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MoneyLion Lender Review
22 May 2018

MoneyLion Lender Review

Most consumers apply for personal loans for covering household expenses. This is why online lenders are rising in popularity — people need assistance with costs of living. We looked at MoneyLion, a leading resource in personal finance and online lending.

They are more than just your average online lender. Their various products and services make them a popular option for many kinds of consumers.

They tailor solutions to everyone, no matter your financial situation.

  • Bonsai Finance

    Our take: Online marketplace that searches through lenders to find the best offer for your personal situation Show more
    Credit ScoreLoan Size/AmountLoan TermAPROrigination Fee
    All can apply$100 - $15,0001 - 604.99% - 1,386%Varies by lender
    Credit ScoreAll can apply
    Loan Size/Amount$100 - $15,000
    Loan Term1 - 60
    APR4.99% - 1,386%
    Origination FeeVaries by lender

The Basics

Their marketing message is straightforward.

Give your wallet a boost.

The reason they focus on your wallet is that they provide products and services that address the big picture — your financial wellness.

Here is a look at some of the products and services they provide:

Personal Financial Management Tools

The MoneyLion experience is delivered through their user-friendly mobile app. It provides a perspective on all aspects of your financial wellness.

Features of the app include:

  • A credit monitoring tool
  • Options for rewards, like gift cards
  • Personalized notifications on fees and fraud
  • Grow Your Stack, an augmented reality view of your finances

MoneyLion Plus

This is a membership model that costs $29 per month. You can also use it for free if you log into the MoneyLion app every day.

This service helps you manage simplified investments, small loans, and credit building.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for the membership by providing the following information:
    • Checking account information
    • Identity verification
    • Proof of consistent income
    • A positive balance in your account
  • They send you a low-interest loan, $1 cash back each day, and access to a guided investment account.
  • They transfer $50 from your bank account to your Plus investment account.
  • You gain access to a members-only Facebook group.

Personal Loan Options

They provide two different opportunities for you to submit requests for.

MoneyLion Loans

This option is for those with fair to good credit. They require a credit score of at least 640 and an annual income of $36,000 or more.

To understand where you are, review the credit score breakdown:

  • Above 750 — Excellent
  • Between 700 and 749 — Good
  • Between 650 and 699 — Fair
  • Between 550 and 649 — Poor
  • 550 and below — Bad

With this loan option, you have a choice of longer terms. The range is between 12 and 36 months.

Plus, you get access to larger sums of money. You qualify for a loan anywhere between $1,000 and $35,000.

These bigger loans can be used for a variety of circumstances, such as the following:

  • Home improvement – reduce your energy costs with efficient upgrades, like sealed windows.
  • Debt consolidation – simplify high-interest debts by paying one simple loan payment.
  • Medical expenses – prepare for the big surgery coming up and gain some peace of mind.

Lionloans

This is their original lending product that is specifically geared toward helping people boost their credit.

This is a great option if you have bad credit.

These loans are smaller, ranging between $300 and $1,500. You usually get about 6 months to pay these off.

The Pros

MoneyLion approaches lending and financial wellness in a unique, engaging way. There are several benefits to using their services.

Holistic Financial Wellness

Through their app, you get a look at everything. This includes what you’re borrowing, what you’re investing, and how much you’re saving.

Also, they send you simple tips and tactics you can use every single day. For example, if you’re spending less than you earn, they will show you in a chart how much you’re saving.

These daily notifications not only motivate you to stay focused on financial goals. They also keep you in the loop on impending fees and fraudulent charges.

Also, they use machine learning based algorithms to match you with the best rates that fit your financial situation. But they also help you think about the bigger picture with a rewards program.

Rewards

If you show you’re financially responsible, you earn rewards, like gift cards and even up to 15% discounts on your APR.

They determine financial responsibility by looking at several elements. These include your habits in borrowing, using credit, and spending and saving.

You can also earn ‘Boosts.’ They compare this feature to an ‘online high five.’ A friend can ‘Boost’ you, and you start earning loan rate discounts.

The Cons

As with every online lender, you can expect disadvantages, depending on your situation.

Membership Model

Their approach to lending is very unique. Rather than simply providing you with a personal loan, they’re trying to encourage daily monitoring of your finances.

While that’s a great habit to get into, it’s not a straightforward solution.

To become a member (through their MoneyLion Plus option), you need to link your savings account. This access can feel intrusive.

When you’re a member and link your savings, you’re able to borrow up to $500 at modest interest rates, no higher than 5.99%.

On top of that though, you pay a monthly rate that you can only reduce or eliminate by logging on every day.

Restrictions

As mentioned above, the Plus account is limited to short-term, low-interest loans. It’s essentially encouraging you to borrow and invest small loans.

But outside their Plus account, you can qualify for bigger loans. It depends on what options you request.

High Interest

Here’s a quick look at both of their loan options.

First of all, the MoneyLion loans fall between 7% and 29.99% APR. This is not incredibly high for the online lending industry.

On the other hand, their second loan option is called Lionloans. This is tailored for those with bad credit.

However, their interest rates are sky high. While your credit score can be lower than 550, the APR ranges between 36% and 200%.

The Verdict of MoneyLion

This is a toss-up. There are several things to consider about this service.

  • The Plus membership is good for those who qualify to continue building credit and who want to stay informed about their overall financial wellness
  • The Lionloans option is a good solution if you’re looking to recover from a bad credit score. But be cautious of the high-interest rate.

Overall, if you want a reset on your whole financial wellness approach, MoneyLion might be a good solution for you. It encourages good habits, like checking your finances daily.

But if you’re not in need of recovering from bad credit, keep looking.

There are several online lenders offering similar personal loan options that don’t require costly memberships.

Bonsai Finance helps you find great solutions for your financial needs. Stay educated by visiting our learning center.