Why Did I Get Paid Early? (9 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

Getting paid early is something that most hourly workers dream of. It typically means getting your wages sooner than expected — usually a few days to a week or two.

But why do some employees get paid early and others don’t? The answer is: It depends. So we’re looking into nine possible explanations to answer this question.

Why Did I Get Paid Early?

1. Same Banks

If you use the same bank as your employer, there’s a good chance that funds will get deposited into your account sooner than employees who use a different bank.

This is because there are fewer steps to take to get you your money. Often, the difference ranges from a few hours to a couple of days. This can vary if the pay period falls on a federal holiday.

While we’re on the subject of banks, it’s true that banks can make a big difference in how quickly or delayed your pay is.

Some banks are faster than others, so you might want to consider switching banks if yours routinely pays you later than your coworkers.

2. Shifting Holidays

A common reason why people get paid early is because of shifting holidays. If your company has a holiday and you’ve been working overtime, then you may be getting paid early for the time you’ve worked.

For example, if Easter shifts from April to March, employees who have been at work during that time might be getting paid earlier than expected.

3. Paycheck Advance

One reason why you might have gotten paid early is that you asked for a paycheck advance. Paycheck advances are when an employer advances your pay to you before the agreed payday.

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Your employer might do this if they feel you’ve come through during an extremely difficult or demanding time or you’re going through a hardship and need the money sooner.

While this practice isn’t as common today, you can still request to receive your paycheck in advance. Some employers are more than happy to ensure their employees are well taken care of in a time of need.

If you decide to ask for an advance, you want it to be few and far between. Employees who make a habit of requesting paycheck advances might be seen as irresponsible and bad with money management.

Depending on your position in the company, this may be the last thing you want your employer to think about you. But as long as you view your request as a one-time thing, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Bottom line; don’t be afraid to ask for an advance if you need one. The worst your boss can do is decline your request.

4. Company Culture

Company culture is one of the many reasons you might have been paid early. If the company has a culture of on-time and early pay, you might get ahead of the game by getting your wages earlier.

While many companies oppose this workplace culture, some support it. If it’s important to you, seek a job with a company that regularly hands out advanced pay to its employees.

5. Employee Rating

Employee Rating

An employee’s rating is a primary factor determining whether they will get paid early. Generally speaking, the higher an employee’s rating, the more likely they will get paid early.

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This might seem unfair to employees with a lower rating, but employers typically want to reward those doing well with the company.

It’s also important to note that an employer may pay employees based on their salary and not their hours worked as they see fit.

6. Final Day Of Pay Period

One of the most common reasons why employees get paid early is that their final day falls on the last day of the pay period. For example, if you work at a grocery store and your last day is Friday, you will be paid on Wednesday.

This is because grocery stores typically run pay periods based on when the store closes for business.

Employees with a typical schedule usually get paid on their last day of work, so if their last day was on Friday, they would get paid on Friday.

The same concept applies to people who are working in hourly positions. If an employee’s schedule requires them to work only four days a week and they get paid weekly, then they will receive four paychecks per month instead of five or six.

So if an employee’s last day falls on Thursday (the final pay period), they will be paid that Friday before leaving for vacation.

7. Deductions Finished Early

You may have received early payment because the deductions finished early. It’s common for employees to see deductions from their wages for things like child support or garnishing a bank account.

If the deductions finished early, your employer might pay you some of your wages as a reward for being so good about paying those deductions on time.

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8. Someone Made A Mistake

Accounting and payroll mistakes happen, which could be why you got paid early. Sometimes, you might even get paid more than what you actually earned.

If this happens, you should immediately bring the overpayment to your employer’s attention. Getting paid early is something your employer likely knows.

But paying an employee too much isn’t usually caught until much later.

9. Company Celebrated And Paid Employees Early

One of the most common reasons employees get paid early is when their company has a big celebration and wants to show its appreciation. This might be for a holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving, or even just for getting new customers.

Sometimes, companies will show their appreciation by paying employees early if they’ve been hard at work. For example, one grocery store may pay employees early if they’ve seen an increase in sales.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why rent is so high and wages so low, why banks are closed on Sundays, and why nickels are bigger than dimes.


Getting paid early doesn’t happen often, but it’s a pleasant surprise when it does. If you prefer to get paid early, try to work for a company that makes a habit of it.

Just don’t expect most companies to pay their employees based on this practice, and it’s a unique method reserved for a select few.


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