Branch Application Review: A Short-Term Loan Alternative

What you need to know about the Branch app

If you are facing a financial emergency and need money before receiving your next salary, the Branch app may be a good option to explore instead of a short-term loan. Affiliates give you early access to part of the paycheck if you are eligible to use Pay. And instead of paying interest or fees, you can tip for the service.

If you're thinking about using Branch, here are some things to keep in mind.
"Instant" option - for a feeYou can get money quickly with the Affiliate app if you're willing to pay for faster access. Affiliates charge between $2.99 and $4.99 for an instant advance to your connected bank or debit card, depending on how much you transfer.
But you can always choose a standard advance - no fees - and Branch says you can get your money within three business days.
Limited advance amountWhile the Affiliate app can give you early access to your paycheck, you're limited to how much you can advance. So if you have an expensive emergency - such as costly car repairs - you may want to look for another option, such as a traditional personal loan.

No interest charge

With short-term loans, you can expect a high APR, which can typically be as high as 400%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In contrast, standard paycheck advance payments through the Branch app do not have any interest fees. Instead, you can leave a tip in exchange for the service.

Not available for remote employees

The Branch app is only available to people working in traditional workplaces. Remote employees are not eligible to use Pay. And if you work in the traditional workplace, you'll also need to meet some other requirements to qualify. There's a little bit here.
Two consecutive months of depositing money directly into a supported bank cheque accountA debit card that matches your supported checking accountRecent spending activity that The Branch does not think is "high"
Take a closer look at the Branch app

Here are some things you should know about the Branch app.
iOS and Android compatible - You can download the Branch app through Apple's iOS App Store or the Google Play Store if you're an Android user.Security - Paycheck advances are confidential, so you don't have to worry about your employer knowing about your advance requirements.Refund the advance - The branch will automatically withdraw the advance amount from your checking account on your next scheduled payday. If your billing date is scheduled on a different date, contact the Branch to reschedule it to avoid overdraft fees from your bank.

Should I receive a salary advance from the Branch?

A salary advance from a Branch can be a good idea if you are an on-site, hourly worker facing a financial emergency, and you have no other way to cover the costs. Using the Branch app may be less expensive than borrowing on payday, so this may be a better decision to help you overcome your short-term crisis.

However, borrowing based on your future salaries can be risky behavior and it can cause you to overdraft your bank account or even lead to debt. So if you find yourself constantly using the Branch app to receive a salary advance, you should reconsider your finance and create a budget to determine the root cause of the problem.

You may also want to consider another option, such as an alternative loan pending payday, offered by some federal credit unions.
How to register with affiliatesTo apply for a salary advance from a Branch, you must first download the Branch app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store to your smartphone. The app will give you some reminders to create an account. You'll have to search for and add your work location as part of the process.

Account verification can take up to 24 hours to complete. Once your bank account has been verified and your account is activated, you can request your first salary advance. Keep in mind the eligibility requirements listed above.More about this source textSource text required for additional translation information.

Not sure if the Branch app is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

Make money: If your bank isn't supported by the Branch app, you can get early access to part of your salary using the Earnin app. Earnin also requires optional tips in exchange for its services.Dave: If you need help with your budget, the Dave app will alert you that you're at risk of overdrafting your bank account. You can also apply up to $100 in advance without paying interest. Keep in mind that you'll have to pay a $1 membership fee per month.