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New Study: Earned Wage Access Puts Consumers in Control of Finances, and Life

September 30, 2021

A prevailing 92% of consumers given Earned Wage Access (EWA), a service that allows you to get paid as you earn, reported it helped them to pay bills on time, avoid overdraft fees and payday loans, and become less dependent on credit cards – empowering them to achieve at least one of their financial goals in 2020. According to a new survey from FTI Consulting, consumers experienced less-stress and increased financial & emotional health with the help of EWA.

The research study, conducted by Earnin with multiple industry partners, concluded that breaking the traditional two-week pay cycle gives workers the tools they need to manage their finances, and found that without EWA, 44% of users would otherwise consider not paying certain bills and more than one-third of consumers would deliberately overdraft or use a payday loan.

“Financial empowerment and building a more equitable financial system starts with ending the traditional paycheck cycle,” said Ram Palaniappan, Founder and CEO of Earnin, an EWA provider focused on building products for a more equitable financial system.

“This data confirms what we hear everyday from our users: giving people access to their paycheck helps them pay bills on time and avoid overdraft fees, payday loans, and reduce reliance on credit cards."

The study of 4,735 earned wage access customers aims to understand how consumers use and benefit financially from Direct to Consumer (D2C) Earned Wage Access services that provide people access to their income soon after they earn it.

Overall, the study found that by receiving access to their wages through EWA services, consumers felt more in control of their finances and experienced better financial well-being. The majority (roughly 88% of respondents) believe that having access to their wages as they earned them during the pandemic was essential to their financial well-being.

Additional key findings include:

1. Ninety-two percent (92%) of EWA consumers felt that the service helped them to achieve at least one of their financial goals in 2020, which were to pay bills on time, avoid overdraft fees and payday loans, and become less dependent on credit cards.

2. An overwhelming majority of consumers (91%) said they understand how the EWA service works and understand the associated fees (89%).

3. A strong majority of EWA users reported a boost in their overall well-being after using the service. Eight in 10 reported feeling less stressed about their financial situation (82%), having higher self-esteem (81%) and an improvement in their mental health (77%).

4. Without access to an EWA service, 44% would consider not paying certain bills on time, 38% would consider going into overdraft and 35% would consider using a payday loan.

5. The majority of respondents (60%) reported that they do not have tools from their employer to better control their finances.

When it comes to better understanding EWA users, the study found that half are non-white and the majority are Millennials aged between 25-40. The average annual household income of users is $50,700 and more than half have some level of college education. The majority of respondents use EWA every two weeks and access an average of $100-$149 in order to pay bills on time (61%), avoid overdraft fees (52%) and buy groceries (52%).

For more information on this study and its findings, check out the full story here.


This research was conducted online by FTI Consulting’s Digital & Insights team, on behalf of Brigit, MoneyLion & Earnin.

1Earnin does not charge hidden fees for use of its services. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more info visit earnin.com/TOS.

2Disclaimer: Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more information visit Earnin.com/TOS.

3Disclaimer: Up to 2 days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer's payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

4Source: Internal analysis conducted by Earnin on December 10, 2020.

1Restrictions on use of Services and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

2Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more information visit Earnin.com/TOS.

3Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% APY and $0 monthly fee service. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

1Fees may apply to use Lightning Speed. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see  Earnin.com/TOS for details.

2Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

3Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and your daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

4Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and are insured by the FDIC up to the standard maximum deposit insurance amount per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, and per ownership category. Tip Yourself is a 0% Annual Percentage Yield and $0 monthly fee service. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more information/details visit earnin.com/tos.

5Up to two days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer’s payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

6Your Max on Earnin Express is up to 80% of your payroll or $1000, whichever is less. The 80% is dependent on you routing your full paycheck to Earnin Express. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

7Learn how we collect and use your information by visiting our Privacy Policy.

1Disclaimer: Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection.

2Disclaimer: Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details

3Disclaimer: Community Member must have had at least 1 successful debit with Earnin. Limit to 1 Max Boost per pay period. A boost will not adjust a Community member's daily max. Restrictions may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details

*Disclaimer: Balance Shield Cash Out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max.Other restrictions and/or thirdparty fees may apply. For more information visit Earnin.com/TOS

1Restrictions may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details. Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% Annual Percentage Yield and $0 monthly fee service. Your Tip Yourself Account and any Tip Jars are not Savings Accounts. For more information/details visit Earnin.com/TOS

2Disclaimer: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or DC. Games begin each Sunday starting 12/6/20 at 9:01 p.m. ET and end the following Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET with the last Game ending 12/19/21. To download the App, view the Official Rules, odds disclosures, prize details, and alternate means of entry, visit https://www.Earnin.com/wewin/game-rules/. Void where prohibited. $10,000,000 grand prize payable over 29 years. Sponsor: Activehours, Inc. (d/b/a Earnin), 200 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

3Disclaimer: Restrictions Apply. See Earnin.com/wewin/pool-rules/ for more information

*Disclaimer: Up to 2 days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer's payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

**Disclaimer: Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection.

*Survey conducted in February 2020 with 889 participants.

7Learn how we collect and use your information by visiting our Privacy Policy.

1. Earnin does not charge hidden fees for use of its services. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more info visit earnin.com/TOS.

1. Disclaimer: Earnin does not charge hidden fees for use of its services. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more info visit earnin.com/TOS.
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