When the app is something like You Need A Budget or Mint, a lot of the onus is on the user to figure out how to use it. Even popular investing apps like Betterment, Wealthfront, or Robinhood are open ended enough that the user has to put in some legwork; these services can guide you to a certain extent, but you still need to know how to use them for retirement, or college savings, or whatever your goal is.
Things are a little easier when an app comes from a company offering a specific service. Case in point? The MoneyLion app. MoneyLion revamped their app in May 2016, and it looks great. It also has a very specific goal: to get users to apply for a loan through MoneyLion.
Is that a hindrance to the app, or does it make it more useful? Let’s dive into the individual sections of the MoneyLion to see if it should be the next financial app for you.
One of the first things you’ll see when you fire up the MoneyLion app is a list of resources to swipe through.
This is in stark contrast to other apps, like Robinhood, which offer virtually nothing in the way to resources. However, MoneyLion wants you to know not only how to use their service, but the broader financial implications surrounding them. That means you’ll learn about the app, but also be able to read a full-length article on decade-by-decade financial decisions or the benefits of credit monitoring services. They open right there in the app, so you don’t have to navigate to a website and then back to what you were doing.
This is a big plus for MoneyLion right off the bat. Even if this isn’t your only financial app, it can be a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn more about their money and how they can make the best financial decisions, and the fact that it’s up front draws you in right away.
Considering MoneyLion’s bread and butter is personal loans, it’s no surprise that you’re able to apply for a loan directly from the app.
Luckily, this works well. With just a few pieces of information, like your desired loan amount, what you’re using it for, and confirming personal details, you can get a loan rate in literally seconds. It couldn’t be easier, and if your primary reason for using MoneyLion is to get a loan, you’ll be pleased to know you won’t have to be at a desktop to do so.
There are a lot of reasons why you might opt for a loan, and just as many things you should watch out for if you do get one. Make sure you understand the implications of getting a loan – using MoneyLion’s resources or somewhere else – before you apply!
The Finances section of the MoneyLion app is pretty much in line with what you get from other apps. You link your financial accounts and assets – bank and investment accounts, credit cards, and home or auto properties – and MoneyLion will show transactions, as well as your assets versus debt.
I’m a little torn on this aspect of the app. On the one hand, can you make a financial app in 2017 that doesn’t offer a basic financial overview facet? People expect to be able to see their accounts and transactions in one place, and not having it would be a major oversight.
On the other hand, there’s not a lot to it in this app. It’s literally just a list of transactions; it’s a nice overview, but doesn’t offer anything in terms of planning, categorizing, budgeting, etc. I understand why it’s there, but it doesn’t feel like it adds anything.
It’s also worth noting that I had issues adding some bank accounts, specifically from USAA. Hopefully it was a one-off problem that isn’t widespread, but it’s something to keep in mind as you’re adding your own accounts.
Whether or not you’re getting a loan, the Credit section of the MoneyLion app is one of its most useful tools. You can quickly get a free credit score, as well as see how you compare to the general population, so you can brag about it at parties. You also get an analysis of your credit, like your credit age and utilization, and a snapshot of your different accounts.
We’ve talked before about why your credit score is important, what affects it, and the financial implications of low and high credit scores. But MoneyLion has a credit simulator which shows real life examples of what happens to your credit based on different scenarios.
For example, you can see whether your score will rise or fall if you spend $1,000 with your credit card, if you get a $3,000 loan, if you add a certain number of credit inquiries, or if you increase your credit limit. This real-time simulator makes it simple to see what financial decisions you should make, and it’s an incredibly useful tool for understanding your money better.
MoneyLion is trying to play up the social aspects of their app and service, and the Community section is where they do that, lettings users invite and add friends. That’s really all this tab is for (I presume – I don’t have any MoneyLion friends at the moment. Sad!). So instead, let’s talk about why you might want MoneyLion friends: Boosts.
Boosts, at its core, is a referral program. It’s a way for MoneyLion to get customers to encourage their friends and family to also sign up for the service. I’m not one to begrudge referral programs; they’re an important part of any business, and happy customers are as effective as any form of advertising.
But Boosts offer a real value to customers because they offer loan rate discounts based on the number of Boosts you receive. Loan rates can go down by anywhere from 2.5% to 15% for loans under 36% APR, which can be a huge difference in how much you ultimately end up paying for your loan.
This is one of the biggest reasons you might decide to use the MoneyLion app. There are a lot of places you can get a loan from, and MoneyLion on its own is a good place to start. But Boosts that can lower your loan rate are an added incentive you’re not likely to find in many other places, and are a real differentiator for MoneyLion.
