Most of us have been in a cash crunch where we needed quick bucks to sort out unforeseen financial emergencies, such as a hospital admission and home repairs. During these times, you’d instinctively prefer a service that allows you to borrow a significant amount of money without subjecting you to a rigorous qualification process.
Sadly, such providers are difficult to come by.
Most lenders will only advance credit facilities to you upon conducting an extensive review of your credit score. And even then, the limits may be way lower than what you need to take care of your current financial obligations.
But with due diligence, it’s still possible to find companies that make light work of the lending process. Chime is one such service.
This article looks at the benefits of Chime as a lending service, with a special focus on how to borrow money from Chime.
Chime Financial, Inc., more commonly known simply as Chime, is a financial technology company that works in partnership with regional banks to offer certain mobile banking services fee-free. The firm mainly avails its services through The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A.
Chime has been in existence for over a decade, having been founded in 2012 by Chris Britt and Ryan King, who currently serve as its chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO), respectively. The San Francisco-based company provides most of its services through regional banks.
Britt and King’s motivation was to establish a firm that would serve as a convenient alternative to traditional banking systems. The duo publicly launched their startup on April 15, 2014, on an episode of the Dr. Phil Show.
It wasn’t long before Chime began to generate attention from both investors and customers seeking convenient banking solutions. As of 2020, the financial startup had raised at least $1.5 billion in private funding.
Chime has registered remarkable growth over the past few years. In 2022, the company was featured on Fortune’s annual collection of the “Best Places to Work.”
Among its key offerings include checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit & debit cards. The mobile banking firm also provides fee-free overdrafts and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.
Does Chime Operate Like A Regular Bank?
One question that many people frequently ask about Chime is whether it’s a bank or not.
Now, Chime is not a bank. In other words, the company’s clients need not maintain a direct relationship with its partner banks.
Since Chime doesn’t operate like a traditional bank, you could then be wondering, does chime do loans?
Yes, Chime provides credit facilities through its partner banks. These loans are essentially paycheck advance services, which refer to short-term loans that you can borrow through your credit card.
Chime provides generally more affordable services compared to what you’d pay to obtain the same directly from its partner organizations. More on that later on.
How Does Chime Work?
Borrowing money from Chime works in a near-similar manner as any conventional online banking service.
The first step in using Chime is to sign up for an account. Once you have a valid account, you’ll be automatically eligible for the company’s Visa debit cards and/or credit cards. It’s these cards that give you unhindered access to the company’s services.
Since Chime provides fee-free services, you might be wondering how it manages to stay in operation.
Well, the mobile banking firm generates most of its revenue through interchange fees.
Interchange fees refer to commissions levied by financial institutions for accepting card-based transactions. The charges are typically paid whenever a bank’s customer uses their credit or debit cards to make a payment.
What Are the Benefits of Using Chime?
Affordable rates are Chime’s biggest selling point. The online banking service provides fee-free overdraft up to $200 to qualifying customers.
Chime gives you access to direct deposits up to two days in advance. There are no monthly fees either. Besides, account holders get to earn savings interests.
Chime is also one of the few banking apps with referral bonus. The firm offers up to $100 referral bonus when your friend creates an account and makes a single direct deposit of at least $200 within the first 45 days of opening their account.
Keeping in mind, however, that there are several competitors providing the same services.
2. High Reputation
Reputation is a key consideration when choosing a financial service. Fortunately, it’s exciting to know that Chime is well-reputed among millions of its users.
Chime may have garnered several less-than-impressive reviews, most of which take issue with its no-notice account cancellation policy. However, the company’s overall score is generally positive. As of January 2023, Chime was the largest and most popular neobank in the United States, with at least 21.6 million account holders.
Chime is one of the most flexible online banking service providers. You can access a Chime instant loan directly on your desktop by heading to the firm’s official website.
Besides, you can download the Chime app, which is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
A mobile banking service provider’s accessibility is generally determined by the number of physical locations it has.
Chime clients can access its services in over 60,000 ATMs nationwide as of July 2023. That’s more than the combined number of ATMs by the country’s top three national banks.
Even better is that Chime-compatible ATMs are spread throughout popular retail stores, such as Walgreens, Target, Circle K, CVS, and 7-Eleven.
5. Seamless Integration
Last but not least, Chime’s application integrates seamlessly with several cash advance apps.
Some of the cash advance that works with Chime include Chime SpotMe, Albert, Cleo, Varo, and MoneyLion.
Borrowing Money from Chime
1. Determine that you qualify for a Chime account
The very first step on how to borrow money from Chime is to check if you qualify for a Chime loan.
Although Chime doesn’t operate like a traditional bank, the conditions for creating a Chime account are more or less similar to most financial institutions.
You’re eligible for a Chime checking account if you;
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are a United States citizen or permanent resident
- Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
- Use a United States Post Office-recognized mailing address
2. Sign up for an account
Like we previously pointed out, you’ll need an account to access Chime’s loans or any of its online banking services.
Fortunately, the account sign-up procedure is quick and easy. You can open a Chime account either directly from the company’s homepage or through the app.
Registering for a Chime Account from the Homepage
- Head to Chime.com and click on the green “Sign Up” button located on the top right corner of the page.
You’ll be taken to a new page and asked to complete the security check before proceeding to the official sign-up page. Simply click on the box. An account registration page will eventually load.
- Feed in your first and last name, as well as your email address and click Next.
- Enter your date of birth on the following page and hit Next.
- Input your mobile number and press Next.
- Enter your home address and press Next.
- Set a strong password and click Next.
- Enter your SSN and click Next.
You’ll be prompted to enter a few more details to determine how much cash advance you’re eligible for.
These include your income source, what you do for work, your annual income, and how you heard about Chime. Input these details and hit “Next.”
- Accept the terms of service and click “Submit application.”
Registering for a Chime Account Using the App
- Download and install Chime’s mobile application.
- Launch the app, thenclick “Apply Now,” and follow the instructions.
- Provide all the required information to get registered for an account.
3. Fund your account
In case you signed up for a Chime account through the website, you’ll need to download the application on your mobile device and fund your new checking account.
You can fund your account either via an existing bank account or through direct deposits from your employer.
4. Receive a debit card
Once you’re fully set, you’ll receive a Chime digital debit card that you can start using immediately. The company will subsequently send you a physical debit card in the home address you used while creating an account.
With the Chime app now fully installed on your mobile phone, you’ll need to launch the app and tap on the “Borrow” tab. Input the correct amount you’d like to borrow, alongside your repayment schedule.
Note that Chime lets you borrow anywhere from $20 to $200. However, most tutorials focus on how to borrow $100 from Chime, as $100 tends to be the upper limit for most account holders.
Next, tap on “Submit” and wait for Chime to approve your loan request.
Once approved, the money will reflect in your account within 1 – 2 business days. Spend your money as you desire.
Repaying Chime Loans
Repaying Chime’s cash advance is even easier than applying for it.
The funds are automatically deducted from your Chime account on your next payday. Alternatively, you can repay your loan earlier if you have funds available in your account.
Note that Chime will levy a late fee if you do not repay your loan on time. Failure to repay the loan within 60 days may further have you reported to the credit bureau.
Chime’s fee-free services have made it the leading online banking company in the United States. It’s also great to know that there are numerous same day loans that accept Chime. And as we’ve seen, the process of borrowing money from this company is rather straightforward.