NBC News @NBCNews The leading source of global news and info for more than 75 years. Jul. 26, 2019 1 min read

Millions use the Earnin app to access money they’ve already earned before payday. But critics say the company is effectively acting as a payday lender while avoiding conventional regulations designed to protect consumers. (1/5)  https://nbcnews.to/2YolIzO 

Earnin has taken great pains to avoid being seen as a traditional lender. They say the company relies on tips rather than required fees and does not send debt collectors after customers who fail to repay the money. (2/5)  https://nbcnews.to/2YolIzO 

The app’s rapid growth has drawn scrutiny from state lawmakers. Payday lending is illegal in 15 states and Washington, DC, but Earnin operates nationwide.

“This is absolutely a new and different way to skirt the laws around payday lending,” said Missouri state Sen. Schupp. (3/5)

Analysis firm Apptopia estimates the app has been downloaded more than 12M times since 2015.

Earnin doesn't publicly disclose how much money it processes, but internal screenshots show an average of over $212M a month. (4/5)  https://nbcnews.to/2YolIzO 

Nisha Breale, 21, is a former Earnin user from Georgia, where payday lending is illegal. She said she didn’t fully realize that the app’s annual interest rates were equivalent to a 130% APR.

“They just portray it as being so simple and so easy,” she said. (5/5) #NBCNewsThreads

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