We all need a loan at some point in time. Whether it is for a planned expense, an unexpected indulgence or an emergency, consider a loan via a borrow money app. Apps are great for bridging cash flow gaps. Loans can also help to finance the purchase of a large, expensive item that you can’t otherwise afford.
Taking out a loan with a money app is straightforward and you can often do it from your mobile phone or tablet. Some apps have a website too. These are the steps:
- Find and download your app. Go to your device app store – Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices such as an iPhone. Search for the app you want to use and download it to your phone, installing it when the download is complete. Note that some apps are only accessible via the app’s website.
- Complete your personal details. Every app will require your basic details including your full name, email address and often your physical address and phone number.
- Provide further information. Some apps will require further information. Earnin, for example, requires proof of your income. FasterFunds will require your social security number. Each app has slightly different requirements.
- Connect your bank account. Both MoneyLion and Dave are examples of apps which require you to connect your bank account before you can get your funds. Often connecting your bank account also means the app automatically deducts repayments from your bank balance.
- Ensure you make your payments. Repaying your loan in line with the repayment schedule you agreed to is important. For apps that automatically take repayments, you need to make sure you always have the funds available. Some loans are repaid manually, set a calendar reminder for yourself to make sure you don’t miss any payments.
You are spoiled for options if you need to borrow, money apps come in all shapes and sizes. Each app is slightly different in the way it works and you just need to find the app that meets your individual requirements. These are some of the apps we think you should take a look at:
- MoneyLion Plus app. You qualify for loans with MoneyLion by subscribing to the combined loans and investment product called MoneyLion Plus. With MoneyLion Plus you can borrow up to $500 without as much as a credit check. Note that MoneyLion Plus is an ongoing subscription service, and you will need to continue your subscription for as long as you have an outstanding loan. Click here to download it on iOS or Android.
- RainyDay Lending app. With RainyDay Lending, you get access to amounts from $100 to $2,500. It’s ideal if you are short in cash until your next paycheck but it’s the not the type of money you need for a bigger goal. The process of getting the loan is quite sleek – just make sure to read all the conditions.
- Dave app. With Dave, you can easily borrow small amounts of $25, $50 and $75. It acts like an overdraft protection but without the associated fees. The Dave app is easy to download and install, just pop into Google Play or the App Store. You don’t pay interest with Dave, but there is a $1/month fee to get access to Dave loans.
- Earnin app. For an easy way to get early access to your paycheck consider Earnin, formerly known as ActiveHours. Earnin is compatible with many employers but not all. If you can link Earnin to your timesheet you can easily get access to at least $100 a day without paying interest. Earnin makes its money via voluntary tips. Available on iOS or Android.
- Avant app. Great for larger loans, Avant offers APRs as low as 9.95%, though poorer credit scorers could be looking at up to 35.99%. Avant is a traditional lender so your credit score will be checked when you apply, applications also take a few days to complete. However, you can borrow as much as $35,000 with Avant which is much more than many other apps offer.
- LendUp app. A payday lender, LendUp can get you access to between $100 and $1,000 but the amount depends on the state you live in. In some states, it does not offer loans at all. Loans are expensive, with APRs again varying by state with rates as high as 917% APR not unusual. LendUp is an option if your credit score is poor, and if none of the other apps offer a solution for you.
- HonestLoans app. You don’t need a great credit score to borrow from HonestLoans. Get as much as $2,500 by the next business day with HonestLoans. Applying is straightforward, just complete a quick form on the provider website. HonestLoans use the information you provide to connect you to a suitable lender that can give you a fast decision.
Borrowing with a money app is a financial commitment and knowing what you are agreeing to is important. Understanding the terms used by money apps is a good first step. Here are the most important terms you should know about.
- Your annual percentage rate is the interest you pay on a loan over a yearly period. Consistently comparing interest rates on an annual basis is important as interest rates can appear to be low when quoted on a daily or monthly basis, when in fact the rates may be comparatively high. Note that some apps charge no interest.
- Loan amount. The total amount you are borrowing is also called the loan principal or loan size. This is the amount you receive in your bank account. Your total repayments will often be higher than your loan amount due to interest and other charges.
- Loan term. The term of your loan is the repayment period, your loan will be repaid at the end of the term unless you extend the loan. Money apps can feature short loan terms of days and weeks but most loans are measured in months or years.
- Late charge. Also known as a missed payment charge, this is the amount you will be charged if you do not make a scheduled payment on time. Lenders charge this to discourage borrowers from missing payments and to compensate the lender for processing costs.
- Credit score. Your credit score is based on your previous borrowing history. This includes your track record for making payments on time and for fully repaying loans. Lenders use your credit score to decide whether lending to you presents a high risk. Many money apps will consider borrowers with poor credit scores.
Too many choices? Start by thinking how much you need to borrow. If you need more than $500 you can immediately rule out many of the latest apps including MoneyLion and Dave.
Next, consider what your personal credit score is. If you have a poor credit history you need to keep in mind that many lenders will refuse to lend to you. Yet some, such as MoneyLion, will lend you money without ever referring to your credit file.
Finally, consider what other users are saying about a specific borrow money app. A low app store score does not necessarily mean you will experience similar frustrations. Read our review summary and if you’re still not sure check the individual app reviews in the app store to get a better picture.