EarnIn Payday Loan Review 2023

We review Earnin and its mobile app for people income who need cash before payday. Learn about fees and how this payday loan works.
Written by:
Anna Baluch
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified
Editor's Rating

EarnIn is a financial app that offers a cash advance or part of your paycheck before payday. It connects to your bank account, uses timesheets or a GPS to track your work hours, and then deposits the funds. While it doesn’t charge interest like most personal loans, there’s an option to tip for the service. Here’s what you need to know about the EarnIn app.

EarnIn At-a-Glance

  • Interest and Fees: No interest or fees but an option to leave tips
  • Advance Amounts: May borrow up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period
  • Qualifications: Must be an employee who gets paid via direct deposit on a regular pay schedule
  • Funding: Can receive funds within one to three business days or within minutes if you pay for fast funding via the Lightning Speed feature

Pros and Cons of EarnIn

Just like every other lender, EarnIn comes with benefits and drawbacks you should be aware of before you take out an advance from it. This section covers some of the most noteworthy pros and cons.
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Compare to Others

Even if EarnIn seems like a solid choice, it’s a good idea to see what other lenders offer, especially when it comes to personal loans. Here’s a look at what you can expect from other lenders.


Upstart offers traditional personal loans that range from $1,000 and $50,000. Unlike EarnIn, they come with fixed interest rates and can be used for home improvements, medical expenses, debt consolidation, and wedding expenses. If you need to borrow a large sum of money, Upstart may make more sense as EarnIn will only hold you over until you get paid next.

Happy Money

Happy Money lets you borrow between $5,000 and $40,000 to consolidate high-interest credit card balances. While EarnIn is designed to give you a bit of cash before your next payday, Happy Money is a better fit if you’d like to get out of debt. Upon approval, the lender can pay your creditors directly, so you don’t have to.

Who Is a EarnIn Personal Loan For?

EarnIn can be a useful financial app if the following applies to you.

  • You’re a W-2 employee who gets paid by direct deposit.
  • You have an electronic timesheet at work, a work email, or a fixed location.
  • You’d like to use your paycheck to cover small emergency expenses or bills on occasion.

You should avoid EarnIn if you frequently need to borrow cash between paychecks or are looking for a long-term financial solution. Also, if you’re an entrepreneur, self-employed, or another type of non-traditional worker, you’ll have to turn to a traditional personal loan lender as you won’t meet EarnIn qualification criteria.

Which Lenders Have the Best Personal Loan Rates?

Finding the lender with the best personal loan to meet your needs is easy. Compare personal loans and find the best rates being offered today.

Top Features of the EarnIn Personal Loan

Here are several features that you should know about before you go ahead and use EarnIn.

Cash Out

EarnIn’s Cash Out feature offers a cash advance of up to $100 per day before you get your next paycheck, with a limit of $750 per pay period. If you’re approved, you’ll receive the money via direct deposit. Fortunately, you won’t have to pay any interest or fees to take advantage of an EarnIn Cash Out.

Lightning Speed

Through EarnIn’s paid Lightning Speed program, you can connect an eligible debit card to your account and enjoy instant access to your cash advance. Keep in mind that if you use it and opt for the free Cash Out, you’ll need to wait between one to two business days to receive your funds.

Zero Required Fees or Interest

Unless you opt for the Lightning Speed program, which ranges from $0.99 to $3.99 per transaction, you won’t have to pay any fees or interest to use EarnIn Cash Out. However, you can leave an optional tip if you’d like.

Must Be a Traditional Employee

EarnIn’s advances are only available if you’re a traditional employee who gets paid via direct deposit. You’ll also need an electronic timesheet at work, a work email, or a fixed location to qualify. If you’re an entrepreneur, self-employed, or a gig worker, EarnIn Cash Out isn’t for you.

Balance Shield

With Balance Shield, you can receive a notification any time your checking account falls below a certain balance. This can make it easier for you to avoid overdraft fees and stay on top of your finances. If you sign up for Cash Out, you can use Balance Shield with any checking account from any bank.

How to Get Started

To use EarnIn, follow these steps.

Download the EarnIn App

You can download EarnIn on your iOS or Android device and create an account. Once you do, it may take a few days for EarnIn to confirm your information.

Link Your Bank Account and Share Your Employment Info

Connect EarnIn to the checking account you use for direct deposit. Also, plug in details about your employment so that EarnIn can figure out your pay schedule and when you’re at work.

Add Your Earnings

To add your earnings, you can use the Automatic Earnings feature, which uses GPS technology to track where you’re at and verify you’re working. Another option is to send an electronic timesheet and sign up with your work email address.

Cash Out

Sign into your account and click on “Cash Out.” Your pay frequency and the hours you’ve worked will determine how much cash you can borrow. Remember, there is a $100 daily max and $750 max per pay period.

Rating the Features

It’s a good idea to explore the user experience, fees, rates, variety, customer support, and access of EarnIn before you decide to use it.

User Experience

It doesn’t take long to sign up with EarnIn. Once you download the app, you’ll need to connect to your bank account and enter some information about yourself and your employment situation. Note that it might take a few days for EarnIn to send a few test transactions to your account to verify it.


Most lenders charge fees, like origination fees, processing fees, and late fees. Since EarnIn isn’t a traditional lender, you won’t have to pay any fees to use it. However, you can leave an optional tip or pay between $0.99 and $3.99 for Lightning Speed, which offers instant funding with Cash Out.


Unlike most lenders that offer personal loans and credit cards, EarnIn doesn’t charge mandatory interest rates. This makes it a better option than payday loans that are known for sky-high rates that can easily steer you into the cycle of debt.


EarnIn offers one main product called Cash Out, which is essentially a paycheck advance. With Cash Out, you can borrow up to $100 per day or up to $750 per pay period. Factors like how often you work and your pay frequency will determine how much you’re eligible for.

Customer Support

If you have any questions or comments as you use EarnIn, you can contact the 24/7 in-app live chat support. You may also connect to a community advocate on Facebook or Twitter Direct Message.


To use EarnIn, you’ll need to download the app on your iOs or Android device. While you won’t have to undergo a credit check, you do need to be a traditional employee with a consistent pay schedule, a fixed work location, work email address, or electronic timesheet. In addition, you must be at least 18 and use a valid U.S. bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get an EarnIn advance?

You’ll have to wait one to two business days if you use the free version of EarnIn and request a standard transfer. But if you pay extra for the Lightning Speed program, you can expect your funds instantly.

Does EarnIn hurt your credit score?

EarnIn doesn’t check your credit or report your activity to the three major credit bureaus. Therefore, the app won’t impact your credit in any way.

Is EarnIn safe to use?

EarnIn uses 256-bit encryption to protect your information. The app also states that it performs regular audits to help avoid security issues. For these reasons, you should feel safe when you use it.

What is EarnIn’s maximum advance amount?

EarnIn lets you borrow $100 per day or $750 per pay period. You’ll need a traditional personal loan if you’re seeking a large sum of money.

Bottom Line

If you work a traditional job and want a bit of cash to cover a small or emergency expense before your next paycheck comes, EarnIn is a great option. But you should only use it occasionally as it’s not intended to help you cover regular expenses.