MoneyLion Review

If you’re dealing with an emergency expense, or you’re just a little short at the end of the month, you’ve probably spent some time online looking at different payday loan companies. In this article, we’re going to review one of the better-known payday lenders, Read our review to make an informed decision about borrowing from this company. 

Table of Contents

A Brief Introduction To has been in operation since 2016. Diwakar Choubey in New York City founded the company. Although makes the bulk of its revenue offering short-term loans to cash-strapped American consumers, in many respects, operates more like a bank than a traditional payday lender. Has Several Notable Executives

Besides Diawaker Choubey as CEO,’s upper echelons include several other known entities from Wall Street. The company’s Chief Information Officer is Pratyush Tiwari, whose background includes Credit Suisse and Hewlett-Packard.’s Chief Technology Officer is Chee Mun Foong, who previously served as CEO of VR firm Simulex.

Before he founded, Diawakar Choubey already had a reputation for success at the intersection of technology and finance. He previously held positions at some of the most well-known companies on Wall Street, including Barclays Capital, Citadel, and Goldman Sachs. is Choubey’s latest venture, offering targeted financial counseling to Americans. 

While we were completing the research for this review, we found that currently, is licensed to offer all or part of its financial services in more than 20 states. A list of states is licensed to operate in can be found in the Q-and-A section included after this article. has headquarters in New York City, with satellite offices in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Is More Than A Payday Lender

As we were writing this review, we found that offers more services than just payday lending. is a straightforward payday lender offering loans and short-term credit to consumers, but also offers different services than other payday lenders and should be considered more of a bank than a payday lender. 

With its emphasis on targeted financial advice and advanced analytics, operates as a hybrid of a bank, a credit counseling service, a payday lender, and a brokerage firm, all under one roof. Loans Have Strings Attached

If you’re a little short and looking for a payday lender to float you a little cash, know that while MoneyLion can help you out, you’ll be required to open a bank account with them beforehand. If you’re looking for a regular payday lender to give you an advance on your paycheck, you should look elsewhere. Only Provides Small Loans

Suppose you’re in the market for a payday loan or another form of emergency credit. In that case, the other piece of information you need to know about is that will only give loans or cash advances in tiny amounts, with most loans capped at around $1000. This is different from other payday lenders who provide loans into the tens of thousands of dollars. 

When we were scouring the internet looking at ratings on various review sites, their small loans and the strings attached to qualify for them were a near-constant complaint we heard from many different borrowers. If you need money right away and don’t want to open a bank account with your lender or need more than $1000, is not for you. Can Help Build Your Credit (Video)

Check out the video below to learn how you can build credit by using

General Information About

As we stated earlier in this review, does provide small loans, advances, and other credit products to its customers. You need to remember this if you’re considering using because these loan and credit services are only a tiny part of what the company has to offer. 

Like many online banks, doesn’t have physical branches. All transactions are completed online or through the app. The company offers a wide array of 24/7 customer service options. Customers can reach at 888-659-8244. For ATM transactions, has a network of over 55,000 ATMs. 

Customers who use an out-of-network ATM will only incur a small fee of $2.50. As we were writing this comparison of and other similar payday lenders, we found that its customer service options and ATM network were comparable to other payday lenders.

The Pros Of

If you’ve made it this far and want to get a better sense of’s ratings, this section is devoted to the essential information, a detailed list of the “pros” of being a customer. For a more detailed description of’s products, click here to see the breakdown we wrote for the Q-and-A section.

Full-Service Mobile App

While we were looking over all of the various ratings we found online, we repeatedly read about how its customers loved the MoneyLion mobile app. The MoneyLion app is seamless, responsive, and mobile-optimized. You can set text alerts for most transactions and do virtually all of your banking from your mobile device. 

The app never froze up, and unlike a lot of other mobile banking apps that are unreadable, the app was clear and unambiguous and gave a clear picture of our household finances.

Variety Of Financial Products

One thing we kept coming back to as we were putting together this MoneyLion comparison was the number of financial products offered to its customers. Unlike other payday lenders who fixate on giving you a loan and getting you out the door, MoneyLion genuinely cares about giving its customers the tools they need to stay on top of their finances. 

Whether it’s’s Credit Builder account, their credit monitoring tools, or their InstaCash cash advance feature, has cutting-edge tools to help you stay on top of your finances.  

Few Fees And No Minimums

The last item on our “pro” list deals with MoneyLion’s low fees and low costs. While there is a $1 administrative fee for some transactions, as well as a $19.95 monthly membership fee, many customers also liked how the bank kept most of its basic day-to-day transactions free and charged few fees for anything.  

The few fees that we did come across while we were using the app were generally modest, and we found that with most of them, MoneyLion’s customer service department would negotiate with us to get them reduced or canceled. 

The Cons Of

The final list of our review deals with all of the “cons” of being a MoneyLion account holder. While we’ve already covered some of these issues in passing in other parts of this review, we’ll cover them in greater detail here. When we put together this part of the review, we used the most common complaints we found across various customer review websites. 

Account Required For Loan

As we were looking at the reviews with the lowest ratings scores, we found one general line of complaint that kept popping up over and over again. Some customers complained that even though they needed a little extra cash, MoneyLion always required them to open an account to access loans and advances. 

