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MoneyLion Review (2024): Good Platform for Money Discipline

Are you ready to take control of your finances and unlock the key to financial success? Look no further than MoneyLion, the ultimate all-in-one platform that is changing the way we manage our money. In my official MoneyLion review, I will dive into all its features, benefits, and my experience using the app. My goal is to give you all the information you need to:

  1. Make the most out of this game-changing online financial tool 
  2. Take control of your finances
  3. Unlock your path to financial prosperity.

Disclaimer: This post does contain referral links. This just means I will earn the same rewards you will earn by signing up for MoneyLion via the links provided. Do not worry, there is no additional cost to you. Please read all of my Disclaimers for more information.

About MoneyLion

MoneyLion is built for Americans who are either ignored or taken advantage of by regular big banks. Their target market is American consumers who, on average, have less than $2,000 in savings. Most big banks will not take these people seriously and consider them too risky to work with. This is not fair at all. MoneyLion believes that everyone gets ahead when no one is left behind.

MoneyLion’s goal is to create a platform “where the 99% can feel 100% about their future.” They strive to make managing money less scary for people who would have been ignored or taken advantage of by traditional banks. At the same time, they want to give users a better path toward their financial goals.

Co-founders

According to Investopedia, MoneyLion was founded in 2013 by a team of tech and financial specialists. The mobile app MoneyLion has three co-founders who are still very involved in the company. The current CEO is Diwakar Choubey. He used to work on Wall Street in high positions for various companies, including Goldman Sachs, Citadel, and Barclays Capital. The second co-founder is Pratyush Tiwari, who is the Chief Info Officer. Finally, Chee Mun Foong is the Chief Tech Officer. 

These specialists built the data and machine-learning tech that makes MoneyLion unique. This data and tech are made to offer people their own advice that is based on their current spending patterns.

Mission

MoneyLion’s mission is to: 

“Rewire the American banking system so that we can positively change the financial path for every hard-working American.” 

MoneyLion works to achieve this mission through its features, from online banking to investing and credit repair. They aim to give people a better path to reach their financial goals. 

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When you subscribe to my website, in addition to updates, you will receive $55 in bonus cash when you sign up for MoneyLion, open a RoarMoney account, and make your first qualifying direct deposit!

Features & Products

MoneyLion offers a range of features and products aimed at helping people better manage their money and achieve their financial goals. With features like zero-fee checking accounts, investment accounts, and access to credit-building loans, you can better control your finances and build a brighter financial future. Also, MoneyLion has a marketplace of third-party resources to help you with your finances further. Whether you’re looking to save money, invest for the future, or improve your credit score, MoneyLion has what you need to succeed.

Features

Moneylion’s main features include:

  1. Safety Net
  2. Mobile Banking
  3. Cash Back Rewards
  4. Round Ups
  5. 0% APR Cash Advances
  6. Financial Tracking

Safety Net

MoneyLion’s Safety Net feature is designed to be your one-stop financial solution. It is an excellent tool for those who want to stay on top of their finances and avoid any unnecessary slip-ups. Safety Net includes the RoarMoney, Instacash, Investing, and Round Up products. You can see your available funds here, so you are prepared for anything.

Mobile Banking

Also called “RoarMoney℠,” this feature gives users free checking accounts. RoarMoney gives users access to direct deposit, which pays up to two days early. Also, this feature includes price protection for purchases. When users find a lower price of a purchase they made with their account, they can request a for the difference. However, users can only redeem the refund within 90 days of purchase. Also, there is a $250 limit per claim and a four claims limit per year. 

Also, these accounts do not require a minimum balance or charge too many fees. Users can avoid paying standard transfers, foreign transactions, stop payment, or replacement card fees. Instead, users can only expect to pay a $1 admin fee and $2.50 for ATM withdrawals at a non-Allpoint® ATM. The largest fee they have is a $25 expedited card replacement fee. 

Finally, RoarMoney accounts are very secure because:

  1. They are FDIC insured.
  2. You can access all of your debit card information in the MoneyLion app. As a result, you can make online purchases without needing a physical debit card that could get lost. Also, you can link your “virtual” debit card to Apple Pay, Cash App, and Venmo (excluding Zelle). Of course, if you still prefer a physical debit card, you can request one be mailed to you. It should arrive within a week to 10 business days.
  3. They protect against unauthorized purchases if a debit card is lost or stolen.

Cash Back Rewards

RoarMoney℠ bank accounts on MoneyLion also offer cashback rewards. Users can earn cashback on everyday spending from popular merchants. The money earned from cashback is then added to the user’s investing account. This is to help their investing accounts grow even further. 

