earnin review
February 07, 2022

Earnin Review 2022

Personal Loans

  • Earnin
    • Best For: Employed people who need quick cash, especially gig workers or those who work sporadically.
    • Pros: Earnin offers larger loan amounts than most of its competitors, with no interest or associated fees.
    • Cons: Getting access to an Earnin loan is fairly invasive of your privacy. In order for them to lend to you, they require much more information than just your bank history.
    APR: 10/10
     
    Fees: 8/10
     
    Transparency: 8/10
     
    Flexibility: 6/10
     
    Funding Speed: 10/10
     
    Accessibility: 8/10
     
    • APR:

      0%

    • MINIMUM CREDIT:

      No minimum credit score requirement

    • TERMS:

      1 - 4 weeks

    • ORIGINATION FEE:

      0%

 

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Our Earnin review tells you everything you need to know about this short-term loan service.

What Is Earnin?

Earnin is a short-term loan service that gives users access to their pay the same day they earn it through a paycheck advance program.

They don’t charge any fees for this service — however, they do accept tips.

Earnin Highlights

When it comes to Earnin’s “Cash Out”, paycheck advance program, they are top of their class in terms of the fees that they charge, and the loan amounts that they offer.

earnin cash out

When it comes to fees, Earnin doesn’t charge any.

Earnin also doesn’t charge interest for the money they loan to users either.

They do, however, offer users the ability to “tip”, which is a fairly common practice in this space. But they cap the amount a user can tip at just $14.

Earnin also has a couple of other programs that they offer to their users.

Their “Balance Shield” program alerts users when they’re likely to overdraw their bank account balance, and can disperse cash to help avoid overdraft fees.

Their “WeWin” program is a very revolutionary way to get users to save money. Incorporating all of the aspects of a lottery system, without the downside of purchasing a ticket is quite ingenious.

Programs like this allow users to scratch their “gambling itch” without having to pay the hefty price of lottery tickets, while also incentivizing saving.

Related: 90+ Ways to Make Extra Money

Earnin At a Glance

Loan AmountsUp to $500 per pay period
Interest RateNo interest charged
Minimum CreditNo credit check
Term Length of LoanUntil your next payday
Monthly Payment Amount of loan
Origination FeeNone

You’ve seen the ratings we gave to Earnin. Now we’ll explain our reasoning for each rating.

Interest Rate

We gave Earnin a 10/10 rating in the APR category, simply because they don’t charge users interest.

  • Interest Rate
    Earnin gets a perfect score — they don't charge interest!
    10/10

This is a very nice change of pace when compared to the high rates of traditional payday loan providers.

Earnin is a great no-interest alternative to these loans, meaning users actually have a chance to get ahead financially!

Fees

Earnin received an 8/10 rating when it comes to fees because technically, they don’t charge any fees.

  • Fees
    Earnin doesn't charge fees, but they do request tips.
    8/10

However, they do allow users to leave tips, which is a heavily scrutinized practice in this industry.

This is because when a company doesn’t charge interest, yet enables users to leave “tips”, they can effectively charge users much more on an annualized basis than traditional payday loan lenders.

Earnin’s “tip” mechanism is a bit different than competitors like Dave though.

Earnin caps the amount that users can tip at $14. Dave and other app-based payday loan providers allow users to leave a percentage of their borrowed amount.

Although we don’t love the tip-based loan model, we do like that Earnin caps the “tip” amount.

Transparency

Overall, we gave Earnin an 8 / 10 when it comes to transparency.

  • Transparency
    Earnin asks users to help fund their service by requesting tips, but they cap tips at $14.
    8/10

If you’ve read any of our other app-based loan provider reviews, then you probably know we’re not a fan of the “tipping”.

We do like though, that Earnin caps the amount you can tip at just $14.

Most other apps allow you to tip a percentage (some allow users to leave a 25%+ tip), which can easily lead customers to pay much more than the going rate for a payday loan.

At least, when you’re borrowing from Earnin, the tip is capped at a more reasonable amount.

 

Flexibility

We gave Earnin a 6 / 10 when it comes to flexibility, because they do have more stringent requirements for income verification when compared to their competitors.

  • Flexibility
    Earnin requires timesheets or other proof of work.
    6/10

In order to access your earnings before payday, you need to connect your bank account and provide Earnin with confirmation that you’ve actually worked during the week.

You’ll usually need to provide this confirmation through timesheets, or other documents from your employer, which can be done by uploading directly from the app.

Personally, we find this to be a bit invasive when compared to most other app-based lenders.

Most of Earnin’s competitors accomplish the same level of verification just by integrating with customers’ bank accounts and looking through their history.

This makes the additional requirement to submit documents seem a bit excessive and intrusive to us.

Funding Speed

Earnin earned a 10 / 10 for funding speed because you simply can’t get much better than the speeds they offer!

  • Funding Speed
    Earnin loans arrives quickly — sometimes in a few minutes — and they don't charge an extra fee for expedited payment.
    10/10

With Earnin, customers can get access to the money that they need in as little as a few minutes.

While most other app-based lenders charge a fee to get funding this fast, Earnin does it for free.

This is great for those who are in a pinch and need money fast.

Accessibility

We gave Earnin an 8/10 when it comes to accessibility, because they really make obtaining funding easy, no matter what you do for a living.

  • Accessibility
    Gig workers and freelancers have a better chance of getting approved by Earnin than by other services.
    8/10

Although providing Earnin with timesheets or other proof of work can seem a bit intrusive, it also opens doors for those who don’t have typical hourly or salary jobs.

Some of Earnin’s competitors make it difficult for freelancers or gig workers to get a loan, simply because they only look at bank history.

