EarnIn Review: How Does EarnIn Work?

Unlike other cash advance apps, EarnIn requires that you submit a timesheet to verify your hours worked before you can obtain an advance on your paycheck.

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Bottom Line:

Many of us live paycheck to paycheck these days, especially with the rising costs of inflation. If you’re employed and need cash fast, EarnIn can help you turn those hard-working hours into a cash advance you can use in a pinch.
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Did you know that over 12 million Americans take out at least one payday loan per year? For many families, it can be difficult to live paycheck-to-paycheck and sometimes a payday loan is the only answer. 

Payday loans can also be costly and set you back further than they propel you forward. That’s where apps like EarnIn come into play. 

Paycheck advance apps, such as EarnIn, are cheaper than payday loans and still get you the money you need before payday. While payday loans and paycheck advance loans won’t replace an emergency fund and shouldn’t be used regularly, they can make a difference when times are tough. 

EarnIn is unique in that it grants you a cash advance based on the hours you worked. Requirements to qualify for an EarnIn cash advance are more stringent, but they can be exceedingly rewarding for many working consumers. 

Our in-depth review of EarnIn includes everything you need to know about this paycheck advance app. We’ll also compare it to other options you can take advantage of if you need funds fast. 

Are you ready to dive into our EarnIn review? Let’s get started!

What is EarnIn and How Does it Work 

Let’s say you don’t get paid today and need money to pay bills, buy groceries, or pay rent. Apps like EarnIn can help you make ends meet by loaning you the money you’ll receive on payday in advance. 

Some cash advance apps charge a monthly fee, but instead, EarnIn asks for a tip for their service. You’re not required to add a tip, but it can help keep the platform going. 

If you have multiple employers or are self-employed, EarnIn may not be the best choice. You’ll need to provide proof of an electronic timesheet, work email, or fixed location to qualify for an EarnIn cash advance. 

In addition, you’ll need to have a checking account and get paid via direct deposit regularly to qualify. For those of you that may not qualify, scroll down to our alternatives section to see what other cash advance apps you can take advantage of. 


EarnIn requires the following to obtain a cash advance on your next paycheck: 

  • At least 18 years old and a U.S. resident
  • At least half of your paycheck sent to you via direct deposit 
  • Can provide proof of fixed employment location or proof of electronic payroll system
  • A regular pay schedule that is either weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly
  • Can prove employment status by uploading a timesheet, granting access to an online timesheet, uploading receipts for on-demand work, or sharing work location

Unfortunately, recipients of government benefits, including Social Security, are not eligible at this time. 

EarnIn Features

Besides restricting your eligibility for a paycheck advance, EarnIn doesn’t require a minimum credit score. Plus, there are no fees or interest payments to worry about. 

EarnIn is available for download on iOS and Android devices. First-time users are limited to a $100 Cash Out advance for their first pay period which is still better than most $50 loan instant apps.

However, once you pay that advance back, you’re eligible for obtaining up to $100 per day and $750 per pay period in advance. Hourly workers can upload photos of their timesheets each day or use location tracking to demonstrate employment. 

If you’re a salaried worker, you can also use location tracking. If you work from home for your job, you can use your work email address to verify your employment. 

Sign Up

Though signing up for EarnIn does require a heavy paperwork load, it can be worth it to get up to $750 of your paycheck in advance. Just know that verifying your account can take a few days, as EarnIn will need to send a test deposit to your bank and check your earnings and pay schedule. 

As part of the sign-up process, you’ll be required to link your checking account and confirm your employer and work address. You’ll also add your paycheck information so EarnIn knows how to identify your direct deposits. 

If your account has not yet been verified within three business days, it’s best to contact customer service. They can help you sort out any issues that might be holding up your account approval. 

Cash Out Advance 

When you go to request an advance, EarnIn will require you to submit how much you want (up to $100 per pay period at first and then $100 per day and $750 per pay period) and verify your hours worked. This whole process takes about 10 minutes if you use the app. 

Once you complete these fields, you’ll be asked if you want to tip. You can tip between $0 and $14 at your discretion. 

As long as you meet the requirements, EarnIn will deposit your funds within one to two business days. If you request funds on the weekend, they will arrive the next business day. 

Balance Shield Alert

Cash advance apps know that you might be down on your luck and struggling with making ends meet. That’s why EarnIn features the Balance Shield Alert function as a way to keep you abreast of your spending habits. 

For example, you can set this notification to tell you when your account falls below a set amount. In fact, EarnIn can also send you up to $100 to cover any charges if your balance drops below $100. 

Just remember that any money EarnIn sends you will go toward your daily and pay period limits. EarnIn also requires a tip for this service, but you can choose how much that tip is. 

Max Boost

If you’re looking for a little more out of the EarnIn app, you can also take advantage of the Max Boost feature. You’ll get up to $50 toward your cash advance amount if your efforts are successful. 

Max Boost allows you to send a request to a few friends to vouch for you. They’ll be met with a notification that allows them to approve you with the touch of a button. 

Rest assured that your friends won’t be on the hook for the extra $50. Plus, there’s no extra charge for this service. 

EarnIn Express

Should you need even more from EarnIn, you can choose EarnIn Express by routing your paycheck through the app directly. This service, like Max Boost, comes with no additional fee. 

The good news is that you can get up to $1,000 per pay period or up to 80% of your paycheck, whichever is lower. All you have to do is deposit your funds into EarnIn instead of another bank. 

