early direct deposit

Early direct deposit means you can get access to the money you already worked for up to two days faster than the typical process. We all work so that we can get paid to cover our bills and enjoy life a little. This is why it’s essential that you find a bank that offers early direct deposit so that you don’t have to wait to see your money arrive in your bank account.

These are the eight best banks that offer early direct deposit.

Bank NameBest Feature
EarnInEarly withdrawal
DaveExtra cash advance
SoFi BankSign up bonus
Citizens BankNo fee deposit products
CurrentImproves credit
WealthfrontInterest earned
LendingClub BankATM rebates

Banks that Offer Early Direct Deposit

1. Chime®

Chime bank checking

Get your paycheck up to two days faster than your co-workers when you set up direct deposits with a Chime® Checking Account. The online financial app has quadrupled its profits, thanks to its intuitive direct deposit system.

When you sign up for a Chime Checking Account, you also get access to Chime’s other services. For instance, with Chime SpotMe®, you can overdraft your account up to $200 without a penalty. No monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no foreign transaction fees. The current APY for saving money with chime is 2.00%.

Chime has also introduced a credit card to help you build your credit. The Chime Credit Builder allows you to connect your checking account to the credit card and build credit while spending. No credit checks and no security deposit are required.

Read Our Chime Review

2. Earnin

early direct deposit with earnin

The most unique of the early direct deposit platforms, Earnin offers users the ability to get their paycheck up to two days early AND the ability to cash out their paycheck well before payday.

For example, let’s say it’s Monday, five days before you’re normally paid. With EarnIn, you can earn up to $100 which you will be able to withdraw to a linked account. Same for Tuesday, same for Wednesday, etc. When your paycheck is received via direct deposit, you simply pay back the money you withdrew a few days early, fee-free. No interest is paid and it works just as easily as it sounds.

The maximum amount you can transfer early is up to $100 per day and up to $750 per pay period. EarnIn will ask you for a “tip” which is what they believe to be a fair cost for their services and you can choose to give them as much or as little as you’d like.

Earnin also has a Lightning Speed feature that provides instant transfers to your connected bank account, but that service does incur a fee and can take up to 30 minutes for the funds to hit your account.

Read our EarnIn Review

3. Dave

early direct deposit with dave

With Dave Spending, you’ll receive a digital Dave Debit Mastercard after opening an account that can be used with Apple Pay and Google Pay to make purchases online. Direct deposits will come in up to two days faster and you can also request a physical debit card to make purchases in person, anytime.

Dave Spending currently offers a 4.00% APY which is one of the higher returns on our list. You can round up your purchases so that the remainder goes right into savings Dave Rewards can provide up to 15% cash back when you shop using your Debit Mastercard at select merchants.

Dave also has an ExtraCash™ feature where you can take up to a $500 cash advance from your next paycheck. Dave determines the amount you’re eligible for and based on your next scheduled payday, schedules the money to be paid back. So long as you pay on time, there is no interest paid and no late fees accrued. Like EarnIn, a tip is suggested to help Dave pay the bills.

Read our Dave Review

4. SoFi Bank

SoFi Bank is best known for its student loan services but they’ve recently launched an online bank account that offers early direct deposit. Customers will be paid up to two days faster without worrying about any account fees or overdraft fees.

Right now, SoFi Bank is offering a bonus for customers who sign up and make at least a $1,000 deposit within the first 25 days. There are two possible bonuses, outlined below:

  • $50 bonus for a deposit between $1,000 and $4,999
  • $300 bonus for a deposit of at least $5,000

The current interest rate at SoFi Bank is 4.60% so not only do you stand to receive a nice deposit bonus, but you’ll also receive a strong interest rate on your everyday savings. The SoFi Bank debit card also offers up to 15% cash back at select local retailers.

Read our SoFi Bank Review

5. Citizens Bank

get paid early with direct deposit

With Citizens Paid Early™, you’ll be paid up to two days faster in your personal checking, savings, or money market account after you’ve set up direct deposit. Account holders will also receive their tax refunds faster when you request your tax return to be directly deposited.

Citizens Bank also offers a wide variety of credit card, savings, and CD products that offer some of the best cash back and everyday interest yields. Living in Connecticut, this is the bank I use and right now, I own a personal checking account, business checking account, credit card, and two short-term CDs.

All Citizens deposit banking products are fee-free (when a direct deposit is set up) and include overdraft protection at no additional cost.

6. Current

The Build Card from Current is a credit card that acts like a charge card and offers early direct deposit by being paid up to two days early. After you’ve connected a checking account, you can make purchases using the Build Card, and each month, you’re required to pay your balance off in full.

