3 Stress-Free Cash Advance Apps When You’re Unemployed (No Direct Deposit Required)

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30-SECOND SUMMARY: Cash flow can quickly become a problem if you’re between jobs. While plenty of cash advance apps sound promising on paper, many won’t advance your money without a pay slip from a regular employer. If you’re between work, we’re fans of Cleo, Dave and Vola who don’t require direct deposit and can help you make ends meet until you land your next job.

Are you between jobs and in need of cash?

If you’re a freelancer, gig worker or currently unemployed, chances are you experience periods of inconsistent income. 

It’s easy to see the growing number of cash advance apps as the solution. But many of these apps require a direct deposit before they’ll start handing out money. It can be tough to find apps that loan you money instantly without a job.

The three apps on this list are all options if you’re unemployed since they won’t ask you to prove recurring income from your employer or perform a credit check.  

Instead, they’ll link to your bank account (a quick and secure process) to evaluate your account history and activity.

A brief pattern of regular, recurring deposits is what they love to see and can help you qualify for larger borrowing amounts but things like payments from gig work companies or even unemployment benefits can help you qualify! Let’s check out three of the most popular cash advance apps with no direct deposit required:

#1 – Cleo: Borrow $20 (and up) without submitting timesheets or pay stubs

woman's hand holding a phone that shows how much can you borrow from Cleo

Cleo is more inclusive than most cash advance apps. You could be a freelancer, or without a job, and Cleo still makes it easy for you to get the cash you need.


After downloading the Cleo app, you’ll need to connect the bank account you get paid into. Don’t worry, if you’re not being paid by a boss or employer right now. Cleo just uses AI to look at your account history and calculate your eligibility, so link it to your primary account. If you’re doing gig work, such as via Uber, DoorDash or Instacart, then Cleo’s probably the app for you as it’s one of the most popular cash advance apps for gig workers.

Making things easier, you won’t have to submit any pay slips or W-2s since Cleo isn’t confirming your employment. Keep in mind, recurring deposits are looked on favorably (as is the case with most cash advance apps). 

Cash advance limits start smaller – around the $20 – $50 range. But if you do land a job down the line, chances are you’ll increase your cash advance limit which can climb up to $250.

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

#2 – Dave: Request an advance with no direct deposit

Dave’s ExtraCashTM advance is a great solution when you’re out of a job. There’s no proof of employment required – you won’t even be asked your employment status – and you can get cash less than ten minutes after downloading the app.


You’ll need to jump through a few simple hoops before you can request an advance (known as Dave ExtraCash). But none of these hoops require a compulsory direct deposit.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the Dave app
  2. Link your main bank account (where you’d get paid if you were employed)
  3. Open an ExtraCash account
  4. See what you qualify for and get access to cash in just a few minutes!

Like we said, no direct deposit into a Dave account is required. Instead, Dave will analyze your linked account and figure out an amount you can comfortably repay. 

Dave claims to use a proprietary underwriting model using a range of financial health factors, including income history and spending patterns, to set your borrowing limit. 

Like most cash advance apps, you probably won’t be eligible to borrow the maximum amount ($500) right out of the gate, but most Dave customers receive an advance of $160 or more. Your limit can quickly increase as you build up a history of on-time repayment of your advances.

But even without pay checks coming in from a regular job, you can download Dave and may be able to get a small advance to cover urgent expenses.

Need $500? Check out Dave for yourself 👈

#3 – Vola: Borrow money without regular pay or a steady job

Vola is a cash advance app that doesn’t require direct deposits – with the ability to borrow up to $300.

Similar to Dave and Cleo, Vola will analyze your linked bank account using Plaid (a secure data processing software). As long as your account is at least 3 months old and has a regular account balance of $150 or more, you may be eligible for an advance even if you’re out of work and only receiving benefits.

We’re beating the same drum here, but you’ll likely increase your chances of a higher cash advance if you can show recurring direct deposits. But, on the plus side, you won’t be turned away if you’re currently unemployed.

Most people can borrow between $30 and $50 from the start with Vola analyzing your income expenses, and average balance to assign a ‘Vola Score’ between 0 and 100. The higher your score, the higher your potential borrowing limit.

In between jobs? >>> Learn More About Vola 👈

Looking for more ways to borrow money on low income?

Over 70 million Americans make ends meet in the gig economy.

If you’re between full-time jobs and making money with gig work, it helps to know which apps have your back (and which will turn you away until you have recurring deposits from a single employer).

So we wrote the guide on it.

Actually, we wrote a bunch.

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. Eligibility requirements apply. Not all users will qualify. Advance amounts range from $20 to $250. Instant transfers subject to express fees. Visit meetcleo.com/terms for more information.
  3. Based on internal data as of March 30, 2023 for users who had connected an external bank account and transferred an advance to their Dave Spending Account. ExtraCash™ is a DDA account with overdraft utility, advances are subject to eligibility requirements and identity verification. Taking an ExtraCash™ advance will make your account balance negative. Express delivery fees apply to instant transfers. As of January 18, 2023, most customers receive an advance of $160 or more. See the ExtraCash™ Account Agreement for more details.

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