First Direct

First Direct personal loans

More than just a beatboxing sparrow and an "off-beat" platypus, First Direct offers competitive personal loans – but only to existing customers.

Who is First Direct?

Originally part of Midland Bank, First Direct is an internet and telephone banking service which has been part of the HSBC group since 1992.

First Direct was first brought into being in 1989 with a “broadcast from the future” advert, purportedly from the distant, and First-Direct-filled future (2010!). The vision of holograms and time travel might have missed the mark, but First Direct is definitely still going strong, and winning awards both as a trusted financial provider and for its customer service.

The First Direct website has some quite odd suggestions for spending your loan, including building your own robot dog, but whether it’s for a hair-brained scheme or simply a nice holiday, First Direct rates are competitive and it’s very quick to apply. Unfortunately for some however, the loans are available exclusively to existing First Direct customers.

First Direct loan rates at a glance

The first direct Existing Customer Personal Loan charges 3.3% APR representative on loans between £7,000 and £30,000. First Direct offers the loan with repayment terms between 1 and 8 years and applicants can apply to borrow from £1,000 to £50,000.

Key features of First Direct loans

Loan typeUnsecured Personal Loan
Loan amounts£1,000.00 to £50,000.00
Loan terms1 Year to 8 Years
Loan rate typeFixed
Product fee0%
Same day funding available
Same day funding noteApply online or in app for same day funds
Instant decisions in most cases
Soft-search facility available
Joint applications
Overpay without penalty
Concurrent loans allowed
Topping-up pays off existing loan and initiates a new loan
Repayment methodsStanding Order

After applying, the interest rate you’re offered may be affected by factors like your credit rating and your income and outgoings. It may differ from the advertised “Representative APR”, which lenders are only obliged to give to 51% of those who take out the loan.

Am I eligible for a First Direct personal loan?

If you’re applying for a First Direct loan, you already hold a First Direct account, meaning you are UK resident with no bankruptcies or Individual Voluntary Agreements in the last 6 years. You should only apply for a First Direct personal loan, however, if you are sure you can make the repayments and are not borrowing for any of the following reasons:

  • For the purchase of property or land (both UK & Overseas) including holiday homes and apartments.
  • For purchasing a joint stake in a property or buying out a joint owner.
  • For a mortgage deposit (regardless of lender or country).
  • For gifting funds to third parties to support the purchase of a property, including mortgage deposit, stamp duty and solicitors fees.
  • For gambling.
  • For business purposes.
  • For share dealing.

How can I apply?

First Direct loans are super-simple to apply for online, partly because they’re only available to existing customers. All you have to do is:

  1. Log into your online banking
  2. Fill out the application form (this should take about three minutes)
  3. Get a response in minutes (First Direct may request to call you if any further info is required)
  4. The money will arrive immediately if you’re accepted

Alternatively, don’t forget that First Direct is known for having better customer service than we’ve come to expect from our banks, and can take you through the whole process from its UK support centres if you call 03 456 100 100.

What credit score do I need to get a First Direct loan?

First Direct typically offers loans to applicants with high credit scores. It's important to note that your credit record is just one factor that First Direct will consider. However if you don't have a high credit score, you're very unlikely to get approved for a First Direct loan.

A "Good" or "Excellent" credit rating would require a score of 881 or higher if you're referring to Experian's scale, 531 or higher if you're referring to Equifax's scale and 604 or higher if you're referring to TransUnion's scale.

Do First Direct loans give an instant decision?

Yes, First Direct offers instant decisions online in most cases (occasionally more information may be required). First, you can use the soft search eligibility checker to find out your chances of getting approved (this won't affect your credit score). Then, if you opt to go ahead and apply, you'll get an instant answer. First Direct can also offer same-day funding of your loan (Apply online or in app for same day funds).

Can I get a second First Direct loan?

Yes, First Direct allows you to have more than one loan running at the same time. Each application for credit will be considered on its own merit. Alternatively, First Direct also allows you to effectively "top up" your loan, by closing your current loan and starting a new, larger loan (you can call First Direct on 03 456 00 24 24 for details). There's no penalty for repaying ahead of time, but bear in mind that any overpayments may be subject to up to two months of interest beyond the date on which you overpay. Because of this, it may work out cheaper to run a second loan alongside the first, rather than consolidating the two.

Can I make overpayments on a First Direct loan?

Yes, you can make overpayments without incurring any penalty fee. However First Direct can continue to charge interest for up to two months on any sums overpaid, so although making overpayments stands to save you money in interest, you may not save quite as much as you'd imagined.

Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

Frequently asked questions

Will you be approved?

Check your personalised rates and likelihood of acceptance.
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