MoneyLion Plus is a new service launched by the Malaysia-based fintech startup in 2018. Subscribe (free if you log into the app everyday) and you will get access to a bunch of MoneyLion services, including $500 loans with a low APR, automated savings, a “credit builder” (MoneyLion will report to the credit bureaus when you pay back your loans on time) and a guided investment account. With more than 70% of its users reporting a 30-point (or more) improvement to their credit score by using MoneyLion Plus loans, this app is a great end-to-end solution to better manage your financial life. Let’s deep into the MoneyLion Plus review now.
How It Works
The onboarding process is relatively long as MoneyLion needs to check your identity. MoneyLion will ask you for your name, email, address, SSN, employment status and you will also need to connect the app with your bank account.
MoneyLion will then serve as your financial planner app – you will be able to invest, plan and receive alerts.
MoneyLion Plus can advance you up to $500 for as long as 12 months. Your loan repayments will coincide with your salary payments. The $500 loan amount is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of overdraft protection apps, which we like. This loan is collateralized – meaning that if you fail to repay MoneyLion will withdraw money from your MoneyLion savings account (as part of MoneyLion Plus the app puts away $50 of your money into a savings account every month).
MoneyLion pricing is a bit complex to understand.
While the price of the loan itself is a low APR of 5.99%, you will need to be a MoneyPlus member to get access to the loan.
How much does it cost to be a member? Basically, MoneyLion will withdraw $79 out of your account every month. $50 out of the $79 will go to your “Plus investment account”. The remaining $29 is your monthly membership fee. Now what’s interesting here is that every day you log into the app, MoneyLion will give you $1 back on your membership fee (up to $29 per month, so your whole subscription fee could be returned to you if you log in every day). You might ask yourself why? Well, when ranking apps, one of the stats that Apple analyzes is how engaged users are. So, accessing the MoneyLion App every day helps MoneyLion rank higher. A bit complex to understand but not the worst idea I heard of!
The good thing is that MoneyLion Plus is in fact an affordable and easy way to automatically and effortlessly report good credit behaviour to the credit bureaus so you could potentially quickly improve your credit score. The loan is a fixed amount loan with a fixed rate, and the interest payment is twice monthly. This is a much more effective (and quicker) way to improve your credit score vs. paying down a credit card (which is very hard to do unless you receive a sudden financial windfall) or opening up a credit card and putting it on autopay.
Scenario: let’s say that you log into the app twice a week, you will end up paying $21/ month for being a member. Add the loan APR and you’re at $24/ month for a $500 loan. Not cheap, but not the most expensive either when compared to payday lenders. Don’t forget that this loan is collateralized and MoneyLion will take money from your savings account (the one they have been putting $50 aside every month).
MoneyLion Plus claims that most people who are employed with an income and a checking account with direct deposit paychecks and positive balance will be able to subscribe to their service. MoneyLion does not check your credit score. The only thing is that MoneyLion Plus is one of the most expensive services on the market – you need $79 free every month to subscribe. While there is value to the MoneyLion Plus service, not everyone will be able to afford it.
MoneyLion Plus loans
Many of the best MoneyLion features are in fact free of charge. You don’t need to subscribe to MoneyLion Plus to get the MoneyLion debit card, or to get access to MoneyLion’s managed investing service. You get these services just by signing up for MoneyLion. However, you get access to an interesting loan deal if you pay the monthly MoneyLion Plus membership fee.
The MoneyLion Plus subscription comes with a credit builder loan of up to $500. You have plenty of options for borrowing money, but the MoneyLion Plus loan is unique in that it doesn’t require credit checks while at the same time offering loans at an APR of 5.99%, unusually low for a lender that does not perform a credit check. That said, as you’ll see later, MoneyLion can claw back unpaid loans from your MoneyLion investment account.
Apps like MoneyLion
If you are looking for cash advances and are not really in the many other services that MoneyLion Plus has to offer (and you are also not really interested in paying $29/ month or constantly logging in to the app to avoid the charge), you should check out apps like MoneyLion. If you are more interested in a personal finance advisor type of app and don’t want to pay that much money, you should check out the research we did on MoneyLion reviews – the app could be a great solution for you.
MoneyLion is a well-designed app which can bring top value to its users. We highly recommend the app as long as you log into the app quite often (so you won’t be charge $29/ month). If you’re someone that often needs extra cash at the end of the month but still want to find a way to put some money aside on a monthly basis, MoneyLion Plus is a good solution.
On the other hand, if you’re not regularly using overdrafts, you don’t really borrow money and you know you won’t have the patience to log into the app everyday, we suggest you to take a look at apps like Dave or apps like Earnin. If you’re interested to get a personal loan in general, you should check out our article Where Can I get a Personal Loan.