Does American Express Offer Student Loans?

You can’t get a student loan or repay existing loans with American Express.

Ryan LaneOctober 27, 2020
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Does American Express Offer Student Loans?

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American Express does not offer student loans. If you need to borrow for college, exhaust federal financial aid first, then compare private student loans to get the best rate possible.

American Express student loan alternatives

If you wanted an American Express student loan, consider these alternatives instead:

  • A different credit card issuer. If you were interested in American Express because you’re a cardholder, Discover is a company known for credit cards that also offers student loans. There’s no financial benefit to having both a loan and credit card from Discover, but its products share some student benefits, like a bonus for good grades. Other well-known card issuers, including Chase and Capital One, don’t offer student loans.

  • Online lenders. Few traditional banks offer student loans, meaning many private student loan lenders are online-only. That includes big names like Sallie Mae, which has been around since 1973, as well as newer providers, such as Ascent and College Ave. When comparing online lenders, look for the best interest rate and features that meet your needs. For example, Ascent offers student loans for dependent and independent students.

  • State-based agencies. If you’d like to borrow from a nonprofit, see if your state has a lending authority that offers private student loans. Some of these agencies lend across the nation, but you may unlock additional benefits with your local lender. For example, EDvestinU student loans are available to borrowers in all 50 states. But if you live or attend school in the lender’s home state of New Hampshire, you’d be able to take advantage of programs like additional interest rate discounts.

Before turning to any private lender, exhaust loans from the federal government. Federal student loans let you make payments based on your income, offer loan forgiveness programs and have other benefits that private lenders lack.

You can apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

AmEx does offer personal loans to its existing customers, but you can’t use these funds to pay for college.

Can you pay student loans with American Express?

You can pay student loans with a credit card, but it’s usually not worth the hassle. Here’s why:

  • You need to pay a third party. Student loan servicers generally don’t accept credit cards, so you’d have to use a third-party service, like Plastiq, to make your payments. The fees it charges for doing so would likely negate any points for using your card.

  • You could pay more. Interest rates on credit cards are typically higher than on student loans. If you put your student loans on your American Express and didn’t pay the balance off in full before the end of your billing cycle, you’d owe extra interest.

If you want to save money on your student loans, consider refinancing at a lower interest rate. Compare multiple lenders’ offers to find the best rate possible. You’ll need a credit score in at least the high 600s and enough income to cover all your debts to qualify.

While an AmEx personal loan lets you consolidate debt, all student loans are ineligible.

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