Having quick and easy access to money is a big deal for rideshare drivers and other gig workers, but traditional cash advance options don’t offer much for us.
With technology and the economy constantly evolving, cash advance companies are too. RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea weighs the pros and cons of the best cash advance apps for gig workers.
There aren’t many jobs where you can get instant access to cash but that’s one of the things people love about the gig economy. However, sometimes you get in a bind and need money fast.
Maybe your car is in for unexpected expenses for repairs or you have medical bills that you need extra cash to cover. In times like those, you may want the option of getting a cash advance.
Traditional payday loans and similar cash advances can have a high-interest rate. Plus, it can be challenging to even qualify for these loans due to the unexpected nature of your income.
Luckily, there are plenty of interest-free or low-fee cash advance apps for gig workers that are geared directly toward people like Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash drivers, Instacart shoppers, and more.
The underlying technology that a lot of these companies use is Argyle (with the exception of Giggle), which allows them to sync up your gig accounts and see your earnings history and more.
This gives the cash advance companies the confidence to loan you money. So I’d expect to see a lot more offerings like this in the future.
6 Best Cash Advance Apps for Gig Workers
Here are the best cash advance apps gig workers can start using today:
Giggle provides fast and transparent financing for Uber and Lyft drivers in need of money quickly. There are no credit score requirements to apply. Instead, you can receive an advance by selling a portion of your future sales before your next payday.
You can borrow up to $5,000 and the payments for the advance are automatically deducted from your earnings account as well as a small service fee.
Giggle has a quick and easy application process, and if you’re approved, the money could make it to your checking account in just minutes. The only requirement for self-employed individuals is that you should have been working for at least 3 months by the time you apply.
Pros and Cons of Using Giggle
- Instant cash advance up to $5,000
- No credit check required
- Charges varying fees for advances
This user gave Giggle 5 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot saying,
My experience was smooth and the money came in within 24-48 hrs! I was able to keep business flowing with no issues.
Lean offers a cash advance of up to $1,000 for gig workers, but you can only apply through the platforms they are partnered with. The company has announced a partnership with Rapidus so far and has many more to come – so keep an eye out.
Once you’re working for a partner platform though, you’d apply for and then connect to a Lean ‘digital wallet’.
This allows Lean to deliver your payment to your bank account immediately after completing a job. There are no extra fees to use Lean and you’ll get paid even faster.
The company has raised more than $4.5 million and is backed by world-class investors (including our own Harry Campbell who’s also an advisor to the company).
While you can’t sign up for Lean directly, it’s likely that you will be driving or delivering for a partner soon and can sign up through the platform that way.
Pros and Cons of Using Lean
- Instant cash advance up to $1,000
- No fees of any kind
- Have to sign up through a partner
Tilak Joshi, CEO of Lean, published a post titled “Why I Started Lean” and stated in part,
“The reality goes far beyond simple classifications. Those in the hustle economy are not choosing flexibility over benefits. Finding work is instead about empowerment and individuality. It is an economy that requires both flexibility and benefits. Workers don’t need a new label, they need a new model that enables them to work how they want AND get the benefits they need.”
Moves is a financial app designed for gig workers that helps you track your earnings and get a cash advance of up to $1,000.
How it works is you download the app, then connect the different platforms you work for to track your earnings. Then, Moves will calculate how much you may qualify for if you need a cash advance.
Moves support a ton of different rideshare and gig apps.
You’ll pay one low, simple fee for your cash advance and make weekly payments as you get paid from the platforms you’re working with. You can also pay back your cash advance early if you wish.
Pros and Cons of Using Moves
- Quick cash advance (receive your funds in up to 1 to 2 days) up to $1,000
- Partners with many popular rideshare, delivery, and gig worker apps
- Additional driver support would be helpful – a mileage tracker or a snapshot of earnings across platforms
In an interview with writer Jerome Knyszewski, the CEO of Moves Matt Spoke stated, “I didn’t have a perfect grasp yet on what the problem was or how to solve it, but I remember very clearly seeing a massive gap and opportunity out of these things. Gig workers were critical to the success of businesses like Uber, but they obviously felt like they weren’t being treated fairly, or weren’t being properly supported in their pursuit of a stable career path. That was enough to get me into a rabbit hole of learning everything I could about the gig economy and its workers.” He went on to say,
I specifically remember one meaningful 15-minute conversation I had with an Uber driver on my way home. He opened up to me completely about the challenges he was facing and his motivations for having joined the gig economy in the first place. The next day, it was clear to me. I had a new mission — and Moves was born.
Stoovo is a slightly different app that actually helps you find flexible work opportunities, track your earnings, and get a cash advance if you need it. There are more than 6,000 different gig work opportunities you can find through the app.
You can use the app to plan your schedule and get matched with the best flexible job or side hustle based on your preferences.
Similar to Moves, you can connect all your work and gig accounts in one place and track your income. If you need emergency cash, Stoovo offers a cash advance that you can pay back within 30 days. Borrow up to $100 and there are no fees or hidden costs.
Pros and Cons of Using Stoovo
- Quick cash advance
- No hidden fees
- Help with finding flexible work opportunities
- Lower maximum borrowing amount
On the Google Play app, Stoovo app has an average user rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 stars, though several of the lower-rated reviews state the low reviews are because it is not offered in their state.
Coverr is a financial app designed for 1099 workers that offer a cash advance of up to $1,500. To apply, all you need is your driver’s license and proof of your earnings for the past 4 weeks. It can take up to 24 hours to get approved for a cash advance, then the money could be deposited into your bank account by the next business day.
