2023 MoneyLion Personal Loan Review
MoneyLion is a lender that offers loans specifically catered to help consumers improve their credit, also known as a credit builder loan. With the Credit Builder Plus loan, consumers can borrow $500–$1,000, but this product comes with a monthly membership fee of $19.99.
- No credit checks: MoneyLion offers no-credit-check loans, so if you have bad credit or no credit history at all, you can still qualify.
- Expensive fees: If you take into account MoneyLion’s monthly fee, the total cost of borrowing is very high — and this is especially true for borrowers who only qualify for this lender’s highest rates. Loans that come with high fees and short repayment periods are often considered to be examples of predatory lending.
- Small loan amounts: This lender only offers loans up to $1,000 — so if you need a larger loan, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- Credit monitoring services: A MoneyLion membership comes with credit monitoring services. You can receive weekly updates on your credit score as well as information on any credit events that impact it.
- Helps build credit: MoneyLion reports your payments to all three credit bureaus. This will be recorded on your credit reports and can help improve your credit score.
- Slow funding: After you sign your loan paperwork, it can take up to three business days to receive your loan funds.
- Best for borrowers with no credit: MoneyLion loans specifically cater to consumers who want to build credit. If you’re new to the world of credit, this may be a good way to beef up your credit profile, especially since this lender reports to all three credit bureaus.
MoneyLion pros and cons
This lender comes with benefits and drawbacks that consumers will want to carefully weigh before signing on the dotted line for a loan.
No credit checks required
Reports to all three credit bureaus
Offers credit monitoring services to check your credit score weekly
Must pay $19.99 monthly membership fees on top of APRs
Small loan amounts
Current CFPB lawsuit
MoneyLion’s no-credit-check policy may sound enticing, especially if you have a thin credit history or credit that could use some work. To help improve your credit score, MoneyLion reports your payments to all three major credit bureaus, offers credit monitoring services and allows you to check your credit score on a weekly basis.
Unfortunately, MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus loan comes with more costs than just annual percentage rates (APRs) — the interest and fees you’ll pay on your loan. Customers will also have to pay a $19.99 monthly membership fee. Let’s say you borrow $1,000 for 12 months at 29.99% APR: You’ll end up repaying $1,169.79. However, if you include 12 months of membership fees, it comes out to $1,409.67, which equates to about 68.7% APR. (In contrast, APRs under 36% are what financial experts generally consider to be affordable.)
In 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against MoneyLion for charging military service members “illegal and excessive” rates and fees. The CFPB claims that these charges go against the Military Lending Act, since they exceed the legal limit of 36% APR on loans to military members and their families.
The CFPB also alleges that MoneyLion didn’t allow customers to end their memberships until their loans were paid off and continued to charge them their monthly membership fee. The lawsuit is still ongoing.
To get a MoneyLion loan, you’ll need to become a member and meet the following requirements.
|Minimum credit score||None|
|Membership requirements|| |
If MoneyLion’s loan options won’t work for your borrowing needs, be sure to shop around for a lender that helps you meet your financial goals and can offer you the best-fitting rates, terms and amounts.
How to get a loan with MoneyLion
Since MoneyLion is not a traditional personal loan lender, the application process works a bit differently.
Become a member
Before you can access MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus loan, you’ll need to apply to become a member. To begin the process, link your checking account to your MoneyLion account. Next, MoneyLion will scan it for the following:
- Recurring deposits made to your account
- The account’s opening date (must be at least 60 days old)
- Positive account balance
- An active history of transactions
Request a loan
If you’re approved for membership, you can request a Credit Builder Plus loan. During this part of the process, you may have to supply documentation to verify your income and employment. Since MoneyLion doesn’t perform hard credit pulls, there won’t be any impact to your credit score for applying.
Accept your loan
If you decide to follow through with a MoneyLion loan, you’ll need to sign a loan agreement. Be sure to read the fine print of the contract before signing and understand the fees you’ll be charged. After you’ve signed, it can take up to three business days to receive loan funds.
If you’re having difficulty getting in with a lender, it may be time to improve your chances of getting approved for a personal loan. You can do this by checking your credit reports for errors that may be bringing your score down, paying down on your current debts and making sure you’re making on-time payments.
How MoneyLion compares to personal loan companies
Even if you believe MoneyLion aligns with what you’re looking for in a loan, it’s important to shop around and compare other lenders. Here’s how MoneyLion stacks up against other lenders.
|LendingTree’s rating||2.8/5||4.6/5 (Read review)||4.2/5 (Read review)|
|Minimum credit score||Not specified||580||300|
|Repayment terms||Up to 12 months||24 to 84 months||36 and 60 months|
|Origination fee||No origination fees||1.85% - 9.99%||0.00% - 12.00%|
|Funding timeline||Receive funds in three business days||Receive funds in one business day||Receive funds in one to two business days|
|Bottom line||While MoneyLion doesn’t charge an origination fee, it does charge a $19.99 monthly membership fee. This lender also has much smaller loan amounts and shorter repayment terms than what traditional lenders offer.||Upgrade offers far larger and more flexible loan amounts and repayment terms than MoneyLion. Customers can access funds within one business day — however, they will also have to factor in an origination fee.||A consumer at just about any stage of their credit journey may qualify for an Upstart personal loan. But while Upstart does offer larger and quicker loans than MoneyLion, it may charge a steep origination fee.|
How we rated MoneyLion
To come up with our star rating for personal loan companies, LendingTree considered 22 data points across three categories:
- Accessibility: We paid attention to whether lenders offered loans to nontraditional borrowers, as well as those without excellent credit scores. We also checked if lenders offered soft credit pulls, and whether they were transparent about eligibility criteria other than credit scores.
- Rates and terms: We wanted to know if lender rates, terms, amounts and fees were not only transparent, but also competitive.
- Repayment experience: We based this category on lenders’ reputations, customer support availability and unique benefits.
The data points reflect every step of the process to shop and apply for, borrow and repay personal loans. A five-star lender, for instance, has flexible eligibility requirements, offers you the chance to prequalify without commitment and supports you in zeroing your balance.
The 22 data points, culled from the lenders themselves, determine the overall rating. We score lenders consistently, sometimes awarding partial points, so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons when shopping around.
LendingTree isn’t paid for conducting these reviews, and lenders don’t have control over their content. With our reviews and ratings, we aim to give our users the objective and exhaustive information they need to make the best possible decisions.