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Is the Earnin app legit or a scam? That’s the question. And in this review, I’m going to tackle that question head-on.
If you’re weighing your options for emergency funds or just would like to have the money today that you have worked hard for, you’re in the right place.
I will dissect the Earnin app and let you know the pros, cons, and if it makes sense.
Let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
What is Earnin?
Earnin is a company that was previously known as Activehours. It opened its doors in 2014, and the company runs an app that provides loans. Members can use their next paycheck as collateral to receive money on the day they need it.
It targets people who are struggling to make ends meet and whose checks cannot come fast enough. People who cannot wait until their employer pays them can use it to get the extra cash they need to resolve their emergencies.
Earnin deducts its money from your checking account once your employer deposits your salary. The company is an attractive alternative for people that would rather avoid conventional payday loans. It can also protect people from overdraft fees.
The app does not claim to provide immediate answers to the financial problems plaguing its users. It cannot eliminate debts nor overcome the economic woes haunting its members.
The app is merely a band-aid. One can use the app as a tool to solve small problems at the present while finding long-term solutions.
The amount it offers in loans is quite small, hardly sufficient for someone who requires a substantial sum to escape their financial problems. You cannot use an earnin app loan to buy a house or a car or settle your debts with a bank.
How Does the Earnin App Work?
To use the Earnin app, you must download it. It is available on iOS and Android.
It will take 72 hours or less for the company to activate your account once you create it. You will need to provide more information than just your personal information during the signup process.
You must also include your employer’s details. The app wants to know how you get paid.
It will also demand your bank information. Earnin deducts the money you owe directly from your account when your paycheck is direct deposited.
You must permit Earnin to connect their app to your account, which doesn’t take long. Earnin has already partnered with several major companies, including Uber and Starbucks. If your company isn’t a member of Earnin, you can add them.
This app does not accept remote workers, nor will it work for people who cannot set up direct deposits. It is compatible with salary and hourly employees.
Earnin has the power to track your time. It can do this by following your movements through your phone to ensure that you are at your workplace for the hours you claim.
You can also submit timesheets to the app.
A more seamless option involves integrating the app into your company’s time tracking and attendance system. Earnin already does this with entities like Uber and Brink.
Once the app is installed and configured, this is what you can expect:
1) Early access to your paycheck.
As mentioned above, Earnin provides the equivalent of payday loans.
If you cannot wait for your employer to pay you, the app will give you the money you need and then deduct it from your account once your paycheck arrives.
2) The app’s loans have no interest attached to them.
When you perform a transaction through Earnin, it encourages you to leave a tip as a show of appreciation for the services it has rendered.
But it doesn’t demand a particular amount. Earnin leaves this decision in your hands, though you cannot exceed $14 per transaction.
You should know that regular tips are beneficial. They enable you to access certain features.
3) Receive your money in mere minutes.
If your Earnin account has authorized use of a debit card, you can get your money in minutes with what the app calls them lightning speed payments.
Everyone else must wait one or two business days, depending on when they initiated a transaction. But if you have a debit card connected, your money is just a few minutes away.
4) One of the app’s most essential features is ‘Balance Shield.’
Once your account balance drops below $100, the Balance Shield feature allows Earnin to deposit $100. This feature will protect you from overdraft fees.
When it comes to tipping, Balance Shield will only protect you once if you don’t tip. It will remain in operation once you make tipping a regular habit.
How to Join Earnin
You can join the platform by visiting the Earnin website, and downloading their app. It is a relatively simple process, and it is free.
You can use Earnin on any Apple or Android device you have on hand. Before you create an account, the app will ask you to provide an email address, password, banking information, and employer details.
Every member must meet specific criteria before they can start using the app to its full potential:
1) Besides having an employer that makes direct deposits to your checking account, Earnin demands a consistent pay period.
You must also work at the same location regularly. Earnin will make exceptions for people that use online timesheets.
2) Your hourly rate must be a minimum of $4 an hour. That is after taxes and other deductions have been made.
The app does not consider other sources of income, such as unemployment and disability payments. Nor do they count commissions and tips.
The calculations they make are based on the amount a single employer deposits to your account regularly.
3) During your first pay cycle, the max loan amount is $100. The app will eventually raise that limit to $500 depending on your spending habits and the way you use Earnin.
4) You cannot start borrowing money from this app until your account has received two direct deposits that total a minimum of $100.
How to Make Money With Earnin?
The Earnin App targets people who need to borrow small amounts of money. But there are two additional ways in which it can financially benefit its members:
1) The app has a feature called Health Aid.
This feature helps to reduce the healthcare costs of its users. If you submit your medical bill to the app, it will direct you towards opportunities that you can use to save money.
The company relies on a community advocate to negotiate a lower bill and friendlier payment plans.
2) Earnin has entered into partnerships with several stores.
If you use the app to make purchases at any of those stores, you could earn a bonus cashback.
The Cash Back Rewards program offers earnings ranging from 1 percent to 10 percent of the money you spent on your purchase.
This feature is attractive because Earnin has partnered with thousands of stores. As such, you have plenty of opportunities to earn cashback.
Is The Earnin App Legit?
Earnin doesn’t have any reviews on Trustpilot.com. But it is a legitimate business entity.
Better Business Bureau
The company is accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2019, with an A rating, which is encouraging.
Because this is an app, anyone looking for customer opinions on Earnin’s services should check Google Play and the Apple Store. The reviews on either platform are overwhelmingly positive.
You typically don’t get such positive feedback from unreliable or fraudulent companies. One of the app’s most notable attractions is the fact that it is free.
It doesn’t have any hidden fees, and even though it demands bank account information, there is no evidence to suggest that it has ever used that information to defraud its customers.
Admittedly, the privacy consideration is difficult to ignore. Earnin demands quite a bit of information.
Some users are required to share their GPS location. However, Earnin goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of its customers.
It does not sell or share the data that members volunteer with third-party entities. It also uses 256-bit encryption to keep hackers at bay. There is no reason to presume that the app poses a security threat to its clients.
Earnin isn’t suitable for everyone. It is better than a payday loan because it is not as destructive.
You can attribute this to the fact that users don’t pay interest on their loans. On the other hand, the Earnin app will only appeal to people who already use payday loans. It is also suitable for people that live from paycheck to paycheck.
It won’t benefit anyone that is looking to experience significant financial growth. The loans it offers are far too small.
It is best to use the Earnin App as a last resort when you need small amounts of money to resolve an immediate issue. When used in those situations, the app exceeds expectations.
But it isn’t the financial panacea that some people presume it is. Also, the service isn’t available to remote workers and freelancers.
Does Earnin Call Your Employer?
The company does not contact your employer and has no interest in directly engaging with your company because the app doesn’t receive money from your employer.
They wait for your salary to be direct deposited into your account. Then the amount you borrowed along with any tip you have chosen to offer is deducted. This process happens automatically.
The Earnin App is not a scam. It is a legit platform. The key is to use the app for emergencies and avoid making a habit out of getting advances from Earnin.
The beautiful thing about the app is that it is free to use with no fees. You can also get the funds in your account very quickly when you need them.
Keep in mind that the app isn’t appropriate for everybody, and you will need to meet the criteria I mentioned above. For the most part, the app has a excellent reputation with many positive users who can attest that it can help when in a jam.