How to get your paycheck early using your online checking account Want to get paid sooner? Your checking account might be able to help. August 9, 2023 Watching for a direct deposit to hit your bank account can be a stressful waiting game, especially if you have everyday expenses to cover and bills that need to be paid. If this is an all-too-familiar challenge, you aren’t alone. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, without much of a financial buffer between paydays. And even after your paycheck is sent to your bank, it can still take a few days before that money is in your checking account and available to spend. Whatever the reason, being able to get your paycheck early can make a huge difference. And your checking account can actually help you do this, depending on your bank. So, how can you get your paycheck early using an online checking account? It just takes a few simple steps and a little know-how. Can you get your paycheck early using your online checking account? Yes! You may be able to get your paycheck early and access your cash even sooner than expected, depending on the checking account you pick. Early access to these funds could help you cover immediate expenses or pay bills without having to rely on credit cards or incur late fees. Not all online checking accounts allow you to get paid early, but some do. For example, Early Pay is one of the many benefits of a Discover® Cashback Debit checking account, and this feature allows you to tap into qualifying deposits days earlier than scheduled.1 What is Early Pay? Early Pay is a no-fee service offered to Discover checking account customers, giving you access to qualified Automated Clearing House (ACH) funds up to two days early. (ACH is an electronic fund transfer network across which banks and credit unions transfer money.) Eligible funds can include a direct deposit paycheck from your employer or an ACH transfer from a government entity, just to name two. With the Early Pay feature, your direct deposits are made available to you soon after Discover is notified that the pending transfer is on the way. This means you can pay bills, make purchases, and prevent overdrafts on your Discover checking account up to two days earlier than expected. How do I set up direct deposit? The process for setting up direct deposit will vary by the payor (your employer, in most cases). Payors often have their own direct deposit form for you to fill out, or you may be able to provide an ACH form that your bank generates on your behalf. In order to set up direct deposit, you’ll need to provide the payor with information such as your: Name on your accountBank nameBank account and routing numbersBank address Also, you’ll likely need to tell the payor how you want the money deposited. Suppose you want half of your paycheck to go into savings, for example, or a set dollar amount to be redirected into another checking account. You may be able to specify those details when you set up direct deposit. Checking with cash back and no monthly fees Learn More Discover Bank, Member FDIC What types of accounts are eligible for Early Pay? Early Pay is available to Discover customers with online checking accounts, online savings accounts, or money market accounts. Early Pay isn’t available for Individual Retirement Account (IRA) savings accounts or IRA CDs because those are retirement accounts that aren’t typically used for short-term expenses. What kinds of ACH deposits qualify for Early Pay? If you have an online checking account, online savings account, or money market account with Discover, your ACH deposits may be eligible for Early Pay. How early will direct deposit funds be available? Discover Cashback Debit customers may be able to access their eligible direct deposit funds up to two days early. The timeline depends on when the ACH transfer is initiated by the payor and when Discover is notified that funds are on their way. Will funds from my qualifying direct deposit always be available early? Early Pay is available to eligible banking customers with qualifying direct deposits, but does direct deposit come early for all Discover customers, all the time? Not necessarily. Discover can’t guarantee that the funds will always be available early because of actions the payor may take. Timing can also depend on when Discover is notified of the pending payment. Early access to [your paycheck] could help you pay bills or cover immediate expenses without relying on credit cards or incurring late fees. How do I enroll in Early Pay? If you’re wondering how to get your direct deposit funds early with Early Pay, it’s easier than you might think. Once you get set up with direct deposit, which is usually done with an employer or benefits provider like Social Security, Discover takes care of the rest. Or, if you’re already receiving qualifying ACH direct deposits into your checking, savings (excluding IRA savings), or money market account, you’re already automatically enrolled in the Early Pay feature. Once Discover is notified that a qualifying ACH payment is en route, you can have access to your money up to two days early. Is there a fee for using Early Pay? For Discover Cashback Debit customers, there’s no fee for the Early Pay feature. This means you can access your ACH deposits sooner at no additional cost. Can I be informed when my direct deposit posts with Early Pay? You sure can. With Discover Cashback Debit, you’ll automatically be set up with Early Pay email alerts, so you’ll always know when your paycheck or other qualified deposit hits your account. If you want to turn off email alerts, you can unsubscribe anytime. And if you prefer text or push notifications, you can turn those on in the Discover App. Start using your checking account to get your paycheck early When choosing a bank, you’ll want to look for important benefits such as no fees, expansive ATM networks, mobile check deposit, and even rewards on checking accounts. Being able to get your paycheck early might be one of the most beneficial perks, though, whether you need it to pay some bills or if you’re ready to make a big purchase. Discover Cashback Debit customers enjoy more than 60,000 no-fee ATMs in their network, receive 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in monthly debit card purchases,2 and can even get paid up to two days sooner with Early Pay—all with no fees. Take a closer look at Discover Cashback Debit and see if it’s right for you. 1 Early Pay is automatically available to checking, savings (excluding IRA savings) and money market customers who receive qualifying ACH direct deposits. At our discretion, and dependent on the timing of our receipt of the direct deposit instructions, we may make funds from these qualifying direct deposits available to you up to 2 days early. See our Deposit Account Agreement for more information. 2ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), online sports betting and internet gambling transactions, and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal®, who also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple Pay® is a trademark of Apple Inc. Venmo and PayPal are registered trademarks of PayPal, Inc. Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Google, Google Pay, and Android are trademarks of Google LLC. Articles may contain information from third-parties. The inclusion of such information does not imply an affiliation with the bank or bank sponsorship, endorsement, or verification regarding the third-party or information.