Minnesota Borrowers to Receive Refunds in State’s Settlement with MoneyLion

Online Lending Platform Offered Loans with Rates Up To 645%

Andy Spears

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The Minnesota Department of Commerce has announced a settlement with online lending platform MoneyLion that will result in refunds to some borrowers as well as a fine paid by MoneyLion.

MoneyLion violated Minnesota state law by failing to be licensed by the state when it provided Minnesota-based consumers with certain loans with excessive annual interest rates of up to 645%. The settlement includes more than 700 loans issued to Minnesota consumers between November 7, 2016 and September 15, 2017. These loans ranged from $300 to $2,000 and MoneyLion charged interest rates from 9.79% to 645%.

The settlement requires MoneyLion to cancel or forgive certain loans and to refund $250 to certain Minnesota consumers. The settlement also imposes a $100,000 fine to the State of Minnesota.

“As this case shows, Minnesota consumers who borrow from online lenders have protections under state law,” said Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold. “The Commerce Department works to ensure a fair marketplace for Minnesota consumers to do business.”

Consumer advocates continue to raise concerns about online lenders skirting state laws, such as in the case of MoneyLion.

Additionally, recent action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) effectively closed down online FinTech lender LendUp.

“LendUp was backed by some of the biggest names in venture capital,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We are shuttering the lending operations of this fintech for repeatedly lying and illegally cheating its customers.”

As a result of the (CFPB) order, LendUp Loans has agreed to halt making any new loans and collecting on certain outstanding loans, as well as to pay a penalty, to resolve a September 2021 lawsuit alleging that it continued to engage in illegal and deceptive marketing in violation of a 2016 CFPB order.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce offers the following tips to consumers as they consider loans in the online space:

  1. Check the license status in Minnesota. Consumers can verify a license by checking Commerce’s License Lookup: https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/tips-tools/license-lookup.jsp. If you come across a lender who is not…

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .