Cash App Borrow is an option to consider when you need a quick jolt of money to cover an immediate expense. Cash App users who meet the eligibility requirements can get a short-term loan of up to $200.
That said, the loan comes with interest rates, late fees and a range of consequences if you don’t pay it back. It can also ding your credit score, as Cash App will make a credit inquiry.
In this article, we’ll show you how to borrow money on Cash App and introduce alternative services that offer short-term solutions in case you’re ineligible.
How to Borrow Money From Cash App
Cash App makes using Cash App Borrow easy. You never have to leave the app to apply for and get a loan of between $20 to $200. However, the eligibility criteria is somewhat complicated and the cost of the loan can quickly balloon if you don’t have the means to pay it back during the loan period.
How to Unlock Cash App Borrow
If you qualify, you can unlock Cash App Borrow in just a few steps. Here’s what you need to do.
- Open Cash App.
- Go to the “Banking” section.
- Look for the word “Borrow.”
- Tap “Borrow.”
- Tap “Unlock.”
Once you’ve unlocked Borrow, you can see how much money you’re eligible for and finish the loan application process.
Cost and Repayment Terms
If you get a loan from Cash App, you have four weeks to pay it back (plus a 5% fee). That means you’d pay $210 for a $200 loan. You do get an additional week if you can’t repay the loan in the four-week term; after that, late fees apply.
You can repay your loan using one of three methods: autopay, manual pay, or by mail.
You can set up autopay in the app to make recurring payments over the course of the loan term, or you can make manual payments in the app as you see fit. If you choose to pay by mail, you can send your payment to the address on your statement.
Cash App begins charging a 1.25% late fee every week after five weeks. If you go too long without repaying the loan, you may suffer adittional consequences on top of these fees.
- Being enrolled in automatic payments.
- Being suspended from Cash App.
- Being banned from taking out future loans.
- Have late payments, missed payments or defaults reported to the credit bureaus (i.e., added to your credit report).
If you’re more than 90 days late, Cash App will simply confiscate any money you deposit into your Cash App account and pay down the loan until you’re in good standing again.
The eligibility criteria for Cash App Borrow is complicated and unclear. There are a number of points of consideration that aren’t well defined, such as how often you make deposits into your account.
That said, there are a handful of clearly-stated qualifiers.
First, you have to be 18 years old and only people living in certain states can get a loan.
Users in the following states can access Cash App Borrow:
The other factors Cash App uses to judge applicants are opaque. Your credit score can disqualify you, but Cash App doesn’t publish a minimum credit score. The company also considers how often you transfer money to and from others.
However, there are a few cut-and-dry requirements.
Reasons you may not be eligible include:
- Cash App Borrow isn’t available in your state.
- Your credit score isn’t good enough.
- You don’t have an activated Cash Card (the free debit card Cash App offers to users).
- You’re not at least 18 years old.
Cash App Borrow Alternatives
If Cash App Borrow isn’t an option for you, you can look to cash advance apps for help. These apps enable you to borrow against your next paycheck with low interest rates and fees compared to personal loans, payday loans and credit cards. The upper limits they set fall in line with Cash App Borrow (generally between $100 and $500).
The one you choose will depend on your situation. Some don’t require credit checks, giving people with a less-than-stellar credit history somewhere to go when they need a small jolt of fast cash.
On the other hand, one that requires a W2 or regular direct deposits into your account probably isn’t going to work for freelancers or gig workers.
These cash advance apps are among the best:
- Earnin maxes out at $500, but you have to earn it. At first, you start with a limit of $100 in borrowing power. This increases as your income history is established. Still, you’ll have to borrow in $100 increments. Earnin doesn’t charge fees or interest, nor does it require a minimum credit score. It can take up to three days to get your advance, though, unless you pay $3.99 for “Lightning Speed” (which deposits funds instantly). The service requires a banking history of at least two direct deposits.
- Empower provides people with bad credit an opportunity to get up to a $250 advance instantly. It doesn’t check your credit, charge interest on your advance or impose late fees. However, it does have some stiff requirements. You have to have three direct deposits from the same employer, at least $1,000 in wages per month, a minimum $100 balance in your bank account, and your account has to be at least 60 days old. Additionally, there’s an $8 per month subscription fee. Empower offers other services that can make a difference, though, such as its “Autosave” feature, which uses machine learning to find the best times to put money into a savings account automatically based on your spending history.
- Cleo offers instant payments of up to $100 without charging interest. While the app offers a maximum borrowing amount of $100, users with good credit scores are more likely to see that than those with scores just above the minimum credit score of 500. Since the app doesn’t require a direct deposit history, freelancers and business owners can make good use of it, as can younger people. In fact, the app targets youth with its branding, a “Credit Builder” card, and budget and saving tools. However, there is a $5.99 per month subscription fee.
- Dave tops out at $500 and differs from other services in that it won’t debit your account unless you have the money to pay it back. It doesn’t consider your credit score, either. Your advance can take up to three business days to get to you (unless you pay to get it faster). The pricing structure for instant transfers is a little complicated though, ranging from 99 cents to $6.99 in a Dave spending account or $2.99 to $11.99 in an external account. The service requires two identical direct deposits and a W2. You also have to pay a $1 per month subscription fee.
Learn more about these and other options in our list of the best cash advance apps.
Cash App Borrow FAQs
Cash App will make a credit inquiry when you submit a loan application or accept a loan, so using Cash App Borrow may affect your credit score.
Cash App may take a number of actions to correct a default on a loan, including enrolling you in automatic payments, suspending your ability to use Cash App’s features and disallowing you from taking out subsequent loans. Additionally, your loan may accrue overdue interest until it’s paid. If you’re in default for more than 90 days, Cash App may take any funds deposited into your account and use them to repay the debt until it is fully paid.
No, teenagers can’t borrow money from Cash App. The service offers a family account that allows those 13 and up to use many of its features, but Cash App Borrow is restricted to people 18 and over.
Cash App Borrow: Summary and Final Thoughts
Cash App Borrow can help in a pinch, if you’re in a state where it’s offered. Its short-term loans of $20 to $200 can be enough to bridge the gap when you need cash to help make it to your your next paycheck. It could keep you from turning to a payday loan or a credit card, both of which can cause debt to quickly spiral out of control (turning a bad situation into a nightmare).
Cash App Borrow comes with a 5% flat fee and a 1.25% late fee that’s applied weekly after five weeks until the debt is paid down. There are also additional risks of non-payment, including being suspended from Cash App.
There are alternatives if you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, or if you need more money than Cash App Borrow can offer. See our list of best cash advance apps for more options.