MoneyLion Review

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Jun 16, 2016

Calling themselves “the future of personal finance,” MoneyLion is a data-driven personal loan provider who also offers free credit monitoring, money and wealth management tools, along with a points and rewards program.

Because of this “360 degree approach” to financial health, MoneyLion tells us they’ve originated over 120,000 loans to date.

But can they really give you peace of mind and help you make smarter decisions? Are they a viable way of managing your finances, or are they just another personal loan provider?

To help you find answers to these (and other) questions, we performed some in-depth research of our own. We also had the opportunity to speak with MoneyLion’s Director of Marketing & Customer Engagement, Tony Ouyang.

To kick things off, let’s take a closer look at what MoneyLion has to offer.

MoneyLion’s Loans and Other Credit Products

More than anything else, MoneyLion is a lender who provides unsecured (you won’t be required to have collateral) personal loans between $1,000 and $35,000, which can be used for whatever you want, without restrictions.

Whereas many other personal lenders might focus on prime customers (those with a 680+ credit score), Tony tells us that MoneyLion offers loans across the “entire credit spectrum.” These include:

  • MoneyLion Loans – If you have an excellent (prime or near prime) credit history, you may qualify for these loans at low interest rates, which we’ll talk more about in a second.

  • LionLoans – According to Tony, if you have a credit score lower than 580, or you need to take control of your finances with a starter loan, these smaller loans might be ideal. However, they’ll also come with higher interest rates.

If you’re interested in one of these loans, MoneyLion claims you can check rates and receive a prequalification in 5 minutes, which won’t affect your credit score. If you decide to apply, they’ll then pull a “hard” inquiry.

After approval, you’ll be able to sign your loan agreement electronically and the funds will generally be deposited into your checking account the next business day.

What Interest Rates Will You Pay on Your MoneyLion Loan?

Tony tells us that the interest rates on their MoneyLion loan—the prime option we discussed above—start at 7% and go up to 29.99%. Loans with an APR above 29.99% are made by state-licensed subsidiaries.

He also noted that—like most other personal lenders—your normal APR will be based on a combination of credit score (typically aggregated from all three bureaus), income, and employment.

Outside of this interest and a 2 – 6% origination fee, there are no other fees associated with MoneyLion loans. You’ll be able to pay it off at any time, without penalty.

In addition to their simple, low fee structure, one of the unique things about MoneyLion is their rewards program, which is what we’ll discuss next.

The MoneyLion Rewards Program

Every time you “display financial responsibility” and receive endorsements on your MoneyLion account, you’ll earn rewards, such as gift cards to popular stores like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Starbucks, and more— and credits when you receive endorsements that can get you up to a 15% discount on your loan’s APR.

What, exactly, is meant by “financial responsibility”? Tony told us this involves a combination of five different elements:

  • Connecting with MoneyLion – This is the “getting to know you” phase, which constitutes actions that can help verify your identity and reduce fraud, such as connecting social profiles and confirming your email/mobile number.

  • Borrowing Habits – Making loan payments and paying off your balance on time.

  • Financial Habits – Connecting credit cards and bank accounts, increasing your savings by 5%, viewing your net worth, avoiding late fees, etc. As Tony put it, “Just doing the right thing.”

  • Credit Habits – Enrolling in their free credit monitoring service, increasing your credit score, keeping your credit utilization below 10%, and more.

  • Helping the MoneyLion Community – Writing reviews, having other MoneyLion users upvote your reviews, etc.

From a social perspective, Tony mentioned that friends and family can provide endorsements on your account. From there, every 5 endorsements get you a 2.5% APR reduction, which caps out at 15%.

However, he emphasized that an endorsement does not carry any legal ramifications (such as co-signing for the loan holder). Only that these individuals are “supporting you in improving your financial situation and habits.”

Important note: The rate reductions above are percentages off the APR—not discounts off the APR itself. For example, if you qualify for an APR of 20% and have 30 or more Endorsements for a 15% discount, then your resulting APR will be 17%.

Personal Financial Management Tools

According to the company, MoneyLion’s iPhone and Android personal financial management apps can help you:

  • Get personalized “Tips For You” based on your credit score and spending patterns to help you manage your credit and save money.
  • View transactions across all your accounts
  • Identify spending categories, track expenses, and stay on budget
  • Track your savings and net worth over time, updated daily
  • Receive mobile alerts if unusual spending is noted on your account, or if your bank balance drops too low (avoid bank fees!)

In other words, these features might be able to help you manage your day-to-day spending and savings while on the go.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for standalone wealth management apps, you might want to focus on options like GuideVine, Blooom, LearnVest, and more.

MoneyLion Main Desktop DashboardAn Example of MoneyLion’s main dashboard, which displays rewards, Tips For You, endorsements, active loans, credit information, financial tracking, and more. Image credit: MoneyLion

TransUnion Credit Monitoring

MoneyLion’s credit monitoring service is provided free of charge through TransUnion, and is available whether you’re a MoneyLion loan customer or not. To enroll, simply enter some basic information and confirm your identity.