The bad news is that EarnIn Express is not widely available as of yet. However, you can sign up for the waitlist after you create your EarnIn account. 


EarnIn Lightning Speed charges you $0.99 to $3.99 per transaction if you want your funds immediately. Otherwise, you can wait one to two business days and receive your funds for free. 

The only other charge from EarnIn comes from the tips you submit for service. Tip fees range from $0 to $14 per advance, so they can rack up quickly if you use this service often. 

EarnIn Card

Through a partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust, EarnIn now offers a Visa-powered card you can use to spend your advance. This debit card requires you to have at least $500 deposited per month to qualify. 

Evolve Bank & Trust protects your funds with FDIC insurance of up to $250,000. However, your Visa debit card through EarnIn does not accrue cash-back rewards. 

Tip Jars

Instead of tipping EarnIn, you can tip yourself with Tip Jars. These jars hold savings for a particular purchase or cause so you can set aside money each paycheck. 

EarnIn allows you to fund your Tip Jars with your linked checking account. You can withdraw between $1 and $2,000 from your Tip Jars individually. 

Unfortunately, EarnIn’s Tip Jars do not accrue interest. In many cases, you may receive more benefits from saving your money at your linked bank than with EarnIn.

EarnIn Pros and Cons

Deciding whether or not to sign up for an EarnIn account can be a challenge. Check out the pros and cons lists below to weigh your options. 


  • No interest
  • Funds cash advances quickly 
  • No credit check  
  • No mandatory fees
  • Referral rewards from $4 to $14 per referral 
  • User-friendly app
  • Bank-level security


  • Payouts come in one to three business days
  • Even the smallest tips can add up to high APRs
  • Can only chat with customer service 
  • Requires access to your bank account and employment information
  • Premium fee to receive funds instantly 
  • EarnIn chooses the repayment date for you  

EarnIn Alternatives 

If you need cash now, some of the best $200 cash advance apps can help you make ends meet until your next payday. Here are a few alternatives to EarnIn that don’t require anything regarding your employment: 

MMG Rating:
MMG Rating:
MMG Rating:
30 day free-trial
Fees: $1/mo
Fees: $8/mo
  • App Store: 4.6 – 172.6K Ratings
  • Get up to $250
  • App Store: 4.8 – 631.9K Ratings
  • Get up to $500
  • App Store: 4.8 – ‎116k reviews
  • Receive up to $250 today
MMG Rating:
30 day free-trial
  • App Store: 4.6 – 172.6K Ratings
  • Get up to $250
MMG Rating:
Fees: $1/mo
  • App Store: 4.8 – 631.9K Ratings
  • Get up to $500
MMG Rating:
Fees: $8/mo
  • App Store: 4.8 – ‎116k reviews
  • Receive up to $250 today
  • Albert: Borrow up to $250 from your next paycheck with Albert. Plus, there’s no credit checks, interest, or late fees. 
  • Brigit: You’ll need to spring for the $9.99 per month Plus plan to be eligible for a cash advance of up to $250. Brigit can provide same-day funding in some cases and you won’t pay any interest on your advance. Learn more about this cash advance app in our Brigit review
  • Chime: This online-only bank offers its SpotMe service, which allows you to overdraft your account up to $200 without any fees. This can be a cheaper alternative to cash advances and gives you the luxury of choosing when to pay those funds back.  
  • Dave: Cash advance apps like Dave don’t come with a credit check or interest. Instead, you’ll get up to $500 for only $1 per month. You may also be eligible to request a one-time advance for free.
  • Empower: Like many other cash advance apps, Empower doesn’t check your credit. However, Empower does give you the chance to set aside money with AutoSave. Try Empower for free for 14 days and you’ll only pay $8 per month to get up to a $250 cash advance when you need it most. 

Each of these cash advance sites offers different terms and conditions. Review each of them to see how you can make ends meet without putting yourself further into debt.  


Is EarnIn legitimate?

Yes, EarnIn is legitimate and lets you take out a cash advance on your next paycheck. However, you’ll need to show proof of employment to obtain a cash advance with EarnIn.

Do I have to have a full-time job to borrow money from EarnIn?

No, you don’t need a full-time job to borrow money from EarnIn. Instead, you’ll need at least a part-time job that meets the qualifications listed above. 

How much can you borrow from EarnIn?

You can borrow up to $100 per day or up to $750 per pay period with EarnIn. You’ll be limited to $100 per pay period at first, but then EarnIn lets you increase that amount once you demonstrate you can pay it back. 

Can EarnIn impact my credit score? 

No, EarnIn does not impact your credit score. There are no credit checks and EarnIn does not report your cash advance to any of the three credit bureaus. 

Savin’ and Makin’ it Work with EarnIn

Many of us live paycheck to paycheck these days, especially with the rising costs of inflation. If you’re employed and need cash fast, EarnIn can help you turn those hard-working hours into a cash advance you can use in a pinch.

We hope this article has helped you to see how EarnIn can make a difference in your life. While it’s certainly more restrictive than other cash advance apps, you can still get money to float you along if you qualify. 

Sometimes the first step in creating better financial habits is the room to breathe. With EarnIn, you can rest easy in that you’ll be able to cover your expenses without having to wait for payday. 

How can you use EarnIn to meet your financial goals?

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News, Debt.com, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!
Many of us live paycheck to paycheck these days, especially with the rising costs of inflation. If you’re employed and need cash fast, EarnIn can help you turn those hard-working hours into a cash advance you can use in a pinch.EarnIn Review: How Does EarnIn Work?