Since freelancers and gig workers usually don’t receive a paycheck every week, they’re typically ineligible for most of these programs.

However, Earnin makes it easier for people with nontraditional employment to get a loan, simply due to the fact that they require proof of having done work.

This means that Uber drivers can upload ride receipts, and freelancers can show billable hours to prove their employment.

WeWin

Earnin’s “WeWin” program is unique way to encourage people to grow their savings.

earnin we win

Through the WeWin program, users are given a ticket each time they save $10 in their Earnin “Tip Yourself” account (which is really just a savings account).

The tickets that users receive have numbers on them, and whenever a user has a ticket with numbers matching those on the weekly drawing, they win a cash prize.

This cash prize can range anywhere from $0.10 all the way up to $10 million, according to their website. (However, we couldn’t find evidence of anyone winning any sizeable amount of money.)

Programs like this are designed to help users scratch their “gambling itch” in a responsible way through saving, as opposed to buying lottery or scratch-off tickets.

Lastly, Earnin also offers a program that allows users to gain access to their paychecks up to two days before their payday, through “Earnin Express”.

This is a fairly common offering among app-based payday loan providers, and it can be helpful for those who need to access their paycheck early when they’re in a pinch.

Balance Shield

While the “Balance Shield” program isn’t as revolutionary as WeWin, it’s still quite helpful for Earnin customers.

earnin balance shield

Helping users skirt overdraft fees can help them save a lot of money in the long term.

With the national average cost of an overdraft fee at around $33, they’re incredibly expensive and add up quickly.

This feature alone makes Earnin a great service to have. Balance Shield can essentially be thought of like a no-cost overdraft fee insurance.

Earnin Consumer Reviews

While Earnin does sound like a great way to get an advance on your paycheck quickly, it’s important to get an idea of what users think of the app before you get started.

Earnin has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since June of 2019 and at time of writing has an “A-” rating.

earnin app store reviews

This is one of the best ratings that the BBB hands out, which is indicative of Earnin being a great company overall.

Earnin also only has 484 complaints within the past three years, which is much lower than the industry standard.

Additionally, out of more than 600 individual reviews, Earnin has received a rating of 3.97 / 5 from customers.

This is an excellent score, given that most lending companies only receive a one or two out of five rating.

We’ll delve a bit deeper into a few individual customer reviews below.

ReviewerIssueMy Take
Jaz R. - 11/18/2021Jaz claims that Earnin collected payment 10 days before they were supposed to, causing an overdraft fee that they haven’t refunded yet.This seems to be an issue that many people are having. If this is true, Earnin should definitely work on a solution to this problem, because a lot of customers seem to be getting debited prematurely.
Mandy J. - 11/12/2021Claims that customer service representatives made her wait an excessively long time during an online chat session, and ultimately didn’t solve the problem.Customer service should be a top priority, especially when it comes to financial service companies. Customers shouldn’t have to wait for so long with an online chat.

Earnin Pros and Cons

Earnin’s no-fee model must be balanced against the somewhat invasive process of qualifying for a loan.

Pros

  • No Fees: Earnin is a fee-free way to get money quickly.
  • A Fun Way to Save Money: Their WeWin program incentivizes users to save money through a gamified platform.
  • Helps You Avoid Overdraft Fees: Balance Shield can protect you from having to pay hefty overdraft fees.

Cons

  • Invasive Income Verification: Earnin’s income verification requirements are much more invasive than other app-based payday loan lenders.
  • Requests Tips: The “tipping” option can be misleading for less financially savvy borrowers, leading them to pay high rates for the money they borrow.

Who Is Earnin Good For?

Earnin is good for people who do gig work or have other sporadic employment, because you can submit paper records as proof of payment.

Other loan providers require consistent direct deposits from an employer before they will give you a loan.

Earnin is also good for people who hate paying fees, because Earnin doesn’t charge any.

Who Is Earnin Not Good For?

Earnin is not good for those who want a quick loan with a minimum amount of hassle.

The somewhat invasive process Earnin uses to verify income isn’t as seamless as the experience provided by other apps.

If you get consistent direct deposits, you can avoid the extra verification that Earnin requires by using a competitor like Brigit or Dave.

Earnin Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Earnin legit?

    Earnin is a legitimate service.

    They have been vetted and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and they have thousands of happy customers that sing their praises.

  • Will Earnin overdraft my account?

    Earning might overdraft your account, but they promise to reimburse you if this happens.

    Although Earnin does everything in its power to avoid overdrawing your account, sometimes mistakes happen. If Earnin ever does overdraw your account, and you receive an overdraft fee, you can contact their customer support.

    Once you get in touch with an Earnin customer service representative, you can explain your situation, and send them proof of Earnin causing an overdraft fee. If the Earnin team determines that they did, in fact, cause the overdraft fee, they will reimburse you the full amount.

  • Can Earnin send you to collections?

    No, Earnin cannot send you to collections.

    Earnin is not technically a lender, so they don’t have the ability to send you to collections if you don’t pay them back.

    It is important to remember, though, that they have your banking information, and will continually attempt to recoup the money that you borrowed, so long as your account is open.

  • What’s the minimum credit score requirement for Earnin?

    Earnin does not have a minimum credit score requirement.

    They look at your bank data and income documentation to make a decision on how much money they’ll loan out to an individual.

  • Will applying to Earnin hurt my credit?

    No, there won’t be any dings to your credit when you apply for Earnin.

    Earnin does not request a hard pull on your credit when you apply.

  • Can you change your payment date with Earnin?

    Yes, you can change your payment date.

    All you have to do is reach out to their 24/7 customer support team and explain your situation.

    As long as you do this within two business days of your scheduled repayment, Earnin customer service will be able to change your payment date for you.

Author:

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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