What is MoneyLion?
MoneyLion is an online personal finance management platform, including a website and app. Since its launch in 2013, it’s issued 200,000 loans to consumers. According to the website, MoneyLion has about 3 million members.
There are two levels of membership: Core, which has no cost and comes with checking and debit, cashback rewards and no-cost cash advances, among other things. There’s also Plus, which costs $29 a month (besides requiring a monthly transfer of $50 into the member’s investment account) and comes with additional perks, like access to the credit-builder loan. MoneyLion members can also access BetterCash loans, which are intended for users with “less-than-stellar” credit and can be used for emergency situations or expenses that have to be paid off quickly. This review will focus on those two personal loan products.
MoneyLion personal loan highlights
- Relatively low APR for the credit-builder loan: Compared to a credit card, the credit-builder loan comes with a low rate — 5.99%. But for those with excellent credit, better personal loan APRs can be found elsewhere, often with more generous borrowing amounts. That said, the APR for BetterCash loans is over 36.00%, which is extremely high, even when compared to that of a credit card.
- Fast funding: Once approved for the loan, funds for both types of loans can be deposited as soon as the next business day. And Plus members who take out a BetterCash loan could access the new Turbo feature, which can provide funding within minutes.
- Low maximum borrowing limit for credit-builder loans: When you first join Plus, the most you can borrow through the credit-builder loan is $500, though members who stick with the platform for the long term should be able to access larger loan amounts. But that original amount is still quite low for a personal loan, and may not be enough to cover the amount required by the average consumer. The BetterCash loan, on the other hand, ranges from $500 to $5,000, making it more viable for larger expenses.
MoneyLion Personal Loan Details
MoneyLion product details
With a MoneyLion Plus credit-builder loan, the borrowing limit would increase over time, and members don’t need to re-apply for loans. As noted above, the Plus membership does come with a $29 monthly fee. For those who swipe through their investment account’s financial cards every day, that amount is canceled out in the form of cash back, which pays out $1 a day.
However, Plus also requires members to save $50 a month in their MoneyLion Plus investment account. It’s important to note that while your credit score is not considered during the membership application process, acceptance is not guaranteed either. Along with membership (including the no-cost version) comes another perk: cash advances at no cost, which provide up to $250 of “Instacash” at 0% APR. That can be useful when you’re waiting for a direct deposit to clear and you have a bill coming up.
BetterCash loan applications, on the other hand, are subject to risk assessment and underwriting. For those loans, interest isn’t compounded or rolled over if you miss a payment.
BetterCash also comes with the option to defer a payment, which you would pay at the end of the term. And for those who can provide evidence of financial hardship, BetterCash says it will work with customers “as best we can” to ensure that you stay up to date on payments. That could translate to additional deferments or rescheduled payments. It’s also important to know that your credit history, ability to pay, existing debt, employment and residence history are considered when calculating loan amount and rate offers.
- Minimum credit score: Not specified
- Minimum credit history: Not specified
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified
MoneyLion Plus is available in all states, except Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and Vermont. According to the website, 85% of people who meet the following guidelines qualify for a Plus credit builder personal loan:
- Verified identity
- Employed with income
- Pass ability-to-pay criteria
- Checking account with a positive balance and direct deposit paychecks
To be eligible, your membership payments must also be in good standing, and you can’t have another active loan on your account. You also have to be at least 18, and while good credit is not a requirement, a soft credit pull is done when you apply.
BetterCash is available in most states, except Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Applicants must be at least 18 (or 19 in Alabama or Nebraska), pass an identity check, have verifiable income, provide a valid checking account that is at least 45 days old and have income direct deposited into a checking account.
Applying for a personal loan from MoneyLion
To apply for a MoneyLion credit-builder loan, you’ll have to create a new account through the website or app. You’ll have to provide personal information like your name, address, phone number and income. You’ll also be prompted to create a password for your account, select a pay date and link a bank account. Then you’ll need to review the payment schedule and loan agreement before e-signing the agreement. Funds would then be available through your MoneyLion checking account or your debit card.
For the BetterCash loan, applicants must be able to provide:
- Social Security number
- Email address
- Home address
- Mobile number
- Date of birth
- Bank information
Some may also have to go through bank verification, which includes employment verification. The application can be filled out online. The company says it aims to have all completed applications reviewed and approved or denied within 24 hours of submission.
Pros and Cons of a MoneyLion Personal Loan
Who’s the best fit for a MoneyLion personal loan?
If you have a low credit score, a steady income and need a few hundred dollars to get by, MoneyLion’s credit-builder loan may be up to the task. It could also provide something of a security net since Plus members are guaranteed access to those loans as long as their account is in good standing and they don’t have another credit-builder loan open.
But if you’re thinking of getting the membership just to access the loan, that may not be the right move since the total cost of membership is at least $50 a month. If you can swing it, however, that would amount to $600 invested per year, plus or minus any earnings or losses. You would withdraw those funds through the app and pay a 25-cent withdrawal fee.
The BetterCash loan, on the other hand, would be best suited to those who need more than $500 and are willing to shell out money later in exchange for quick cash. The fact that it does provide a deferment and says it’s willing to work with those who experience financial hardship could be a comfort to potential borrowers. However, the extremely high APR is not to be overlooked if you want healthy finances in the long term, especially since there may be better options out there if you shop around online.
Alternative personal loan options
- APR range: 5.99% to 29.99%
- Credit requirements: 600 minimum credit score
- Terms: 36 or 60 months
- Origination fee: 1.00% - 5.00%
Peerform is a marketplace lending platform offering personal loans to those with credit scores at or higher than 600. If you need more cash than either MoneyLion or BetterCash can offer, want a longer term to pay it back and have a couple of weeks to spare, Peerform may be right for you since it offers rates that are comparable to both loans. As long as you don’t pay by check (which comes with a $15 fee per payment), it’s a good alternative.
LendingClub is an online peer-to-peer lender that gives qualified applicants a range of personal loan offers. While the rates are slightly higher than MoneyLion or BetterCash, it does provide an option for those who need to stretch out their repayment and meet the credit requirement or can get a co-borrower. The origination fee is deducted from the disbursed amount, however, so you’ll need to consider that when figuring out how much to request.
Interested in a personal loan?LendingTree allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders by filling out one easy form. Advertiser Disclosure
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|Lender||RATES (APR)||loan amount|
|5.99% – 19.16%1||$5,000 to $100,000|
|8.69% – 35.99%||$1,000 to $50,000|
|7.99% – 35.97%*||$1,000 to $35,000|
|99.00% – 199.00%2||$500 to $4,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%3||$5,000 to $35,000|
|7.99% – 29.99%4||$7,500 to $40,000|
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NMLS #1136: Terms & Conditions Apply
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi. |
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.
3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
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Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 7.99%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.