Current reports the account to TransUnion on a monthly basis and hopefully over a period of time, you’ll notice your credit report improve with good habits. The Build Card has fee-free overdraft protection and does not charge a monthly fee.

The current savings Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is 4.00% and that is good for up to $6,000 in total savings. When using the Build Card to make purchases, you’ll earn up to 7% cash back at select local retailers.

Read our Current Review

7. Wealthfront Cash Account

banks that pay early

The early deposit feature for the Wealthfront Cash Account ensures that your paychecks arrive up to 48 hours ahead of a typical direct deposit. You can get your early direct deposit because your paycheck may land in your bank account by 6:00 a.m. PST, up to two days before your typical payday. The timing of the direct deposit will ultimately depend on your payroll service at work.

If the direct deposit date is on a weekend or bank holiday, it will arrive in your bank account on the next business day. The rapid deposit allows you to earn more interest on your funds since the money’s in your account for longer.

You can open your Wealthfront Cash Account with as little as $1. The account comes with a free planning tool and tailored advice based on your needs and goals. Wealthfront will automate investments on your behalf, so you have one less thing to worry about.

You can use any of Wealthfront’s 19,000 free ATMs to access your paycheck and there are no ATM fees when you stay in network. You can also send mobile payments, make purchases with Google Pay and Apple Pay, and deposit checks on your phone. Best of all, the Wealthfront Cash Account has an APY of 5.00%.

Read our Wealthfront Cash Account Review

8. LendingClub Bank

early direct deposit with lendingclub

LendingClub Rewards Checking includes a few standout perks along with the ability to be paid up to two days faster when you set up direct deposit. The first is a cash-back debit card that offers unlimited 1% cash back on all qualified purchases.

Another great feature of owning a Lending Club Rewards Checking account is that there are no monthly fees, no overdraft or NSF fees and you will not be charged by LendingClub to use another bank ATM and you’ll receive a rebate if other ATMs charge you a fee.

LendingClub Bank also offers a variety of other deposit products including savings and certificates of deposit.

Read our LendingClub Bank Review

How We Came Up With This List of Early Deposit Banks

Many financial institutions offer early direct deposit but didn’t make our list. Such organizations include Andigo, Varo, and Insight. These banks range from traditional brick-and-mortar banks to digital ones. Our goal is to provide you with the best banks that offer early direct deposit and other distinct features you won’t find anywhere else.

The banks we selected center around innovation, convenience, and customer service. They are willing to challenge the status quo by providing better banking services to customers. It’s not a coincidence that many of our selections are digital banks.

Digital banks serve as the new frontier for banking. The low overhead costs of running an online organization mean that customers get a banking experience that connects with modern technology. Customers don’t have to wait in line for a teller or go to an ATM to make a deposit.

Related: Online vs. Traditional Banking: Which is Better?

Many digital banks offer more competitive rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. These institutions don’t have to pay for physical branch locations. As a byproduct, customers get higher APY and lower fees. Another byproduct of digital banking has been the increase in banks offering early direct deposits so that folks don’t have to wait to access the funds they worked for.

You’re more likely to find a digital bank with early direct deposit than a brick-and-mortar one. There are still a surprising number of global banks that don’t offer the service. They include but are not limited to, PNC, Chase Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Related: Best Online Banks (and Safest!)

Pros of Direct Deposit

Nacha performed a survey and found that speed was the number one reason people used direct deposit to get paid for work. Results showed that 53% of users prefer direct deposit for its immediacy, while 47% of people enjoy it because it’s free. Some of the other reasons that users use direct deposit include:

  • Safety
  • Convenience
  • Automation
  • No risk of losing a physical check
  • No holds

Direct deposit also saves you time. Once you link your bank account, you never have to drive to the bank and wait in line to deposit a check again. The automated process lets you spend more time on the important things in life. Early direct deposit is even more beneficial because you get access to your money before the typical payday.

Cons of Direct Deposit

The speedy and straightforward process does have some drawbacks. For instance, 4.5% of American households don’t have a primary bank account, which translates to 14.1 million individuals.

Hispanics and African Americans have disproportionately high levels of being unbanked, with each group hitting double digital rates. The common reason people don’t have bank accounts is a lack of money. Others don’t trust banks or have access to reliable financial institutions.

Some other drawbacks of direct deposits include:

  • Backdoor attacks from hackers
  • Denial-of-service attacks
  • Direct-access attacks
  • The fact that changing banks is a hassle

Direct deposit may leave you vulnerable to online attacks. Hackers can exploit databases that have bugs and don’t have authentication to access sensitive information. Make sure to use strong passwords and a password protector to mitigate your risk.

It’s worth noting that these risks are infinitesimally small. You have better odds of getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery than losing your direct deposit to hackers. The Social Security Administration proudly notes that it has successfully delivered every benefit check since accepting direct deposit in 1976.

