Credit Builder Loans, Cash Advances, and More
Having good credit and enough money to pay your monthly bills are keys to being financially stable. If you’ve stumbled along the way – perhaps you’ve had poor credit in the past – there are many personal finance apps with tools designed to help you recover your footing and build a stronger financial future.
One such app is Brigit, which, according to its mission statement, aims to help users “build credit, spend wisely, avoid unfair fees, and start saving more.” In this Brigit Review, I’ll cover their various products and services, share some pros and cons, and let you know who Brigit is best suited for. I’ll also list some Brigit alternatives you may want to consider.
Table of Contents
What Is Brigit?
Brigit is a personal finance app with free and paid plans offering the following primary features:
- Cash advances up to $250
- Credit builder loans
- Real-time bank account monitoring
- Credit score monitoring
- Budgeting tools
The best reason to use Brigit is to access the instant cash advance and credit-building tools. However, to use these two features, you must be a Plus Plan subscriber ($9.99 per month).
The ideal Brigit customer is someone living paycheck to paycheck who wants to improve their credit score. You can start for free to improve your budgeting skills and see if you qualify for cash advances before you qualify.
The first step after creating your account is to link your primary checking account using the Plaid third-party app to protect your personal data. Brigit analyzes your account to estimate how the various tools can help.
There are two different monthly plans available. However, most people will need to upgrade to the premium plan to enjoy the app’s primary features.
The free plan costs precisely as it sounds – $0 per month.
Plan features include:
- Account alerts
- Budgeting tools
- Financial insights
- Side hustle recommendations
With this plan, you can receive low bank account balance alerts but you must manually deposit funds from another account to avoid over-drafting on an upcoming purchase.
The app can also predict upcoming expenses so you don’t forget bill due dates.
The Plus Plan costs $9.99 per month and include includes these features:
- Cash advances
- Credit builder loans
- ID theft insurance
You pay a flat fee and can access instant cash advances and a credit-enhancing loan. While the monthly fee stings, it can be cheaper than competing platforms.
Having both tools in one app is also convenient.
Brigit App Features
All users receive a Brigit Score which is an in-app credit score ranging from 0 to 100. A score of 100 is “perfect.” The score measures these metrics:
- Bank account health: Your average bank account balance, number of bank fees, and the age of your account:
- Earnings profile: Recurring deposits from the same provider and the average deposit amount
- Spending behavior: Bill payment history and a comparison of your average income to expenses.
It’s possible to have a lower score if you have a low income and high expenses even if you don’t use overdraft or forget to pay bills. The score can be a help you identify which areas to focus on first, and it’s a useful way to track your progress.
Instant Cash Advance
Subscribers to the Brigit Plus plan are eligible for up to $250 in cash advances. You must receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits and have a Brigit Score above 40 to qualify.
Your withdrawal capability depends on your Brigit Score and the size of your monthly direct deposits. The minimum advance amount is $50. You can receive your cash advance within 20 minutes in your linked bank account. Then, the app reconciles the balance on your next payday.
The app also offers an “Auto Advance” feature that automatically deposits cash into your checking account with a low balance to prevent overdraft fees. With the average overdraft fee of $35, the Brigit monthly fee is a substantial saving. If access to cash advances is your primary need, here are several other cash advance apps for you to consider.
Plus members also have access to a credit builder loan through the Credit Builder program. Brigit claims that users can increase their credit score by 60 points within the first six months, but individual results vary.
This loan reports your monthly payment to the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and doesn’t require a hard credit check.
When starting your loan request, the app analyzes your credit history to determine your loan repayment term (12 months or 24 months) to have the most positive effect.
While you can’t adjust the repayment period, you can select your monthly payment:
- 12 months: $1 to $50 per month
- 24 months: $1 to $25 per month
Contributing the monthly maximum means you can save up to $600. You receive your total contribution back after your final payment.
Unlike most credit builder programs, Brigit doesn’t withhold fees from your monthly payment, making it easier to save money while building credit.
Identity Theft Protection
Paid members can receive up to $1 million in identity theft reimbursement with a $0 deductible. If you become an identity theft victim, you can be eligible for lost wallet assistance and identity theft restoration.
