Home > Frequently Asked Questions > Frequently Asked Questions – Personal Loans

White paper communication bubbles with the text frequently asked questions on the gray background.

Personal Loan Questions

Get your personal loan questions answered here.

Apply for the Right Personal Loan the First Time


How long does it take for a lender to approve my application? Our lender marketplace—one of the largest in the U.S.—ensures you’ll get a response within minutes. The eager lenders in our network watch applications come in in real time and strive to beat each other to reach you. Looking for a Personal Loan?

How will I know if a lender decides to work with me?

Lenders vary in the types of borrowers they seek. Some specialize in low loan amounts, others in borrowers who are U.S. veterans or military. Still more have created ideal personal loans for bad credit applicants. With your application submitted, lenders will review your situation to determine if you fit the profile they seek. If a lender prefers borrowers like you, they’ll give you instructions to reach their website so you can understand your rates and loan terms. You then decide to go forward with the personal loan or not.

How quickly does the money transfer from my lender to my bank account?

Most applicants who accept the offer from a lender typically get their money deposited into their accounts in as little as 24 hours. Those accepting the loan offer on non-business days (like holidays or a weekends) still get their money quickly once regular business hours resume.

What’s the maximum personal loan amount?

Lenders in the First Financial network cap personal loan limits at $5,000. If you pay off your loan on time, your chances of securing a second loan in the future are excellent.

Does the lender need to know what I’ll use the funds for?

There are as many reasons to borrow as there are borrowers. You are entitled to use the money for anything you need. Our borrowers tell us they intend to use their personal loan for weddings, car and computer repairs, emergency medical expenses, funerals, holidays and more.

Where do I find the terms, rates and details of my personal loan questions?

First Financial isn’t your ultimate lender. Therefore, we don’t have access to that information. When you connect with your ideal lender, they will send you all the terms and conditions of your personal loan after you’ve sent them whatever documents required.

This said, make sure that you know your interest rate, payment dates, finance charges, and/or any fees. Each one of our wide variety of lenders has specific requirements and details. You can always choose whether or not to accept the personal loan offer. If the rates and terms don’t fit with your needs, simply decline the loan offer. Don’t hesitate to resubmit to another lender here at First Financial.

What Do I Need to Qualify for a Personal Loan?


I still have personal loan questions.

I have bad credit. Can I still qualify?

You might be surprised at how short-term lending has changed. It’s easier than ever for those with bad credit to get short-term loans. Technology has reduced overhead and labor costs, freeing up money for online lenders to take more risks. Further, where traditional lenders depend on credit scores—only one piece of consumer information that doesn’t predict trustworthiness very well—online lenders use sophisticated algorithms to weigh in many factors about applicants’ financial habits. These advances mean that online lenders can lend to MORE applicants at lower rates. Looking for a Personal Loan?

In short, most of our lenders are happy to work with bad credit clients.

The lender you work with could have more requirements, but most lend to bad credit applicants regularly.

I’m self-employed. Can I still qualify?

Of course. Some lenders specialize in loaning to self-employed applicants. Still, they have their own requirements and generally require you earn $800 per month. Qualifications vary by lender. You increase your chances of getting a personal loan when you provide the name of your corporate entity or sole proprietorship. You’ll also need to supply the main phone number of the business.

I live on a fixed income. Will I qualify?

Those who make $800 per month, even if it’s through fixed income, may qualify for a personal loan. The lender you work with could have other requirements as well. Each lender has specific conditions they need borrowers to meet. If you don’t like the terms your first selected lender offers, feel free to seek another lender through the First Financial site.

What happens if I’m late on a payment, don’t pay the loan back, or default on the loan?

Borrowers who fail to pay the personal loan in full face additional fees and collections agency consequences. The good news is that many lenders are flexible. If you think you may miss a payment, you may be able to negotiate with your lender for a later payment date, loan extension or other accommodation. Keep in mind, however, that not all lenders offer modifications. When considering a short term personal loan, make sure you have a solid plan to pay it back on time. The purpose of the short-term loan is to improve your financial picture. Paying responsibly will accomplish a higher level of financial fitness.

What steps does First Financial take to protect my information and privacy?

Both online lenders and traditional banks must use 256-bit encryption from Norton Secured powered by Symantec as well as McAfee Secure to scan our site daily for malicious software.

I receive income from both my job and benefits. Which should I enter on my application?

Many lenders accept income from pensions, social security, disability, and more as qualifying income. If either your benefits or your job do not add up to $800 monthly, you likely will have to combine them to qualify. You can also ask the lender representative the best way to apply. They have dedicated customer service that can answer this question and apprise you on any other lender requirement.

Will pension, social security, disability, and other benefits qualify as income?

Yes. Many lenders accept these benefits as income. If you bring in $800 a month and meet other lender requirements, you may qualify. Keep in mind that each lender has its own specific conditions. Make sure you understand each one before finalizing your personal loan.

I haven’t gotten an email about my loan even though I filled out the form.  What should I do now if I have more questions?

