You need money. You don’t need enough to justify a bank loan, but you need more than you can get via most cash advance apps. You know that payday loans are a terrible option.
This is where fintech peer-to-peer (P2P) apps like Cash App come in handy. Like PayPal and Venmo, Cash App allows people to send money to each other. Cash App doesn’t just let you request/accept money from other people, though. In 2020, Cash App started allowing people to borrow money from the app itself.
Cash App Borrow Loans Small Amounts of Money
Cash App Borrow is a loan product offered by Block (formerly known as Square) via the company’s Cash App platform. Loans can range from $20 to$200. Access to this product is still being rolled out — and only to users who meet the company’s borrowing criteria.
Cash App’s loans were created to offer customers a short-term solution for small financial emergencies. The loans are capped at $200. If you need more than this or you need a longer repayment period, you’ll need to look into other funding options.
How Much Does a Cash App Borrow Loan Cost?
Cash App loans come with the following fees:
- 5% flat fee, due immediately (so you’ll pay $10 to borrow $200)
- 1.25% interest rate charged every week after the grace periods are over.
Cash App tells you that you need to pay your loan off within four weeks. They do, however, offer a one-week grace period. This gives you a total of five weeks to pay back the loan before any interest is charged. If you still have a balance due after those five weeks is up, interest will be charged. That interest fee will be charged to you every week until you have paid off your loan (and all accrued interest charges) in full.
It sounds pretty cheap, but if you do the math, the flat fee alone means you’re paying at least a 60% APR. That’s high, but it is nowhere near the exorbitant rate charged by title loan companies, tribal loans, and payday lenders. Those loans can come with rates over 300%, and some of those loans may not even be legal.
Obviously, short-term loans can be very expensive. While the loan offered by Cash App might cost less than payday or title loans, they may also cost more than advances you’d get from apps like Dave or Chime’s SpotMe service. If you cannot afford to pay your Cash App loan back in time, you might be better off considering a personal loan or a credit card cash advance.
How to Borrow Money from Cash App
Cash App’s “Borrow” option isn’t yet available to everyone who uses the app. To find out whether or not you qualify, follow these steps:
- Open your Cash App
- Click on your Cash App balance. (You can find this in the lower left corner. If you don’t have money in your Cash App account, you’ll see an icon that looks kind of like a house.) This will take you to the Banking section.
- In “Banking”, look for “Borrow up to …” (indicated with a blue arrow). If this isn’t listed, you don’t yet have access to this service.
If you do have access to the loan service, follow these steps:
- Click “Unlock”.
- Find out your borrowing limit (Cash App offers loans from $20 to $200)
- Decide how much of your limit you want to borrow
- Read the agreement and if you choose to go through with the loan…
- Click “Accept”
Once the money is in your account, you can leave it in your Cash App account, or you can transfer it out — either to another person or to a linked bank account.
I Can’t Borrow Money On Cash App — What’s Wrong?
There are a number of reasons that you may not yet be able to borrow money from Cash App. For one thing, the roll out of the loans program is still happening. Not all customers have access to it yet. Other reasons you may not yet be eligible include:
- Your account has a negative balance, indicating that you already owe money to Cash App.
- You haven’t yet become a verified Cash App user
- You’re using an older version of the app (check for updates)
- Cash App has detected suspicious activity on your account
- You have already somehow violated Cash App’s terms and conditions
Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, you should ask yourself whether this loan is something you really need. There are other ways to obtain funding— methods that won’t cost you 60% APR, and that have longer repayment periods.
How Does Cash App Work, and Is It Safe?
Cash App is a P2P payment app (use these links to download it for iOS and Android systems) that allows people to transfer money to one another via their mobile devices. It was created by Block (formerly Square) and launched in 2013. Originally it was intended to compete with other P2P platforms like Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, etc. In addition to allowing users to transfer “cash” to each other, Cash App also allows users to buy Bitcoin and file their taxes via its Cash App Taxes service.
Cash App focuses its efforts on communities that are underbanked or even unbanked. It also targets borrowers who have bad credit. More than half of Cash App’s users have credit scores under 600.
As far as safety is concerned, here is what the Cash App website says about that:
“Cash App uses cutting-edge encryption and fraud detection technology to make sure your data and money is secure.
Any information you submit is encrypted and sent to our servers securely, regardless of whether you’re using a public or private Wi-Fi connection or data service (3G, 4G, or EDGE).
Cash App uses the same fraud detection infrastructure and safety standards that monitor millions of daily Square Point of Sale transactions.
Cash is also PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Level 1 compliant. Learn more about security at Square.”
