Earnin App Review: Get your Paycheck Before Payday

There are many people who live paycheck to paycheck. Whether it’s a medical emergency that arises or you run out of rent money, the load app offers immediate solutions. However, most payday loan borrowers end up paying more in fees than they originally borrowed. That’s why companies like Earnin are coming up with creative alternatives to the payday loan.

But what Earnin is? How does it work? Is it right for you? In this comprehensive Earnin app review, we seek to uncover everything you need to know about Earnin App. Read on to find out the answers.

Earnin App Review

Part 1: What is Earnin App?

Earning is a mobile app that lets you access advances on your salary to bridge the gap between paydays. Designed as an alternative to traditional payday loans, it works on a completely different premise, letting you borrow against your paycheck.

Rather than charge you a fee to draw on your pending wages, it simply asks for an optional tip for its services — up to $14 per withdrawal. It’s not required to tip, however.

Earnin App

Part 2: How Does Earnin Work?

Basically, Earnin works on a pay-as-you-can model and is available for Android and iOS devices.

To take advantage of its services, you need direct deposit of your paycheck into a checking account and a regular place of employment or electronic time sheet.

After you download the app, you’re walked through a brief signup process. Earnin takes a few days to verify your bank account (Follow Part 6 for the details to set up an Earnin account)

When you request money, Earnin first verifies the hours you worked that week. It does this through a process that varies by how you’re paid: Hourly workers submit photos of their time sheets, while salaried workers allow access to mobile location tracking to confirm commuting to and from their job location.

  • Maximum withdrawal. $100 daily limit and up to $500 per pay period, depending on your income and spending
  • Cost. Optional tip of up to $14 per withdrawal
  • Turnaround. Next business day for weekday requests, two business days for weekend requests and within minutes with Lightning Speed

Here’s an example how Earnin works step-by-step:

  1. Borrow $100 through Earnin and leave a $6 tip
  2. Receive $100 in your account the next day
  3. Get paid $1,800 one week later
  4. Earnin deducts that $106 from your account

Part 3: Earnin App Pros and Cons

Earnin charges no fees, interest or hidden expenses. However, borrowing limits range from just $100 to $500 per pay period. Here is the list of benefits and downsides of Earnin app.

Pros

Does not charge fees or interests, instead charges an optional fee

Offers a facility that can prevent bank overdrafts (Balance Shield)

Easily accessible on both Android and Apple mobile devices

Only offers an advance on wages you have earned, not on future work

Cons

You have to sacrifice some privacy to use the app

It sets limits on the amount you can borrow based on earnings and financial history

It can encourage poor financial habits and overreliance on debt

The total loan limit per pay period is relatively low

Earnin App Features

Part 4: Earnin App vs. Payday Loans

To distinguish Earnin from Payday loans, we compare Earnin and payday loans to bring their differences to light.

 EarninPayday loans
Borrowing amountUp to $100 daily, with pay period maximums of up to $500Typically up to $1,000, and most states allow only one at a time
Turnaround time1 to 2 business days, but if your bank is part of its Lightning Speed program, you could see immediate transfersTypically next business day
Application processSimple mobile app signup, requires connection to bank accountSimple online application, typically requires Social Security number and bank account numbers
CostsNo fees; instead, you tip what you think makes senseHigh interest rate that can equal fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
AvailabilityAnywhere in the USProhibited in some states

Part 5: Is The Earnin App Right for Me?

Earnin isn’t for everyone. Earnin is best for employed individuals who need a relatively small advance on their paycheck. However, if you need serious cash, the app many not be the best choice, as loans start at $100 and max out at $500 per pay period.

When used occasionally, Earnin can be useful if you:

  • Have a small emergency expense.
  • Don’t want to overdraw your bank account and pay an overdraft fee.
  • Can use your next paycheck to cover the money owed to the app on top of other monthly expenses you’ll have.
  • Are an hourly or salaried employee who uses an electronic time sheet at work, or you work from a fixed location.

Earnin might not be a good solution for you if you:

  • Regularly spend more than you earn.
  • Are paid by reloadable debit card.
  • Work from home independently or have multiple employers.

Part 6: How to Set Up an Earnin Account

You can set up an earnin account easily. Before signing up, make sure that:

  • You are receiving direct deposits regularly into a checking account. The app won’t work with Savings or Prepaid accounts.
  • You use an electronic timesheet at work or have a fixed work location.

Here is the information you will need to provide during the signup process:

  • Email address
  • Paycheck information
  • Bank name and bank account information
  • Employer information

Step 1. Download App

Download the free Earnin app from your phone’s mobile app store.

Step 2. Create an Account

Get started by creating an account with your email address.

Step 3. Add your Pay info

Add your pay information starting with full name, frequency of pay and how you get your pay. Click ‘Next’ to continue.

Step 4. Select Bank

Select the bank your employer uses to pay your wages, enter your online ID and passcode then click ‘Connect’

Step 5. Connect Your Bank Account

Securely log in to your bank account to give Earnin access for tracking and verifying your income.

Note: It can take up to 72 hours to activate your account after you sign up.

Use Earnin App

Part 7: Which Banks Does Earnin Support?

Earnin supports a number of banks including:

  • Capital One
  • PNC
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • TD Bank
  • USAA
  • Simple
  • JP Morgan
  • Citibank
  • Suntrust
  • Regions Bank
  • Woodforest National Bank
  • Huntington Bank
  • Fifth Thrid Bank
  • BB&T
  • Bank of America
  • Chase Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • BBVA Compass

Don’t worry if your bank isn’t listed here. Earning has a full list of the banks it supports on its app when you sign up, so you’ll be able to search and see if yours can be used.

Part 8: How to Pay Earnin Back?

Earnin gets the money that you borrowed back by debiting your bank account on payday. If a payment doesn’t post to your bank account, your Earnin account will be put on hold. Holds on your Earnin account are only temporary. You can choose the next day to retry the payment or wait until your next payday. When you successfully pay the company back, the hold on your account will be lifted.

Bottom Line: Legit or Not?

is Earnin a scam?

Earnin is actually a legit service. It gives you an advance on your paycheck and there’s no fees. That can be a lifesaver when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. But an app like this can so easily be misused. So we must be 100% clear: If you’re consistently relying on payday loans, cash advances, credit cards, or even the Earnin app to get by when money is tight, you’re probably ignoring symptoms of a much larger financial problem.

What do you think about the Earnin app? Let us know in the comments.

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  • I'm Lois, the creator of Appreview360.com. I hope this app review website can help people easily discover cool and useful apps. If you are an app developer or own an app and want to get it in front of the right audience, you can contact us. If you want to introduce some cool apps to more people, you can write for us.

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