A loan application can be a convenient way to get quick cash until your next payday arrives. There are several to choose from, and most are easily accessible to borrowers with varying financial backgrounds. Even better, you will get the funds you need fairly quickly. But there are downsides, including the borrowing costs you can expect and the risk of relying too much on this source of quick cash to solve a more serious financial problem.
Compare your options and weigh the pros and cons of loan applications to decide if they’re right for you.
Best Loan Apps of 2022
These cash advance and personal loan apps give you quick access to cash to cover unexpected expenses.
|albert||Up to $250||Instantly (paid)
Two to three days (free)
|Instant Cash Advance Fee||3.9/5||4.6/5|
|Brigitte||$50 – $250||Instantly (paid)
One to three days (free)
|No late fees or penalties||4.6/5||4.8/5|
|Carillon||$20 – $200||At the point of sale||Not applicable||4.8/5||4.8/5|
|David||Up to $500||Instantaneous||Membership fee: $1
Express fee: $0.99 to $6.99
External transfer fee: $2.99 – $11.99
|SilverLion||$25 – $250||12 to 48 hours (paid)
Three to five business days (free)
|Turbo fee: $0.49 – $5.99 (to RoarMoney account)
$1.99 – $8.99 (to external debit card)
|Possibility of financing||Up to $500||Instantaneous||Varies by state||4.3/5||4.8/5|
Albert will lend you up to $250 until your next paycheck. There are no credit checks and you will not pay interest on the funds you borrow. Best of all, Albert doesn’t have access to late fees, even if you can’t repay the loan on time.
Brigit is another loan app that lets you borrow up to $250 without going through a credit check. You also won’t pay any interest or hidden fees on the amount you borrow. Brigit clients also have access to free credit reports, identity theft protection and other financial tools to help them improve their financial health.
Chime is an innovative mobile app offering payday advances, free banking, and other valuable financial tools. You can get paid up to two days earlier or spend up to $200 more than you have in your account without incurring overdraft fees with the SpotMe feature. You will need to receive direct deposits to a Chime checking account to use both features.
You can access so much more with Dave than you’ll find with many other lending apps. Borrowers can qualify for up to $500 with the ExtraCash feature which deposits funds directly into the Dave Debit MasterCard. The application is quick and easy and you will not pay interest on the loan. Plus, there are no late fees with Dave. Credit builder loans are also available if you want to borrow even more money while improving your credit health.
MoneyLion is proud to provide an all-in-one mobile banking experience, which includes access to interest-free Instacash cash advances up to $250. The app will not harm your credit score as there is no credit check. And if approved, you could get funds within 12 hours.
Possibility of financing
Possible Finance offers a payday loan alternative that lets you borrow up to $500 and repay in four equal installments (over 8 months). You will pay interest on the loan, but no late payment penalties exist. Each one-time payment will also help you establish your payment history and give you access to the possible card.
Advantages and disadvantages of loan applications
Before applying for funding through a loan application, think about the pros and cons to determine if it makes sense to go ahead.
- Easily accessible: The application process is seamless and you generally won’t need good credit to qualify for financing.
- Fast funding times: Upon approval, some lenders will deposit funds into your checking account instantly (for a fee) or within one business day.
- Cheaper than overdraft fees: By getting a loan, you could avoid costly overdraft fees that could arise if you don’t have the funds on hand.
- High borrowing costs: The lenders’ fees and the interest you may pay on these loans could make them an expensive source of financing.
- Potentially addictive: Ease of access and fast funding times put you at risk of repeatedly resorting to loan apps when cash flow problems arise.
- Fails to solve serious cash flow problems: A loan application could be a temporary solution to a more serious problem with your budget and spending habits.
How to Compare Loan Apps
Once you have a shortlist of the best loan apps, here’s how to compare them to find the best fit:
- How much does each lender cost to take out a loan? Are the fees comparable in all areas or are some higher than others?
- What is the interest rate? And the APR?
- How long does the lender give you to repay the loan? Can you schedule payments or are they automatically taken from your account on specific dates?
- What are past and current clients saying about the loan application? Do the reviews indicate overall satisfaction or is there cause for concern?
Alternatives to lending apps
After comparing loan apps, you might find that they don’t quite work for you. In this case, it might be worth considering an alternative to access the funds you need. Here are some other options to explore:
- Credit Union Loans: You may qualify for a small personal loan if you are a member of a credit union. They often come with competitive interest rates and repayment periods of up to one year. It is not uncommon for credit unions to check your credit. However, a lower score does not automatically mean a denial, as the credit union may approve you based on the strength of your solid banking history.
- Small personal loans: Discover small personal loans from online lenders. If you’re worried that your credit score is too low, some have loan products that cater to borrowers with less than perfect credit. You will pay more interest, but it is capped at 36%.
- Loans from a relative or friend: Ask a trusted family member or friend to borrow the money you need. Be sure to put the agreement in writing to avoid confusion. It’s equally important to repay what you borrow on time to avoid damaging the relationship.
- Earn extra money: Take a side job or work overtime to earn extra money. If the latter isn’t an option, you can try carpooling, food delivery services, babysitting, or other side gigs with little to no start-up costs.
At the end of the line
Loan apps are some of the most convenient options for getting quick access to cash when you’re in a bind. They’re available to borrowers with varying credit histories, and applying is simple. But before selecting this option, compare offers and research alternatives to identify the best type of loan for your financial situation. Also, adjust your spending plan and start building up an emergency fund to minimize the risk of resorting to loan applications in the future to overcome financial hardship.