7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (2024)

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (1)

Images by Getty Images; Illustration by Austin Courregé/Bankrate

Key takeaways

  • Money-borrowing apps allow you to borrow a small amount to tide you over until your next payday.
  • These apps provide quick access to cash and can sometimes deliver funds instantly for a fee.
  • A potential trade-off, however, is that some companies charge high fees.

A money-borrowing app can be a convenient way to get money quickly 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’ll get the funds you need rather quickly. But there are downsides, including the borrowing costs you can expect and the risk of relying too heavily on this source of fast cash to resolve a more serious financial issue.

Compare your options, calculate how much it will cost and weigh the pros and cons of money-borrowing apps to decide if they’re best for you.

Top money borrowing apps of 2024

These cash advance and personal loan apps let you access fast cash to cover unexpected expenses.

AppMaximum loan amountTime to fundingFeesGoogle Play ratingApp Store rating
AlbertUp to $250Instantly for a fee; 3-6 days free of chargeInstant cash advance fee4.1/54.6/5
Brigit$50-$250Instantly for a fee; 2-3 days free of chargeNo late fees or penalties4.6/54.8/5
Chime$20-$200At the point of saleNot applicable4.7/54.8/5
DaveUp to $500InstantMembership fee: $1; express fee: $3-$15; external transfer fee: $5-$254.4/54.8/5
MoneyLionUp to $500Instantly for a fee; Up to 5 business days free of chargeTurbo fee: $0.49-$6.99 to RoarMoney account; $1.99-$8.99 to external debit card4.5/54.7/5
Possible FinanceUp to $500InstantMaximum advertised loan amount varies by state4.1/54.8/5

Albert

Albert will lend you up to $250 until your next paycheck. This pay advance app doesn’t require a credit check, and you won’t pay interest on the funds you borrow. Even better, Albert does not access late fees, even if you cannot repay the loan on time.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (2)

Pros

  • No hard or soft credit check.
  • No interest or late fees.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (3)

Cons

  • Fee applies to receive funds instantly.
  • Three- to six-day disbursem*nt period.

Brigit

Brigit is another money-borrowing app that lets you borrow up to $250 without undergoing a hard credit check. You also won’t pay interest or hidden fees on the amount you borrow. Brigit customers also get access to identity theft protection, and other financial tools to help level up their financial health.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (4)

Pros

  • No minimum credit score requirement.
  • Access to a suite of financial resources.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (5)

Cons

  • Early cutoff time for same-day funding requests.
  • Instant Cash is only available with a monthly membership fee.

Chime

Chime is an innovative mobile app offering paycheck advances, fee-free banking and other valuable financial tools. You can get paid up to two days early or spend up to $200 more than you have available in your account without incurring overdraft fees with the SpotMe feature. You’ll need to receive direct deposits into a Chime Checking account to use both features.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (6)

Pros

  • No impact on your credit score.
  • Access your paycheck sooner or use SpotMe to avoid overdraft fees.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (7)

Cons

  • Direct deposit is required.
  • Must receive $200 each month in direct deposits to a Chime checking account.

Dave

You can access far more with Dave than you’ll find with many other money-borrowing apps. Borrowers can qualify for up to $500 with the ExtraCash feature that deposits funds directly onto the Dave Debit Mastercard. It’s quick and easy to apply, and you won’t pay interest on the loan. Plus, there are no late fees with Dave.

  • No credit check.
  • Low cash advance fee.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (9)

Cons

  • Express and external transfer fees apply.
  • Monthly membership fee.

MoneyLion

MoneyLion prides itself on providing an all-in-one mobile banking experience, which includes access to interest-free quick advances of up to $500. Applying won’t hurt your credit score as there’s no credit check. And if approved, you could get funds within minutes.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (10)

Pros

  • No minimum credit score requirement.
  • No interest or required fees.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (11)

Cons

  • Borrowers must provide access to their bank account.
  • Fee applies for instant delivery.