The app also provides credit monitoring and credit score updates. While this feature isn’t available to free users, here are some other platforms that let you check your credit score for free.
The Finance Helper tools are available to all users and can help you track spending and receive reminders for upcoming expenses.
Other free budgeting apps are better for helping you make a spending plan. However, the Brigit Financial Helper is okay to monitor your account balance and get simple insights about what you spend your money on each month. In addition to the essential spend tracking tools, short articles can help you learn more about money.
Find Side Jobs
The app can also help you find full-time and part-time jobs to make extra money. You can find online opportunities, like paid surveys. Other openings can let you make money locally, like working for a delivery app. None of the promoted gigs are going to make you rich, but if you’re looking for ways to make a few extra bucks in your spare time, it’s worth checking out.
Brigit Pros and Cons
- Instant cash advances
- Credit builder loans
- Track spending
- Real-time account alerts
- No hidden fees
- Best features require a paid subscription
- No in-depth budgeting tools
- The free plan is primarily for expense tracking
These platforms can be a better fit if you want similar features for free or at a more affordable cost.
Cleo is a fun quirky personal finance app that offers similar services to Brigit. You have all the same budgeting, saving, and credit building services (including short term loans), plus an AI-powered assistant to help you manage it all.
The budgeting app can help you monitor your spending as well as answer questions like “can I afford to order take out tonight?” – the AI powered assistant can help you answer that.
If you need to borrow money, they even offer first time borrowers anywhere from $20 to $70 in a loan. Once you pay it back, future loans are bigger (up to $100).
Another key difference is that Cleo is free – there’s no paid and free tier. It’s all available to you.
Finally, Cleo also has a Credit Builder product that can help you establish and improve your credit.
Chime is a fintech company that offers these free services:
- Checking account
- High-yield savings account
- SpotMe overdraft protection
- Secured credit card
The Chime SpotMe feature can prevent overdrafts of up to $200 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. You’re eligible with at least $200 in monthly direct deposits.
You can use the secured credit card to build credit if you’re comfortable paying an upfront, refundable security deposit. Check our Chime Credit Builder review for all the details.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.
Albert offers free cash advances below $100 but can take up to three days to arrive. Instant advances between $100 and $250 cost $10 each. Other complimentary features include a banking account and a cash rewards debit card.
The premium Genius membership plan lets you access fee-free ATMs, advanced budgeting tools, an investment account, and access to experts for personalized financial advice. Find out more in our full Albert app review.
You can receive up to $250 in cash advances through Dave Banking without fees or interest. It’s also possible to pay a Dave Spending account with a free debit card and 32,000+ fee-free ATMs. Other features include bank account monitoring and the ability to find a side hustle. You only pay $1 per month and can leave optional tips.
Brigit App FAQs
You must meet the basic requirements to receive a Brigit cash advance:
– Enroll in the Plus plan ($9.99/month)
– Receive at least $1,000 in monthly direct deposits
– Have a banking account at least 60 days ol
– Maintain a sufficient cash cushion
Depending on your finances, you can withdraw between $50 and $250 at once.
Unlike some celebrity-endorsed pump-and-dump schemes, the app is legit, as you can get fee-free cash advances and build credit. However, it would help if you didn’t rely on cash advances for ongoing help to pay the bills.
Live chat is available from 11 am to 3 pm Eastern Monday-Thursday. An online FAQ library is also open for the most common questions.
Who Is the Brigit App Best For?
Brigit is a 100% legit credit builder app that’s even backed by some familiar names: Kevin Durant and Ashton Kutcher are celebrity investors. If you subscribe to the Plus plan and use the tools properly, you should be successful in improving your credit score over time. I also like the Brigit Score and the idea of being able to track your financial progress using one key measurement.
The problem I have with the app is the fact that you have to pay $9.99 per month to access the main features. Other apps, like Chime, let you build credit with a secured Visa card with no monthly or annual fees. It’s a cheaper and more convenient option. That said, Brigit can be worth using if you need regular cash advances and want a credit builder loan versus a credit card.