Cash advance apps

Varo Cash Advance 2024 Review

Varo’s cash advance may be useful for Varo bank customers who need cash fast and want more than two weeks to pay it back.
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Written by Annie Millerbernd
Assistant Assigning Editor
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Edited by Kim Lowe
Lead Assigning Editor
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Varo Cash Advance
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Varo cash advances are a fast-cash option for Varo bank customers who need a small advance before payday. Unlike most cash advance apps, Varo allows borrowers to choose their own repayment date, which can be up to 30 days after borrowing.

Varo also doesn’t ask for an optional tip, which is a common request from other apps, and instead charges a single flat fee per advance. The fee is high compared with other apps, charging up to $40 for a $500 advance, so it’s worth your time to compare other apps in search of a more affordable advance.


No option to tip.

Up to 30 days to repay.

Funding is instant.

Saving and credit-building tools.


Fees are mandatory, and high compared to some other apps.

Must have a Varo bank account.

Users cannot change repayment date.

Repayment may cause users to overdraw their Varo accounts.

Varo cash advance basics: Amounts, fees and funding time

How much can I borrow from Varo?

  • $20 to $500.

What fees does Varo charge?

  • Advance fee: $1.60 to $40.

How do you repay Varo?

  • Payment is due between 15 and 30 days after borrowing. Borrowers can choose from a list of available repayment dates when they borrow.

How long does it take to get a cash advance from Varo?

  • Instant.

A word of caution: Users of cash advance apps, including Varo, may risk becoming dependent on loans to cover regular expenses — a cycle of debt that’s difficult to break. It’s a good idea to consider affordable alternatives before getting an advance from Varo.

Who Varo cash advance is best for

  • Varo bank account holders who are paid by direct deposit.

  • Those who need to cover an emergency expense.

  • Consumers with a plan to repay the advance, plus the fee, and cover other expenses.

  • Borrowers who don't regularly spend more than they earn.

  • Those who can't find a loan or advance with a lower fee.

What you need for a Varo cash advance

Like most other cash advance apps, Varo doesn’t do a soft or hard credit check to determine eligibility, but borrowers must have a Varo bank account. The app reviews Varo customers’ accounts, including any checking, savings and secured credit card accounts, to determine eligibility.

Here’s what the app says is required to be eligible for an advance:

  • Qualifying direct deposits of at least $800 during the current or previous month. Qualifying deposits may include income from employment, pension or government benefits. Tax refunds, government stimulus payments and payments via peer-to-peer money transfer services like Venmo don’t qualify.

  • A Varo bank account that isn’t negative, suspended or closed.

  • No previous late or missed advance payments.

  • If applicable, no missed payments on the Varo secured credit card.

The company says it reviews information like whether the user maintains a positive bank account balance, and whether they pay bills on time, to determine the advance amount.

How to get a Varo cash advance: Step-by-step instructions

  1. When a Varo customer requests an advance, the app asks them to confirm their name and address and input their monthly income and employment status. 

  2. Users are shown how much they’re eligible to borrow. At first, the amount will be between $20 and $250. The user will confirm the advance amount and the advance fee (between $1.60 and $20) and choose a repayment date.

  3. The advance is deposited into the user’s Varo bank account immediately.

  4. On the repayment date, Varo withdraws funds from the account where the advance was deposited. If there are insufficient funds at the time of withdrawal, Varo will overdraw the account and the user won’t be eligible for another advance until the balance is positive again.

  5. Users may be able to increase their eligible advance amount to $500 over time by borrowing and repaying advances on time and keeping other accounts in good standing.

Frequently asked questions about Varo cash advance

Can I change my Varo advance repayment date?

No. When a user gets an advance, the app prompts them to choose a repayment date within 15 to 30 days. Once the date is chosen, it can’t be changed.

Will Varo’s cash advance cause an overdraft fee?

No. If there aren’t sufficient funds in your bank account at the time of repayment, the bank will overdraw your Varo bank account. However, Varo doesn’t charge overdraft fees, so an overdrawn account won’t cost extra.

