Out of all the payday loan lenders in the United States, ACE Cash Express is one of the largest and oldest.
ACE offers a considerable number of products ranging from check cashing to payday and short-term loans and even automotive insurance. It’s one of the few national chains where you don’t need to complete the whole process online: you can still speak to someone face-to-face in a store.
Does its age and size give ACE an advantage over other payday lenders? Keep reading to learn whether ACE Cash Express is a boon or a burden to your finances.
Who Is ACE Cash Express?
ACE Cash Express began providing loans in 1968. Today, the company specializes in providing short-term loans, pre-paid debit cards, check cashing, and bill pay with services both online and offline in traditional brick-and-mortar buildings.
ACE’s original digital product is its short-term loans. Unlike its competitors, ACE takes a backseat approach to getting cash quickly.
Because it operates in multiple states, ACE must comply with local and state regulations. As a result, it fashions itself both as a Credit Services Organization (CSO) (a company that helps consumers get loans) and a Credit Access Business (a company that connects people to payday loans).
A CSO is not a lender, which means ACE Cash Express isn’t a payday loan company in all states.
If you apply for a loan in Texas or Ohio, then ACE is a CSO, CAB, or both. That means they get a commission for connecting you to a lender.
However, ACE is the lender of at least one type of financial product in the following states:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
ACE’s mission is to offer people in those states the option to use a different type of lender without needing a strong banking or credit union history to borrow money.
To meet its mission, it offers payday loans, installment loans, and title loans.
Is ACE Cash Express a Payday Lender?
Like other companies, ACE now tries to distance itself from the reputation of payday loans by referring to its products as short-term loans.
However, a short-term single payment loan is a payday loan, and the rates offered by ACE do match typical payday lending services.
Still, ACE Cash Express is transparent about its fees and rates, so you won’t get caught out after you receive the money.
What Consumers Need-to-Know
Back in 2014, ACE Cash Express settled a lawsuit related to charges of unfair collection practices.
The U.S. Government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action ACE for using “false threats, intimidation, and harassing calls” when collecting payments. The government alleged that the tactics trapped customers into a cycle of debt by taking out new loans to pay back old loans.
When ACE settled, it agreed to pay $5 million in refunds to customers. It also agreed to pay $5 million in penalties for the “illegal debt collection tactics.”
In addition to paying the refunds and fines, the Bureau’s order also required ACE to ensure that it no longer engages in illegal threats and harassment.
ACE has 1,500 retail storefronts in 36 states, and while these practices may not have taken place at all of them, borrowers should be aware of the case and the potential for the use of these tactics. You also need to consider this when reading old consumer reviews.
How Much Can You Borrow?
Borrowing limits at ACE Cash Express are subject to state laws and restrictions.
Payday loans range from $50 upward depending on your location.
Are you interested in an installment loan? Here’s what ACE borrows to residents of qualifying states:
- California – $2,500 to $5,000
- Ohio – $100 – $1,000
- Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas – $200 – $2,000
Auto title loans also vary according to state.
What Are ACE Cash Express’s Terms?
The APR and fees added to your loan vary by product, state, and loan type. However, installment loans and title loans feature lower APRs than a short-term payday loan.
Whatever terms you receive, ACE makes sure you know what they are before you sign your loan documentation. You know what’s due, how much, and when before receiving any product.
One of the terms that set ACE Cash Express apart from many other competitors is its guarantee.
If you take out an installment loan, and you decide you don’t need it, you can change your mind within 72 hours. As long as you return the entire principal by the end of the third business day, you don’t pay any fees.
How to Apply
You can only apply for a payday loan online if you live in:
If you are a resident of another state where ACE provides payday loan services, you must apply over the phone or in an ACE Cash Express branch.
Whatever you apply for, you must also show that you:
- Are 18-years-old
- Have a form of income
- Have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Have a checking account (not required for auto title loans)
- Are not in the militarty
- Are not in bankruptcy
Remember that these are the minimum qualifications. Reviews show that ACE Cash Express can turn you down, even if you successfully borrowed and paid back previous ACE loan products.
Is ACE Cash Express Right for You?
ACE Cash Express is one of America’s oldest and largest payday loan companies. It offers a variety of products to no-credit and low-credit customers in 36 states.
Although it was recently sanctioned for illegal pressure tactics and threats, ACE was told to clean up its act. At the same time, ACE does offer extreme interest rates on its single payment loan products, so you need to be sure you can pay back what you borrow.
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