Then, MoneyLion promises to deliver your credit score “in seconds” and provide a comprehensive analysis of important factors related to your credit. On top of this, you’ll be able to keep track of your credit, simulate how different financial decisions affect it (e.g. taking out a new loan, transferring a balance to a new card, paying off all your cards, etc.), and get real-time alerts whenever changes occur to your account.

Tony let us know that MoneyLion also recently rolled out a feature where they’ll run different financial simulations on your behalf and provide “Credit Monitoring Tips” on how you can better manage your credit score.

What Are MoneyLion’s Customers Reviews Saying?

MoneyLion, Inc. based out of New York, NY (with offices in San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur), has been in business since 2013.

On Trustpilot, MoneyLion had 66 individual reviews at the time of our research, with an average rating of 9.1 stars. There, common compliments referenced ease of use, excellent customer service, and fast turnaround times.

In fact, the only two negative complaints referenced high rates and lack of communication. In both instances, a representative reached out to the customer in an attempt to rectify the situation.

There were also 13 MoneyLion reviews on SuperMoney.com, where the company had a 4-star average rating.

Percentage-wise, there were more complaints here than on TrustPilot, many of which referenced unexpected denials and long funding times. Note: Many of these complaints were listed as ‘not recommended’ on SuperMoney.

As far as their apps, the iOS version of the MoneyLion app had an average rating of 4 stars based on a total of 43 reviews.

Most compliments seemed to reference ease of use (it appears to display much of the same information found in your personal dashboard) and solid design.

However, most complaints seemed related to technical issues, such as difficulty adding accounts. Most of the complaints appear to reference older versions of the app.

MoneyLion’s Android version had a similar 3.5-star average rating on Google Play, based on compliments that it’s a great tool for quick access to information and ease of use.

Many also complained, however, of technical issues like difficulty adding accounts, linking banking information, problems signing up, etc. Here again, though, the company seemed to quickly respond to these complaints.

Are Personal Loans a Good Idea?

As positive as MoneyLion’s features might be in helping you improve your financial situation, in general, most financial professionals recommend avoiding personal loans. Why?

Unlike mortgages, which use your home as collateral, or auto loans that use your car, personal loans are often unsecured. As a result, they tend to come with higher interest rates that can add thousands to your repayment amount, and even keep you trapped in a cycle of debt in some instances.

Sure, they come with few stipulations, but you’ll pay (often greatly) for the convenience.

However, if you’re looking to consolidate credit cards, refinance student loans, improve your credit, or pay for a large expense like a wedding, (as long as the interest rate is lower than your credit cards), personal loans might not be a bad idea. Just make sure you only take out exactly what you need and pay it off as quickly as possible.

Our Bottom Line on MoneyLion

MoneyLion tells us that they “use machine learning based algorithms and big data analytics to understand the financial needs of our clients and offer better rates than traditional lenders.”

But as you’ll learn during your research, there are dozens of lenders hopping on this new “algorithm” bandwagon, aimed at streamlining the application and approval process and getting customers their money faster.

Often times, they also pass saved labor costs on to their clients in the form of lower interest rates. Popular examples include Rocket Mortgage, LendKey, and LightStream Loans.

Compared to other personal lending options, MoneyLion seems to focus on helping their customers maintain good credit and make smarter financial decisions, and their rewards program can help customers score lower interest rates on future loans.

And based on what Tony Ouyang, MoneyLion’s Director of Marketing told us during our conversation, this seems to set them apart from much of the competition and move them closer to their goal of “creating a holistic experience that enables you to reach financial wellness.”

Given this, as well as the general concerns surrounding personal loans and lack of online customer feedback, we might recommend applying for a MoneyLion loan—but only after you have all the important details in front of you, and you’re sure you can quickly pay it off.

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Read 200 MoneyLion Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 151 4 star: 12 3 star: 1 2 star: 4 1 star:  32
Bottom Line: 80% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 200
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  • Editor’s Note: This company is actively collecting reviews from its customers. All reviews submitted are subject to moderation and approval to ensure they meet our Review Guidelines.
  • Falsely reporting negative payment history on credit report

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Sep 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Made every single payment on time. They have destroyed my credit by reporting I paid 60-90 days late. Management has apologized on several occasions with the promise to correct the error, which to date never happened. Cannot speak with anyone on the phone. They are AWFUL! I will never do business with them again!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    NO CUSTOMER SERVICE

    • Bethesda, MD,
    • Jul 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They never answer the phone and it takes AGES to get a response when you submit a ticket. Very frustrating. Good potential of being a great company, but if they don't invest in their customer service they are going to fail.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Low interest

    • Georgia,
    • May 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is a great loan place that has low interest and helps you save at the same time. I will recommend this before trying any other loan. When joining MoneyLion Plus you can earn reward points and once you get 2500 points you will qualify for a gift card, it has many options from restaurants to clothing and shoe stores. I highly recommend you to work with this company, you will save a lot of money.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Very good app, kinda confusing at first though.

    • Hammond, LA,
    • May 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This app is very new to me. I do have problems with enrolling free credit monitoring, I have to wait 31 days, which I didn't like. All my info was very correct. But the app is pretty amazing, it has a very good variety of pluses.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Placing my MoneyLion Plus account as delinquent because I requested my account be closed for personal reasons.