There is no interest or fees, and you can pay the loan back over time with your future earnings.
Pros and Cons of Using Coverr
- Quick cash advance for up to $1,500
- No hidden fees
- No credit check
- Personalized repayment plan
- Longer approval time
- Wait around 24 hours to receive funds after you’re approved
Kobina Ansah, CEO of Coverr, said in an interview,
The term gig worker refers to all independent contractors, and the majority of financial services companies currently in the market only cater to a very small portion of that population. Drivers, for example, have historically been underserved, and at COVERR we envision a world where they and other gig workers are able to earn more and have a greater sense of financial security.
Belay is an app that partners with Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber Eats to guarantee your hourly rate. How it works is you connect the platform you’re working on and Belay will calculate the highest wage it can guarantee based on your chosen schedule.
If you earn less than the guarantee for your pay period, Belay pays you the difference. If you earn more, you’ll be charged a tax-deductible 4% fee that goes toward supporting the service.
As long as you’re active and making an effort to accept trips, if you don’t make Belay’s earning guarantee, they will top off your bank account with the appropriate amount as soon as you finish your driving session.
This app could be helpful if you’re looking to earn a more stable and expected income from rideshare driving or are currently struggling to earn a desired hourly rate. It can also act as your cash advance backup.
Pros and Cons of Using Belay
- Guaranteed hourly rate
- Works with Uber, Lyft, and Uber Eats
- No fees for Belay to pay you a guaranteed hourly rate
- Can be charged a 4% fee if you exceed the hourly rate
- No larger cash advance amounts are available
Kai Golden, co-founder and CEO of Belay, states on their website,
I was raised by a gig worker. Our costs were high, our income was choppy. For our family, low demand meant anxiety, uncertain work hours, and debt. We felt stuck, struggled to plan, and our sanity hurt as much as our wallets. I learned that it isn’t just about the money – it’s about consistency. As the gig economy grows, so too will this uncertainty. We founded Belay to make your income truly certain within your chosen schedule, so you can focus on what matters most in your life.”
While Solo doesn’t offer cash advances, it does get an honorable mention from RSG! Solo offers gig workers, like Uber drivers and DoorDashers, the ability to optimize their time and generate a guaranteed daily income. Harry is such a fan of this company, that he came on as an advisor for them recently.
Solo will work to crunch the numbers on how much you earn hourly for all of the gig jobs you work. If you earn less than the course of your daily schedule, they’ll pay you the difference. This helps to keep your earnings steady weekly, no matter what happens during the course of your gig worker week.
As Bryce Bennett, Solo co-founder, and CEO said recently in GeekWire,
We’ve always felt that the deck is kind of stacked against gig workers. They don’t have a lot of tools or information to actually be effective or efficient with their time. It’s kind of a guessing game.
The whole idea of Solo is to help gig workers get a better understanding of when, where, and which gig platform to work for across the various platforms.
Let’s say you drive for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, and occasionally pet sit with Rover. Solo can help you determine which app you earn the most with over a given period of time, helping you take the guesswork out of your earnings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can gig workers get loans?
Gig workers with a 1099 can access mortgages, car loans, and personal loans, as long as they meet the lender’s requirements and can provide proof of income.
Gig workers can avoid high-interest payday loans by registering for a financial platform that specializes in low-fee advances for gig workers.
What apps give you cash advances instantly?
Giggle and Lean provide instant cash advances by direct deposit to gig workers who meet their eligibility requirements. Some cash advance apps take 1-2 days to approve of your application and deposit your funds.
Who should use a cash advance app?
A cash advance app could be a good fit if you meet these criteria:
- You’re a freelancer or gig worker
- Your paycheck timing doesn’t line up with your scheduled bills
- You want to avoid overdraft fees and don’t have overdraft protection
- You don’t mind paying a small fee to get paid before your next paycheck
- A bad credit score might keep you from qualifying for a loan
How can I find the best cash advance app for freelancers?
Take these steps to choose the best cash advance app to sign up for:
- Read customer reviews
- Take note of cash advance limits
- Avoid apps with high interest or fees
- Look into repayment requirements
- See how long the approval and transfer times are
- Look for extra features like budgeting tools
Are cash advances the same as payday loans?
Similar to payday lenders, cash advance apps let you borrow money fast without a credit check. But cash advance apps offer advances of your own money rather than short-term loans. They’re also less expensive and more flexible.
What are alternatives to cash advance apps?
Cash advance apps are a great asset for gig drivers who might have inconsistent earnings, and they come in handy when unexpected expenses pop up.
Alternatively, look into a checking account and debit card with overdraft coverage, consider a credit-builder credit card for improving your score and work on building up an emergency fund in your savings account.
Should You Use Cash Advance Apps for Gig Workers?
As you can see, this is a perfect time to be a rideshare driver or gig worker. If you work for a delivery service like Amazon, Lyft, or Doordash, there is no shortage of legitimate low-fee cash advance options for 1099 workers.
However, since these apps and the concept of giving gig workers cash advances are so new, we’re doing our due diligence to gather information and learn as much as possible about these personal finance apps with cash advance features.
It is great to see that there are becoming more options for gig workers so we can get more of the same advantages as W-2 employees.
Since these apps are free, there’s little reason to avoid simply signing up just in case you ever need a quick cash advance. Compare the benefits and drawbacks of each option to see which one works best for you.