No origination fees or prepayment penalties: Some lenders nickel and dime borrowers with junk fees, ultimately making borrowing more expensive than necessary. American Express personal loans come with no loan origination fees, and the company won’t hit you with a prepayment penalty if you decide to pay the loan off early.
Top-notch customer satisfaction: In both 2020 and 2021, American Express Company received the top ranking for customer satisfaction among credit card users. Why does this matter since we’re talking about personal loans? Because personal loan borrowers must first be American Express credit card users, the level of service they receive from the company can enhance the borrowing experience.
Can be used to pay off high-interest debt: For borrowers carrying other types of high-interest debt, an American Express loan may be able to help. If the interest rate on the personal loan is lower, the combination of a lower interest rate and fixed repayment term can help a borrower pay their debt off faster, saving them money.
Fast approval time in most cases: Unless the company requests additional information, applicants normally know if they qualify for a loan within seconds.
What could be improved
Only available to American Express cardholders: One must already be an American Express cardholder to apply for a personal loan, a fact that cuts out a large swath of potential applicants.
Qualifications required are unclear: It is nearly impossible to learn more about the criteria American Express uses to determine whether an applicant is credit-worthy.
No clear sense of interest rate: Given that interest rates offered by American Express vary but go up to 13%, it would be nice for an applicant to have a sense of how expensive the loan will be prior to applying.
Relatively slow funding time: Once an applicant has signed a personal loan agreement, it can take three to five business days to have funds directly deposited into their bank account. Let’s say someone signs the loan agreement on a Friday. It could be between Wednesday and Friday of the following week before the funds arrive. While this is fine for those who can wait, if someone needs the money sooner for an emergency, like a car that broke down on the side of the road, an American Express personal loan is not going to be a good option.
Short repayment window: Loan terms range between 12 and 36 months, meaning a borrower has, at most, three years to repay a loan. Many of the best personal lenders offer up to 84 months to pay off a loan in full.