$100 Instant Loan Apps: We’ve Tested Dozens

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Editor’s Note: Overdraft Apps provides detailed product reviews and recommendations based upon extensive research and our own hands-on testing. We may earn a referral fee when you sign up for or purchase products mentioned in this article.

Mitchel Harad

The Bad News:  You need to get $100 instantly. RIGHT NOW.

The Good News:  There are now dozens of apps that can help you borrow $100 in about the same amount of time it takes to order dinner.

What these apps have in common is that they can all help you get 100 dollars now, but they also differ in quite a few ways.  Some offer cash advances, others are structured as overdrafts, and of course there are always those costly payday loans lurking out there, too.

Most of these apps look and sound the same, with offers of instant cash, often with no credit check.  But dig in and you’ll discover that the cost to borrow $100 from them can vary widely (from $4 to $35!) and while they all welcome folks with bad credit, you can still get declined if your situation doesn’t match up with what they’re looking for.

Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you.  We’ve hand tested two dozen cash advance, online loan and overdraft apps and waded through page after page of terms and conditions to determine who they’re best suited for, how much you can actually borrow for and what they’ll really cost you.

Where can you borrow $100?

If you need to get $100 dollars now, you’ve come to the right place.  Let’s help you find it.

Dave:  Cheapest way to get $100 in 5 minutes or less

Woman's hand holding phone that displays options for Dave cash advances

Dave was one of the first apps to help you borrow money in minutes right from your phone, and with over 10 million users, it’s still one of the most popular ways to access fast cash.2 You can borrow $100 from Dave today for just four dollars in fees!3

Dave offers ExtraCashTM advances up to $500.  Though you probably won’t qualify for the maximum amount out of the gate, most customers receive an advance of $160 or more.  Build up a track record of on-time repayments – which Dave will automatically handle for you on your next payday4 – and your limit can quickly climb.

In our testing, we had access to cash less than 8 minutes after downloading the Dave app, and were able to spend it right away via a virtual debit card.  (You can also transfer it via Google Pay or Apple Pay.)  You can receive a physical Dave Debit Mastercard® about a week or so after you sign up to use for in-store purchases or to withdraw cash from a network of over 38,000 no-fee ATMs.

How Dave works:  There’s no credit check.  Instead, dave determines your eligibility by reviewing your account history and transactions, which is a safe and secure process that you’ll enable with just a few taps when you sign up.  Like many apps, you’ll have better odds of approval if you have regular, recurring deposits from employment, gig work or even government benefits.  

What Dave costs:  You’ll need to subscribe to Dave for $1/month to have access to ExtraCash advances.  To access your cash in under five minutes via the Dave Debit Card, there’s a $3 express fee, so it can cost you just four bucks to quickly borrow $100! 

There are higher express fees (5%) if you want the cash sent to your bank account, and Dave does ask for tips but leaving a small tip or none at all won’t impact your borrowing limit.

Dave doesn’t charge any interest or late fees, so if you need more time to repay, there’s no additional cost!  (Note that technically you’re overdrafting your Dave account  Dave is not an instant loan app, but gets you money just as quickly and easily.)  

Dave is also great for:  Unlike some other apps, Dave doesn’t require you to move your direct deposit to use a Dave Spending Account, but if you do you’ll get some great additional features like access to your direct deposit paycheck two days early5 and up to 15% cash back on debit card purchases!

Get a $100 ExtraCash advance >>> Check out Dave 👈

Earnin:  Get $100 *a day* as soon as you finish work

Woman's hand holding a phone that displays a $100 instant loan from Earnin

While most apps try to lure in you with high borrowing limits, the truth is that new customers very rarely qualify for big amounts right off the bat.  (Some apps will start you off with just a $5 loan…Gee, thanks!)  

With Earnin, you absolutely can qualify for a $100 as soon as you sign up AND get another $100 tomorrow and again the day after that as well.6 Nearly 4 million people have used Earnin to get $15 billion in wages paid early to themselves!

Earnin is a wage advance app, not a cash advance app so your credit score doesn’t matter.  Instead, Earnin looks at how much you’ve worked but haven’t yet been paid for and gives you near instant access to those funds.  You can get $100 a day from Earnin, and up to $750 per pay period, even if you’re brand new. 