Related: Is Online Banking Safe?

How Banks Process Your Paycheck Early

To understand how early deposit works, you must know how regular deposits work. While the process appears simple from the outside, it involves a series of intricate interactions between financial institutions. Here are the five core steps involved with getting the money from your employer in your bank account.

  • Set Up Direct Deposit – The chain of events starts with you. You let your employer know you want a direct deposit and provide them with information about your bank account. Many companies have direct deposit forms that they give new employees at orientation.
  • Send Payment Notice – Your employer will send a payroll notice to its bank before payday. Some people refer to the employer’s bank as the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI). The notice includes your information, such as your routing number and payment amount.
  • Forward Payment Information – When your employer’s bank receives the files, they forward them to an Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. ACHs enable bank-to-bank transfers between various financial institutions. They don’t make transfers individually. Instead, they process enormous batches of requests at once.
  • Forward Payment Information (Again) – ACHs organize the payment instructions. You don’t want your payment going to someone else’s bank account. They also process this second set of instructions in large batches.
  • Process Your Payment – Your bank now has the payment information and can process the payment. Getting to this step requires consistent communication between the banks and the ACH. The entire process takes one to three business days.

Early direct deposit follows the same steps. The difference is a tweak in the fifth step. Instead of processing your payment and depositing the check, it reverses the steps so you can access your funds sooner.

Your bank makes a gesture of good faith that the paycheck will be valid. The bank deposits the money to reward its customers before it finishes processing the payment. This action lets you access money faster than usual. A two-day early direct deposit can make a significant difference when you’re struggling between paychecks or when an emergency situation pops up.

Related: Options When You Can’t Open a Bank Account

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is early direct deposit right for you?

As long as you have a bank account, it’s an ideal way to receive payments from work or the government. Early direct deposits make your life easier since you don’t have to wait to access the money you already worked for. You get your money on payday without waiting for it to process. Some prominent financial institutions, like Navy Federal Credit Union, have already made it a standard part of their banking services.

Can I get a direct deposit on the weekend?

While you can always find exceptions to the rule, the answer is no — most banks only process payments during business days. If you want to get your direct deposit immediately, you must do it between Monday and Friday, assuming there isn’t a federal holiday between them. Early direct deposits are also impacted by weekends and bank holidays.

What’s the difference between a direct deposit and a wire transfer?

Direct deposits and wire transfers serve the same purpose. They get money from Point A to Point B. Both are forms of electronic money transfer that most banks and credit unions offer as a core service. The difference is that wire transfers typically cost money. The price varies between financial institutions, but you can expect to pay $15 to $50.

Many people use them as a one-time transfer instead of direct deposits or recurring payments. Wire transfers are much faster than your everyday direct deposit. Instead of going through the five-step process mentioned above, the transfer goes between banks. The straightforward process allows your money to arrive in a fraction of the time of other options.

Can direct deposits go into my savings account?

Yes. Direct deposits can go into checking or savings accounts. All you need to do is provide your employer with the proper bank account number. If you want to change your direct deposit location, give your company updated deposit information so that you don’t have any delays in your pay.

What are the alternatives to direct deposit?

The most obvious alternative is a cash or check, but you won’t likely get an early direct deposit this way. The odds are also that both of these options will soon disappear. According to the Times of India, 92% of money exists online, while some employers don’t allow employees to receive physical paychecks.

Another option is PayPal, an online payment platform with millions of users worldwide. It lets you buy, sell, and send money without disclosing your financial information. PayPal even enables you to access funds from a debit card or check.

The problem is that PayPal charges independent contractors for every transaction. Receivers must pay 2.9% and a 30-cent fee for each transfer. If you earn $50,000 per year after taxes, PayPal slashes that number to $48,550. You’re paying $1,450 to use PayPal, while direct deposits are free.

Western Union stands out as one of the world’s most well-known financial services providers. It opened in 1851 and moved more than $300 billion in 2018 alone. The company also operates in more than 200 countries and handles 130 currencies. It has the same drawbacks as PayPal. You have to pay for a service that many places offer for free. Western Union makes sense if you want superior speed than regular direct deposits.

Bottom Line

Signing up for an early direct deposit is a no-brainer. It’s a safe, convenient, and expedient way to get your paycheck earlier with almost no downside.

The real question is: Which one of the banks that offer early direct deposit will you choose?

You can’t go wrong with any of the options on our list if it’s a priority to get paid early with direct deposit. Each financial institution has unique products and services, so you can choose which meets your personal preferences the most.


  • Chris Muller

    Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. He's also built and run a digital marketing agency, focusing on content marketing, copywriting, and SEO, since 2016. You can connect with Chris on Twitter @moneymozartblog.