RoarMoney℠ includes a sub-feature called Shake N’ Bank to increase users’ chances of earning cash back. This feature allows users to earn rewards simply by shaking their phones. Users can enjoy this feature after making purchases of $10 or more for up to $120 per transaction. The key to success with this feature is to use your RoarMoney℠ virtual card or physical MoneyLion debit card as much as possible. The more you spend with this account, the more chances you have to shake your phone for cashback rewards. 

Round Ups

MoneyLion has a round-up feature similar to the app Acorns. When enabled, this feature allows you to automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change into your investing portfolio. For example, if you buy a coffee for $2.75, MoneyLion will round up the purchase to $3.00 and invest $0.25 into your investment account.

This feature is a great way to save money without even realizing it and helps you build up your investment portfolio over time. Plus, it’s a hassle-free way to invest and can help you reach your financial goals faster. You can use the round-ups feature for your RoarMoney account, any external bank account with a debit card, and even credit cards.

0% APR Cash Advances

One more feature RoarMoney℠ bank accounts offer is cash advances. Also called InstaCash, users can request a cash advance of up to $250. There are no fees, interest, or even a credit check to obtain a cash advance. Requested money can reach users’ accounts instantly, though fees will apply. 

Financial Tracking

Also known as the Financial Heartbeat, this feature helps users track the current state of their finances. Like apps that monitor your health and count your steps daily, this feature monitors users’ financial health and steps towards a personal goal. The goal of this feature is to help reduce financial stress and achieve goals. It is built using A.I. tools, machine learning, and data to deliver users their own financial planning and advice. 

Users receive a daily financial heartbeat score, which is used to monitor progress to help keep users on track to reach their goals. The four key areas of financial health are:

  • Save – measures how well you are saving money so you are prepared for planned and unplanned expenses.
  • Spend – helps keep your spending in line with your income and budget.
  • Shield – helps you understand your insurance needs and organize your coverage.
  • Score – provides your overall credit health. It factors in utilization and includes credit score monitoring.

RoarMoney℠

See the Mobile Banking feature above for more details.

Investing Account

MoneyLion offers users a fully managed investing account that helps users save and grow their money. You can invest any amount of money into your portfolio as often as you want. There are no fees or minimum balances required for these accounts. Also, you can set automatic transfers into your investing account, personalize it to your desired risk level, and invest in what you care about most.

The MoneyLion investment account features:

  • Zero management fees
  • Auto investing
  • Personalized portfolios
  • No minimum balance
  • Thematic Investing

With personalized portfolios, you can choose a risk strategy you’re comfortable with. This dictates the rate at which your investing account will grow (and fall, so choose wisely) to help you best achieve your goals.

Risk strategies include: 

  • Steady Income 
  • Conservative 
  • Moderately Conservative 
  • Moderate 
  • Moderately Aggressive 
  • Aggressive 
  • Equity Only 

To further personalize your MoneyLion investing account, you can invest in interests that matter to you. From social responsibility to technology innovations, MoneyLion offers themed portfolios with an index of companies that fall within these interests.

Credit Builder Loan

MoneyLion’s credit builder loan is a good option for those needing a short-term loan but cannot obtain a legit one through traditional means. This loan doesn’t require a hard credit check, making it accessible to those with poor credit. Additionally, there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties, making it a flexible and affordable option. Overall, MoneyLion’s credit builder loan is a smart choice for anyone looking to boost their credit score while receiving the necessary funds.

Users who sign up for the Credit Builder Plus membership plan will gain access to MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Loan. For $19.99 per month, users can borrow up to $1,000 with no credit check. MoneyLion claims that monthly payments can be as low as $67.65. This low price includes the loan payment, APR interest, and membership fee. MoneyLion reports this loan and all payments to all three credit bureaus.

One thing to remember with this loan is that you will not receive the full amount right away. MoneyLion disburses half of the loan to you and holds the other half in reserves. Once you pay off the loan in full, the remaining funds with be released to you to use however you like.

MoneyLion Crypto

With the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency, it is a new way to diversify one’s asset portfolio. MoneyLion now makes it easy for users to buy, own, and sell crypto whenever they want. What is even better is that the Round Ups feature extends to crypto. You can round up your spare change into cryptocurrency and add it to your crypto wallet.

Game Plan

Another new product MoneyLion is rolling out is the Game Plan. It is a personalized action plan with the necessary tools to help build, grow, and better control your money. Your game plan will include a tailored playbook with structured tasks and goals for you to complete. The tasks and goals are categorized into spending, saving, retirement, and more. The object of the game plan is to achieve more tasks in each category so you can be more financially prepared in real life.

Marketplace

MoneyLion’s Marketplace is a collection of partnerships with third-party financial products and services. While MoneyLion receives commissions from these partnerships, their intentions still align with helping people better manage their money. The marketplace acts as a one-stop-shop extension to further achieve your financial needs.

The MoneyLion marketplace includes third-party products and services in the following:

You can use the MoneyLion marketplace to compare rates, features, fees, and more from these third-party products and services. MoneyLion will also help narrow your search by only recommending what you could qualify for based on your financial profile in their system.

