Best Cash Advance Apps For College Students: 5 Apps Like Kora (The Money App for College Life)

Overdraft Apps » App Reviews » Best Cash Advance Apps For College Students: 5 Apps Like Kora (The Money App for College Life)

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Alexander Porter

Strapped for cash between classes? No sweat! We’ve rounded up the best apps like Kora that give college students fast cash. The right app can be a financial lifesaver for emergencies. Some even help you track your spending or build credit for the future. Before you dive in, remember to check fees and how much you can borrow – always choose the app that’s easiest on your wallet.

Being strapped for cash is part of the college experience… but that doesn’t mean you have to accept eating ramen and missing out on the things you love.

Whether you need funds to buy textbooks, cover urgent expenses, or you just need beer money, a little cash can go a long way.

Thankfully, many cash advance apps offer funding options for students who may not have a regular income or make money with gig work on the weekend.

Kora is one of the most popular apps for college students… but it’s not the only one. 

Kora offers loans rather than smaller cash advances. This means you can potentially borrow more than the average cash advance app. On the downside, these loans can come with interest rates up to 19.99% APY which is an eye-watering increase on apps that come with interest-free advances.

If you’re a college student who needs some fast cash (or you’re the parent of a college student sick of lending money as the ‘Bank of Mom and Dad’), we’ve compared the best apps including eligibility criteria and handy tips to borrow the most money possible.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the best cash advance apps like Kora.

Kora: The money management app made for college students

Kora is used by over 586,000 students who want to become financially ready in school and beyond.

Kora is built for college students, so the eligibility requirements are easy to clear. 

You’ll need to be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Enrolled in or graduated recently from an approved U.S. college or university with a valid .edu email

Don’t stress if you’ve already graduated college either. You can still use Kora as long as you didn’t graduate more than 3 years ago.

Originally known as Boro, the newly branded Kora app offers student, personal and auto loans to students. There’s no credit check to apply for a loan. Instead, Kora uses active student status and GPA as lending criteria.

Kora’s top features include:

⇾ Money Management Tools

Kora offers custom spending tips, automatic expense tracking, and monthly spending goals to help you manage your finances.

⇾ StackUp Comparisons Tools

See how your credit score and other financial habits compare to other students.

You can even compare your credit scores against others in your school, state, or nationwide.

⇾ KoraCash Personal Loans

Access a personal loan anywhere from $50 to $2,000. The Kora platform started off offering loans to international students studying in the US without a social security number or credit score. Now, personal loans are available to any active student — even if you’re a U.S. citizen.

⇾ KoraDrive Auto Loans

With KoraDrive you can get a car loan in as little as one day with applications online.  Car loans range from $5,000 to $200,000 with loan terms between 12 months to 60 months.

5 cash advance apps like Kora

The Kora app may be designed for college students, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best option for them.

Although loans up to $2k may be useful, you’ll need to factor in your loan length and interest repayments before making a choice. Kora loan lengths are one, three, six, or 12 months. 

You can choose to pay monthly or biweekly, and interest rates range from 15.00% to 19.99%. KoraCash personal loans are not available in all US states, so you’ll need to make sure you’re eligible.

If you’re not thrilled at the idea of interest payments for up to a year, check out the top apps like Kora to fund your college experience. 

🤓 Overdraft Apps Tip: You’ll need regular income from a job to qualify for these apps (not money your parents have sent you) but many are flexible and accept gig work income instead of recurring pay for a single employer. 

#1 – Cleo: Best for college students who want to become budgeting pros

Cleo uses artificial intelligence to help manage your finances so you’re not spending your college years with no idea where your money is going.

As a budgeting app that “doesn’t suck” (her words), Cleo comes packed with tools that can help you spend smarter. By analyzing your spending habits, the app provides monthly financial targets and shows you areas to clean up your spending.

You can choose to be Toasted for your efforts (think positive reinforcements from your AI best buddy) or Roasted (think increasingly harsh burns because, well… you asked for it).

The most useful feature for students are cash advances which are available up to $250. 2 You’ll need income from a job (or multiple jobs) to be eligible so you can’t apply using money sent from your parents. 

Once you’ve shown a regular deposit, you’ll be able to work your way up to the full $250 limit over time. However, an initial $70 limit is still way higher than most cash advance apps like Cleo.

Available to college students in all states

Why college students love Cleo
✓ Wise-ass AI assistant helps you stay on top of your finances (with the best memes)
✓ No employment verification or time sheets needed (great for freelancers)
✓ Overdraft protection to avoid sky-high overdraft fees (sorry big banks, you miss out)
✓ No credit check for cash advance eligibility (and no interest on your money!)

