Need Money Now? This Free App Pays You for the Hours You Worked Today

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Waiting around for payday isn’t the most pleasant experience, especially when you’re strapped for cash.

You’ve already put 40 hours in last week — plus some overtime. Why can’t you go ahead and get paid? Why wait another week? While you’re waiting without pay, you might risk late payments, late fees, overdraft fees and high credit card interest rates. And let’s pray there’s not an emergency.

So you don’t have a ton of options when you’re stuck in this paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. But you’re not totally out of luck.

A free app called Earnin allows you to get access to your paycheck anytime you want — without waiting for payday.

How to Get Paid Before Payday (Without a Payday Loan)

When you’re frantic for funds and have a week before direct deposit hits, you’ve got a few options that might help you get through.

In desperation, many Americans take out a payday loan — about 12 million of us in 2010, according to the Pew Charitable Trust. However, that’s a quick fix, and those high-interest loans leave many stuck in a downward spiral.

Another option is to find ways to make extra money, but that proves difficult if you’re already overworked — at home and work.

A better option is Earnin, which will pay you for the hours you’ve worked that day — not at the end of a paycheck cycle. Say you clocked five hours today. Whether you’re an hourly, contract or salaried worker, you can log into Earnin and get paid for those five hours.

Because Earnin doesn’t want you to overdraft, you can take out up to $100 per day or $500 per pay period.

The service doesn’t charge a fee — or crippling interest rates. Earnin simply asks you to pay what you think is fair.

Earnin calculates in your taxes and deductions ahead of time. So if you make, say, $10 an hour, your pay through Earnin won’t be exactly $50 for that five-hour shift, but a bit lower. That way, once payday rolls around, it will have already accounted for those deductions so you’re not left in the red.

Earnin App: Make Every Day Payday

Caution: We don’t recommend using Earnin as a crutch. Think of it more as a temporary brace to help you to get to next month and position yourself to get ahead.

With that said, it’s proved helpful to thousands of folks from big-name companies including Apple, Bank of America, Starbucks, Target and Whole Foods.

To use Earnin, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. You should:

  • Receive direct deposits from your employer into your checking account.
  • Have a regular pay schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly).
  • Work at a fixed location or use an online timekeeping system at work. This helps Earnin confirm that you are, indeed, working.

If you qualify, download the app, available for iOS and Android.

Then, you’ll create a username and password, as well as a touch ID and a four-digit PIN.

Because you’re giving Earnin access to a lot of personal information, note the app has strict security measures, like 256-bit encryption. It’s the same level of security — if not more secure than — what your online bank uses.

Once you finish signing up, it’ll take one to two days for Earnin to confirm all your information, then you’re good to go.

So if you’re in a crunch this month and want to go ahead and get paid for the hours you’ve already put in, Earnin can be the perfect temporary fix.

But remember, we want you to break this paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, too!

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.