MoneyLion Instacash cash advance app review

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

Bottom line. Best for borrowers looking for a quick advance before their paycheck, but you can only borrow in $50 increments up to$250 per pay period unless you sign up for a RoarMoney account or join the Credit Builder Plus program for a fee.

Details

Product NameMoneyLion Instacash advances
Min. Amount$25
Max. Amount$250
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround Time3 to 5 business days to external checking account, 12 to 48 hours to RoarMoney account
Costs$29 monthly fee if you have a Plus membership
RequirementsBank account must have at least 60 days of activity, show recurring deposits and must have a positive balance

Pros

  • No cost or obligation to tip
  • No credit check required
  • Additional banking options available

Cons

  • MoneyLion membership required
  • Limited to $250 per advance
  • A pattern of customer complaints

Our take on MoneyLion

MoneyLion is aimed at people who want small cash advances of $50 at a time up to a maximum of $250 per pay period. You can potentially increase this amount to $300 per pay period by opening a RoarMoney account and making qualified deposits 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.

MoneyLion overview

MoneyLion lets you access at least $25 per request, and if eligible, you can borrow up to $50 at a time for a maximum of $250 per pay period. While this may be limiting, MoneyLion allows you to take out multiple advances with no cool-down period. So if you need $150, you can take three advances and repay them all on your next payday.

Features

  • Borrow up to $250 per pay period or up to $300 by opening a RoarMoney account or by joining the Credit Builder Plus Program for a fee.
  • Normal funding takes three to five business days or 24 to 48 hours with a RoarMoney 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 30% of your direct deposit per pay period, up to $300 per pay period.
  • Credit Builder Plus. 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 $300 per pay period. The service costs $19.99 a month.

MoneyLion reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating D
BBB customer reviews 4.71 out of 5 stars, based on 3,458 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 1,504 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 26,438 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 19 April 2022

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 $250 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 availabilityNot available in Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada or VermontProhibited 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.

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Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
Tidal Lending
Tidal Lending
$30,000
As Soon As Next Business Day
Chime SpotMe overdraft
Up to $200
Instant
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
$500
As fast as 1 business day
Rates vary by state, though you’ll likely be charged around $15 or $20 per $100 borrowed.
Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 5 states.
Brigit
$250
1 to 3 days or same-day in some circumstances
$9.99 monthly membership fee
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $9.99 membership fee.
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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Darrell
    September 2, 2019

    Can I use my pre paid card in money lion

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuel
      September 3, 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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