ACE Cash Express Review

Ace Cash Express Review

The purpose of our ACE Cash Express review is to introduce you to the services provided by ACE and to evaluate the company’s public rating. We also explore five of its competitors that offer similar services.

With any of these loan sources, we strongly recommend you read all the terms and conditions before borrowing money. Pay special attention to the interest rate, fees, and penalties, including early repayment penalties, if any.

ACE Cash Express Offers Payday and Installment Loans Online and In-Store

ACE Cash Express is one of the country’s largest payday lenders. It has more than 950 locations in 23 states as well as online lending services.

But the company is not limited to just payday loans — you can also get an installment loan, a title loan, a high-yield checking or savings account, or a prepaid debit card (but not a credit card). It also offers tax refund advances, money orders (a transaction fee applies), and check cashing services, among other services.

ACE offers a variety of short term loan options, including high interest rate payday loans to workers who want to borrow between $200 and $2,000 and repay the ACE Cash Express loan in full on their next payday. You can visit an ACE office to apply, but only California, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas offer payday loans online or by phone.

ACE Cash Express fee example page
ACE Cash Express is upfront about the high interest rates on its loans.

If you can’t repay your payday loan when due, you can extend it at the cost of additional interest and fees that can mount up quickly.

If you prefer your repayment schedule to stretch over two or more pay periods, you can apply for an installment loan online or over the phone at 866-223-2274. Installment loan minimums and maximums vary by state, and the amount you’ll be offered will depend on your income and ACE’s standard underwriting criteria.

If ACE approves your application, you can pick up your money at a local ACE Cash Express store or receive a direct deposit into your bank account by the next business day.

ACE Cash Express has mixed ratings online. On the plus side, it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, an excellent 4.6 out of 5 rating from Trustpilot, and a 4 out of 5 rating on Consumer Affairs.

We think the quality of your experience will depend on the local store you use or the customer representative you happen to encounter when you apply online or by phone.

Is ACE Cash Express a Legitimate Lender?

We have no reason to doubt that ACE Cash Express is a legitimate personal loan and payday lender, given its A+ rating from the BBB. We must, however, balance that rating against some potential negatives that may impact your decision to borrow money from ACE.

In 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took enforcement action against ACE for bullying payday borrowers into a “cycle of debt.” According to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, “This culture of coercion drained millions of dollars from cash-strapped consumers who had few options to fight back. The CFPB was created to stand up for consumers and today we are taking action to put an end to this illegal, predatory behavior.”

Screenshot of ACE Cash Express Homepage
ACE Cash Express offers a variety of financial services to customers at more than 800 locations.

We are not aware of any subsequent actions taken against ACE or its debt collectors, so it is not unlikely that the company reformed its operations to remain in compliance with federal and state laws.

Another ACE Cash Express warning flag is the multitude of negative reviews on several consumer websites. However, Trustpilot has many positive reviews and, accordingly, a high score.

The fact is that ACE Cash Express has passed the test of time, having been in operation since 1968, and growing into one of the largest short-term loan providers in the United States. Since its founding, ACE has served more than 38 million customers, something no illegitimate lender would be able to accomplish.

If you want to report a problem or complaint with ACE Cash Express, you can write to:

Populus Financial Group, Inc. – ACE President
300 E. John Carpenter Fwy, Ste. 900
Irving, TX 75062

The phone number is (888) 223-7739, and the email address is

Should you wish to file a formal complaint, you can do so on the CFPB website or by calling (855) 411-2372. If you feel you’ve been the victim of fraud, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission to submit a report.

What Do I Need to Get a Loan From ACE Cash Express?

The company serves the needs of borrowers with bad credit who have recurring monthly income (typically at least $1,000). Any recurring income is OK as long as it is dependable, and it can include retirement or disability income. You must be able to document your income.

You must be at least 18 years old, not a member of the Armed Forces, and not in or planning to be in bankruptcy proceedings. Some of the information you must provide includes your source of income, Social Security number, and banking information.

How Do ACE Cash Express Installment Loans Work?

If you want to pay back your loan over a period greater than the two to four weeks associated with lump sum repayments of payday loans, you may want to consider an ACE installment loan. You will have a set number of pay periods to repay the loan in equal installments. The greater the repayment period, the smaller each payment.

