- No fees for paying loan balances off early
- Non-sufficient fund fee of $25 plus an additional $25 fee after four days late
- Additional fees in the loan agreement
A loan for $500 at a 778% APR with a repayment schedule of 26 bi-weekly payments would mean payments of $. Of the first one, only $0.17 would go toward the principal. The total cost to borrow would end up being $3,. That’s almost seven times the original principal balance!
First Loan has been around for at least a few years, so they’ve had enough time to develop a meaningful track record. It’s always wise to get a second opinion when researching a lender, and third and fourth wouldn’t hurt either. To that end, here are some other First Loan review highlights.
Better Business Bureau
Let’s start with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They’re one of the best places to get a feel for a company because they work a little differently than most crowdsourced review sites. They serve as a middleman between businesses and their customers. Receiving and sharing messages between the two parties helps them assess a business’ customer service. That includes their proactivity, timeliness, and effectiveness.
First Loan’s BBB rating is a C+. That’s not the worst possible score, but it’s not great either. They’ve only been around for a few years and have already received 57 complaints on their BBB profile alone. They have been proactive about responding to each of them, though, which is what’s keeping them from getting a failing grade.
The user reviews on the site are universally negative. There are only eight, but all of them are for the lowest possible rating (1 out of 5 stars). Most of the reviews are about the outrageous cost to borrow, but that’s not their only problem as a company. 28 of the 57 complaints are about billing and collection issues, which is even more concerning.
Crowdsourced Review Sites
The more traditional crowdsourced review sites seem to echo the issues found in their BBB profile. For example, First Loan’s Trustpilot profile shows 1.4 out of 5 stars based on a solid amount of reviews (88).
Unlike their BBB profile, First Loan has done a lot less to manage their image on Trustpilot. They haven’t claimed the profile, responded to any complaints, or invited anyone to review directly. That’s actually a good thing since organic reviews tend to paint a more accurate picture.
Just about every other First Loan review tells the same story. Thirty-six out of the 43 ratings on their Trust Mamma profile are for 1 out of title loans 5 stars. They’ve even managed to show up on Scam Advisor’s radar and get a low trust score there, too.
While we don’t recommend borrowing from First Loan or any other tribal lender, it’s not surprising that many people make the mistake of doing so. They have several qualities that make them appealing, especially to people who can’t always qualify for more traditional loans.
- An application process that people can complete in just a few minutes
- Low qualification requirements that make them available to people who struggle with creditworthiness
- The ability to fund loans as soon as the next business day
- Low principal balances perfect for covering small expenses
At first glance, these loans seem like a godsend to people who need a little bit of extra cash to make it to their next paycheck. However, the fine print reveals that they’re little more than an extended payday loan and just as dangerous.