MoneyLion Instacash℠ Review: How Does it Measure Up?

Tara Seboldt
Jul 05, 2022

MoneyLion is a personal finance mobile app that offers a cash account, similar to a bank account, and other financial tools. One of the app's most popular features is the MoneyLion Instacash cash advance.

Is MoneyLion Instacash legit? Are there restrictions when using it?

Keep reading to learn more about MoneyLion’s cash advance feature and what alternatives are available.

What is MoneyLion Instacash?

MoneyLion Instacash is a cash advance available for qualified app users. You’ll need to connect a checking account from an external financial institution to qualify. Savings accounts or money market accounts do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Qualifying MoneyLion account customers can get up to a $250 cash advance with no interest and no credit check.

However, new Instacash users start with only a $25 advance. As MoneyLion detects recurring direct deposits into your linked checking account, you can potentially increase your advance limit.

You can unlock additional advance funds with a premium MoneyLion Credit Builder Plus account.

Or, switch your direct deposits to a RoarMoney account to potentially increase your advance limit. RoarMoney accounts work like bank accounts with FDIC insurance on your balances.

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How Does Instacash Work?

Cash advances are requested right from your MoneyLion app in just five easy steps:

  1. Open your app and link your external account.
  2. Once qualified, go to the Instacash screen and tap “Request.”
  3. Choose the amount you’d like to receive from your available options.
  4. Pick a delivery date—either free traditional delivery (3-5 business days) to your checking account or instant delivery for a small fee.
  5. The advance is automatically repaid on the due date.

Your cash advance repayment due date depends on your recurring checking account deposits.

Most repayment dates follow your payday schedule. That means you’ll likely repay your advance in about two weeks.

MoneyLion Instacash Reviews

MoneyLion—and its Instacash feature—is generally well-received by reviewers and users, alike. The company has a 4.7/5 star rating from over 26,000 reviews on Trustpilot.

Better Business Bureau users rate the company 4.72/5 stars in over 3,500 reviews, but the company only has a “D” rating from the BBB.

According to Nerdwallet, the Instacash advance is comparable to other cash advance apps. They believe it’s a good option for borrowing small amounts quickly.

Instacash Pros and Cons

Pros

Get Cash Fast

MoneyLion cash advances let you get almost instant cash. You can use the money to avoid overdraft fees, cover an unexpected expense or splurge on a night out.

Users can choose to transfer their advance within minutes using instant transfer. There is a small fee to transfer instantly to your RoarMoney account or an external debit card.

No Monthly Fee

Instacash advances have no fees unless you choose to instantly transfer your funds. If you choose regular delivery, you won’t pay a fee to get an advance.

Note that you will pay a monthly maintenance fee of $1 for a RoarMoney account.

Interest-Free Cash Advances

Payday loans, personal loans, and credit cards generally charge high interest rates to borrow cash. MoneyLion, on the other hand, offers a no-APR cash advance for users. You won’t lose a portion of your payday advance to outrageous interest costs.

No Credit Check

Qualifying for a MoneyLion Instcash advance requires only a checking account with regular deposits. MoneyLion doesn’t use your credit report for approval. That means requesting an advance won’t affect your credit score and you can get an advance with bad credit.

Cons

Checking Account Required

You need to have a checking account with a positive balance to apply for a MoneyLion cash advance. If you only have a savings account or don’t have a bank account, you may be out of luck.

Short Repayment Term

Like payday loans, a MoneyLion advance has a short repayment period. Most advances are repaid using your next paycheck. If you still can’t cover your expenses, you might find yourself relying on other types of borrowing to get by.

Won’t Build Credit

While your credit score won’t go down with a cash advance, it also won’t go up. Using MoneyLion’s Instacash doesn’t build credit.

Overusing Could Hurt Financial Health

Getting into a habit of relying on cash advances to get by isn’t healthy for your long-term cash flow. You might end up consistently using a portion of each paycheck to pay off the money you borrowed from the previous pay period.

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MoneyLion vs Alternatives

There are several other financial services apps like MoneyLion that give you access to a cash advance.

Explore some alternative cash advance apps that could be a better fit for your financial situation, and see how they compare.

NameServicesRequirementsFees
MoneyLion Instacash· Up to $250 cash advance·An external checking account at least 2 months old
·Positive account balance
·Recurring direct deposits
·None unless choosing instant cash transfer
Possible· Up to $200 Cash advance with Possible Cash (Coming Soon)
·Up to $500 short-term personal loan
· Positive bank account balance
·ID and Social Security Number
·About 3 months of bank deposits
·Varies for Possible Loans
Chime SpotMe·Up to a $200 advance to avoid overdrafts·Chime account
·Monthly recurring direct deposits of $200 or more
·Activated Chime debit card
·No fees
Brigit·Up to $200 cash advance·Checking account with sufficient activity
·Balance greater than $0
·Minimum average end-of-day balance on payday
·Requires premium Brigit Plus plan ($9.99 monthly)

MoneyLion Instacash

MoneyLion lets you borrow up to $250 through the mobile app, although you start with a $25 limit. Your repayment date is automatically calculated using data from your checking account.

MoneyLion also offers a checking-style money account, investment account, and a premium credit-builder account.

Possible

Possible helps users get the cash they need quickly using small, short-term personal loans. You can borrow up to $500 instantly using the Possible app.

You’ll repay your loan in a series of installments over several months. By using a loan instead of a cash advance, you’ll get the chance to build your credit over time.

Possible’s new feature—Possible Cash—will offer a cash advance feature similar to other mobile banking apps.

Once available, eligible users can apply for up to $200 instantly with no interest or late fees. There’s also no credit check and on-time payments could help you qualify for a Possible credit card.

Chime SpotMe

Chime SpotMe is a cash advance designed to help you avoid overdrafts on your Chime account. The service automatically gives you up to $200 to cover purchases that draw your balance below $0.

For example, you make a purchase on your debit card that costs $50, but you only have $25 in your Chime account.

Chime covers the remaining $25. You pay the money back automatically when your next deposit hits your account.

Brigit

Like Chime, Brigit offers an instant cash advance feature to help avoid overdrafts. The up to $200 cash advance is repaid on your next paycheck.

Unlike other apps like MoneyLion, Brigit charges users a $9.99 monthly fee to use their cash advance service.

However, you do get access to additional features like credit builder loans with a Brigit Plus membership.

Should You Get a MoneyLion InstaCash Advance?

If you’re already a MoneyLion customer, using InstaCash could help you cover an unexpected expense.

However, MoneyLion isn’t the only option to get the cash you need quickly. Consider all of your available cash advance or loan options to find one with low fees, fast transfers, and fair repayment terms.

Tara Seboldt

Tara is a financial writer with over five years of professional writing experience. She previously worked at a financial planning firm. Tara uses this professional experience to help readers better understand their finances and make smart financial moves. When she’s not writing about money, Tara enjoys spending time in the Idaho mountains hiking, camping, and skiing.

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