ACE is licensed in 23 states, and short-term lending rates vary by state. You can look up your state’s rates on the ACE website.

Screenshot from ACE Cash Express website
ACE Cash Express gives borrowers flexibility and can fund loans quickly.

You can request an online installment personal loan by taking a few minutes to complete the loan application process. This is a convenient, paperless procedure that supports electronic signatures, so you don’t need to use a fax.

You should receive a decision quickly after submitting the application. If you prefer, you can apply over the phone at 866-223-2274. In several states, ACE offers installment loans in-store.

The amount you can borrow online depends on where you live:

  • Loans from $100 – $2,000: Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas.
  • Loans from $100 – $1,000: Florida.
  • In California, ACE no longer offers installment loans, but you can apply for a payday loan of up to $255.

When applying online, you must provide your Social Security number, a valid email address, an active bank or credit union account that has been open for at least one month, and a phone number.

If you’d prefer to apply for an installment cash advance loan in-store, the following loan amounts are available:

  • Colorado: $100 – $1,000
  • Florida: $100 – $1,000
  • Louisiana: $400 – $700
  • Missouri: $100 – $2,000
  • New Mexico: $100 – $2,000
  • Ohio: $100 – $1,000
  • Oklahoma: $50 – $700
  • Texas: $100 – $2,000 (installment cash advance loans not available in Austin or Dallas)
  • Virginia: $100 – $1,000

Note that spouses can apply separately for a loan, and each loan is subject to the state maximum loan amounts.

When applying in-store, you will need to provide a government-issued photo ID, Social Security number, and email address. You will also have to bring proof of income and evidence of a bank checking account (such as checks or a debit card). You can use the online Store Locator to find the nearest ACE store.

Loans from ACE Cash Express are unsecured and cannot be collateralized. There is no charge for applying.

Once your installment loan is approved, you can receive a direct deposit into your bank account by the next day, or you can collect the cash from a local ACE Cash Express store, if available.

You have up to 72 hours to change your mind and cancel your loan. All you have to do is return the money to ACE within the time period and you won’t be charged any fees or interest.

The loan term and number of payments for an ACE installment loan depend on your pay frequency. Each installment is due on the next consecutive payday. ACE will provide the repayment schedule after approving your loan.

You can make payments via electronic funds transfers from your bank or credit union account. You can also make payments by mailing in a check or money order (fees apply), or by paying in-store or online.

What Happens If You Don’t Repay Your Loan?

According to an ACE Cash Express customer representative, the company will attempt to collect its payments from delinquent borrowers by debiting their bank accounts. If you have insufficient funds, then ACE will charge you a return or overdraft fee in an amount that depends on how much you owe.

Payments from delinquent borrowers that are more than three days late are turned over to the debt collectors in the Collections Department, which works to reschedule loan payments. According to the customer rep, there is no late fee plan or monthly fee other than the return fee.

It is possible that the lender will sue you if you refuse all requests for payment.

Does ACE Cash Express Run a Credit Check?

ACE does perform a hard credit check with FactorTrust, but not with the big three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).

That’s why applying will not affect your FICO credit score, but it may impact your overall credit profile with FactorTrust.

FactorTrust was acquired by TransUnion in 2017. It provides alternative credit score data separate from that maintained by TransUnion.

Can You Be Denied a Payday Loan?

Yes, you can be denied a payday loan. No loan is guaranteed, including payday loans. Some reasons why you may be denied a payday loan include:

  • Insufficient income
  • Unreliable income
  • No proof of income
  • Under the age of 18
  • No Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number
  • In bankruptcy proceedings
  • No bank or credit union checking or savings account (and no debit card)
  • Living in a state in which the lender is not licensed
  • Membership in the armed forces
  • No phone
  • No photo ID (for in-store loans)

While the list looks long, probably only a small percentage of the potential borrower pool will be turned down due to any of these factors.

Ace Cash Express Review: A Legitimate Service, But Not Available in All States

Our ACE Cash Express review reveals the good, bad, and less-than-handsome aspects of borrowing from this lender. You can choose among several loan types, but ACE operates in fewer than half the states in the union.

If you apply for an ACE payday loan, make sure you understand how much it will cost you — APRs for payday loans are astronomical.