Even with 5 Cards, $25k Loan Approved, but 0.00% APR Will Be a Challenge

This is an update to the 0.00% SCRA waved loan from AmEx I wrote about here. Reader Marcus writes:

So I’ve gone through this process and took the $25K loan through a login that already had several cards with SCRA benefits. Unfortunately, AMEX did not automatically apply benefits to the loan and I am projected to pay roughly 7% APR. Calling into the personal loans customer service will get you referred to the SCRA customer service number which simply reads off your benefits but then doesn’t provide any support. No one knows how to apply SCRA benefits to your loan through any of the numbers I called and I was constantly transferred back and forth to the same departments. I finally decided to simply resubmit the online SCRA benefits inquiry and then under “other accounts to be considered for SCRA benifits” I wrote down my personal loan number. Then at the end of the inquiry I added an explanation that I was resubmitting only to have SCRA applied to my loan. That was 9 days ago and I am currently waiting for my request to be processed.

The process is NOT a slam dunk as Marcus eludes to. Today, I logged into the application status check site and saw this:

Clicking on the link showed me welcome news:

So they gave me three days to decide if this is a worthwhile venture, check out the interest rates if it all falls apart:

We are looking at about $2,372.07 without a waiver (which is about 4.3 AmEx Platinum annual fees). I am surprised that even with 5 credit card slots taken, we got the loan offer! I went ahead and accepted the loan and got this message:

You’ve successfully obtained an American Express® Personal Loan!

A link to access your loan documents, including your signed Loan Agreement, has been emailed to you for later reference. Your American Express® Personal Loan will be available to view in your American Express online account within the next 72 hours.

What happens now?

We will send your loan funds to the credit card accounts you designated in your loan application. It may take some time for your credit card banks to post the loan funds to your credit card accounts. In some cases, it is possible that your credit card banks may reject loan funds from us. If any loan funds do not post to your cards within two weeks, please contact your credit card bank. Please remember to continue making all required payments on your credit cards.

Now time to apply for the SCRA waiver. From the article at Military Money Manual says:

Military Hotline for SCRA Personal Loans at 1-800-253-1720 or 1-336-393-1111.

Ask for your loan to be reviewed for SCRA military benefits. Be polite and courteous! They may take a few days to review your account and then send you an email.

I called the first number and they pretty much transferred me to the personal loan department which suggested I just ask customer service to do a blanket review of all my account for the SCRA. I reached out to someone who got the 0.00% SCRA letter such as reddit user u/FreshBalkiB who suggested I just call the number on the back of my Platinum card. I turned to the online submission for SCRA benefits and got a slew of options:

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) eligibility:

  • Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) or a reserve component called to active duty (Reserve, National Guard, and Air National Guard).
  • National Guard personnel under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days (for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by federal funds).
  • Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers.
  • U.S. citizens serving with the forces of a nation with which U.S. is allied in the prosecution of a war or military action.
  • Spouses of active duty Servicemembers listed above where credit is extended to a Servicemember and spouse jointly.

Requesting Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefits:

Submitting your request online is the fastest way to request SCRA benefits. You may also submit any relevant documents through the Document Center: this includes paperwork establishing active duty, such as documentation prepared exclusively by a branch of the military, the Department of Defense or your commanding officer which indicates that you are on active duty (e.g., active duty orders, change of station orders, DD-214 forms, letters from commanding officers, etc.).

Please note that SCRA benefits can only be requested online if the Card account you’ve selected is enrolled in American Express Online Services. If it is not, you may enroll your Card now.

Call the number on the back of your Card or 1-800-253-1720 to submit a request. If you are outside the United States, you can call us collect at 1-336-393-1111.

Fax documents establishing your active duty to 623-444-3000. Please make sure to include the applicable American Express Account numbers.

Send a copy of documents establishing your active duty to: American Express, Attn: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, PO Box 981535, El Paso, TX 79998-1535. Please make sure to include the applicable American Express Account numbers.

SCRA benefit review process:

We will determine eligibility and confirm active duty by reviewing any military documents provided and by checking the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) website. If we are unable to confirm active duty, we will send you a written request to obtain a copy of acceptable military documents. You will receive a response within 60 days regarding the status of your request.

SCRA benefit removal process:

If you would like to have SCRA benefits removed from your account, you may contact us via the same methods above.

I tried to submit another request online, but it was not loading for me tonight. I decided to fax in a written request with the proof of AD obtained here. I wrote a letter with the new loan account number asking for SCRA benefits to be applied. More to post as it happens, so stay tuned!


12 thoughts on “Even with 5 Cards, $25k Loan Approved, but 0.00% APR Will Be a Challenge

  1. […] Update: Approved despite having 5 cards, SCRA is not for certain […]

  2. Christian Bennion says:

    My friend at work got SCRA benefits for this 15k loan. He said rep on phone confirmed 0% apr.

  3. Ben Wyatt says:

    So what did you end up doing? Thanks!

  4. Dan says:

    Any updates? I see more people are getting approved on reddit, though at least one person got the 4% rate instead of 0%. I just applied for my 5th credit card last night and then immediately pulled the trigger on the 25k loan with 48mo repayment. I was immediately approved, and then faxed in my SCRA request for the personal loan. I’m planning to follow it up with at least one phone call. Fingers crossed.

  5. bc says:

    Any updates on this? Thanks Derp.

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      I think i got a letter in the mail today. I am still waiting for my golden ticket of 0% SCRA/MLA waiver. I will post once I have a good personal datapoint. I have not heard about 4% from any other source.

      • bc says:

        Thanks. I just applied today and was approved, then submitted the SCRA request with the customer service agent. Hoping for the best!

  6. Marcus says:

    I just got the email today notifying me that my SCRA benefits were finally applied to my loan.

    “At this time we have chosen to reduce the interest rate on your SCRA eligible balance to an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 0.00%.

    We have issued credit for the full amount of applicable interest charges and fees to your loan account. This amount will appear as a credit(s) on your loan invoice. The total interest charges and fees you have already paid will be returned to you in the form of a check under separate cover. The check amount will appear as a debit on your loan invoice and will be offset by our credit(s). In addition, we will waive any future late payment and returned payment fees for the duration of your active military duty.”

    • Dan says:

      Based off your prior comments, that means it took around 40 days from the online SCRA inquiry submission to now, right?

      • Marcus says:

        Yes, it took me over a month for my online submission to work. However, I saw a number of people on reddit who were able to call in and get SCRA benefits applied to their loan much quicker. It just depends on if the rep is knowledgable about the process. Everytime I called I was transferred in between mutiple numbers and never got any help.

  7. […] Approved for $25,000 @ 5.98% for 36 Months on 01 Nov 2018 […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *