We’ve all been there. You worked a full day on Tuesday, need money Wednesday but payday isn’t until Friday.
For a long time, that situation meant a bank overdraft, charging expenses on a credit card, going to a payday lender, or borrowing from a friend, but no more.
Today’s cash apps can give you quick access to the cash you’ve earned before payday, saving you from excessive interest charges or fees when your month lasts longer than your money.
Here we’re offering an Earnin review, weighing its pros and cons and showing you how it works for a growing number of customers.
What is Earnin?
Earnin is an online platform and smartphone app that lets its users get paid early and even access their funds before payday. Read on to see what Earnin offers its users and this app’s pros and cons.
How Does Earnin Work?
To connect Earnin users with their hard-earned money faster, Earnin uses several strategies. Here are Earnin’s key features.
- Direct Deposit
First, users sign up to have their paychecks direct deposited to Earnin, which gives them access to their funds up to two days earlier.
- Cash Out
Customers can also access their funds through Earnin’s Cash Out tool. Those who have their paychecks direct deposited to Earnin can withdraw money from their accounts before Earnin receives the next paycheck deposit.
Through Cash Out, Earnin users can withdraw between $100 and $500 per pay period, or even more once more funds are deposited.
- Set Limits
If you’re looking to save more money or spend less, Earnin will let you set a spending limit on your account. After the limit is set, you won’t be able to spend more until you get another paycheck.
- Rewards and Cash Back
Earnin users also enjoy rewards and cashback on credit-card purchases at certain retailers.
The Advantages of Earnin
In this Earnin review, we note that the app has notable advantages that make it a mobile bank app to consider using. The pros of using Earnin include the following.
You might be apprehensive when giving your personal and banking information to an app instead of a brick-and-mortar bank, but with Earnin, you have nothing to worry about. With 256-bit encryption, Earnin offers the same level of security as well-known online banking services.
Privacy and security are ensured when using Earnin.
- Avoiding Overdraft Fees
Coming up a few dollars short in your checking account can cost you hundreds of dollars if checks start bouncing. Earnin has a tool to help you avoid the excessive overdraft fees that banks charge for bounced checks.
Balance Shield provides financial protection to Earnin users by keeping their checking accounts from becoming overdrawn. Subscribers to the Balance Shield tool will see funds transferred to their checking accounts – usually not more than $100 – when the balance in their checking accounts falls below $100.
Anyone can make an error balancing their checking account, and this helpful tool can save you hundreds of dollars.
- Getting Quick Access to Money
Earnin subscribers have full access to the money they’ve earned without having to wait for payday. Their paychecks are sent straight to Earnin, allowing them to access them a few days earlier through direct deposit. The Cash Out tool helps them reach needed funds quickly, sometimes in just minutes after a request.
- Earnin is Easy to Use
Earnin is among the easiest financial services apps to use. To use Earnin, just enter checking account information and set up direct deposit. Earnin does the rest, coordinating timesheet and attendance information so subscribers can monitor their earnings from the Earnin app’s dashboard.
If they opt in, Earnin subscribers can receive text notifications for updates to their account information.
Earnin can be accessed on multiple devices, so you can check it from your laptop computer or your smartphone. The web-based platform is also compatible with the iOS iPhone operating system as well as Android phones.
Earnin may not be for everyone, though. There are some cons to using Earnin, so keep these in mind before subscribing.
- Withdrawal is Limited
The Earnin app controls your withdrawal limit, so if you need to make a larger withdrawal, Earnin will hinder you.
- You Might Still Have Overdraft Fees
Earnin tries to keep you from having an overdrawn checking account by moving up to $100 to your checking account if your balance falls below $100. However, if your account is overdrawn beyond that amount, you will most likely incur overdraft fees for bounced checks. Earnin protects against an overdrawn checking account, but it doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen.
- Earnin Can Be a Bad Financial Habit
If you’re trying to build better financial habits, Earnin might not be a good app for you. Earnin can reinforce bad money habits such as spending your paycheck before you actually receive it.
- Customer Service
Earnin’s customer service is mainly available online, so finding a real person to talk to about a problem with the app can be difficult.
Earnin App FAQs
You may still have some questions about the Earnin app and whether it’s right for you. These FAQs may help you decide whether to subscribe.
- How Much Interest Will I Pay Earnin?
Here’s some good news: for accessing your money early, you will pay Earnin 0 percent interest. Nothing. Nada.
Earnin is essentially a free way to access your paycheck early since they don’t charge you interest. You can leave them a tip if you want, but tipping isn’t required.
- Will Using Earnin Save Me Money?
The answer to that question depends on your financial habits. If you rarely run short of cash or bounce a check, then it might not offer you huge savings, although there are rewards and cashback for subscribers’ credit-card purchases at certain retailers. On the upside, Earnin won’t cost you anything, either.
However, if you find yourself taking out payday loans to cover bounced checks or leaning on credit cards when you’re a few days from payday, then Earnin could save you hundreds of dollars. With payday loans charging nearly 400 percent interest, on average, according to CNBC, Earnin is a smarter alternative.
Earnin has tools that can help you save, such as setting spending limits on accounts. This should reduce the need to access your paycheck before payday.
- Is Cash Out from Earnin a Loan?
Money from Earnin isn’t a loan because it’s money you’ve already earned. Earnin is a cost-free way to get paid early.
- Who is Using Earnin?
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of Americans started using Earnin to access their pay earlier. Because Earnin requires a direct deposit, those who use Earnin are working people or retirees on fixed incomes. For them, Earnin can help cover emergency expenses without excessive interest charges.
- How Does Earnin Make Money?
Earnin is a free app that doesn’t charge interest. If that sounds like an unworkable business model, you haven’t figured in their tips. While tipping on cash advances is not required, plenty of customers do tip. Since the cash advances are $100 or less, even small tips can add up to profits for Earnin. The app also makes money through cash-back rewards when a credit card or debit card is linked to the app.
Are There Alternatives to Earnin?
Yes, there are other cash-out apps like Dave and Chime that will give you access to cash before payday and get you paid faster, so it’s important to consider multiple options to see what mobile financial application would work best for you.
You might decide you’re more comfortable dealing with a traditional bank, which is another option, but you would not be able to get the cash-outs and get paid earlier, features that Earnin offers.
Another alternative to Earnin can cost you hundreds of dollars each month. Taking out a payday loan has excessive costs, and it carries with it the temptation of taking out another loan the next month.
Credit cards can also be an option, but their interest rates are high, too. Using your credit cards for emergencies can be expensive, and over time, it can lower your credit score. That would result in paying higher interest rates for car loans and mortgages. Low credit scores can also decrease your chances of being hired for some jobs.
Creating an emergency fund for handling emergencies is something financial experts advise. Having $1,000 in savings that you can use to cover car repairs, medical bills or other emergencies will make you less likely to rely on Earnin or another app to get paid early.
However, Earnin can make it easier for you to reach that savings goal. Just 39 percent of Americans could handle a $1,000 emergency – one on the high end of what Earnin could handle – but using Earnin to stay away from using payday loans or credit cards could help you have the cash to create an emergency fund.
The Bottom Line
For this Earnin review, one of the most important things is that the app is a free financial tool that a growing number of Americans are using to get paid early, cover smaller emergencies and, over time, create better spending habits through setting limits on accounts.
Since you are accessing funds through Earnin that you’ve already earned, cash out from Earnin isn’t a loan and doesn’t cost you any interest or fees. By direct depositing your paycheck, you can get paid up to two days earlier through Earnin.
By taking advantage of spending limits, rewards, and other perks of subscribing to Earnin, you can use this free app for your financial benefit.
Earnin may not solve larger financial cash flow problems, but it can keep your checking account from being a few dollars short, which can balloon into hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees. Using Earnin is easy, but its customer service is primarily online. If talking to a real person is important to you, Earnin might not be the best choice for your banking.
Some say the Earnin app reinforces bad money habits such as needing to access money before you’ve been paid. However, subscribers can set limits to spending that can help wean them from needing paychecks early.
The bottom line is that Earnin is secure, simple to use, and has more advantages than disadvantages for most subscribers. Since it is a free app, subscribers have nothing to lose and potential savings of hundreds of dollars to gain. If Earnin sounds like a useful financial tool, subscribe to see if it adds to your bottom line.