What is the Purpose of a Cash Advance?

What is the Purpose of a Cash Advance
Fiona Staff3/9/2022

There are many ways consumers can borrow funds. Most commonly, you are borrowing money every time you swipe your credit card, which then increases your account balance. In a more traditional sense, a personal loan allows you to borrow a lump sum of cash and pay the debt back through monthly installments.

However, different needs call for different financial solutions. What if you need quick cash, but don’t want to add to your existing credit card debt? Personal loans come with fixed interest rates, but still require an approval process with no guarantee of funding. 

There are several instances where people need quick access to a moderate amount of cash, while not disrupting their monthly budget or existing debts. That’s where a cash advance comes in handy. 

What is a Cash Advance? 

While there are varying options available to consumers, a cash advance is essentially a short-term loan that can be used for any purpose. Cash advances are typically available through banks, but are also a service offered by credit card issuers via ATM withdrawal or check. More recently, alternative lenders have gotten into the cash advance space, offering digital services accessible on personal finance apps. 

Looking for quick cash? MoneyLion’s Instacash lets you borrow up to $250 with no interest, plus no upfront fees when using a MoneyLion account. TRY INSTACASH

The main advantages of most cash advance products are speed and accessibility. If approved, borrowers can often get funds the same day. And unlike most credit cards and personal loans, a cash advance typically doesn’t involve a rigorous credit check. Most cash advance providers only require that users have linked checking accounts that receive regular deposits, as a means to pay back the borrowed amount. 

Is Cash Advance Free to Use? 

In most cases, cash advance products will come with applicable rates and fees. With credit card cash advances, for example, the APR can be even higher than the rate charged for purchases or balance transfers. There are also several potential fees with credit cards, which can be charged on every advance (3% or 5% of the amount borrowed) or for ATM use with a different bank provider. 

Another common type of cash advance is a payday loan. While payday loans often let you borrow as much as $1,000, they also come with steep fees (roughly $15 for every $100 borrowed) and interest rates (in excess of 100%). Also, unlike a credit card or personal loan, which typically revolve around a monthly payment schedule, payday loans (as the name implies) are due on the borrower’s next payday.

While payday lenders allow borrowers to roll over their balance, doing so typically comes with more interest charges. So, while cash advances are quick and don’t require a credit approval process, they still charge fees and interest rates that could make the process of borrowing money less than ideal. 

Get an interest-free advance with Instacash

Luckily, there is a cash advance solution that doesn’t come with burdensome rates and fees. MoneyLion’s Instacash is a fast, secure, and easily accessible cash advance offering through the MoneyLion app. 

How does Instacash work? By downloading the MoneyLion app and creating an account, you can access the Instacash feature and simply request an amount up to $250. Applying and qualifying for Instacash is easy, as it only requires you to link a primary checking account, which: 

  • Has been active for at least two months

  • Has a positive balance

  • Has proof of recent income deposits. 

After receiving an Instacash advance, MoneyLion will withdraw what you borrowed from your selected account roughly two weeks later. There are also options for turbo delivery, whether you want to receive funds in your MoneyLion or external bank account, which include small fees.

However, if you choose Instacash’s standard delivery option (and receive your funds in a MoneyLion account) you will pay no upfront fees, on top of 0% APR available to all users. 

Bottom Line

Instant access to cash is great, but even better when it comes without hefty rates and fees. Thanks to MoneyLion’s Instacash, consumers have access to a cash advance product that is not only easy to sign up for and receive, but also doesn’t include the added costs that make other borrowing options hard to stomach.

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