The traditional two-week pay cycle implemented in companies may not always work for everyone. Many wish that there were a way to access their paycheck earlier than the specified date of receipt. In fact, a majority of employees in the U.S. live paycheck to paycheck. This is why platforms that offer cash access options prove to be so relevant for many working people.
Earnin is one such app that tries to address the gap period between your work and actual payday. Formerly known as Activehours from 2014, the company rebranded to Earnin in 2017. The company's philosophy is that workers have already earned their wages, and so they should be able to access the money anytime they need it.
The app is a financial service that lets you withdraw funds from your pending paycheck, depending on how often you work and your wage amount.
What's great about this platform is that there are no overdraft fees or additional charges when you access your wages. In addition, you don't need to go through tedious approval procedures to prove your eligibility. Earnin takes care of calculating how much you can withdraw before your payday.
Earnin is essentially a free service. Instead of charging fees for withdrawals, the company encourages users to leave a tip of up to $14 for its services, but this is completely optional.
Before you start using this app, do take note of its features. While Earnin app reviews are generally favorable, it still helps to know the finer details about this platform.
Initially, the maximum amount of cash advance per day is $100. After using the service for a while without any issues, the amount you can access can increase up to $500 per day.
Earnin is also careful not to lend you more than what you can afford to pay back. Hence, the amount you receive corresponds to your salary and number of working hours.
Technically, you don't get charged any interest or fee when using Earnin. The app is free, and each cash advance requires no additional fees.
Earnin makes money from the optional fees. As a user, you can choose not to leave a tip if you can't afford it at that time. Conversely, you can leave a tip during payday periods when you've earned a few extra dollars. It allows you to withdraw money without getting charged expensive overdraft fees by banks.
Plus, Earnin has an overdraft avoidance option called Balance Shield. This is a paid service ($1.50) that sends an amount of up to $100 to your bank account every time your balance drops below $100. The feature cushions your account from possible overdraft charges. This will be counted toward your daily allowable limit.
As Earnin is still relatively new as a financial service, the approval process can be more difficult than other more established services. Earnin staff might need a manual review of your timesheets or paystubs, which means you need to wait a few days to access the funds.
Anytime you share your bank account information, it’s important that you consider your safety. Earnin uses digital safeguards that it claims are comparable to what online banks use nowadays.
Earnin is a viable solution for workers who want a way to replace payday loans while at the same time avoiding extra charges. With its no-fee, optional tips service and overdraft protection, you can gain an accessible way to withdraw the money you’ve already earned.
If you are an employee who has a direct checking account and a regular workplace, this service can help you manage your cash flow.
Still, the app has its drawbacks. Approval may take longer than most payday options out there. And Earnin is only useful for employees with a definite workplace and work hours records. If you mostly work from home, then Earnin might not be the best option for you.