American Express Co , the largest U.S. credit card company by purchases, said on Friday it was eligible to issue $12.1 billion more of securities under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility plan, or TALF.

The Federal Reserve launched TALF earlier this year to breathe life into consumer and small business lending, and eventually expanded it to encompass commercial real estate lending.

Under the program, the Fed lends to firms that post asset-backed securities or commercial mortgage-backed securities as collateral. The central bank extended the program until March 2010.

American Express issued $1.25 billion in TALF eligible securities during September, bringing the total of the year to $2.25 billion, according to a regulatory filing.

The credit card company became a bank last November as bond markets closed down and lenders outside the banking system began looking to fund themselves with deposits.

Being a bank also helped American Express win access to $3.4 billion of capital from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, which the company later repaid.

(Reporting by Juan Lagorio, editing by Matthew Lewis)