Brigit app review: Paycheck advances with a monthly membership fee

Woman sitting on the steps outside her apartment, smiling as she uses the Brigit app on her phoneImage: Woman sitting on the steps outside her apartment, smiling as she uses the Brigit app on her phone

In a Nutshell

Brigit is an app that provides paycheck advances of up to $250 without charging interest. It’s a good option for anyone who needs an occasional emergency loan, but this convenience does come with a cost.
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Pros Cons
Small cash advances of up to $250 $9.99 monthly membership fee for advances
Provides budget tracking tools Must allow Brigit to track your bank account
Auto advances are available (with Brigit Plus membership) if Brigit thinks you may overdraw your account Not available for joint checking accounts

What you need to know about a Brigit advance

Brigit is an app that provides small cash advances of up to $250, as well as a budgeting tool. Brigit also analyzes your spending — and, with a Plus membership, Brigit will automatically advance you money if it thinks you’re in danger of overdrawing your account.

But the app charges a $9.99 monthly fee to access most services, and not everyone is eligible to sign up. Brigit is also not available for joint checking accounts, which is a major downside if you share a primary account with someone else.

While Brigit says it works with more than 6,000 banks and credit unions, there are a few notable exceptions: Chime, Capital One and Net Spend.

Here are some things to know before you download the Brigit app.

‘Brigit score’ needed to qualify

To be eligible for Brigit Plus — which you’ll need if you want to ask for a cash advance — you must have a “Brigit score” of at least 70 or higher (on a scale of 100). Brigit considers your income, banking history and spending history in calculating this score.

This is what Brigit scoring looks like.

  • 70–80: Fair
  • 80–90: Good
  • 90+: Excellent

Brigit says it recalculates your score any time your bank sends an update, which is usually at least twice a day.

Alternative to taking out a payday loan

Brigit may be a good alternative to costly payday loans. While Brigit doesn’t charge any interest, it’s important to remember that you’ll pay a $9.99 monthly fee, so the cash advance isn’t free.

Even if you don’t take out a cash advance, you’ll still be charged the membership fee, so you’ll want to make sure the other tools Brigit Plus offers are worth that cost to you. For example, you may want to use other online budgeting tools that are free.

Learn more: Can I make a car payment with a credit card?

Automatic advances

If Brigit thinks your account balance is close to overdrawing, it will automatically transfer money to help cover the shortfall. This feature may help you avoid overdraft fees.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re comfortable with Brigit having access to your personal information. The technology that helps with overdraft predictions also means that Brigit has information about all of your transactions on your linked account.

Another important item to note is that you can only have one advance at a time, so you’ll have to repay the first before you can apply for another.

Repayments are automatically deducted

Brigit will automatically deduct your repayments from your account on the next date of a recurring direct deposit. Brigit will remind you one business day in advance of the withdrawal.

The company may also let you extend your due date if you can’t afford a payment, and you won’t face a late fee or penalty.

A closer look at a Brigit cash advance

Here are a few more things to think about if you’re considering Brigit.

  • iOS and Android — The app is available in both the iOS store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android users.
  • No credit check — Brigit doesn’t perform a credit check to sign up for Brigit or request cash advances. On the flip side, it also won’t help you build your credit.
  • Pay off your advance early — There’s no prepayment penalty for paying back your cash advance early.
  • Limited customer support — Brigit doesn’t offer phone support, so you’ll have to deal with any issues by chat or email.

Should I get a Brigit cash advance?

If you occasionally need a small cash advance to help cover monthly expenses, Brigit may be a good alternative to a payday loan or title loan. But you’ll need to remember that Brigit’s $9.99 monthly membership fee means your loan still has a cost, even if the company doesn’t charge interest.

Financial emergencies happen, and it may help to have a back-up option like Brigit. But if you regularly turn to Brigit to help cover your monthly bills, it may be a good idea to review your finances or look for a better alternative.

Another option to consider is a payday alternative loan from a federal credit union. You may be able to qualify for a higher loan amount, and you won’t face a fee of more than $20 to process your application. And unlike Brigit, which requires you to repay your advance when your next recurring deposit is made, you may have months to repay.

See our picks for the best short-term loans for emergency needs.

How to qualify for Brigit

The first step to creating a Brigit account is to download the app. If you aren’t interested in using Brigit for cash advances, the only thing you need is an active bank account.

If you want to qualify for cash advances, you’ll need to meet a few other requirements in addition to the Brigit score.

  • Meet Brigit’s threshold amount for monthly recurring deposits (Brigit doesn’t specify the amount) from the same employer or deposit source
  • Have at least three recurring deposits from the same employer
  • Have a checking account for at least 60 days, with “sufficient activity” — Brigit recommends using your checking account daily for at least two weeks before applying for an advance
  • Have a balance above $0
  • Have a cash cushion at the end of the same day you receive your recurring deposit (Brigit also doesn’t specify this amount)

Not sure if Brigit is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Dave app: Dave offers a paycheck advance of up to $100 with no interest, though membership costs $1 per month.
  • Earnin: Earnin offers paycheck advances between $100 and $500 with no fees or interest. But you are encouraged to leave an optional “tip.”

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.