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Activehours Customer Spotlight

Blair #paydayrebelI found Activehours while reading reviews of noteworthy apps in a tumblr blog. Yes, people still use tumblr out there. Upon reading the praised reviews on how socially conscious the start up was, I decided to try it out for myself. To be honest, I figured they were going to charge an astronomical interest rate for very little in return, but to my surprise it was the quite opposite. They operate on a donation basis, meaning whatever people can donate is what they use to keep the lights on and funds flowing! I love that.

About a month after discovering Activehours, I had a family member pass away in a freak accident. I was in the middle of my pay period with no source of money. Activehours saved me from missing this very important moment in my life, and words can’t describe how thankful I am. I was able to spend time with my family, and help them and myself through the stages of grieving.

Ever since then, I’ve been spreading the word about the app like crazy. I often refer to Activehours as the “Bernie Sanders of Lenders.” I look forward to seeing them grow beyond expectations, and I hope to be a part of the brand every step of the way as an Activehours member ^_^ #ILoveActivehours

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Activehours FAQ with Katherine

At Activehours we get a lot of questions like “Is this a loan?” “What does it mean to pay what you think is fair?” So, Katherine is here to answer some of our most frequently asked questions.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZBRo0JZ3XQ
aCTIVEHOURSSkip to Questions:

0:00 What is Activehours?

Activehours is an app that lets you access your money before payday.

0:08 How does Activehours make money?

Activehours is community supported so we ask our users to pay us what they think is fair. To learn more check out our blog post.

0:19 What does pay what you think is fair mean?

“Pay what you think is fair” means you have the option to throw us a couple bucks in addition to a zero dollar option.

0:31 I would spend all my money before payday:

Having access to your paycheck before payday can be exciting. You may want to go on a shopping spree. Don’t worry, that is why we have maxes. Maxes help ensure you have money on payday. We have found that Activehours has helped users manage their money better.

0:43 Why do you need my bank info?

We need to send you your earnings, verify you get paid, and debit back anything you have cashed out as well as any tips you have given us.

1:01 Is Activehours a loan?

Activehours is not a loan. We do NOT charge interests or fees. Think of Activehours like an ATM for the money you have already earned.

If you have anymore questions, you can check out our full FAQ.

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How Does Activehours Make Money?

How does Activehours make money?We’ve heard it over and over again, “It’s too good to be true. This has to be a scam. Otherwise, how does Activehours make money?”

At Activehours, we believe money should work better for everyone. When it comes to making a profit, that means flipping the traditional model on it’s head. Instead of charging fees or interest, we ask our community to help support us by paying what they think is fair when they use the app.

A long time ago, everyone accepted that companies should have the power to set prices. We believe that’s bonk. When the customer has the opportunity to set the price, they are given the power to support products that help them the most. By giving us a tip, our customers are helping to ensure that we’ll be around the next time they need us. This creates a much more healthy relationship.

Knowing that our community is relying on us and that we’re relying on our community, creates a balance that drives us to continue to innovate on new products and create solutions for the people who support us. So often, companies exploit the privilege of setting prices in order to get rich at the expense of the people they ought to have been serving. This is especially true in financial services. Banks, for example, are costing people $30 billion in overdraft fees every year.

That kind of business model is creating huge divides and a future we want no part of. Instead, we’re creating a world more like the one we want to live in; One where people do good for the sake each other and businesses create products that help people.

So, Activehours makes money through the support of our community members who inspires us every day. If you like what we’re doing, join the community and help support the payday revolution.

You worked today, get paid today! Sign up for Activehours.

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What Financial Health Means to Me

Financial health #2

Maintaining a good credit score is an important part of financial health. It is frightening, then, to realize that 14% of Americans do not know their credit score or didn’t know they had a credit score (Source: Consumers & Credit Scores: Understanding Consumer Confusion to Target Solution.)

