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Personal Loans

MoneyLion Cash Advance Review

Excellent Mobile Experience

Cash Advance
  • Instant cash advances up to $500
  • No interest or mandatory fees
  • No credit check to receive approval
  • Charges a small fee between $1.99 and $8.99 for instant advances
FundingUp to $500
Speed of advanceInstant with a fee or 1 to 5 business days for free
Fees$1.99 to $8.99 for instant advances

About MoneyLion 

Founded in 2013, MoneyLion began with a mission to help Americans who may not have access to traditional banking opportunities. It uses technology to provide low-cost (or even free) financial services without credit checks that may typically prevent borrowers from qualifying for funding.

In addition to a MoneyLion cash advance, the company offers credit cards, personal loans, credit builder loans, auto and student loan refinancing, investment accounts, and savings accounts. Many of these options are designed to help build your credit score and establish a positive banking history. 

MoneyLion offers higher cash advance limits but heftier fees for instant funding. Weigh options to find the best fit. 

How a MoneyLion cash advance works 

MoneyLion’s Instacash cash advance lets you request up to $500 before your payday. There’s no credit check and you won’t pay interest on the outstanding funds. Instead, MoneyLion charges a one-time fee, ranging from $0.49 to $8.99, depending on the disbursement amount and the type of account the money goes to. 

Lower fees are reserved for those who open a RoarMoney mobile banking account from MoneyLion. And if you add direct deposits to that account, you can get cash advances up to $1,000.  

Advance amountsUp to $500 with external account; up to $1,000 with RoarMoney account
FeesUp to $8.99 for Turbo delivery; free with standard delivery
Repayment timeMoneyLion schedules a one-time repayment date
Funding time with a feeWithin minutes
Funding time without a fee1 – 5 business days

It’s cheaper to get a cash advance with standard delivery, but it will take up to five business days to arrive in your account. Depending on how time-sensitive your financial needs are, you may upgrade to the faster delivery, which comes with fees up to $8.99 depending on the advance amount. 

There aren’t any restrictions on how you can use the funds. And while you’ll only be charged a single flat fee if you choose Turbo delivery, MoneyLion can add a tip of any amount.

MoneyLion sets the repayment date and usually corresponds with your next payday. The entire cash advance amount is automatically deducted from your linked bank account. You could incur overdraft fees if you don’t have enough money in the account on the repayment date. 

Additionally, not repaying your cash advance from MoneyLion won’t hurt your credit since it’s not a loan. However, you won’t be able to take out any other advances until you repay outstanding balances. 

Who’s eligible for a MoneyLion cash advance? 

Eligibility for a MoneyLion cash advance primarily depends on your current bank account. You’ll need to demonstrate regular deposits, whether via check or direct deposit. It also needs to be an active account. 

Your account must be in good standing if you’ve used any other financial product from MoneyLion. For instance, you can’t have any late or missed payments with the MoneyLion Credit Builder loan.

These requirements are similar to other cash advance companies, but not always identical. Some companies have specific employment requirements, while MoneyLion doesn’t give a minimum timeline for working at a specific job. 

But like MoneyLion, most cash advance companies require you to link to a bank account for automatic repayment. Most also skip the credit check process since a cash advance isn’t a loan and isn’t reported to the credit bureaus. 

Checking accountMust be used within the last 60 days, receive regular paychecks or direct deposits, and be registered under your name
MoneyLion accountsAny existing accounts with MoneyLion must be in good standing
Credit checkNone required

How does MoneyLion compare to other cash advance apps? 

Here’s how MoneyLion stacks up against its competitors. 

AppAdvance amountsFastest funding + fee
EarnInUp to $750 per pay periodFree for standard speed (1 to 3 business days), up to $4.99 for Lightning Speed
BrigitUp to $250Free for standard speed (2 to 3 business days), up to $3.99 for express delivery
DaveUp to $500$3 – $25 depending on speed and receiving account
EmpowerUp to $250Funds within 2 hours, $8 monthly fee
KloverUp to $200Not listed online

MoneyLion is competitive when it comes to the maximum cash advance amount available. Applicants with an external account can advance up to $500, but that limit jumps as high as $1,000 if you open a MoneyLion banking account.