    • Banning, CA,
    • May 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a MoneyLion investment account for approximately 6 months. During that time, my account was in good standing. I also had taken out a personal loan for five hundred dollars. My loan, also was in good standing, and I paid it off early. I contacted MoneyLion customer service to request that my money lion investment account be closed, due to the fact that I was robbed at gunpoint while I was leaving my bank's ATM machine. I was also badly assaulted. This happened while I was in a wheelchair, as I am wheelchair bound. My wallet was also taken with all my credit cards and personal information. I was told by the police to close all my accounts and to inform all my creditors that I was a victim of a crime. All of this was told to MoneyLion. They closed my account and transferred my investment funds to my money lion checking account. Within 2 weeks after closing my MoneyLion Plus account, MoneyLion reported my account as delinquent to all three credit reporting agencies, and my credit score dropped 76 points. This was done out of spite for me closing my account, as I was never delinquent. I called their customer service department numerous times and was given run arounds. Nobody I spoke to had any information as to why they reported me delinquent.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great experience

    • North Carolina,
    • May 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm 33 and finally trying to grow up. I've never been smart with money. I don't even have credit! And seems to be worse than having bad! But I found this app and it's so easy to follow! I'm not a tech-savvy person nor do I follow all the rage, per se. So I found this app to be great, easy, and effective. Thank you MoneyLion for helping me get back on track.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Great service

    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Apr 29, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a MoneyLion Plus member since August 2018. When I signed up for the service, I was in a tight financial spot and my credit score was 461.

    After being a member for a month, they extended me a $500 credit builder loan at 5.99% ARP. Repayment terms are $9.92 a week for 52 weeks. Thanks to this loan, my credit score has risen to 581 and has allowed me to get an unsecured credit card.

    My membership costs $18.51 a week. $11.51 gets invested. The other $7.00 is the membership fee. You can earn that $7.00 back just by logging into the app everyday and swiping through your cards. All they are are helpful credit tips. It takes only a few seconds. I think this is where most people get confused about their service. READ WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING UP FOR! If you aren't willing to log in each day, you will lose that $7.00 a week.

    Since I signed up, my investment account has grown to $630.00. Through there rewards program, I have earned two $25.00 gift cards.

    The bad points. Their app could be better. There have been some glitches though the last update fixed most of my issues.

    Customer service could be better.

    I don't care for the changes they made to the rewards program. It is taking more time to earn points, but honestly, that is a minor issue to me. I am more concerned with rebuilding my credit, saving money, and access to the loan.

    I also have their debit account. I have not had any issues with it, though I would say if you aren't going to set up direct deposit, it is kind of a pain getting money into it. Transfers from my main bank account takes around 4 to 5 days through ACH. I have a small amount of my paycheck set up as a direct deposit for this account and only use it as an emergency fund.

    Overall, I am pleased with MoneyLion. They helped me with a loan when nobody else would. They have helped to put me on track to fix my credit. For the first time in a long time I actually have saved money.

    With that said, I don't think their service is for everyone. It is important to read and understand how the program works. If you are not willing to follow through and log in everyday to earn your membership fees back, don't sign up. You will lose a lot of money. It is pretty easy and only takes a minute out of your day, but it does add up.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Easiest SCAM to fall into

    • California,
    • Apr 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is the biggest scam there is. First off, they charge you $39.95 twice per month just to be a member. Then they also charge you $29.95 twice per month to supposedly pay towards your loan. The money they claim you earn in the supposed "Money Lion Plus" funding account you will never be able to receive.

    I just spent the last 7 days trying to get someone to reply to me or call me in order to dispense funds in my account. Now finally when I get some on the phone and tell them I want all my proceeds dispursed and my account closed, the jerk pretends he can no longer hear me and hangs up. So now I have to start over again trying to get someone to call me back.

    The whole time they are giving you the runaround online and on the phone, they are deducting $39.95 every two weeks for the supposed membership fee. If you send them a message by text or email you only ever get a generated response that no one is available and to try again later. They are the biggest crooks I have ever dealt with. DO NOT deal with this company for any reason! SCAM!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    I have had nothing but problems...

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Apr 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have had nothing but problems in the three months I have had a MoneyLion account. The app constantly has issues. Customer support is terrible. I have had direct deposit for three months, but it says that I don't and prompts me to set it up, and under insta-cash it says I need to relink my direct deposit account (but it goes to the money lion account). The investment payment taken out of my other account 5 business days ago still isn't even showing as pending in my investment account. I have called 2 days in a row and due to high call volume they ask for a call back number and no one has called me back yet and it's now day 3. I will be paying off my loan and closing my account next payday.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great loan service

    • South Carolina,
    • Apr 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've used MoneyLion for a while now and the results of getting the loan was easy. I can invest $1 a day and I can withdraw some of it as needed as long as I have an active loan. It's with a try if you have a need for the $500, but not for a long term loan.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • California,
    • Apr 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    All the positive reviews here are their workers. There's nothing positive about them at all. Total scam. Yes, they pulled the "not hearing me" with me too, and I was only inquiring.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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Showing 1-11 of 200

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