If you have a traditional job (such as at a larger location where you always work out of the same location), Earnin can be a great app for getting a quick $100 whenever you need it.  Work remotely, at varying locations or primarily do gig work, like DoorDash or Uber?  While you may still qualify for Earnin there are some hoops to jump through. Earnin is one of only a few apps where you can qualify for a cash advance without direct deposit, which is handy if your employer pays you the old fashioned way.

How Earnin Works:  When you download the free Earnin app, you’ll provide some information on your employer and next paycheck. If you’re a full or part time employee, you can often provide this information via Earnin’s “automagically” feature, which will automatically track your hours at a physical work address and calculate how much cash you can access.

When you’re done working for the day, Earnin calculates how much you’ve earned but haven’t yet been paid.  You can get up to $100 of that sent to your bank account in minutes with just a few taps in the app; use the money however you like.  Earnin will automatically repay itself when you receive your paycheck, including any fees and tips, and your borrowing limit will refresh.

What Earnin Costs:  If you’re not in a rush to get your money, you can use Earnin with zero fees, though you’ll need to wait 1 – 3 business days for your cash to reach your bank account.  Don’t want to wait?  Earnin charges a ‘Lightening Speed’ fee to get your cash to you in under 30 minutes – it will cost you $3.99 to get $100 almost instantly.7  (Lightening Speed on your first advance is free!)  There are no other fees and no interest, though Earnin does ask for optional tips.   

Earnin is also great for:  Earnin gives you free credit monitoring tools, so you can track your credit score as well as key parts of your credit report to help drive your score higher.  Earnin doesn’t use your score in any way, so these free tools won’t impact your credit or your Cash Out limit.  

Get up to $100 of your pay, today >>> Check out Earnin

CLEO:  $100 cash advances, gig workers welcome!

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

While it can be tough to qualify for a $100 loan with most apps if you’re a gig worker or freelancer, Cleo loves DoorDashers, Uber drivers, Instacart shoppers, and more.  

Cleo doesn’t require minimum recurring deposits or proof of employment (like Earnin does), so you can still qualify for a cash advance if your income and payday jumps around.

Cleo offers cash advances for up to $250, though new users generally qualify for $20 – $70 to start.  You’ll see how much you can borrow as soon as you sign up.  Cleo sends the money right to your bank account, and during our testing we had cash available just seven minutes after we downloaded the app!

You can set your repayment date for up to 14 days after you take out your advance. You can also extend your repayment date for an additional 14 days with no interest or fees.

How Cleo Works:  Like many instant loan apps, you’ll authorize Cleo to review your bank account history and transactions when you sign up.  Cleo uses different approval criteria than other apps and is much friendlier towards freelancers and gig workers.  If you’ve had trouble qualifying for $100 elsewhere, Cleo is a great app to try!

What Cleo costs:  No interest, no late fees, and finally an app that doesn’t give you a guilt trip for tips!  You do need to subscribe for $5.99/month to use Cleo cash advances, and you can take out more than one per month.  There’s also a $3.99 express fee to get your money right away.  In our evaluation of 20 popular instant loan apps, Cleo was one of the few that will lend you $100 for less than ten bucks in fees!

Cleo is also great for:  Cleo is not like those other boring, buttoned up financial apps you’re used to.  She is fricking hilarious (and she has quite the potty month!)  Cleo uses an AI chatbot to analyze and monitor your finances (if you want it to) and helps you stick to a budget and keep track of your bills and spendings.  She uses jokes and memes that are really, REALLY funny to help you pay attention to where your money is going.  Seriously, this app will have you laughing out loud.

Gig workers, rejoice! >>> Get $100 or more from Cleo

PockBox:  Get $100 (or way more) even with bad credit

Woman holding a phone that displays PockBox instant loan choices

While there are many instant loan apps that will spot you $100 with no credit check, you can still run into a couple of roadblocks.

These apps all look at your bank account history and activity to determine your eligibility.  If your account is too new, with a mobile banking app like Chime or Current, or you don’t have a good pattern of recurring deposits, you will struggle to get approved.  PockBox also works with lenders who don’t use Plaid, making it a good option if you’re uncomfortable or unsuccessful with the popular platform that most cash advance apps use to link to your bank account.