Spend, save, laugh >>> Try Cleo for FREE 👈

#2 – Brigit: Best for college students who want regular cash advances

Brigit is a handy financial wellness app for college students with up to $250 in cash advances available for eligible users, which requires three recurring deposits from the same employer.3

To request an advance, you’ll need to subscribe to Brigit’s paid, premium subscription model, which costs $9.99 a month. We know you’re already strapped for cash, so why are we recommending the Brigit app?

Because Brigit comes with a bunch of tools to help you bridge the gap between paychecks.

There’s no limit to how many Brigit cash advances you can request each month. As long as your previous advance is repaid, you can request another cash advance immediately.

If you’re worried about falling short of an upcoming bill or payment, you can also opt into Auto Advances. A Brigit Auto Advance looks at your balance and spending patterns and predicts if you’re at risk of overdrawing your account.

If you’ve opted in, Brigit will provide up to $250 to ensure your coverage. You can turn off Auto Advances at any time.

With multiple ways to access fast cash, the $9.99 monthly subscription is significantly less than a single overdraft fee, so you can spend a little to save a LOT.

Available to college students in all states

Why college students love Brigit
✓ Subscription comes with budgeting tools and credit-building help
✓ Flexible payment extensions so you can avoid being caught short
✓ Comes with optional overdraft protection for extra peace of mind
✓ No credit check for cash advance eligibility (and no interest on your money!)

Get up to $250 instantly with no credit check >>> Get the Brigit app 👈

#3 – Albert: Best for college students who have more financial questions

At first glance, Albert seems pretty similar to the other cash advance apps on this list.

With qualifying direct deposits, you can borrow up to $250 in the form of instant overdraft coverage with no credit check. 4These funds can be transferred to another bank account or used when swiping your Albert Cash debit card, so you’ve got flexibility.

The real value of the Albert app lies under the hood of a paid subscription (which you’ll need to sign up for to access Albert’s overdraft coverage).

What makes Albert unique is its Genius feature.

Genius is an AI-driven but human-backed service that supports your financial literacy. You can lean on the AI tools to help create a custom investment strategy with automatic round ups helping build your investment money.

If you have a more specific question about your money, you can chat with Albert’s real financial experts (these aren’t AI-powered chatbots) to get personalized answers to help you stay on top of your finances.

If money is super tight, you can try Albert with a 30-day free trial as a new user and pay nothing as long as you cancel before your trial ends. If you choose to continue with a paid subscription, you’ll pay $14.99 a month.

Like the other cash advance apps on this list, Albert doesn’t charge interest on your borrowing. Your repayment comes directly from your next paycheck, so you can borrow and then forget about it. 

Available to college students in all states

Why college students love Albert
✓ Speak to real experts (not chatbots) for any finance questions
✓ Get cover for purchases, ATM withdrawals and eligible transfers
✓ Access up to $250 in instant overdraft coverage for emergencies
✓ No credit check for cash advance eligibility (and no interest on your money!)

Get up to $250 with no credit check >>> Create an Albert account in two minutes 👈

#4 – B9: Best for college students who want to cash out more of their paycheck early

Unlike most cash apps that have a limit on how much they’ll advance, B9 offers up to $500 of your paycheck early.5 

You’ve already worked for your money, B9 makes it easy to access your wages even if payday is around a couple of corners.

You’ll have your choice between B9’s two plans:

  • B9 Basic: $9.99 per month with cash advance limits from $30 – $100
  • B9 Premium: $19.99 per month with cash advance limits from $30 – $500

If you’re interested in building your credit, B9’s Premium tier also comes with a Credit Report and Credit Score Simulator.

Although B9’s plans (especially the Premium subscription) are more expensive than those of other apps like Kora, you may find it worthwhile to cash out up to $500 of your pay.

B9 is also a handy app for international students since you can sign up and find out if you’re eligible with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), not a Social Security Number (SSN).

Like the other student-friendly apps on this list, establishing your income and regular direct deposits will help you meet eligibility criteria and increase your advance limit.

Available to college students in all states

Why college students love B9
✓ Everyday banking options with no minimum fees or overdraft fees
✓ Only need an SSN or ITIN to open a B9 account so it’s quick and easy
✓ Eligible for a B9 Visa card with up to 5% cash-back rewards
✓ No credit check for cash advance eligibility (and no interest on your money!)

Access up to $500 of your wages early >>> Check out B9 👈

#5 – MoneyLion: Best for college students who want to borrow up to a grand

It’s easy to get excited about the potential for quick cash but frustrated by the reality of cash advance limits that are set so low they’ll barely cover a round of drinks after class.

