Fifth Third Bank “Early Access” Check Advances

Fifth Third Bank has been pushing this “service” pretty hard at their branches.  It’s basically a pre-authorized payday loan account that you can access through your online account access (for a small 10% advance fee).   I guess they need a replacement for bad home loans.  Their stock price, as of this writing, is in the $1 range.

Early Access Terms:

  • “As a Fifth Third consumer checking customer, you may qualify for a line of credit that can be deposited immediately into your checking account for a cash advance.”
  • “Please Note: This is an expensive form of credit. This feature is designed to help our customers meet their short-term borrowing needs and is not intended to provide a solution for longer-term financial needs.”
  • “Advances are automatically repaid from your next direct deposit of $100 or more.”
  • “Your maximum credit limit will be $500 or 50% of total monthly deposits (based upon a 3 month average) rounded up to the next $20 increment, whichever is lower.”
  • “The finance charge is $1 for every $10 borrowed. This equates to an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 120%.”

Fees:

  • “A 10% Finance Charge will be assessed for each dollar that you advance through your Fifth Third EARLY ACCESS account feature. For example, for every $10 that you advance, the Finance Charge will be $1, without regard to how long the advance remains outstanding.”
  • Bad math: “For example, $100 Advance with a $10 fee = $10/$100 = 0.1% X 12 cycles = 120% APR.
    REPAYMENT”  (remember the Verizon dollars versus cents debacle?
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8 thoughts on “Fifth Third Bank “Early Access” Check Advances

  1. CAN I APPLY FOR THE EARLY ACCESS LOAN ON LINE AND IF SO HOW, AND IF I DO APPLY AND I GET PAID NEXT WEEK WILL THEY TAKE THE MONEY FROM THAT CHECK OR CAN I GET TWO WEEKS

  2. Tenneka,

    I don’t know if you can apply on-line for the “service”, but the branch locations were pushing it pretty hard.

    As for repayment, the next direct deposit of over $100 is when the loan is automatically repaid. This means that you could borrow one day and have it automatically repaid the next–at 10% interest for a loan that was borrowed for only 24 hours or less.

  3. They put my account on probation for no reason I can see. I paid it back in time, still getting the same direct deposits, etc. Of course, they did this during a month when I actually do need the money and need to use it. This is one of the reasons I hate Fifth Third and am going to change banks. Add to that the fact that the branch manager is so completely hateful that it would do me no good to contact them about this issue.

  4. HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A FIFTH THIRD CHECKING BEFORE YOU CAN GET EARLY ACCESS?

  5. Under eligibility:
    “You must have a Fifth Third Bank checking deposit account (“Associated Checking Account”) that has been open for the past six months and is in good standing”

    and

    “The Associated Checking Account must have received at least one direct deposit of $100 or more in each of three consecutive months, one of which must have been received by us in the past 35 calendar days.”

  6. The service is good but, it can cause you to borrow on every check like in my case. I just checked my charges for a period of 6 months and my charges were 730.00. It can be a life saver at times when I needed a transmission rebuilt on my truck. I was able to borrow the money and pay my transmission bill of 1500.00. You can borrow 750.00 each time or you can borrow any amount until 750.00. It can be a good cushion when you need it but you really have to have good discipline on not borrowing on each paycheck. After a certain amount of times you will be put on probation and cannot borrow for 1 month. The problem I had is I would get paid every 2 weeks and have to pay it back with my check then the next day I would start borrowing from the early access. Once you get stuck in that loop it is very hard to get out of it unless you know how to manage your money. I know of other people who fell in this same loop as I did. It can destroy your payday, they were not as exciting as they used to be when I got paid.

  7. I am in the exact same situation!! It really does catch up with you. And now I am so buried its not even funny. I have no idea how to get out of this! I plan on going into my local branch tomorrow because when I call corporate they could care less about helping me. I have asked for help numerous times, and asked for maybe other options that would help me, but they never help. We are just a number to them. I am thinking of just closing my checking account all together and then they can bill me my balance, but really don’t know if this is something they will do.

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