Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial
research influence how products appear on a page.
Personal Loans

MoneyLion Credit Built Loan Alternatives

Updated Oct 20, 2023   |   5-min read

MoneyLion is a fintech company that offers a range of financial products, including online banking, investment accounts, and credit builder loans. If you want to rebuild or establish your credit, MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus loan might help.

But before you apply for a loan with this platform, it’s best to compare several credit-building products to determine which one may be a good fit for you based on cost, repayment terms, and other factors. 

To help with your search, our editorial staff has compiled a list of credit builder loans that operate like MoneyLion after evaluating several popular companies.

Key takeaways of MoneyLion to consider before comparing the alternatives below

MoneyLion offers credit builder loans up to $1,000 with no hard credit inquiry, which means your credit score and report will not be negatively impacted. When you apply, it reviews your finances to determine your eligibility and how much you can borrow. Unlike some other credit-builder loan products, you get immediate access to a portion of your loan amount before you pay it off.

However, a significant downside is that you have to pay $19.99 per month for a MoneyLion Credit Builder Plus membership to qualify. In addition, it only offers a repayment term of 12 months, which is much shorter than other  alternatives.

Credit builder loans like MoneyLion

 The companies below offer cheaper credit builder loans than MoneyLion and longer repayment terms, which can help you to reflect positively on your credit report payment history. 

SelfCheeseChimeCreditStrong
Trustpilot score1.6 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars2.7 out of 5 stars2.7 out of 5 stars
Product typeCredit-builder loanCredit-builder loanSecured credit cardCredit-builder loan
Admin fee$9NoneNone$15 for instal product
Monthly payment$25 to $150 per monthStarting from $24 per monthIt varies depending on how much you spend$28 to $48 per month
Term length24 months12 or 24 monthsNot applicable24, 36, or 48 months for Instal (up to 60 months for CS Max)
When funds are receivedOnce you finish paying off your credit builder accountAfter paying off loanYou can withdraw your funds at any timeWhen you close or pay off your loan
Credit bureaus reported toEquifax, Experian, and TransUnionEquifax, Experian, and TransUnionEquifax, Experian, and TransUnionEquifax, Experian, and TransUnion
Unique benefitsPotential access to Self Visa Credit card No admin feeNo annual fee or interest paymentsLong repayment terms

Self

  • Self credit builder loans are available in all 50 states
  • Annual percentage rates (APRs) vary by loan amount but hover around 16%
  • You can check your VantageScore 3.0 credit score using Self’s mobile app 

Self was founded in 2015 to help Americans build or rebuild their credit profiles. It does this by offering credit-builder loans without a hard credit inquiry. You can choose from four options with different monthly payments and loan amounts. 

Once you’ve made three on-time payments, you may be eligible for the Self Visa Credit Card that allows you to access a portion of your loan funds. After making payments, you’ll receive the full loan amount minus interest and fees.

What makes it a good alternative to MoneyLion?

Most of Self’s loans are cheaper than MoneyLion’s. It may be a good option if you’re looking to fix your credit but spend less money.

Cheese

  • Cheese offers credit-builder loans up to $2,000 
  • No administration fee
  • Only available in 43 states

Cheese helps consumers potentially build credit by providing credit-builder loans. Your payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus as you repay the loan. Once you’ve paid your loan off, you receive your funds minus interest charges.

What makes it a good alternative to MoneyLion?

Cheese offers a lower APR range than MoneyLion: 5% to 16% versus 5.99% to 29.99%. Plus, it doesn’t charge any other fees.

Chime

  • Chime offers a secured credit card without interest or admin fees
  • No minimum security deposit
  • Must have a Chime Checking Account with at least a $200 direct deposit

Chime is a fintech company that offers banking services through The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. It offers checking and savings accounts, as well as Chime’s Builder Card that comes with no annual fee or interest. 

Chime’s reports your payments to all the major credit agencies. This can help you build positive credit history as long as you make on-time payments. To qualify, you’ll need at least $200 of qualifying deposits in a Chime Checking Account.

What makes it a good alternative to MoneyLion?

Unlike MoneyLion’s credit builder loan, Chime’s secured credit card has no fees or interest.

CreditStrong

  • CreditStrong offers multiple credit-building products
  • The maximum repayment term is 60 months
  • You can borrow up to $25,000 with its CS Max product

CreditStrong offers two credit-building loan options and a revolving credit line that may boost your credit score. Its Instal product is designed to help you build credit and save. You can choose from three plans with different loan amounts. 

Credit Strong reports payment history to all three major credit agencies. After you finish paying off the loan or close your account, you’ll receive the loan funds.

What makes it a good alternative to MoneyLion?

CreditStrong offers much larger loans than MoneyLion—up to $25,000, which the company says might be good for borrowers looking to build personal credit to increase their chances of qualifying for business credit.

How to choose the best alternative to MoneyLion?

When comparing alternatives to MoneyLion, pay special attention to monthly fees, APRs, and repayment terms. Your APR measures your loan’s cost—including interest and any fees the lender charges. 

Selecting a company that offers a longer repayment term than MoneyLion’s 12 months can help you add more positive credit history to your credit profile. However, it may result in paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Among the lenders listed above, here are our recommendations for who each lender is best for:

LenderEditorial ratingBest for
Self4.8 out of 5Added benefits, including credit support benefitsView rates
Cheese4.9 out of 5Overall credit builder loan, with potential for a lower APRView rates
Chime5 out of 5Those seeking a credit-building cardView rates
CreditStrong4.6 out of 5A collection of productsView rates