Subscribe for an Additional $55

When you subscribe to my website, in addition to updates, you will receive $55 in bonus cash when you sign up for MoneyLion, open a RoarMoney account, and make your first qualifying direct deposit!

My Experience Using MoneyLion

Overall, my experience using MoneyLion is good. However, maintaining active use can vary. While some things have changed since first publishing my MoneyLion review, my overall experience has remained consistent. Despite having many pros to using this service, there are also a fair amount of cons you should know. 

Initially, I signed up for MoneyLion to access their $500 5.99% APR credit-builder loan. Being in a tough financial position, I needed better credit to get a regular personal loan and was running out of options. While MoneyLion offers unsecured loans that do not require the best credit, I could not gain access to the loan right away. My account must be active for about three months to access this loan. As much as I needed the loan as soon as possible because I had no other loan options, I patiently waited to gain approval. I’m not sure if this waiting period is still a thing.

While waiting to qualify for loan access, I used the investing feature to start growing my money. MoneyLions investing accounts are very good. When used consistently, which I had no choice but to do, my money did grow by a good amount fairly quickly. However, some issues with this app made me want to slow down using it once I got what I needed from them.

Pricing

Overall, MoneyLion’s platform is free to use. Any fees will vary by use.

  1. If you use RoarMoney, you only have to worry about a $1 per month admin fee. All other fees depend on where and how you use your debit card.
  2. Requesting an InstaCash advance is also free. However, fees will kick in when you opt for instant delivery of that cash advance. The amount in fees varies by the amount of the requested advance and where the funds will be instantly sent.
  3. Investing accounts only have a small monthly fee based on the account value:
    1. $1 per month for accounts valued up to $5,000.
    2. $3 per month for accounts valued between $5,001 and $25,000.
    3. $5 per month for accounts valued over $25,000.
  4. Credit builder plus membership, which is needed to access the loan, is $19.99 per month.

Understand that it is essential to consider these additional fees as you further use MoneyLion for your financial needs. This is actually a mistake I made when I first started using this app. In fact, MoneyLion became one of the most expensive apps I ever used. At one point, I was paying over $70 per month because of all the features I used at once. Some of that amount I was paying twice per month.

How did I end up paying $70 per month?

First, I had $25 auto-invested into my investing account every two weeks. Despite my investing account growing, I had no say in how often I wanted to fund my amount. Also, my membership cost about $30 because my account included loan access. 

For three months, I waited to gain access to their $500 credit builder loan. Once finally earning access, I had to pay another $20 monthly for the loan payments. All of these payments became stressful because, at the time, I was only a college student. I had one on-campus job paying me slightly above the federal minimum wage. As a result, all of these automatic bi-weekly and monthly payments quickly became a financial burden. 

The Cost of Full MoneyLion Use Today

While my experience above is no longer the case for new users, I still encourage you to be careful. The RoarMoney and investing account fees are small and manageable. However, adding the Credit Builder membership and then the loan can be a recipe for financial disaster if you do not properly prepare. $19.99, plus your loan payment, automatic investments, RoarMoney, and investing account monthly fees can all add up. Don’t be like me! 

Withdrawal Limits

Another issue I had with MoneyLion is that they make it hard for users to take out their money. When I was most active, I could not withdraw money from my investing account at all for the first few months. Being unable to take out the money I felt forced to put in became very frustrating. I was a broke college student giving away $50 to $70 a month, which I needed. All for a simple $500 loan that did not even require a credit check. Had an emergency come up, I still could only take my money out once my account reached a certain level.  

When I finally could take out my money, I could not withdraw everything at once. MoneyLion limited how much money I could take out at a time. Even worst, I had to wait a few days after taking out money to be able to take out more. At this point, I could not wait until my loan was paid off so I could close my account. Clearly, I was not ready to start investing my money yet, at least not at this rate.

This experience goes back to my above point of being careful and prepared. The goal of putting money into an investment account is to keep it there and let it grow. You are supposed to refrain from withdrawing the money, hence why MoneyLion and other investment brokerages make this difficult. Do not invest money if you know you’ll need it in the short term.

Credit Builder Plus Review

Despite being the only loan I could get, I have yet to be 100% satisfied. Don’t get me wrong, I still recommend this loan to people who need it and cannot obtain one elsewhere. Despite my caveats, this loan still helps me when no other loan provider would. If anything, my credit builder plus review should serve as “what to expect” for you.

For starters, making loan payments are easy. However, you will be stuck on a strict payment schedule. For example, with my first $500 loan, I could not pay more than the set monthly payment amount if I wanted to. My only option was to make the already scheduled and set payment amount or pay the loan in full. This is still the case.

