can also recommend side gigs in your area.
  • Direct deposit required — To use the Dave app, you must show a history of direct deposits. Dave will use that information to help determine how much you may qualify to advance.
  • Funding options — When you take out a cash advance, you can choose from the standard or express funding option. The standard funding option is free to use, but could take up to three business days to complete. With the express funding option, you’ll receive the funds that day, but you’ll have to pay a “small fee.”

Read our Dave app review to learn more.

Best option for full-time employees: Earnin

Why Earnin stands out: Earnin lets you borrow money against your next paycheck and doesn’t charge any mandatory fees or interest. To qualify, you must have a steady paycheck, either work at the same location each day or use online timesheets to track your hours, and have more than 50% of your direct deposit sent to a checking account. If you have a side gig or supplemental income, Earnin won’t consider this when reviewing your eligibility.

  • Small loan amounts — With Earnin, you may be able to cash out as much as $100 per day or $500 per pay period if eligible.
  • Same-day funding available — If you sign up for the Lightning Speed feature, you may receive your funds within the same day. But this feature isn’t compatible with all banks.
  • Balance alerts — If the balance in your checking account falls below your set balance, Earnin will send you a low balance alert.

Read our Earnin app review to learn more.

Best option for building credit: MoneyLion

Why MoneyLion stands out: MoneyLion is a financial services company that offers credit-builder loans without a hard credit inquiry. Credit-builder loans are available up to $1,000, and MoneyLion will report payment history to all three credit bureaus. But you’ll have to pay a $19.99 monthly membership fee.

  • Access a portion of the funds — After you’re approved for a credit-builder loan, MoneyLion will give you immediate access to a portion of the funds. The remaining amount is transferred to a reserve account which becomes available after you pay off the loan.
  • Eliminate the membership fee — To apply for a credit-builder loan, you have to become a Credit Builder Plus member and pay the monthly membership fee. But if you participate in certain other features the company offers, you may get part or all of the fee waived.
  • Other benefits available — As a MoneyLion member, you can receive access to other features like free credit monitoring and rewards.

Read our MoneyLion loan review to learn more.

Best for overdraft protection: Chime

Why Chime stands out: Even if your account balance gets low, Chime’s Spot Me program will cover up to $200 on debit card purchases or cash withdrawals — all without charging you an overdraft fee. But to qualify for this feature, you’ll need to have a solid Chime account history. Coverage starts at $20 but can get as high as $200 for eligible account holders.

  • Get your paycheck early — Chime offers the feature to get your paycheck up to two days before payday. But to be eligible, you’ll need to have your paycheck direct deposited into a Chime account.
  • Savings tools to help you stash away cash — With Chime, you can automatically set aside a portion of your paycheck. You can also opt to have every Chime debit card transaction rounded to the nearest dollar and have the difference deposited into your savings.
  • A banking platform with favorable fees — Chime lets you open a fee-free checking account. And there are no overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees or in-network ATM fees.

What to watch out for with apps like Brigit

Apps like Brigit might be able to help you make ends meet until your next payday. And unlike payday loans which come with high costs, a cash advance app could be an appealing alternative.

But even though you may be able to get access to small amounts of cash between paychecks, you could be stuck paying a monthly membership fee, depending on the app.

If you find yourself needing to borrow money frequently, it might be a good idea to take a look at your monthly budget.

How we picked these loans

We reviewed more than 10 apps like Brigit and considered factors like convenience, interest rates, fees, loan terms and the ability to build credit. We also looked at extra services offered by each lender such as budgeting tools, credit monitoring services and free checking.

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.