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MoneyLion Instacash cash advance app review

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MoneyLion Instacash advances
4.5
★★★★★
Finder score
Min. Amount
$50
Max. Amount
$500
Turnaround time
1 to 5 business days, instant with delivery fees

Our verdict

Fee-free, interest-free cash advances — just sign up for membership and connect a checking account.

MoneyLion is aimed at people who want cash advances up to a maximum of $500 per pay period. You can increase this amount by up to $1,000 by opening a RoarMoney account or by joining its Credit Builder Plus program — although this costs a hefty $19.99 per month.

But while MoneyLion appears to get high ratings on sites like Trustpilot and Google Play, don't be misled. Customer reviews are actually quite mixed and paint a conflicting view of the company. But even more concerning, hundreds of complaints have been filed against MoneyLion on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) site, prompting the BBB to issue an alert for the company due to a persistent pattern of complaints around transactions, billing errors and poor customer service.

If you're looking for a cash advance app that has a better reputation and that doesn't have a history of ongoing customer complaints with the BBB, we recommend comparing other payday advance options.

Pros

  • No cost
  • No credit check required

Cons

  • Limits to how much you can borrow
  • Limited state availability

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Details

Product details

Product Name MoneyLion Instacash advances
Min. Amount $50
Max. Amount $500
Loan Term Due by your next pay date
Turnaround Time 1 to 5 business days, instant with delivery fees
Costs $19.99 monthly fee if you have a Plus membership
Requirements Bank account must have at least 60 days of activity, show recurring deposits and must have a positive balance

MoneyLion overview

MoneyLion lets you access at least $25 per request, and if eligible, you can borrow up to $500 per pay period. While this may be limiting, MoneyLion allows you to take out multiple advances with no cool-down period.

Features

  • Borrow up to $500 per pay period — or more by opening a RoarMoney account or by paying for the Credit Builder Plus Program.
  • Normal funding takes three to five business days
  • Instant transfers range depending on the amount from $0.49 to $6.99 with a RoarMoney account or $1.99 to $8.99 for an external account
  • $0 transfers to your bank or MoneyLion account

Requirements

MoneyLion doesn’t have any set eligibility requirements. However, your checking account will need to meet a few basic requirements, including:

  • Used frequently
  • Receives consistent deposits
  • Open for at least two months
  • Maintains a positive balance
  • Have a checking account that’s at least 60 days old

Other features

  • RoarMoney Account. By setting up direct deposits into a RoarMoney account, you can borrow up to 15% of your direct deposit per pay period, up to a maximum of $1,000.
  • Credit Builder Plus. MoneyLion’s credit builder loan helps build your credit score by letting you take out a $1,000 loan which you pay off over 12 months. You can also borrow up to 20% of your paycheck per pay period. The service costs $19.99 a month.

MoneyLion reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating D
BBB customer reviews 4.73 out of 5 stars, based on 4034 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 1,262 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 28,189 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 85,000 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 67 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 01 April 2023

Reviews about MoneyLion are mixed across Google Play, the App Store and Trustpilot. While overall app scores are high, reviewers seem divided: some praise the app, saying it’s the best they’ve used, while others report glitches with the app and poor customer service. And while some like the MoneyLion Credit Builder program, others say it’s too expensive for the benefits provided.

MoneyLion isn’t registered with the BBB and has garnered more than 1,500 complaints over the past three years – a high number compared to other cash advance companies. The BBB has issued an alert for MoneyLion due to an ongoing pattern of complaints around transactions, billing errors and customer relations starting in April 2019 and persisting into 2022.

MoneyLion faced government action

MoneyLion was ordered in February 2018 to forgive over $2.35 million in loans and fees to borrowers in Virginia. According to the lawsuit, MoneyLion illegally offered loans to residents of Virginia from January to July 2018 without obtaining a license and charged an APR for its small-dollar loans well over the maximum interest rate set by the state.

MoneyLion cash advance vs. payday loans

MoneyLion Instacash advances may come in small amounts like payday loans, but that’s where the similarities end. Its turnaround time and lack of fees make it a much better deal — especially if you already have direct deposit set up to your MoneyLion checking account.

MoneyLion cash advancePayday loans
Borrowing amountBetween $25 to $500 every pay periodUsually up to $1,000, though exact amounts vary by state
Turnaround timeMay take up to five business daysOne to two business days
Application processNo application but will need to connect bank accountOnline application, usually requires a Social Security number and bank account numbers
CostsFree with a MoneyLion membershipHigh fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
State availabilityAvailable in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, WyomingProhibited in some states

Is MoneyLion safe to use?

The MoneyLion app appears safe to use. Its bank account options are FDIC-insured, and the app uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to keep any information you enter into its app safe from hackers. Outside bank accounts are connected through Plaid to give an extra layer of security.

Is MoneyLion worth it?

MoneyLion’s fee-free, interest-free Instacash advances may make it appealing compared to other services that charge a monthly fee, like Brigit. But many customers have complained about problems with the app, so the potential hassles may not be worth it. Consider other pay advance apps or look into your short-term loan options.

Compare MoneyLion to other cash advance apps

Select your state of residence to see available lenders in your area. Explore your options by maximum amount per pay period, turnaround time and costs, or choose the Go to site button for more information about a particular lender. Or, browse our top picks for alternatives to MoneyLion.

Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
EarnIn
Finder Score: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
EarnIn
Up to $750
1 to 3 business days, instant for a fee
Free to use or instant with a fee as low as $3.99.
No mandatory fees, no interest and no credit checks. Subject to EarnIn terms & conditions.
Chime SpotMe®
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
No fee
Access fee-free overdrafts up to $200 when eligible. Plus get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. See Chime terms and conditions.
Cleo
Finder Score: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
Cleo
Up to $250
3 to 4 days standard delivery, instant with delivery fee.
$5.99 monthly membership fee to access cash advances
Automatically monitor your spending plus access cash advances up to $100 at a time.
Sorbet
Not rated yet
Sorbet
Based on the amount of accrued PTO
2 to 5 days
No fee
Tap your unused PTO for a cash advance so you can access that money early. Available in: CO, FL, IL, MA, NY, NJ, TX, VA, OR, AR, NE, TN, ME, CT, WV
Go to site
Dave ExtraCash
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Dave ExtraCash
Up to $500
Within an hour or instant with a delivery fee
$1 monthly membership fee and express delivery from $3 to $15 fee
Borrow up to $100 to avoid hefty overdraft fees.
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Kat Finder

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Darrell

September 02, 2019

Can I use my pre paid card in money lion


Avatar

fayemanuel Finder

September 03, 2019

Hi Darrell,


Thanks for contacting Finder.


Yes you may. You can link an external bank account or debit card that you own to your MoneyLion Checking account. Once the external account or debit card is linked, you can transfer money to your MoneyLion Checking account.


Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.


I hope this helps.


Kind Regards,

Faye


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