Once I paid off my loan, I deleted my account because everything I was paying at the time proved too much for me. However, by doing so, MoneyLion indicated the loan as a closed account on my credit report. As a result, my credit score went down. Even worse, my score dropped some more because I was no longer paying for the Credit Builder Plus membership every month.

Eventually, I would re-open my Credit Builder Plus membership and get a second Credit Builder loan. However, this time, I am not a fan of MoneyLion, keeping half of my loan in reserves for collateral. Some people might like it, but I am not one of those people. While I do understand the minimizing risk aspect of this policy. At the same time, if I request $500, I expect to receive the full amount. Most likely, I need the full requested amount. Plus, I feel uncomfortable paying for something for which I do not receive the full amount of what I pay for.

Points System

Before MoneyLion rolled out its RoarMoney and Financial Heartbeat features, they had a point system. Users could earn points for completing specific actions. Some actions include making an on-time loan payment, adding money to their investment account, and more. Points earned can be used to collect $25 gift cards from top retailers. 

The point system could have been improved. First, points can sometimes take forever to show up in my account. Also, sometimes points would either not show up at all, or the amounts would be too low. To this day, I am still upset that MoneyLion stopped giving 200 points for each on-time loan payment.

Despite my financial situation, I never missed a loan payment. I had the potential to earn a lot of gift cards. However, I only earned one Nike gift card for $25. I was so close to winning another gift card, but MoneyLion made it harder to win another one. Once my loan was paid off, I gave up and deleted my account. 

How Can MoneyLion be Good for People who need Discipline?

When I finished paying off my loan, I closed my MoneyLion account because I could not afford to keep being forced to pay them. Whether it was the membership fee or the automatic deposits to my investing account, I had to get out. I was a broke college student who could not afford everything MoneyLion expected me to pay. However, it was not all too bad; there was a silver lining in this entire experience. Besides, eventually, I came back!

First, as mentioned earlier, the scheduled deposits to my investing account did grow my money. Before I could finally withdraw, my investing account grew to over $1,000 in a few months. The stock market’s consistently upward trend at the time helped achieve this milestone.

Either way, I would not have reached this milestone had I been able to withdraw money when I wanted to or stopped the recurring deposits. Also, the automatic loan payments and payment schedule did ensure that I was always on time for a loan payment. As a result, this helped improve my credit report. Finally, being forced to make all these payments to MoneyLion did help me be mindful of the money I had left over. 

Based on my experience plus the improvements made to the app, this app can be good for people who need discipline. MoneyLion is built for people who struggle to save and grow their money. They have the tools and data to help people make goals and keep them. Do I agree with all of how they go about it? Absolutely not! However, if you know you need help with setting money aside or making loan payments on time, this app is perfect to help get you into these habits. 

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Conclusion

Despite being a financial burden for me initially, MoneyLion is a good platform. It can help develop the discipline you need to reach your financial goals if carefully used to the fullest. While some features may feel restrictive and excessive in enforcement, MoneyLion also incentivizes you to stick to it and do well. If you know you, or someone you know, are struggling financially in any way, this is an app to at least consider for help.  

I hope you enjoyed my official MoneyLion review. I also hope you found value here and consider signing up. Remember, If you want to check out MoneyLion for yourself, sign up now through me. You get up to $55 after you set up RoarMoney and receive your first qualifying direct deposit.

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, comment below or message me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Subscribe for an Additional $55

When you subscribe to my website, in addition to updates, you will receive $55 in bonus cash when you sign up for MoneyLion, open a RoarMoney account, and make your first qualifying direct deposit!

This post was originally published on: 09/11/2019

38 Responses

  1. So very helpful for those struggling with their finances or just starting off their financial goals.

  2. I never heard of this app. But it sounds like a great option for someone that needs a little help with their budgets and banking needs. thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. This is so perfect for those who are not good or having a hard time managing their money. I know some people and I’m gonna share it with them

  4. I so love the dies of this site and will be checking it out for myself and for mob oldest daughter 😉 Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. I’ve been considering using MoneyLion for my personal finance management, and your detailed breakdown of its features, pros, and cons has been immensely helpful in making an informed decision.

  6. This sounds like the perfect solution for those who are learning how to use money responsibly. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This sounds great to have! I know some people have problems with not being responsible with money, so I can see how handy this would be.

  8. WOW, I have never heard of MoneyLion, this sounds like a good financial app my youngest daughter would benefit from using. She’s learning how to manage her money so; this app would be just right for her.

  9. Thank you for being transparent and honest about MoneyLion. I can see it has a number of advantages, especially for those who the banks aren’t going to deal with, but I also appreciate that it’s not for everyone. Just like any other loan or banking company, it’s so important to research thoroughly!

  10. It’s always best to be up to date with your finances. This app sounds like it’s doing a great job in helping people manage their money the right way. I will check it out. Thanks for the info.

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