Most instant cash advance apps are whack
We’ll spare you the Meredith Grey inspired "pick me" monologue...
Like you, we feel the whole instant cash advance, payday loans, salary loans, whatever you want to call it, is kinda f*cked.
Yeah you get to access fast cash for anything life may throw at you, but lenders profit on your emergency by charging you interest sometimes over 600% — and that’s not even including their admin fees…
So your small $100 emergency could end up costing you $600 a year later.
The best part is, if for any reason you miss a payment, they’ll sell your information to creditors, which can negatively impact your credit score.
What a world.
THE REVIVAL ERA OF CASH ADVANCES
Now even though people have become more informed about cash advances’ shady dealings — it’s still a thriving business.
With Covid, a lot of people lost their jobs and still had to pay their bills. Now people are getting their jobs back, but they’ve got no savings and a pile of debt.
Plus the cost of everything is rising — like the bread we soon won’t be able to afford.
Moments like these are breaking the bank and forcing people to resort to cash advances. But unlike the old days where you only had the option of walking into a Money Mart, now cash advances are as accessible as downloading an app and connecting your bank account.
In fact, last week we reviewed some of the most popular cash advance apps and rated them on their annoyingness.
(We know you’re thinking “well Cleo you’re an app that does advances…” We’re getting to the part where we tell you why we’re different 👅)
OK HOW IS CLEO DIFFERENT
Let’s start here: we are not specifically a cash advance app or an overdraft app. It’s just one part of the many things we do.
We think of ourselves as a money app that’s here to help you reduce your anxiety around money. And sometimes that means hitting you with a quick spot.
Most instant cash advance apps don’t give an f about you. They’re just as happy to get you stuck in the money loan trap. It makes them more money if you do.
We legit want you to get out of the cash advance and overdraft cycle. So even though we do have a cash advance feature, our priority is to help you not need it.
LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING
We created an app that connects to your bank account and generates smart insights based on your spending to help you budget and save in a way that makes sense for YOU.
Over time, we found that if our users were in desperate need of quick cash for emergencies, they’re likely to overdraft — which costs $35 every time you use it.
And statistics show if you overdraft once, you’ll overdraft two more times in that month, which averages out to $100 in fees 🤢
$100 you could have put towards your student loans, rent, a burrito bowl, or gas (we know.. touchy subject.)
So to help users avoid obnoxious overdraft fees and not fall victim to toxic money loan traps, we created the Cleo Cash Advance ✨
HOW DOES CLEO’S CASH ADVANCE WORK?
Cash advance is a part of our Cleo Plus subscription. (We breakdown everything included in this below).
Once you sign up to Plus, you’ll go through a quick eligibility process to determine what amount you qualify for.
First-time users will most likely get between $20 - $70. Over time our fancy as fuck algorithm might determine that you are eligible for more – aka if we can trust you to pay it back — we can spot you up to $100
*Cue Drake’s ‘Trust Issues’
You’re probs wondering if you even qualify?
And to that we say:
You have a better chance of qualifying with us than any other cash advance app out there.
That’s because we have:
🔑 No credit check (for our bad credit baddies)
🔑 No regular income required (freelancers we see you)
🔑 No direct deposit or timesheets required (some apps really be doing the most)
And if for whatever reason, you don’t end up qualifying, we won’t dump you like some of these instant money apps would. We’ll actually help you get on the road to recovery.
(Qualification recovery. Did you think we meant something else? 👀)
To get started just ask Cleo to spot you, check your eligibility and request the funds baby.
Funds normally take 3-4 business days to get into your account, but you can get an express transfer for a one-time fee of $4 if it’s an emergency (p.s. Taco Bell is not an emergency.) In that case, funds usually arrive in 7 minutes.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CLEO PLUS
Cleo Plus is our $5.99 a month subscription service that gives you access to five features, including the option to apply for our Cash Advance, that help your finances and your sanity.
When you sign up to Cleo, you automatically get access to our budget and savings tools. (These are key to getting you out of your money borrowing trap.)
As a part of Cleo Plus, you continue to get access to the budget and savings tools, plus you get access to Cashback and Credit Score tools, and you can apply for our Cash Advance.
And to answer your question about the $5.99 a month, it’s to help us:
✅ Never charge interest
✅ Never charge late fees
Those cash advance apps that are selling you the “free” dream, are actually selling your credit data to credit companies. We will never be that scummy.
K so here are our tools included in Cleo Plus… the tools that will help you regain control of your money and mind:
💸 EARN CASHBACK
It’s simple. Spend at some of your favorite stores and get cash back. So basically Cleo Plus pays for itself.
💸 FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CREDIT SCORE
View your full credit report and get tips on how to bump up your credit score.
You might be thinking: “But Cleo… other apps do it for free.” Ya, that’s because they’re selling your data. We don’t do that.
And we never will.
With our credit score tool, you can monitor your credit score over time, see the ebbs and flows of your life. Is what you’re doing working? Or did that missed payment to Klarna come back to bite you in the butt?
💸 BUDGET BETTER
Ok we’re getting into the part that’ll help you never use overdraft or cash advances again.
We know this sounds gross… but we’re not like other budgets either.
No really 👻
Most budget apps just give you a number and expect you to do it on your own. Which is great. If you're a fucking robot.
We know you can be dark and twisty and not in the mood to budget. That’s why we made our budget ridiculously easy to set up and based on your spending.
So no more mental math-ing how much you spend on Uber Eats every month or what all your reoccurring bills are. Cleo will break everything down into simple spending updates, advice, hypes, and of course roasts (because she cares).
With your budget in place, we can help you to start to save.
💸 SERIOUSLY SAVE
This might not be your biggest priority when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but this again is one of those key things that will help you to stop overdrafting.
Nobody can be mad at an extra cash in your account — especially if you get a surprise parking ticket you can’t fight.
So we’ve made it easier than ever for you to save while not even noticing you #UnbotheredQueen.
There are three different ways to save with Cleo:
Autosave, which uses our fancy algorithm to determine how much you can actually afford to put away in savings this week.
Round up basically rounds up any purchase you make and puts that extra bit into your Cleo savings account.
So if your Dunkin Donut order is $8.15, you’ll get charged $9 for it, and that extra $0.85 will get deposited in your Cleo savings account.
We know it doesn’t seem like a lot now. But think about every purchase you make getting round up. Eventually you’ll be sitting on some pretty penny 🦢
Swear jar is a “punishment” but not really a “punishment” feature for shopping at that store you told yourself you’d stop going to.
“No more Zara” she said.
*Builds a Zara cart*
And that’s fine we all have our vices. But then that means you gotta put a little something in your savings account 💍
SO WHY ARE WE DIFFERENT AGAIN?
It’s because we actually care.
Most banks and other cash advance apps just want you to keep overdrafting or keep taking out more cash advances.
We want to help you make better money decisions. And that includes fighting for the little guys, like you and me (me as in the one writing this article. Hi I’m Alyssa.)
And that means offering you tools like budget and save, but also offering a non-predatory cash advance whose main goal is not for you to take more, but for you to never take it again.
Yup. We’re Denny Duquette “Here for you.” (In a financial support kind of way).
If you're convinced, download our app here to get up to $100 spot!