First Direct Loans Review | www.firstdirect.com
Address: 40 Wakefield Road, Leeds, LS98 1FD.
Branding: First Direct Loans. AKA: 1st Direct Loans.
FCA Licence: 006343.
From: HSBC Holdings Plc.
Related: HSBC, M&S Bank.
Bad Credit Considered: Fair-to-good score required.
Manage: No First Direct login at www.firstdirect.com.
Offers: Personal loans.
Sums: £1000 to £25,000 (new and returning).
Terms: 12 to 84 months.
£39.93 /£1000 (12) £77.71 (24)
£184.41 /£10,000 (12) £356.62 (24)
Notes: APR calculates as 7.5% (1k) and 3.4% (10k). Important: Qualifying applicants must be 1st Account customers only. When applying online you can benefit from immediate funding, but phone applications require an agreement to be sent out. There is a First Direct login although this is for banking management (not loan control).
– Amounts: As commonly seen across the banking sector, sums extend up to £25,000.
– Branches: This is a telephone and internet-based retail bank with no outright branches. However, you can take advantage of the usage of the HSBC network.
– Efficiency: Same day funding and 24/7 support makes this one of the UK’s most efficient banking choices. Only existing customers qualify, but there is no barrier on the switch process and so it shouldn’t take long to move across.
– Experience: Formed in 1989 by the Midland Bank who later became part of HSBC in 1992. The launch was championed by a major ad campaign that run across both ITV and Channel 4. Their current owner was established in 1865.
– Operations: A1 customer support has always been at the heart of this brand. The high standard delivered has attracted many awards and high acclaim across the industry. With 24/7 support, you can pose queries day or night with there being no seasonal breaks.
– Ownership: HSBC is the leading British bank and one of the major players on the global stage, ranking at #3 for assets owned. Having a powerhouse like this supporting you is always going to make the difference. The level of directed focus may be lacking though since they are also overseeing the growth of M&S Bank. As was mentioned above, you can carry out various banking activities through the owner’s branch network. This is an important quality, since you wouldn’t really want to be using a bank whereby you had to solely do things online or by phone.
– Pricing: The new 3.4% rate at 10k is impressive, but they really stand out at 1k. Here their 7.5% deal is the best that you can receive on the market. The main gripe is that a current account must be held to quality. How they can offer such competitive rates for smaller sums generally surrounds their owner and of course their streamlined web service. They only really have to invest funding in their call centres (located in Hamilton and Leeds).
– Profile: HSBC has 48 million customers worldwide. The tally here is tiny in comparison at 1.3 million. Their profile is however continually on the rise and there is a new TV ad campaign launching soon. To be honest, they’ll need to compete fiercely at a time when the supermarket giants are outshining the major banks. Factoring web popularity, the First Direct loans are some way behind their sister-brand (Marks and Spencer).
– Terms: The 12 to 84 month repayment spread enables you to chop up a chunky balance. The great thing with all selections is that the interest rates are equally competitive on each side.
– APR has remained 7.5% (at 1k), but 3.6% (at 10k) has dropped to 3.4%.