Plus, limits for new customers can be very low – Klover may start you out with just $5!  And even with a healthier limit, you’ll often need to borrow and repay on-time several times before you see your limit climb past $200.

If you’re having trouble qualifying for the amount you need with instant loan apps or need more (maybe much more) than $100 now, you’ll want to check out PockBox, which can help you find a personal loan from $100 to up to $2,500 in just a few minutes.

How PockBox works:  PockBox is not a lender.  It’s a (free) service that can instantly connect you with lenders who will say YES to your loan request of up to $2,500.  Answer a few basic questions in under three minutes, and PockBox will present your loan request to dozens of lenders who work with consumers with any type of finances, including bad credit.  You don’t need to link to your bank account to see what you qualify for (great for folks who don’t like using the Plaid platform).

What PockBox costs: PockBox is free to use.  You can receive offers from lenders within minutes, which will clearly spell out the costs and terms.  

PockBox is also great for:  It’s a great service to use to comparison shop and find the personal loan that best fits with your needs.  There’s no app to download, no fee to use it, and it only takes a few minutes to see what you qualify for.  Even if you get a good offer from another cash advance app, it can be worth taking a few minutes to see if PockBox can help you find even better rates and terms.

Connect with instant loan offers for $100 or more >>> Check out PockBox

How much do $100 instant loan apps cost?

chart showing cost of borrowing $100 from 15 instant loan apps

We researched the cost of a $100 instant loan from the 16 most popular cash advance, banking and overdraft apps, and as you can see the cost of borrowing ranges from $6 – $35, so it pays to shop around!  We found that the average cost of borrowing $100 from these apps is $19.08. That’s about half of the cost of a typical bank overdraft fee

Most cash advance apps don’t charge interest, but instead hit you with up to three fees:

  • A monthly subscription fee that you’ll need to pay to access cash advances (or to increase your cash advance limit). Some apps don’t charge a subscription fee, while others include additional features with a subscription, such as credit monitoring or budgeting tools.
  • An express fee to send your money to your bank account in minutes. Nearly every app also offers a slower option at no-cost, though you’ll need to plan ahead and wait three to five business days to receive your funds. Some apps offer the option of accessing your money through a debit card, with lower or no fees, too.
  • An optional tip to help support the service.  Apps like Dave suggest a 15% tip, which can add significant cost to your cash advance. Pay attention to the word ‘optional’ though – no app requires a tip, nor will a small tip or no tip impact your ability to receive a cash advance or reduce your cash advance limit. As we revealed earlier, skipping the tip and choosing to send your money to a Dave Spending Account results in the lowest cost way to borrow $100, with just $4 in fees!

There are some simple strategies to greatly reduce the cost of your net $100 cash advance. In fact, it’s even possible to get a free cash advance from many leading apps!

You can also reduce the fees on your next cash advance by choosing a lower cost app. 

After Dave, Varo Money came in as the next cheapest cash advance provider, with a $100 advance costing just $6 in fees. However, you can’t take out an advance until your Varo account is at least 30 days old and you’ve activated your Varo debit card. Plus, you’ll need to receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits within the last 31 days to qualify for an advance, so there’s a pretty lengthy application process to get through before you qualify.

If you don’t want to wait that long or can’t meet those qualifications, Vola, Cleo and B9 are the next most affordable options, with a $100 cash advance costing less than $10.  It certainly pays to do your research, as at the other end of the spectrum popular apps like Super.com and Credit Genie can hit you with more than $30 in fees and tips for a $100 instant loan!

Watch: You’ll want these instant cash advance apps on your phone

Looking for loan instant apps for a different amount?

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

Mitchel Harad
  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. Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, provides all banking services and issues the Dave Debit Card, pursuant to a license from Mastercard®.
  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.
  4. Your settlement date is either your next payday or, if Dave can’t determine your next payday, the nearest Friday to when you took the advance.
  5. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on timing and availability of the payroll files sent from your employer. These funds can be made available up to 2 days in advance.
  6. EarnIn is a financial technology company, not a bank. Bank products are issued by Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC. The EarnIn Card is issued pursuant to a license from Visa USA Inc. Cash Out limit is subject to your available earnings, Daily Max and Pay Period Max. EarnIn does not charge interest on Cash Outs.
  7. Fees apply to use Lightning Speed. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

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