Possible Finance

Possible Finance features a payday loan alternative that lets you borrow up to $500 and repay in four equal installments over eight weeks. You’ll pay interest on the loan, but no late payment penalties exist.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (12)

Pros

  • Reports to Experian and TransUnion.
  • Instant funding option.
  • Generous grace period for late payments.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (13)

Cons

  • Hefty interest rates.

Pros and cons of money-borrowing apps

Before you apply for funding through a money-borrowing app, consider the benefits and drawbacks to determine if it makes sense to move forward.

Pros

  • Easily accessible: The application process is seamless, and you generally won’t need good credit to qualify for funding.
  • Fast funding times: Upon approval, some lenders will instantly deposit the funds into your checking account (for a fee) or within one business day.
  • Less expensive than overdraft fees: By securing a loan, you could avoid costly overdraft fees that would result if you didn’t have the funds at your disposal.

Cons

  • Hefty borrowing costs: Lender fees and the interest you may pay on these loans could make them an expensive source of funding.
  • Potentially addictive: The ease of access and rapid funding times put you at risk of repeatedly relying on money-borrowing apps when cash flow issues arise.
  • Fails to address serious budgeting issues: A money-borrowing app could temporarily solve a more serious problem with your budget and spending habits.

How to compare money-borrowing apps

Once you have a shortlist of top money-borrowing apps, here’s how to compare them to find the best fit:

  • How much does each lender charge to borrow? Are the fees comparable across the board, or are some steeper than others?
  • What is the interest rate? How about the APR?
  • How much time does the lender give you to repay the money borrowed? Can you schedule the payments, or are they automatically drawn from your account on specific dates?
  • What are past and current customers saying about the app? Do the reviews indicate overall satisfaction, or is there cause for concern?

Alternatives to money-borrowing apps

After comparing apps, you may find that they don’t quite work for you. In this case, it could be worth considering an alternative to access the funds you need. Some other options to explore include the following:

  • Credit union loans: You could be eligible for a small personal loan if you’re a credit union member. They often come with competitive interest rates and up to one-year repayment periods. It’s not uncommon for credit unions to check your credit. Still, a lower score doesn’t automatically mean a denial, as the credit union may approve you based on the strength of your solid banking history.
  • Small personal loans: Check out small personal loans from online lenders. If you’re worried your credit score is too low, some have loan products that cater to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. You’ll pay more interest, but it’s capped at 36 percent.
  • 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 any confusion. It’s equally important to repay what you borrow on time to avoid damaging the relationship.
  • Earn extra cash: Pick up a side hustle or work overtime to earn extra money. If the latter isn’t an option, you can give rideshare driving, food delivery services, babysitting or other side gigs with little to no startup costs a try.

Frequently asked questions

  • Not exactly, although some advertise their offerings as cash advances or payday loan alternatives. You may also find that the borrowing costs are similar to what you’d get with a payday lender, so proceed cautiously.

  • Some lenders allow borrowers to receive funds within a few minutes or hours. However, this luxury could come at a cost unless you opt for the standard funding time.

  • When using a money-borrowing app, you’ll be asked to provide identifying information and answer questions about your finances. It’s also common for money-borrowing apps to either ask for banking information or request access to your bank account.Most money-borrowing apps have an added layer of security to shield your information from fraudsters. Still, you should research and read reviews from past and current customers to identify potential security risks (if applicable). Also, consider the dangers money-borrowing apps could pose to your financial health. Assess your financial situation and make adjustments to ensure relying on money-borrowing apps doesn’t become a repeated occurrence.

  • It depends on your financial situation. A money-borrowing app could make financial sense if your credit score is lower and you only need to borrow a small amount in the short term. However, a personal loan could be ideal if you have good or excellent credit and can qualify for a loan product with competitive terms. Plus, you’ll possibly get access to more cash and more time to repay what you borrow.

7 Best Loan Apps of March 2024 | Bankrate (2024)

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