Check your “Junk Email” or “Spam” folder. Emails from First Financial or your lender could be in there. If you can’t find it there, you can email us at customerservice@firstfinancial.com. We’ll act fast to get you and your ideal lender connected. Report a crime: FBI – https://www.ic3.gov / Federal Trade Commission – https://www.ftc.gov

First Financial isn’t a lender. Why would I use your web site?

We’ve worked day and night to create one of the largest marketplaces of personal lenders in the United States. Our mission is to save you time, hassle and money. Going to several websites and filling out markedly different applications each time can take days, even weeks. At First Financial, you can apply to several lenders on just one website!

What do you do with my information? Do you keep my information?

Ultimately, only your lender has your personal information. All financial services, including First Financial and our lenders, protect clients with 256-bit, “banking-level” security. Both online lenders and traditional banks must use 256-bit encryption. This high-level protection is the strongest permitted by the U.S. Treasury Department.

What if I don’t have my employer’s phone number and address?

Most lenders require you to provide your employer’s name and business phone number before they offer you a personal loan. You’re not required to provide the address on our site, however.

Why do you need my banking information before I am approved for a personal loan?

Lenders ensure the fastest, most secure service by depositing funds directly into your bank account. Therefore, they need a valid bank account number and the bank’s routing number so they can fulfill their commitment to you. Remember that First Financial is completely free to you. You are never charged a fee for using our online marketplace.

You’ve asked for my employer’s phone number. Will you contact my employer?

First Financial only provides the connection between you and one or several lenders. Therefore, we do not need your employer’s phone number. The lender, however, may need to verify your employment. Still, not all take this step. If they do, rest assured, the lender is prohibited from discussing your financial situation with your employer. Just make sure to include your employer’s main number so the lender knows you actually work there and for how long.

Can I choose payment dates? How long after accepting my offer and getting my money is the first payment due?

Payment dates vary among lenders. Your qualifications and situation can dictate payment dates and as well as how much flexibility you have to select your own. In general, the lender chooses the payment dates. Still, if you have specific constraints, you can contact the lender to negotiate payments before accepting the personal loan.

I don’t have a checking account. Can my lender deposit my funds into my savings account or debit card?

Due to financial legislation, lenders can only deposit funds into checking accounts. They can’t get funds into either a savings account or a pre-paid debit card.

Can I dictate the length of the loan?

Our large selection of lenders fashions its terms individually. You may be able to negotiate the length or “term” of the loan, but most determine that factor themselves. If the loan’s term doesn’t meet your needs, you can refuse the loan offer and look for an alternative. Feel free, too, to call the lender’s customer service to determine if there’s any flexibility in the loan term.

What type of lenders are on First Financial?

As mentioned above, the personal loan landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10 years due to the advent of internet technology. Lenders are stratifying to serve and specialize in different niches of the market. One lender may have managed to find the best loans for U.S. veterans and the military. Another may specialize in serving borrowers who need only $1,000 or less. Still more lend to those who need a loan for seven days or less! They all congregate on First Financial in order to reach all of these potential borrowers and dozen more “types.”

Beyond focusing on certain types of borrowers, lenders within niches have fashioned unique loan rates, terms and requirements. When they approve an applicant, it’s most likely for a sum between $250 and $2500.

How much do I have to pay back? What is the APR?

Since First Financial is not the ultimate lender, we do not list the terms, rates, annual percentage rates (APRs), or fees associated with the loans offered to you. All of these elements vary from lender to lender. Before you accept the loan offer, you must review them carefully on the lender’s website. It’s the lender’s obligation to state loan terms clearly. If you do not understand any term, make sure to reach out to a customer service representative. Never agree to terms or provide an electronic signature unless you accept all features of the personal loan, including the interest rate and APR.

What is the renewal policy for personal loans?

Each lender has unique renewal policies, but most personal loans can be used. Lenders may also agree to alternative payment options. A renewed loan may come with additional loan fees. Review your lender’s renewal terms before you sign for the initial loan just in case you can’t pay the money back on time. You can get specific renewal policy information when you contact your lender directly. Take notes of your interactions with your lender and let them know you’re doing so. Also, let them know you found them through First Financial to speed any resolution. If they cannot resolve your issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Looking for a Personal Loan?

If your question is not answered, please submit it to our help desk:

[gravityform id=”16″ title=”true” description=”true”]

First Financial® | Corporate Headquarters | Mailing Address: First Financial 8880 Rio San Diego Dr. 8th Floor #2011 San Diego, CA 92108

Client Service Center:  Main: 1-800-315-7791 Fax: 1-800-215-0217

First Financial® & First Financial Online® are Federally Registered Trademarks

©1996-2023 First Financial®, All Rights Reserved. All other products and company names are trademarks of their respective companies. First Financial® does not provide any investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice. We recommend that you consult with financial and tax advisors to understand the risks and consequences of buying, selling and holding Bitcoin.*Not all lenders can provide up to $5,000. Must be 18 or over, outside of New York, South Dakota and Hawaii to sign up for a Bitcoin Savings Account.