Unfortunately, many people learn about the importance of their credit score at the precise moment when they need it for a large purchase. This was the case for Michael, a 22 year old Activehours user and Apple Store employee in Dallas, TX.

When he first got out of high school, Michael got a credit card to build his credit. He felt good about his finances and continued to grow his credit through college. However, he never monitored his credit score.

During this time, his parents were going through a separation. As their marital trouble translated to financial trouble, his mother was pushed to take out a loan in her husband’s name. Her husband agreed to handle the payment. Unfortunately, since Michael shares a name with his father, his mother accidentally used Michael’s social security number for the $5000 loan.

Michael’s father monitored his own credit regularly. Since he never saw a loan come up on his report, he didn’t make any payments. In the meantime, since Michael wasn’t monitoring his credit score, he had no idea that it was being ravaged by this accidental loan.

It wasn’t until he went to buy a car that Michael realized what had happened. By this time, his score, which he had just begun to grow in the past couple years, had dropped 200 credit points. It took a year and a half to rebuild his credit. Now, Michael vigilantly checks his credit score once a week and his credit report every three months.

Even though his credit slip-up was caused by a miscommunication between his parents, Michael still ultimately had to pay the price for it. Financial health means being proactive about monitoring, not only your spending, but also your credit. With that in mind, here are 6 Tips to Better Financial Health and Higher Credit:

  1. Make a budget by tracking everything you spend.
  2. If you move, check the mail at previous addresses and update your info with every account you have. Or switch to paperless billing so you don’t miss anything.
  3. Don’t buy something until you can afford it with cash. 
  4. Check your credit score regularly: Credit Sesame shows your credit score and report for free.
  5. Set tangible goals for the future and work towards them using a budgeting app like Mint.
  6. Use an app like Activehours to pay for credit card bills on time and to make sure your budget has wiggle room for unexpected expenses before payday.

Taking the time to understand your credit score and monitoring it regularly are key to having good financial health. With these tips and tools, keeping a pulse on your credit can be easy.

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8 Tips for How to Start Saving Money Today

Whether you’re just entering the workforce or planning for retirement, everyone is trying to save money. Unfortunately, changing habits can be hard, especially when it comes to spending. That’s why we’ve rounded up eight simple ways you can start saving money today.

Saving Money

1. Get Cash Back (no credit card needed). Saving is easy when you get cash back on brands you already buy.

  • That’s what makes Ebates so great. All you have to do is sign up and shop all your favorite brands online through the Ebates portal. You get everything you want plus cash back on qualifying purchases.
  • With Ibotta, there are no points or credits. Just show your rebates on purchases, and get real cash via PayPal or Venmo, or buy a gift card.

2. Get a Better Bank. If your bank is charging you fees, it’s time to find a new bank.

  • Get a $150 sign up bonus by opening a checking account with Chase. In addition, you’ll have access to over 15,500 Chase ATMs and 5,300 branches.
  • For people in Alabama, New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, Colorado, or Florida, BBVA is a good option for fee free banking.

3. Refinance Your Car. High interest rates make saving nearly impossible.

  • Refinancing your auto loan with RateGenius, can save you around $81 a month on average. That’s almost $1000 a year. This is a no brainer.

4. Swap Your Health Insurance. Based on your income, you may qualify for government healthcare subsidies.

  • Finding the right plan for you can be difficult. Luckily, free services like eHealth, Stride Health, or GetInsured will help you find the perfect plan to save you money. Keep in mind, in order to switch your healthcare, you’ll have to wait for open enrollment. That is, unless you have a qualifying life event: marriage, having a baby etc.

5. Save On Purchases. The faster way to save more is to spend less on things you already buy.

  • Check out the old standby, Groupon, where you can find huge discounts on activities and items you buy regularly.
  • Check out the Raise marketplace to find discounted gift cards to brands such as Walmart, Starbucks, Target and more. Search by brand, category, or value, and simply add to your shopping cart. With free shipping on all gift cards, it’s easy to boost your purchase power and give yourself a raise. 

