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 a 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. And since you don’t have a paycheck, that makes things tough.

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!

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

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 (it’s free), 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.

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 a cash 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.

Here’s how you can find a cash advance as a gig worker:

WAIT! High overdraft fees aren’t the only way your bank is costing you money.

With inflation overheating, you’ve probably heard that interest rates are climbing sharply. That means that for the first time in years, it’s a great time to shop around for a high interest savings account.

The national average interest rate for savings accounts is currently 0.23% APY – that means that if you have $2,500 in a savings account, you’d earn just $5.76 after one year! Move those hard-earned savings to an FDIC-insured bank paying 3.50% APY and you’d earn $81.73 more!

Don’t let your hard-earned savings sit there doing nothing. Check out the rates that you can earn at other banks:

Alexander Porter
  1. 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.
  2. 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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