We finally got the long awaited datapoint via email:
To support the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, we are handling your loan referenced above in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”).
The SCRA provides for a maximum annual interest rate of 6% per year on loans you received before starting active military duty. However, 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.
Beginning with your next loan invoice and thereafter, your new Monthly Payment will be $692.55. We have also adjusted any monthly payment(s) previously billed but not yet paid, to reflect the new Monthly Payment amount.
If you are currently enrolled in AutoPay for this loan, your future AutoPay amount will reflect the new monthly payment amount above and no additional action is required.
If there are any additional accounts you would like to be reviewed for SCRA relief, please call us at 1-800-253-1720. If you are outside the United States, please call us collect at 1-336-393-1111.
We are grateful for the service and devotion you have shown to our country.
American Express Customer Care
Here is my timeline:
- Applied For Loan on 31 Oct 2018
- Approved for $25,000 @ 5.98% for 36 Months on 01 Nov 2018
- Faxed SCRA Request to +1 (623)444-3000 on 01 Nov 2018
- $25,000 deposited into my bank account on 05 Nov 2018
- $760.44 payment withdrawn on 27 Nov 2018
- Noticed that the $760.44 payment applied to the entire $25k balance
- 0.00% SCRA Letter Received Via Email on 05 Dec 2018
For what its worth, the 0.00% SCRA worked for now, but can be revoked at any time! AmEx is just being really generous in loaning out $25,000 for three years without any interest. I keep on thinking this in my head, but if they change their mind and jack up the rate. I am more than happy to pay off the entire loan.
If you are super careful like me I am going to use the money as an emergency fund. I decided a high yield savings account would be the way to go:
For the time being the $25,000 is split over several accounts earning 5% in a Bridgeview Pennywise Savings account here, and 2% on a Capital One 360 Money Market Account here. The Pennywise is a much higher earning rate, but the deposits are physically demanding:
They also capped the accounts to only $3,000 earning the 5.00%, previously it had a limit of $5,000. Also you had to make deposits in physical coin at a physical location in Illinois!
The more practical approach is to earn 2% on a Capital One 360 Money Market Account by applying here or If you use promo code OFFER200 you can earn a $200 bonus with balances of $10,000 or more by by December 14, 2018. Over the 3 year loan your $25,000 would earn $1,500 an that’s not even counting compounding interest! Not to mention you would get to use the Capital One Cafe space with an account. This is a lot better than paying $2,372.07 in interest for the $25k!
Best of luck out there! Just be patient for the SCRA letter if you decide to go with the AmEx personal loan. There have been reports of taking up to 40 days for a response!