For this part of our review, the moral of the story is that while some consumers might enjoy’s banking features, other consumers looking for a little extra cash to get them to payday might not need them.

Only Small Loan Amounts

While many customers complained about being required to purchase MoneyLion’s other financial products before they were allowed to access loan and cash advance features, the added insult for many unhappy customers is that caps its loans at $1000 in most cases. The Instacash cash advance feature also only advances funds up to $250. 

These caps are pitifully small compared to other payday lenders who commonly give loans into the tens of thousands of dollars.’s philosophy with short-term credit and loans seems geared toward smaller amounts. 

Limited Investment Features

One area where stood out while we were looking at various comparisons available online is that, unlike other payday lenders, offered its customers a wide range of brokerage and investing tools to help their customers build wealth in the stock market.   

On its own, this is impressive and shows a degree of innovation not common in the payday lending industry. Still,’s brokerage tools are pretty limited, with no 401Kor IRA management options and no way for customers to consult with a live stockbroker. 

Overall Reputation & Reviews For

While we were looking over’s ratings at various customer review websites, we found that MoneyLion’s customers were largely happy about their experience. Many customers who had previous experiences with less-than-reputable payday lenders were surprised that didn’t charge any early payment fees on their loans.

Other customers loved that MoneyLion’s app lets them program text alerts for every transaction. We found many reviews that praised MoneyLion’s customer service team and credit management tools.’s automated investment and brokerage tools also got consistently high marks, even if some customers complained that there were no management tools for 401K and IRA investments and no way to talk to a live broker. 

Video Review From A Customer

Q & A For

While we were scouring the internet to get a better idea of’s ratings, we thought you would still have a few questions. Here’s a quick Q-and-A section for the questions we’ve been getting the most.  

Which States Does Operate In?

Currently, is licensed to offer its services and products in the following states:

  • Alabama 
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin 
  • Wyoming 

What Types Of Loans Does Offer?

When we were writing this comparison, we weren’t surprised when we found out that offered a wide range of financial products to its customers. Unlike many other payday lenders that focus entirely on providing short-term credit loans and credit products to their customers, operates both as a payday lender and a bank. 

This means that while does offer short-term cash advances through their Instacash app, they also provide other financial products such as checking accounts with mobile banking options, automated investing, credit monitoring, and their Credit Builder Plus accounts. They also have a comprehensive financial knowledge base to help their customers. operates similarly to other banks today; they offer their customers a fully-functional mobile app that lets them combine their regular banking, credit monitoring, and automated investing all under one roof to don’t have to keep track of multiple apps and multiple passwords to organize their finances.   

Since offers so many different services and products, we decided to devote a little time to explain each one. 

Automated Investing Features

If you’re saving for your retirement or a different financial goal, offers a full array of automated investing features to make investing a breeze. One thing that stood out to us as we were writing this review was the ability to schedule automatic investments with regular automated withdrawals from linked bank accounts.

Instacash Cash Advances

When we were making our comparisons, we also liked how easy it was to request a little extra cash with’s Instacash feature. All you’ll need to qualify for Instacash is a qualifying checking account. Once you’re qualified, you can request up to $250 directly from the app and have it transferred to your linked checking account.

Credit Builder Plus Account

Another feature we kept hearing rave reviews about while we were researching ratings was the innovative Credit Builder Plus Account. The Credit Builder Plus account combines traditional savings accounts with credit monitoring features that help the account holder build a strong credit record to secure the best rates on loans and credit.

Full-Service Mobile Banking App

The other thing that stood out to us while writing this review was the company’s full-service mobile banking app. With’s full-service mobile banking app, you can direct-deposit your paycheck and transfer money between different banks and accounts right from your mobile device.’s bank accounts are FDIC-Insured. 

Is A Scam (Video)?

No, is not a scam. It is a legit service and you can learn more about why is not a scam in the video below.

How Do I Qualify For Do They Require A Credit Check?

There’s not much to do to qualify for Remember that is technically a bank that markets exclusively to men and women who either don’t have much of a credit history or are trying to rebuild their credit after an adverse life event such as a divorce or bankruptcy.’s only minimum requirement to open a bank account is that you must be at least 18 or older or 19 or older if you’re from Alabama. You must have a social security number and be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States with a valid photo ID.

If you’re only interested in getting loans or cash advances, will require you to open and fund an account with them before extending credit or other financial services. does not require a credit check. 

How Much Does Cost? charges a $19.99 monthly membership fee when it comes to cost, but that’s it. While we were writing this review, we were surprised that, unlike other banks that gouge you with fees left and right, charges few if any fees for most basic transactions. 

So while the monthly membership fee is a bummer, there’s no fee for inactivity, no fee to stop payment on a check, no foreign transaction fees, no minimum balance fee, and no fee to open an account. There were a few fees, such as a $1 monthly administrative fee, $2.50 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals, and $25 for expedited shipping on replacement ATM cards.  

Check out this link if you want to see a detailed breakdown of’s fees.


While doesn’t qualify as a payday lender in the strictest sense of the term, if you’re looking for a reputable source for payday loans or other short-term loans, is a trustworthy company, even if they don’t give loans or cash advances for more significant amounts. 

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