In a Nutshell: For folks struggling financially and getting further and further into debt, it’s good to know there are companies out there that can help. One is True Finance, which offers up to a $100 interest-free cash advance with free credit score monitoring and identity protection. True Finance provides comprehensive financial education through its Think Save Retire blog, a one-stop shop for gaining skills to make money work in your favor. True Finance also partners with other providers to extend its cash advance offer and provide additional products to improve financial health.
When discussing the post-pandemic economy, it’s hard to know which way the winds will blow. But some say there’s a perfect storm brewing caused by the loss of pandemic stimulus funds, higher inflation and interest rates, and the end of student loan deferments in October 2023.
While it’s true that the economy continues to create jobs at a healthy rate, for those on the lower end of the economic scale, the arithmetic of earnings versus expenses can break down, causing many to spiral into greater and greater debt.
There’s only so much financial providers can do in that instance. Extending credit is a risk, and the price increases when uncertainty about payback rises — to the point where folks with low credit scores can’t afford the cost.
True Finance is a company that wants to help. The True Finance app is a portal for financial improvement, with free credit score monitoring and identity protection tools combined with a no-interest cash advance offer of up to $100 to tide users over until the next paycheck.
A low-cost cash advance can come in handy when making ends meet is a matter of a few bucks here and there. But the first step to lasting financial improvement is understanding the factors that play into low credit scores and how to fix them.
That’s why True Finance also connects with financial education resources through its blog, Think Save Retire (TSR), which presents tried-and-true ways to earn and save money. True Finance CEO Tim Yelchaninov said the app and blog offer struggling consumers practical tools and strategies for overcoming the pitfalls of bad credit and lower income.
“Some would be surprised at how many need $25 just to get through the week,” Yelchaninov said. “We want to be bearers of hope and provide solutions.”
True Finance App Empowers Struggling Consumers
They say if you want to overcome a problem, the first step is realizing you have one. The True Finance app makes understanding your credit status easier by providing free credit score and credit report checks and alerts to prevent suspicious activity and protect your identity online.
The app also points out the factors that go into achieving a higher credit score, including on-time payment history, the percentage of available credit used, and recent credit inquiry behavior. Gaining insight into the power of credit scores to achieve financial improvement helps focus users on what they need to do to get there.
The app does an excellent job reporting scores in color coding, with green indicating a good score, yellow an OK score, and red a score that definitely needs improvement. At True Finance, there’s no shame in learning you need to improve your game.
“I’ll be totally honest — I didn’t know the five major factors that played a role in my score until I took on this project,” Yelchaninov said. “I knew I had to make my payments on time and this and that, but I really couldn’t name them.”
The next step in overcoming a problem is getting tools to solve it, and True Finance makes that easy through its cash advance feature. As a premium feature in the True Finance app, a cash advance of up to $100 requires a $3.99 monthly subscription fee, but that’s the end of it when it comes to fees or interest.
Cash advances are available anytime to premium subscribers after linking your bank account to True Finance through its secure connection.
“You borrow, you pay back, and you can get another right away,” Yelchaninov said. “People are reaching out and saying thank you, so we feel really good about making an impact.”
TSR Blog Generates Actionable Money-Earning Opportunities
A cash advance is beneficial when a few dollars can make the difference between financial success and failure — for example, having enough for gas or public transportation to get to work and not having enough.
But True Finance doesn’t stop there. Through the TSR blog, the app also offers insights into making additional money through side hustles and other strategies.
Signing up for the newsletter on the Think Save Retire homepage brings weekly tips and tricks for saving on everyday expenses, finding money-making opportunities, and fast-tracking your savings.
“Our newsletter signup is an invitation to learn how to make $100 every single week,” Yelchaninov said. “We want to position TSR as the place where you can earn extra money from your phone.”
To help users get there, TSR points them to apps like KashKick, which rewards users with cash for playing video games and completing surveys. Yelchaninov said the True Finance team personally tests every offer it presents, and one of its team members earned $122 on KashKick. He shared how he did it on YouTube.
That’s only the beginning of the money wisdom available on TSR. The section on earning money recommends side gigs, income-generating and work-from-home opportunities, money-making ideas for millennials, and wealth-building strategies. Money-saving tips include posts on top money-saving habits, financial tools, and creative budgeting hacks.
The section on debt includes strategies for getting out of debt, presents opportunities to save, helps users gain financial literacy, tackle debt, earn extra cash, and even evaluate and apply for credit cards. Yelchaninov said the True Finance app and TSR blog combine to help users bring in more money than they spend.
“Either you’re going to make more money, or save more money, or both,” Yelchaninov said. “That’s the way to improve your financial situation.”
Navigate Financial Challenges and Get Out of Debt
As a relatively new financial provider, True Finance has some limitations on its services until it works out the viability of its business strategies.
When this article went to press in January 2024, True Finance could not issue cash advances of more than $100. It also needed to cap the number of premium subscriptions for cash advances.
“When we increased our cap by 500 users, we had the signup filled within 24 hours,” Yelchaninov said. “People are struggling.”
But Yelchaninov and the team did not want those practical business limitations to prevent them from offering services to consumers in need. Therefore, True Finance partners with some direct competitors to bring the benefits of financial services tools to more users.
For example, a partnership with Pigeon Loans brings peer-to-peer lending into its ecosystem. Peer-to-peer lending lets users borrow directly from other people instead of going through a bank, opening potential new credit opportunities.
True Finance also partners with other cash advance providers, including Albert and Dave. Those aren’t individuals but financial companies that can provide cash advance opportunities greater than $100 to eligible True Advance users.
Yelchaninov said it’s not a problem for True Finance to provide opportunities to competitors through its app. The goal is always to help struggling consumers make ends meet and improve their ability to pay bills, save, and produce lasting wealth.
Meanwhile, Yelchaninov and the True Finance team continue to build capabilities and solutions to help more consumers improve their finances. On the horizon is a credit-building tool to empower users to improve their scores and qualify for lower-cost credit opportunities. That’s the way to find shelter from any economic storm.
“Many people don’t understand how difficult it is for their friends and neighbors down the street,” Yelchaninov said. “We’re here to say, yes, you can get out of debt.”