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How do MoneyLion Instacash advances work?
Maximum advance: $250 with linked MoneyLion checking account
Cost: Free with a MoneyLion membership
Turnaround: Within 48 hours to a MoneyLion checking account
MoneyLion offers advances up to 30% of your average deposit — or $250 per pay period — but the exact amount depends on your linked checking account. If you use a MoneyLion checking account and have a high enough income, you’ll have access to the full $250. Using a different bank limits your maximum advance to $200.
Because your advance depends on the amount you have deposited into your account, your full advance amount will change. You’ll always have access to at least $25, and you can borrow up to $50 at a time. While this may be limiting, MoneyLion allows you to take out multiple advances with no cooldown period. So if you need $150, you can borrow three advances and repay them all on your next payday.
Regular delivery of your advance into a MoneyLion checking account takes 24 to 48 hours, but you can choose to pay an optional $3.99 fee to have instant access to your advance. Normal delivery into an external checking account takes longer, anywhere from three to five business days — or you can choose instant delivery for a $4.99 fee.
How much does it cost to use MoneyLion Instacash?
There’s no cost to use the Instacash feature of the MoneyLion app. Even tipping is optional, although MoneyLion strongly encourages its borrowers to leave a small tip on each advance to help keep the free program funded.
How do I repay my advance?
The amount you borrow is due on or around your next payday, and your Instacash advance can be repaid automatically or manually. If you choose automatic payments, your advance amount — plus a tip or instant advance fee, if applicable — will be deducted on the due date. To make a manual repayment, you can select Repay from the MoneyLion home screen, and make a full or partial payment.
Keep in mind that your due date isn’t always your payday. MoneyLion analyzes your account to align your due date with your next expected deposit date. But as long as you repay your advance within five days of the due date, MoneyLion won’t charge a late fee.
Yes, the MoneyLion app is safe. Its bank account options are FDIC-insured, and the app uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to keep any information you enter in its app safe from hackers. Outside bank accounts are connected through Plaid to give an extra layer of security.
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 reviews and complaints
BBB customer reviews
2.89 out of 5 stars, based on 104 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints
4.5 out of 5, based on 7,822 customer reviews
4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 61,130 customer reviews
Google Play score
3.9 out of 5 stars, based on 34,720 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of
16 October 2020
MoneyLion receives fairly high ratings from the App Store and Google Play. Although there are multiple reviews that complain about slow customer service response.
MoneyLion has also received a high volume of complaints on its BBB page — over 1,000 — but every complaint is either resolved or answered. The customers who left positive reviews are generally pleased with MoneyLion’s services, although the most recent ones are for its credit-builder loan, not the Instacash advance.
MoneyLion Instacash 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.
Between $25 to $250 every pay period
Usually up to $1,000, though exact amounts vary by state
May take up to five business days
One to two business days
No application, but will need to connect bank account
Online application, usually requires a Social Security number and bank account numbers
Free with a MoneyLion membership
High fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
Not available in Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada or Vermont
Provided you have direct deposits of at least $250 going into your checking account, getting a pay advance only takes three simple steps:
Open the MoneyLion app and navigate to the Finances tab.
Tap the Instacash button, then the Request button.
Select the amount you want to borrow up to your maximum advance amount.
Do I qualify for an Instacash advance?
MoneyLion doesn’t have any set eligibility requirements. However, your checking account will need to meet a few basic requirements, including:
Receives consistent deposits
Open for at least two months
Maintains a positive balance
Can I cancel my Instacash membership?
Technically, no. Because Instacash is free and available through the app, you won’t need to cancel or unsubscribe. To cancel your MoneyLion membership, follow these steps:
Visit your MoneyLion profile on the app.
Tap Membership, then Manage my membership.
Select Cancel my membership and confirm your selection.
Additional programs available to MoneyLion users
As an online bank, MoneyLion members have access to both checking and savings accounts, investing programs and even small personal loans.
It has two membership types:
Core membership. It’s free to sign up and comes with access to a variety of programs, including a zero-fee checking account, the Instacash advance, cashback rewards, free credit monitoring and a personalized investment portfolio.
Plus membership. For $19.99 a month, you get all the perks of the Core membership as well as access to 5.99% APR credit-builder loans, weekly credit score updates and $1 daily cash back for logging into the app.
When someone you know uses your personal referral link to sign up for Instacash, you will receive a $50 increase to your available Instacash balance for thirty days. This is only available once per 30-day period, however.
While MoneyLion’s system is usually able to predict when your upcoming paycheck is scheduled to be deposited, mistakes can happen. If your repayment date doesn’t match your next payday, you can email email@example.com for help.
No, MoneyLion won’t check your credit — even through a soft pull — for an Instacash request.
If you have any questions or problems with your pay advance, you can contact MoneyLion by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-617-9584.
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