The maximum fee at MoneyLion, however, is $8.99. There are some cash advance companies with lower costs even with fast delivery. EarnIn, for instance, charges up to $4.99 and Brigit charges a maximum of just $3.99. 

Depending on your banking needs, you may benefit from getting an account with MoneyLion to link to your cash advance easily. It’s an easy way to save on some of those fees, or it may be worth exploring other options listed here.

Should you use MoneyLion’s cash advance app? 

There are both pros and cons to using MoneyLion’s cash advance app. For starters, it has larger cash advance amounts than your other options. So it’s a good place to start if you need more cash for a specific purpose.

MoneyLion also tries not to cause overdrafts from your account. Instead, the company tries to debit partial amounts if the total amount isn’t available. If you’re worried about automated repayments triggering overdraft fees, MoneyLion may be a safer bet than others.

There’s also a trial option if you don’t initially qualify for a cash advance. It’s a path to working your way up from smaller cash advances to larger ones and is best for people who don’t meet all of MoneyLion’s eligibility requirements. 

On the downside, the fees are quite high if you need cash quickly. It may be worth exploring other options that have cheaper instant funding fees. Also, you’ll need proof of regular paychecks in your bank account. If you have inconsistent income, you may not qualify. 

How to get a MoneyLion cash advance

You can sign up for a MoneyLion account online or by downloading the MoneyLion app. But if you use the website, you can only request a cash advance of up to $100.

Once you’re logged in, you must link your bank account. Use the one where you receive your paycheck so that MoneyLion can confirm your income. Eligible income sources include payroll, government benefits, and pension payments. 

A screenshot showing MoneyLion's bank linking interface with an estimated time to finish setup and a list of accepted banks.

From there, you’ll enter your personal details to verify your identity and select a cash advance amount. If approved, you can select your delivery timeline, which can take minutes or days, depending on the fees you will pay.

Also note that even if you qualify for a larger amount, MoneyLion only disburses funds in $100 increments. You can still access the funding up to your approved limit, but you have to make a separate request (and pay a fee) for each advance.  

You also have the option to pay a tip. It’s not mandatory, but MoneyLion says it helps keep Instacash running. Funds are delivered to your connected account and your repayment date is scheduled for automatic withdrawal.  

Is MoneyLion a reputable lender?

SourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviews
Better Business Bureau4.69/53,604
Collected on March 6, 2024.

MoneyLion gets high reviews across multiple review platforms — and in large volumes of customers as well. People note that there are no surprise fees, full transparency, and the customer service team is friendly and helpful.

One complaint pointed out that it takes a few direct deposits to access the higher Instacash limits, which wasn’t advertised in the initial offer when switching to a RoarMoney account.

It’s also worth noting that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued MoneyLion in September 2022 for alleged violations of the Military Lending Act. However, the lawsuit has been paused while the Supreme Court is set to rule on the CFPB’s funding structure. 

MoneyLion cash advance FAQ

What other products does MoneyLion offer?

MoneyLion offers various financial products and services apart from cash advances. Its product line includes personal loans and a credit builder loan designed to help customers improve their credit scores. 

It also provides mobile banking options with zero-fee checking, investment accounts, and FDIC-insured savings accounts.

Will MoneyLion’s advance cause an overdraft fee?

A MoneyLion cash advance is designed to avoid triggering overdraft fees. You can schedule their repayment to align with your next paycheck to ensure sufficient funds are in place. If a balance is insufficient, MoneyLion does not charge an overdraft but instead tries another collection attempt.

How do you contact MoneyLion customer service?

You have several options to contact MoneyLion’s customer service. You can use the live chat feature on its website for immediate assistance. 

You may also contact MoneyLion via its customer service phone number, available Monday through Sunday. An email service option is also available for non-urgent inquiries.

What happens if you don’t pay MoneyLion back?

It’s essential to take your repayment obligations seriously. If you fail to repay your cash advance, MoneyLion might suspend your access to further cash advances. 

Persistent failure to repay might lead the company to report your account delinquency to credit agencies, damaging your credit score. We recommend contacting MoneyLion’s customer service if you can’t repay your cash advance.