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Personal Loans

How Does Thrive Cash for College Students Work?

Updated May 09, 2023   |   6-min read

At some point, most college students find themselves in need of some fast cash. After all, Mom and Dad aren’t always around, and maybe they can’t afford to lend you money anyway.

Getting access to funds can be difficult, though. There are plenty of loan companies that prey on college students, including expensive payday lenders and car title loan companies.

Many of these lenders use aggressive tactics, have hidden fees, and charge outrageous interest rates. It can also be difficult for a college student without an established credit history to qualify for a loan through the traditional banking system.

Thrive Cash aims to change that by offering loans based on a job offer with no credit score required, so you don’t fall into the payday loan cycle. Here’s what you need to know about getting fast cash from Thrive.

In this review: 

What Is Thrive Cash?

Thrive Cash offers you access to extra cash based on your estimated future income. You prove your ability to repay the loan by showing a job offer letter offer of a paid internship.

For students who don’t have a credit history and who can’t get a personal loan without a cosigner, Thrive Cash can be a reasonable alternative.

>> Read More: Personal Loans for Students

Basic Information: Rates, Terms, Fees, & Limits

In lieu of a traditional interest rate, Thrive imposes a flat fee that’s incorporated into your repayment. Borrowers can customize their loan based on how much they need and their desired repayment term.

Thrive Cash has a calculator that lets you try different scenarios to see what you can fit into your budget. For example, if you need $2,000 and your full-time job starts on May 6, you would be charged a fee of $106. If you repay your loan over the course of four months starting June 6, your monthly payment would be $351.

Is Thrive Better Than the Alternatives?

Students with good credit and a steady income might consider applying for a traditional personal loan to see if it’s more cost-effective.

A $2,000 personal loan with an annual percentage rate of 5% and six-month repayment term results in monthly payments of $338.21. Total interest paid would be $29.27, meaning both your monthly payment and total loan repayment is lower than it would be with Thrive Cash.

You can compare our top picks for the best personal loans here or personal loans for students here.

Additionally, if you qualify for a student credit card that offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases, it could make more sense to go this route — so long as you’re confident in your ability to pay the balance in full by the end of the intro period.

Benefits of Thrive Cash

For college students who have necessary costs they’re unable to meet, Thrive can be one way to get what they need. Some of the advantages of Thrive Cash include:

  • No credit check. You don’t need to worry about your credit situation. All you need is an offer letter stating your work or internship start date and your salary.
  • Easy-to-use app. Manage your account on the go.
  • Delayed repayment. If your job doesn’t start for another four months, you don’t start making payments for another five months. Your first payment comes due the month after you start your job or internship.

You can use the money for anything you want once it’s in your account. However, it’s important to be careful when borrowing to pay for things you don’t really need, such as travel, entertainment, and Greek life dues.

College students are most likely to benefit when they use the funds for necessary expenses like housing, utilities, books, and groceries. Being able to access cash quickly — and not have to repay it until you start earning money — can be a big financial help. For some students with high-interest credit card debt, using Thrive to pay down some of that debt might make sense.

>> Read More: Getting a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards

Downsides of Thrive Cash

Thrive Cash isn’t always the best choice, though. Here are some of the disadvantages to consider before you move forward:

  • You need to show a job or internship offer letter. If you can’t prove that you’ll have a guaranteed source of income in the coming months, you won’t be able to use Thrive Cash.
  • Fees aren’t the lowest. Although Thrive Cash doesn’t charge a traditional interest rate, students might be better off with other funding sources. If you have a credit card with a lower interest rate or you can qualify for a personal loan, you could pay less in overall interest than what Thrive charges.
  • Thrive isn’t available everywhere. Thrive Cash focuses on specific schools. You can text or email the company if your school isn’t listed, but you might not be able to participate in the program.
  • Easy to access money for unnecessary expenses: Another concern about Thrive Cash is how easy it is to access money for unnecessary purchases. It might seem like a good idea to borrow $2,000 for a spring break blowout, you’re really better off borrowing funds for non-optional expenses versus luxury costs.

Before getting money from Thrive, double-check to see if your monthly take-home pay from your future job or internship will be enough to cover your monthly payment in addition to regular expenses like housing, insurance, and groceries.

Thrive Cash Contact Info

Phone: (650) 422-2612

Email: [email protected]

Bottom Line

Thrive Cash offers an interesting alternative to high-priced payday loan lenders. It can also be a good choice compared to some online personal lenders with exorbitant APRs. It’s easy to get access to funds without the need for an extensive credit history.

However, Thrive Cash relies on the promise of your future earnings. You can’t get the money without showing a job or internship offer. Additionally, for college students who have built up credit during their time in school, Thrive fees might actually cost them more in the long run.

Before deciding to use Thrive Cash, it’s important to carefully consider your situation. Compare the best personal loan companies and even 0% APR credit card offers to see if you might be able to get a better deal elsewhere. If Thrive is the best choice, borrow only what you need to avoid getting caught in a debt cycle.