Cash Advance

What Is a Cash Advance and How Does It Work?

An explanation of what cash advances are and how they function 💸

'What is cash advance and how does it work' text
(If you’re looking for a cash advance, we’ll just mention Cleo can spot you up to $250*. No credit checks and no interest.)

What’s a cash advance?

A cash advance gives you small amounts of money quickly and easily. It’s often used as a way to cover unexpected expenses or to bridge the gap between paychecks.

Woman carrying shopping bags
Via Giphy

⬆️ Totally joking.

It’s good practice to only use a cash advance when you need help covering important bills.

You can get cash advances through credit card companies, payday lenders, online lenders, or cash advance apps such as Cleo (the best money app 💅), Dave, Chime, and Klover.

But because we want you to save as much money as possible and avoid high interest rates and fees, this blog will purely be based on how to obtain a cash advance from a cash advance app.

A cash advance is usually a much cheaper alternative to other financial products such as credit cards or personal loans. And instead of charging interest, you’d usually just pay a subscription fee, and some apps even suggest you give them a tip instead which can be any amount you choose.

Brave of them.

How does a cash advance work?

You’d usually receive funds within three working days but if you’re looking for an instant cash advance, you’ll need to pay a fee to receive it on the same day. Express fees differ depending on the app you use but based on a few different cash advance apps, the express fee tends to range from around $1 to $7.

There are lots of cash advance apps to choose from so it’s worth comparing them first before making a decision as some charge more than others.

How to get a cash advance

Eligibility requirements for cash advance apps may vary depending on the specific app and its policies. However, the below are some common requirements:

🔞 Age: You’ll need to show you’re at least 18 years old.

💸 Income: You may need to show proof of a steady income, such as a job or regular source of income. (We’ll just mention here that Cleo doesn't require proof 👀.)

🏦 Bank account: You may need to have a checking account or debit card to receive the cash advance.

🚦 Credit score: Some apps require a minimum credit score or credit history check (although, many don’t).

📷 Identification: You might be asked to provide a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Here’s how cash advance apps typically work:

1) Download and Install the App: Once you’ve chosen the cash advance app you’re happy with, download it on your mobile. The majority of cash advance apps are available for free on the App Store or Google Play.

2) Create an Account: Once downloaded, you’ll just need to create an account. You’ll be asked to provide some some personal and financial information, such as your name, address, date of birth, and bank account details.

3) Check Your Eligibility: After creating an account, you can check your eligibility for the cash advance. The app will typically perform a soft credit check to assess your creditworthiness and determine the amount of money you are eligible to borrow.

4) Request a cash advance: If eligible, you can request a cash advance through the app. You’ll need to specify the amount you need and the repayment term you prefer.

5) Receive the Funds: Once your loan request is approved, the funds will be deposited directly into your bank account within a few hours or the next business day, depending on the app's policies.

6) Repay the Loan: You will be required to repay the loan or cash advance according to the terms and conditions specified by the app. This typically involves repaying the principal amount plus any fees and interest charged by the app.

7) Manage Your Account: Most cash advance apps allow you to manage your account through the app. This includes monitoring your loan balance, making payments, and checking your transaction history.

Think a cash advance app might be for you? Here’s a couple of the most popular apps:


Gig worker? We got you 💅

Other cash advance apps may require a specific income, but not Cleo.

Whether you’re in part-time or full-time employment, everyone should be able to apply for a cash advance.

Cleo’s the ultimate gig worker cash advance app 💙

Cleo’s cash advance* is interest free and there’s no credit checks or late fees (but always try to pay back on time). And unlike payday loans and overdraft fees, she won’t affect your credit score.‍

💵 Maximum amount: $250
🏦 Fees: $5.99 monthly subscription and no late fees‍
✅ Repayment: It’s up to you when you want to repay‍
🔎 Credit check: No‍
📈 Interest: Hell no

2) Dave

Dave has a $1 per month membership fee which gives you access to account monitoring, notification services, and budgeting.

The cash advance should be with you within one to three business days but you can pay an express fee if you need it urgently (brunch dates don’t count).

If you opt for instant cash, you’ll need to pay an express fee of $0.99 to $6.99 for Dave Spending Account and $2.99 to $11.99 for external transfers.

💵 Maximum amount: $500 ‍
🏦 Fees: $1 monthly membership and no late fees  
🚀 Speed: one to three business days
✅Repayment: your next payday ‍
🔎 Credit check: no  
📈 Interest: no

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need a cash advance to help cover you until payday. If you haven’t already, make a budget and start an emergency fund for those unexpected expenses.

Create a free budget today with Cleo and stay on top of your finances 💅

Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference.
Big love. Cleo 💙

*The Cleo Plus subscription offers saving goals, hacks, challenges, APY on savings, credit score insights, and access to cash advances if eligible.

Still have questions? Find answers below.
What's a cash advance?
How can I get a cash advance using an app?
Why should I consider Cleo for a cash advance?
What's the difference between Cleo and Dave for cash advances?
Written by

Read more

signing up takes
2 minutes

QR code to download cleo app
Talking to Cleo and seeing a breakdown of your money.