How do I contact Varo’s customer service?

Most customers are asked to reach out to Varo via an online form. The bank has a phone number for customers, but that channel is only for a few specific issues, according to the website.

Is the Varo app legit?

Varo Bank is based in San Francisco and has offered cash advances since 2020. The app offers several other products, including checking and savings accounts, a secured credit card and free tax-filing services. The app has 4.7 stars across more than 200,000 reviews on Google Play and 4.9 stars across more than 188,000 ratings on the Apple App Store.

Recent customer complaints with the Better Business Bureau focus on unexplained account closures and difficult-to-reach customer service representatives.

A closer look at Varo's star rating

Affordability: 3.0/4 stars

An affordable cash advance has low or no fees, caps tips and protects users from overdraft fees caused by the app’s withdrawals.

Structure: 3.0/4 stars

A well-structured app has a large enough maximum borrowing amount to meet users’ needs, can provide funds quickly without charging a fee and allows users repayment flexibility.

Transparency: 4.0/4 stars

A transparent cash advance app notifies users before withdrawals, discloses fees clearly to borrowers on their website or in the app and shows the total amount the user needs to repay before providing funds.

Underwriting and consumer protections: 2.5/4 stars

This category assesses how well an app helps borrowers avoid borrowing an advance that will overextend their finances. A consumer-first cash advance app reviews more than a couple months of borrowers’ expenses, requires regular bank account deposits and lets borrowers choose how much to borrow.

Customer experience: 2.5/4 stars

A well-rated cash advance app with multiple ways to contact customer service representatives and a thorough FAQ on its website will do well in this category.

Discretionary additions or deductions

Cash advance apps can earn a higher star rating by offering features that help borrowers build savings or credit. Apps’ star ratings are lowered if they are accused of engaging in deceptive or predatory practices by reputable sources.

Expert take on Varo cash advances

"Varo's cash advance is a reasonably good deal for current Varo customers. A $500 maximum advance is competitive, and instant funding is hard to find — though the fee is slightly high. If you already have a Varo bank account, the advance may not be your cheapest option, but it's likely the most convenient.

If you're not a Varo customer, it's unlikely you'll want to become one just to get this advance."

Annie Millerbernd, Assistant Assigning Editor, Personal Loans

Explore more cash advance apps



NerdWallet rating 

Advance amounts

$50 to $250.


  • Monthly subscription fee: $9.99 or $14.99.

  • Optional fast-funding fee: $0.99 to $3.99.


Withdrawn from your bank account on the date Brigit determines to be your next payday.

Time to fund without express fee

1 to 3 days.

Time to fund with express fee

20 minutes.



NerdWallet rating 

Advance amounts

$10 to $300 for first-time users. Returning customers may be approved for advances up to $350.


  • Subscription fee: $8 per month, or $0 if you opt out.

  • Optional fast-funding fee: $1 to $10.50.

  • Optional tip: Up to 20% per advance, capped each calendar year at your eligible advance amount.


Withdrawn from your bank account on your predetermined due date.

Time to fund without express fee

One business day.

Time to fund with express fee

Within one hour.


NerdWallet reviews and rates cash advance products from financial companies that provide cash advance apps. We collect over 24 data points from each company, verify the information with company representatives and compare the app with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar cash advance product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

The maximum allowable rating for cash advance apps that we review is four stars. Our star ratings award points to cash advance apps that offer consumer-friendly features, including: caps on voluntary tips, protections from overdraft fees caused by app withdrawals, low cost of borrowing and an assessment of the user’s finances before providing an advance. The system also rewards points for features that a consumer seeking an advance would find useful, such as: fast funding without a fee, allowing users to borrow less than they were approved for and customer ratings. Additional points are awarded to apps that provide pathways to budgeting and saving, which are features that can help prevent a user from habitually reborrowing. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important for consumers and how they impact consumers’ experiences.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

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