In addition to letting (some) users borrow money, Cash App also offers the following perks:
- Cash App Card: A debit card that is connected to your Cash App balance. You can use it anywhere that Visa is accepted. You can also design it yourself.
- Direct Deposit: Cash App assigns routing and account numbers to users’ accounts, which allows them to accept paycheck deposits, tax returns, etc. The company allows users to receive up to $25K per deposit and up to $50K within a 24-hour period.
- Immediate Access: As soon as a direct deposit is received, that money is available to Cash App users.
- ATM Access: If you have at least $300 directly deposited into your Cash App account every month, you can use your Cash Card to get money out of any ATM. There is, however, a $2 fee attached to each ATM withdrawal.
- Cash Boost: A “cash back” service that allows you to save money when you use your Cash Card to pay for purchases at participating coffee shops, restaurants, retail stores, etc.
Does Cash App Check Credit History?
Cash App does run a credit check when you sign up for their service. They do this for a few reasons, including verifying your identity, deciding whether or not you can borrow money from them, etc. Here’s what their terms of service say:
You authorize Bank to obtain your credit reports from one or more credit reporting agencies for any purpose permitted by applicable law, including: (i) to authenticate Your identity; (ii) to make loan decisions; (iii) to service Your loan; (iv) to send You future marketing information; and/or (v) for internal analytics and credit modeling purposes. You understand that initially submitting personal information will not affect Your credit score, however, submitting a loan application or accepting a loan may result in an inquiry on Your credit report that may affect Your credit score.
Bank may report information about Your account to credit bureaus. Late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on Your account may be reflected in Your credit report.
If You believe that inaccurate information has been reported about Your loan to a credit bureau or other consumer reporting agency, please send notification to the following address and when You write, please identify the specific information that You believe is incorrect and why You believe it is incorrect.
Cash App’s Downsides
Cash App is great for a lot of reasons, but it has some downsides, too. The biggest downside is that, unlike traditional banks, the balance you keep in your Cash App account is not insured by the FDIC. This means that, if something goes wrong during your purchase or someone hacks into your account, there is no guarantee you’ll recoup your funds.
Non-FDIC-insured account holders are also at greater risk of being targeted by scam artists. These scam artists will try to sell you goods (that are usually quite expensive) but won’t allow you to pay for those goods with anything other than Cash App.
If a seller is reputable, they’ll accept payment via a variety of sources: cash, bank transfers, debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, etc. They will want you to make your purchase using an account that has buyer protections. Do not pay for any online purchase using a payment method that does not offer buyer protection. If you aren’t sure, don’t go through with the deal.
If you think someone is trying to scam you, do not complete your purchase. Cancel the transaction. If you think someone has succeeded in scamming you, report them to your local law enforcement agencies.
Check out this video to learn more about Cash App Borrow.
Other Ways to Borrow Money
Obviously, Cash App isn’t the only source you can use when you need funding. Here are some other options that are available to you:
Other P2P Apps:
- Lending Club
If you have good credit, you can try using a credit card cash advance. Here are some good credit card options:
- PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
- DCU Visa Platinum Rewards Credit Card
- PNC Premier Traveler Signature Credit Card
- Simmons Bank Visa
READ MORE: Using credit cards to consolidate debt
These lenders offer personal loans geared toward borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs
- Discover Personal Loan
- First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
Also, consider asking family and friends for help — you can even draw up a contract — or ask a stranger on Reddit to help. Reddit’s r:borrow subreddit matches borrowers and lenders willing to spot small loans for a set period of time at a predetermined interest rate.
The Bottom Line
If you need funding fast and are in good standing with Cash App and Block, a Cash App Borrow loan may be a good option. It’s more expensive than other cash-advance apps, sure, but it is also much cheaper than payday lenders and title loans. It also has some of the most forgiving repayment terms you’ll find.
Cash App is a stand-alone fintech platform that allows users to send, receive, and store funds. A Cash Advance App links to an already existing account and, based on your banking history, loans you small amounts of money to help cover expenses between deposits.
You can contact Cash App’s customer service via the app, snail mail, over the phone (1-800-969-1940), and through the company’s various social media accounts. Use this link to find Cash App Customer Service Contact Info.
13–17-year-olds can use Cash App with a parent or legal guardian’s consent. People 18 and over don’t need a co-signer or permission.
Cash App Borrow is a loan product offered by Block (formerly known as Square) via the company’s Cash App platform. Loans can range from $20-$200. Access to this product is still being rolled out—and only to users who meet the company’s borrowing criteria.