6. Plan Ahead for College. It’s no secret, college is expensive and having to pay interest makes it even worse. So, get ahead of nasty interest payment by starting to save now.

  • With Upromise, members earn cash back on the things they already do and buy: shopping online, eating out at restaurants, booking travel, and picking up groceries. And all that cash back goes directly towards your college savings. Just shop through the portal to start saving.

7. Say Goodbye to Late Fees. Overdraft, interest, and late fees can all be avoided with the right tools.

  • Next time you’re stretching your last dollars before payday, try using an app like Activehours to receive your pay for the hours you’ve already worked. There are no fees or interest to use the app and it could save you from getting a hefty late fee on those bills that hit before payday.

8. Get a Side Hustle. You can only save so much by cutting down on spending. At some point, it’s time to start increasing your income.

  • With SnagAJob you can search local openings and find the side gig that fits your lifestyle best.
  • Want even more flexibility? Driving with Uber allows you to make your own hours.  

These steps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving. For more tips on making your money work better, follow Activehours on Facebook!

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Getting Paid Faster Just Got More Accessible

At Activehours, we’re on a mission to make money work better for everyone.ACCESSIBLE With our most recent update, we’re proud to announce that we’re one step closer to that goal of financial inclusion. We’ve made a major accessibility update to the Activehours app on iOS.

Now, our blind and visually impaired community members will be able to access their paychecks when they want through Activehours on iPhone. From sign up to Cash Out, we’ve made the app fully accessible. Big thanks to our community for supporting us while we built out these valuable features. You’ll now be able to use Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader tool to check your bank balance, navigate your history, and to process a Cash Out.

Got feedback on our accessibility features? Send us a note: support@activehours.com

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How To Guide: Get Paid By Paying It Forward

How to Guide #4 jpgSome days, you just need to get paid. Flat tires, medical emergencies, unexpected bills. They happen to everyone. That’s why we created Activehours.

Activehours is a community of people making the world better by helping each other out. With the app, you’re able to help yourself by getting your pay when you want it. And now, we’re giving you the ability to help each other right in the app, too. It’s called Pay it Forward.

Imagine you’re at a drive-through and the person in front of you pays for your meal. You can’t pay them back since they’ve driven off. So instead, you pay it forward to the car behind you. This generosity sparks a chain reaction where person after person has the opportunity to give and delight the person behind them.DOING GOOD

In the Activehours app, when you Pay it Forward during your Cash Out, your tip is paying for the next person to use the app. By helping others, you’re inspiring others to Pay it Forward, too, and that ensures that Activehours will continue to be around the next time you need it. Paying it Forward is just one way you can help support the community. The more we help each other, the better off we all are. Let’s make the world better together by helping each other get paid.

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New Feature: We’re Making Your Paycheck Smarter

If paychecks were smart, they would arrive when you needed them, not at a fixed date set by your employer. If paychecks were smart, they would monitor your spending and protect you from fees. If paychecks were smart, they would do all of this automatically.

We’ve got great news.

Today, we’re launching Balance Shield, a new feature that will make your paycheck smart. When you turn on Balance Shield, the Activehours app will make sure your paycheck has got you covered by automatically Cashing Out up to $100 whenever your bank balance falls below $100. That means no more worrying about overdraft fees from small purchases.

Wanna try it out?

1. Log in

2. Click shield icon

3. Follow steps to opt-in

Balance Shield works best when it can move money to you quickly. So, we suggest setting up Lightning Speed, if you haven’t already. Additionally, Balance Shield can send money to your account only if you have uploaded earnings, you haven’t reached your daily or pay cycle max, and your account is active. If for any reason Balance Shield is not able to send you money, we’ll let you know!

We were able to create this new feature thanks to our supportive community. When you pay what’s fair in the app, you’re helping us create new ways to make money work better for everyone. Thanks a million!

