First Direct loans calculator and review

More than just a beatboxing sparrow and an "off-beat" platypus, First Direct offers competitive personal loans – but only to existing customers. Loan amounts between £1,000 and £50,000 starting from 6.4%.

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First Direct

Calculate the cost of a First Direct loan

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Finder score Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR Link
first direct Existing Customer Personal Loan
4.5
★★★★★
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.4% and total payable £10,987.56 in monthly repayments of £305.21.
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Please note: You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.

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

How do First Direct loans compare against the competition?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 4 of 12
Name Product Finder score Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR Link
Novuna Personal Loan
4.5
★★★★★
Check eligibility
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 7.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 7.4% and total payable £11,142.00 in monthly repayments of £309.50.
My Community Bank Personal Loan
4.5
★★★★★
Check eligibility
View details
Representative example: Borrow £5,000 over 48 months at a rate of 24.9% pa (fixed). Representative APR 27.9% and total payable £7,939.24 in monthly repayments of £165.40.
Barclays Existing Current Account Loan
4.5
★★★★★
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.1% and total payable £10,941.12 in monthly repayments of £303.92.
Plend personal loan
3.5
★★★★★
View details
Representative example: Borrow £8,000 over 48 months at a rate of 16.66% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 17.99% and total payable £11,013.12 in monthly repayments of £229.44.
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Please note: You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.

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

Our verdict

First Direct loan offers competitive rates and fixed monthly repayments, along with the added benefit of same-day funding. However, its personal loans are exclusively available to existing customers, limiting accessibility. Additionally, First Direct only offers unsecured fixed-rate loans and charges a fee for early repayment, which may be a drawback to those seeking more flexible loan terms. Despite these drawbacks, for existing customers looking for a straightforward loan option with competitive rates, First Direct remains a viable choice.
Pros
  • Competitive rates
  • Fixed monthly repayments
  • Same-day funding facility
Cons
  • Existing customers only
  • Only offers unsecured fixed rate loan
  • You'll be charged if you pay off the loan early
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.4% and total payable £10,987.56 in monthly repayments of £305.21.
first direct Existing Customer Personal Loan
4.5 ★★★★★
Finder score

Maximum loan

£50,000

Product fee

N/A

Early redemption fee

Yes

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 6.4% APR representative on loans between £10,000 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.

Quick overview of First Direct personal loans

Loan amounts From £1,000 to £50,000
Loan terms From 1 year to 8 years
Age eligibility 18 years and over
Application fee No application fee
Repayment holiday Repayment holiday not permitted

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.

Customer reviews

First Direct has an ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot with a score of 4.3 based on over 22,600 reviews (updated May 2024). Customers praised First Direct’s fast service and 24 hour customer service.

On the App Store, First Direct is rated 4.8 based on over 412,000 reviews and on Google Play, it’s rated 3.5 based on over 17,500 reviews (updated May 2024).

Customer support

You can call First Direct on 0345 610 0100 for loans queries. Lines are open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 9pm Friday, 8am to 8pm Saturday and 9am to 8pm Sunday. Or, you can use the chat box in the app.

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 considers. 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?

First Direct doesn't allow you to run multiple loans at the same time.

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 2 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

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Chris Lilly

Chris Lilly is Head of publishing at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more. See full profile

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