Credit card reviews
Digging a little deeper into the MoneyLion app, you’ll find a section for credit card reviews – both to read reviews from other users, and to write your own.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, you probably know that there are a ton of options out there. MoneyLion breaks down those options so they’re easily understandable. First, they clearly categorize cards. Whether you want a card with good balance transfer options, a low APR, or the best reward points or airline miles, you’ll able to pick from a grouping and continue on from there. When you pick a specific card, you’ll be met with further details like fees, benefits, APRs, and more information. From there, you can read or write reviews.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of credit cards available to you, and if you want a simple way to cut through the noise and find the right card, the MoneyLion app is a great place to start.
One last note: You can earn “points” by taking actions like enrolling in credit monitoring, connecting your bank accounts to the app, and more. You can then trade in these points for rewards from a surprisingly big list of retailers. This probably won’t make or break anyone’s decision about using MoneyLion, but it’s a nice perk if you take advantage of it.
If you’re looking for a financial app that gives you control of your budget, you’ll probably want to look outside of MoneyLion. There’s no shortage of apps out there that let you plan and control your finances.
However, there are a lot of reasons why the MoneyLion app is for you. If you’re using MoneyLion to secure a loan, it’s a no-brainer. And some of the additional features, like the credit score simulator, the credit card reviews, and Boosts, are great tools that can help you make the most of your money.
In order to use MoneyLion’s services, a user must have an account. MoneyLion allows for the creation of a free account and the option of a paid account called MoneyLion Plus. Both accounts allow access to almost all services, with Plus giving the user some unique benefits (which will be detailed later).
A user must be 18 years old and have a bank account in order to register. Once a user has created an account, the user now has access to MoneyLion’s services.
As mentioned above, MoneyLion provides two types of accounts, free and Plus. The free account gives the user access to financial advice, rewards program, and credit monitoring. The Plus account comes with all of the free benefits in addition to access to their investment platform, loans, and exclusive rewards and benefits.
A Plus account works be withdrawing $79 from a user’s account every month. $50 of that money goes towards investment, which is personalized based on the user’s financial status. The remaining $29 is used as the membership fee. However, this fee can be refunded by logging into the app daily, with $1 being refunded per day.
One of MoneyLion’s prime features is the personalized financial advice. This works by having your bank account, credit score, and investing tied into your account.
MoneyLion uses your combined financial information to monitor how you spend and save and tailor suggestions for how you can maximize your finances. This includes topics such as alerts on your spending habits, advice on how to invest, or tips on saving your money.
A nice incentive included in MoneyLion’s services is their rewards program. Users earn rewards by performing various activities, such as signing up for credit monitoring, making payments on time, or taking a loan out through MoneyLion.
These points are accumulated over time and can be cashed in for different rewards. Basic rewards include movie tickets or gift cards. However, rewards can also be used for bigger things, such as getting a lower rate on a loan.
Having access to your credit score is a modern necessity. This is why MoneyLion gives their users free access to their credit score and free credit monitoring. Using the site or app, a user can see their current score and any activity that has recently been associated with their credit.
This gives the user great security in their credit score and knowing how they are doing credit wise with their finances.
One of the features available to MoneyLion plus members is the investment service. This services works by automatically deducting $50 from a user’s account and investing it. This investment portfolio is managed by “team of experts” who have experience in Wall Street. The portfolios are diversified and include investments in ETF’s or Exchange Traded Funds.
The best part about this investment service, though, is there are no fees extra fees associated with it. This means a user can simply pay their membership fee and have a set amount to account for every month with no hassle.
Investment portfolios from MoneyLion are insured up to $500,000, can have peace of mind knowing their investments are safe. Investing is done automatically when the money in deducted but a user can monitor and examine their portfolio by going through the app or website and clicking on the investment tab.
In order to access the investment service, a user must have a social security number, be a U.S. citizen or resident, and meet the general MoneyLion user requirements.
The other prime feature available to MoneyLion Plus members is access to loans. The loans offered to plus users come with a few perks. The APR is set at 5.99% and the installments are fixed, so a user’s payments are constant.
These loans do not require reapplication once a user is a Plus member, meaning a user has access to a loan at any time. Loans also have no fees associated with them, with no origination or repayment fees. Over time, a user can gain access to bigger loan amounts and can use their rewards points to get better rates. To apply for a loan, simply use the affiliate link above to head over to MoneyLion, log in, and click on the loan icon above.
The requirements for receiving a loan include a verified identity, employed with an income, a checking account, & a good credit score, in addition to general MoneyLion user requirements.
May accept bad credit score
Be of age 18 or older
Credit check company: Clarity Services
Payout during weekends: Not possible
Once you application has been approved, the loan amount will deposited in your account within 1-3 business days
Monday – friday: 8:30AM-8PM, ET
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:30PM, ET
Company name: MoneyLion is operated by MoneyLion, Inc
Email: [email protected]
Address: P.O. Box 1547 Sandy, UT 84091-1547