Even app personal loan review: An easy option for paycheck advances

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In a Nutshell

The Even app offers instant access to your paycheck, along with budgeting tools to help you manage your money better. But your employer must sign up as a partner for you to use the app.
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Pros

Cons

Ability to get a cash advance on your paycheck

To participate, your employer must be a partner

You can pick up your cash at Walmart

Your employer determines how many cash advances you can take

The app comes with budgeting tools

You may have to pay a monthly subscription plan


What you need to know about the Even app

Even was founded in 2014 as a cash advance app that allows employees to access up to 50% of their earned wages early. The app receives payroll information from your employer, so you can track how much money you’ve earned so far — and get an advance on your paycheck, a perk that Even calls “Instapay.”

There’s no interest charged with the Instapay feature, but you might have to pay a monthly subscription to be able to access your cash early. The membership fee will vary depending on your employer.

If your employer is a member and you’re considering using the Even app, here are four things you need to know.

Access your earned wages early

The Instapay feature allows you to access up to 50% of your earned wages early, though the frequency of this access depends on your employer. You can receive the funds in one of two ways: through direct deposit or by picking up a cash advance at Walmart.

If you choose the direct deposit option, your transaction will usually take one business day. But the app doesn’t connect to all bank accounts, and smaller banks may not be compatible. If your bank isn’t compatible, Even says you can access the app’s other available features.

Budgeting tools help you plan your monthly expenses

Another function of the Even app is the budgeting feature. Even spreads your monthly bills out evenly across your paycheck, so you always have a consistent amount of spending money left over. But there’s no bill-pay feature, so you’ll have to pay the bills yourself.

Even will tell you how much money you have available to spend after you’ve paid all your bills, so if this is your primary budgeting app, make sure that Even has accounted for all of your bills and that your account balance is up to date.

The app has an auto savings feature

With Even’s “Automatic Savings,” you can save a percentage of your paycheck every month. Even will deduct the money from your paycheck and deposit into Even Savings, an FDIC-insured account within the app — though note that the savings account doesn’t earn interest.

You can track your Even savings balance within the app, and it’ll update every payday. If you need to withdraw money from savings, you can either transfer the money to your bank account or pick it up at a nearby Walmart MoneyCenter.

Multiple repayment options

If you access your paycheck early, there are a couple of different ways you can repay it. Your employer may deduct the funds from your paycheck. If it doesn’t, the money will be automatically deducted from your bank account after payday.

A closer look at the Even app

  • Available in all 50 states — The Even app is available in all 50 states, and complies with all state and federal requirements.
  • Employer must be a partner — Your employer must be a partner for you to access the Even app.
  • Phone number required — You’ll have to provide a phone number since this is how Even creates and secures your account.
  • Secure system — Even says that your financial information should remain secure because of its encryption system.
  • Customer support — If you run into problems, you can use the app chat to message Even’s support.

Who is the Even app good for?

The Even app is a good option for eligible employees who want the option to access part of their paycheck early in a pinch. Using the app may be a good alternative to getting payday loans. And the app is good for anyone who doesn’t currently have a bank account, since you can receive the cash at any U.S. Walmart MoneyCenter.

The app is also helpful for anyone looking for ways to improve their money management skills and financial situation. The budgeting feature can help you plan for upcoming bills so you don’t run short on cash.

And with the Automatic Savings feature, you can start saving a percentage of your paycheck every month. This can make it easier to plan for emergencies and meet your financial goals.

How to set up the Even app

To use the Even app, you must work for an eligible employer. To get started, you’ll download the Even app from the app store. It’s available on both the Apple App store and in the Google Play store.

From there, you’ll use your phone number to create and secure your Even account. Once you’ve finished setting up your account, you can sign up for Even Plus so you’ll have access to Instapay. To gain full access to all of the app’s features, it’s also recommended that you connect it to your bank account.

Not sure if the Even app is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If your employer isn’t partnered with Even, here are two alternatives you can consider.

  • Dave: As a Dave member, you can receive interest-free, small cash advances to tide you over between paychecks.
  • Earnin: Earnin lets you borrow up to $500 from your paycheck per pay period.

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.