With the MoneyLion app, you can access up to the maximum $500 limit right away if you have regular and consistent deposits, with no interest and no credit check.6

If the deposits aren’t regular, your initial borrowing limit will probably be closer to $25 – $50.

Need even more? MoneyLion is one of the few cash advance apps where you can qualify for more than the standard limit – possibly up to $1,000 through its InstaCash feature!

Here’s how you can borrow more than $500 with MoneyLion:

ONE: Use the ‘Boost’ feature

MoneyLion’s “boost” feature 7lets you temporarily increase your borrowing limit for taking certain specific actions every so often in the app. 

These actions might be things like buying from a specific vendor using your MoneyLion credit card or making specific deposits within certain deadlines. Boost will increase your limit for a month.  

TWO: Recurring deposits in a RoarMoney Account

If you use MoneyLion’s banking service, RoarMoney8, and you get recurring payments into your RoarMoney account, your maximum borrowing limit could go as high as $1,000. This $1,000 limit with no credit checks is much higher than the amount most apps will give you

Outside of instant cash, MoneyLion offers a wide variety of financial services from helping you find loans, offering banking services through RoarMoney, credit-building and budgeting tools. 

This makes the app a great all-in-one choice for young college students looking to start a lifetime of healthy financial habits.

Available to college students in 23 states

Why college students love MoneyLion
✓ Borrow up to $1,000 (significantly more than most cash advance apps)
✓ Defer your repayment date by up to two weeks to suit your schedule
✓ Mobile banking features (plus investing, saving and credit building)
✓ No credit check for cash advance eligibility (and no interest on your money!)

Get cash advances up to $1,000 with no interest >>> Check out MoneyLion 👈

WAIT! Why borrow quick cash when you can earn it?!

Cash advance apps can be a great tool for getting a little extra cash when you need it, but you’ll need to repay it – plus fees – wihtin a week or two. Did you know there’s an easy way to earn extra cash that’s yours to keep?

KashKick is a wildly popular service that lets you earn money for playing games, completing surveys, signing up for trial offers and more. (You’ll even earn cash for just completing your profile!) You can earn cash today and withdraw your earnings through PayPal once you’ve reached $10. You can earn over $100/month with KashKick – and you don’t need to spend a dime or take out your credit card to do it.

There are dozens of high-paying offers available on KashKick, and if you’re into playing new games on your phone, you can earn some serious cash for doing what you love. Though offers change regularly, there are currently1 more than three dozen offers available where you can earn cash – sometimes over $100 – just by downloading and playing popular games like Coin Master, Monoply Go, Bingo Blitz, and more. These games are all free to download, and no in-app purchases are required to earn with KashKick.

Get paid to play on your phone >>> Check out KashKick

Alexander Porter
  1. As of February 13, 2024. Offers may change and may not be available to all users. Eligibity requirements apply. See KashKick's Terms of Service for full details.
  2. Subject to eligibility. Amounts range from $20-$250, and $20-$100 for first time users. Amounts subject to change. Same day transfers subject to express fees.
  3. Not all members will qualify for advances; Depending on eligibility, advances range from $50 – $250. Subject to Brigit’s approval and policies. Instant Cash is not available in all states.
  4. Albert is not a bank. Banking services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC. Instant overdraft eligibility requirements, limits, and other terms apply. Limits start at $10 and may be increased up to $250 by Albert. A qualifying Genius subscription is required to access Instant overdrafts. Transfer, ATM, and other applicable fees may apply. See app for details.
  5. B9 Advance℠  are optional service, offered by B9 to its members that require to set up and maintain a direct deposit to B9 Account. All B9 members are informed of their current available maxes in the B9 mobile app. For B9 Advance Terms and Conditions and eligibility requirements apply. Not all users will qualify. Advances amounts range from $30 to $500.
  6. Instacash is an optional service offered by MoneyLion. Your available Instacash Advance limit will be displayed to you in the MoneyLion mobile app and may change from time to time. Your limit will be based on your direct deposits, account transaction history, and other factors as determined by MoneyLion. See Instacash Terms and Conditions for more information and eligibility requirements.
  7. The $5 Instacash Boost will increase your Instacash advance limit for the calendar month in which it is received and can only be utilized by users with maintained Instacash eligibility. The $5 Instacash Boost can only be used once. You may only receive one Boost from up to 5 friends per month.
  8. There is a $1 monthly administrative fee associated with your RoarMoney Account. Please see FAQ on administrative fee for additional information. Other fees associated with the RoarMoney Account apply. See the Account Agreement for more information..

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