ACE Cash Express personal loan review: Fast funding, high costs

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In a Nutshell

ACE Cash Express loan offers small installment loans from $100 to $2,000, depending on the state you live in. The application process is pretty quick, and you could receive funds within a day of applying. But costs can be even higher than for some payday loans.
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  • Small loans between $50 and $2,000 available
  • You have the option to cancel the loan within 72 hours


  • Loan amounts vary by state, and APRs are high — well into the triple digits
  • Not all loans, or all types of loans, are offered in all states
  • You’ll have to dig for info on rates and costs

What you need to know about an ACE Cash Express personal loan

ACE Cash Express is a financial services company that offers check-cashing and short-term loans, including payday and other high-cost loans. ACE Cash Express was founded in 1968.

The company bills itself as an alternative to traditional banks and credit unions, with personal installment loans in small amounts between $50 and $2,000 to cover short-term financial needs. The type of loan and the amount you can borrow — and at what cost — depends in part on the state you live in and how you apply.

The application process is fairly straightforward and you can expect to receive a loan decision quickly.

If you’re approved for a loan, in some states you can pick up the money at a local ACE Cash Express store. Or you can have the money directly deposited into your account.

ACE offers a 72-hour window that allows you to return your loan funds without charge if you change your mind about it.

Apply for a small loan between $100 and $2,000

ACE offers small personal loans between $50 and $2,000 (these numbers vary depending on where you live), and the application process is relatively easy. Depending on your state, you can either apply online or in person. In some states, ACE doesn’t offer installment loans — only payday or title loans, or no loans at all.

If you choose to apply online, you can expect to receive a decision quickly. Your approval will depend on the lender’s underwriting criteria, including your credit scores. ACE installment loans are separate from ACE’s payday loan options, which require full repayment when you receive your next paycheck.

Funding is fast and easy

Once you’re approved for an installment loan, you have a couple of options for how you can receive the funds. If you live in a state with an ACE Cash Express store and meet certain eligibility requirements, you can pick up the money in person. Or, depending on what state you live in, you can have the company transfer money directly into your checking account.

Up to 72 hours to change your mind

If you have buyer’s remorse after taking out a personal loan, not all lenders let you return the money without penalty. ACE does, giving you up to 72 hours to return the funds with no financial consequences.

Loans are not available in all states

If you can apply for an ACE Cash Express loan, the types of terms available will largely depend on where you live. For instance, online loans up to $2,000 are available to customers in Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas. If you live in Florida, you can receive an online loan up to $1,000.

Those who live in the following states can apply at one of the company’s brick-and-mortar retail locations:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas (everywhere except Austin)
  • Virginia

A closer look at an ACE Cash Express personal loan 

  • It’s hard to find out about rates and costs. ACE buries this information. You might have to ask about your state in the website’s virtual chat, or find your way to the website’s “locations” page, where you can click on each state to see offerings and rates for some.
  • Applying won’t hurt your FICO® score, but… The ACE website states it “may use” a nontraditional consumer-reporting agency to check your credit. ACE says that means that applying will not hurt your FICO score, but ACE also advises that such an inquiry may “affect your overall credit profile.”
  • Options for how to apply. You may be able to apply for an installment loan online or in-person, depending on your state.
  • There are no application fees. There is no application fee for the Cash Express personal loan, regardless of whether your application is accepted.
  • You can cancel your loan within 72 hours. If you change your mind about your loan, ACE gives you up to 72 hours to cancel with no financial consequences.
  • No loans for those in the armed forces. ACE Cash Express is barred by law from lending to people in the military because its APRs exceed 36%. This 36% rule is part of the Military Lending Act, which aims to protect military members and their families against predatory lending practices.

Who is an ACE Cash Express personal loan good for?

If you need a small, short-term personal loan, you might think of ACE Cash Express. Its quick access to funds, along with repayment terms that are longer than for payday loans, might seem attractive.

But make sure you understand the terms you’re agreeing to. ACE Cash Express loan APRs skyrocket into the triple digits, and in some cases exceed the cost of an average payday loan. And it’s worth noting that in 2014, the CFPB took action against ACE Cash Express for “pushing payday borrowers into a cycle of debt.” So read the fine print when applying for an ACE loan and don’t sign without awareness of the costs. 

How to apply with ACE

The first step in applying for an ACE loan is to find out what your options are, based on where you live. You can check the FAQs page on ACE’s website to see whether you’re eligible for an in-store or online application process based on where you live.

If you apply online, you’ll fill out the company’s online form. You can submit the required documents and sign all required forms right from your computer.

To apply in person, you can use the store locator to find a store near you. If you’re approved for a loan, ACE will give you the cash the same day you apply.

All applicants must provide a valid Social Security or taxpayer ID number, email address, proof of income and banking information.

Not sure if ACE is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • LendingPoint: LendingPoint offers larger lending amounts, so it could be a good option for customers who need a bigger loan than what ACE offers. 
  • OppLoans: With OppLoans, you can get an installment loan between $500 and $4,000 with repayment terms up to 18 months.

About the author: Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who specializes in finance and business. She covers a variety of personal finance topics, including building credit, credit cards, personal loans and student loans… Read more.