 

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How to: Afford Mom’s Birthday

Unexpected expenses crop up all the time but sometimes, it’s the one’s that you should have known about that hit the hardest. For Moises, he needed a way to afford mom’s birthday. Fortunately, he had Activehours to help him keep the celebration happy.

Afford mom's birthday like Moises did with Activehours.
Moises used Activehours to afford mom’s birthday.

“Back in January, I was browsing the App Store for money saving apps when I came across Activehours. The whole thing seemed too good to be true. However, working part time minimum wage and going to school full time, I knew waiting 14 days until my next payday was HARD. So, I decided to give it a try.

My mom’s birthday was just days before I submitted my first time sheet. My pockets were hurting and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to afford a birthday present for her, but I love my mom so I’d go broke to get something nice for her.

I submitted my first time sheet during my 15 minute break at work, I put my cell back in my locker and after a long day I came back to my phone and saw the life saving email “Your hours have been added!” I went to the app and cashed out 80 bucks using Lightning Pay. The money was in my account within seconds. I was so excited I was shaking and almost tearing up. I was able to buy her the shoes she kept asking for, balloons, flowers, and a cake. I even had some change to spare for me.

Working minimum wage – even working 5 days a week it’s hard to save, but with Activehours I’ve started to save for my first car. Thanks so much! You’ve helped me out tremendously.” -Moises G.

When it comes to being able to afford mom’s birthday, planning in advance it probably the best way to go. However, some years, you need a bit of help and that’s when Activehours has got your back.

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5 Ways Millennials Are Killing It In The Workforce

The world is changing and with it, the workforce is changing too.

What’s causing this seismic shift? It’s The Millennial Takeover. Millennials are the fastest growing segment in the labor force. By 2020, they are projected to be 50% of the workforce. Where Baby Boomers valued job security and structure in their careers, Millennials find fulfillment in their jobs in whole new ways.5 ways millennials

“Millennials are swiping through jobs faster than dates on Tinder.”

1. Instant Gratification

Growing up with all the knowledge of the web at their fingertips, Millennials have an expectation of getting things now. 

On demand products have proliferated industries from movie rentals, to taxis, and millennials are bringing on demand into the workforce with apps that let them get their  paycheck when they want. For this revolutionary generation, living life is all about doing it NOW.

2.Coaching

Growing up with the constant social feedback provided by apps like Instagram and Facebook, Millennials expect instant feedback on their work, and they aren’t afraid to handle trolls. 

Don’t hesitate to tell them that their customer service skills are on point. Do you think they could use some pointers on that presentation they’ve got coming up? Tell them. They want the feedback!

3.Flexibility

Millennials love a challenge, and combatting established career norms is just one of the challenges the young workforce has embraced. With that, the typical 9-5 job is officially going out of style. Millennials are on the hunt for work-life balance and flexibility is a must. That means choosing both when and where you work from day to day. 

Employers may be having a hard time adjusting to this, but on the bright side they’re guaranteed a response to that email send at 10pm.

4. Shared Values

One criticism of the millennial work ethic might be that they have less loyalty to their employers.“Millennials are swiping through jobs faster than dates on Tinder.”

However, this generation just might have the right idea. 

Young people watched older generations go through the financial crises which involved massive layoffs and pay cuts. With that, they realized that loyalty to a company isn’t such a safe bet. So, instead, they’re attracted to the employers who offer perks and who embrace the Millennial values of flexibility and work-life balance.

*Cough cough, free snacks*  *Cough, more vacation days*

5.Global Impact

Millennials aren’t just changing the world, they’re making it better and they want to work for companies that want to make the world better, too. Millennials want to work in mission-driven companies, companies that exist to make a positive impact on the world and everyone in it.” 

Millennials can inspire us all with this underlying motto: Succeed or fail, we’re all in it together.

Millennials want to work in mission-driven companies, companies that exist to make a positive impact on the world and everyone in it.”