Jason Rathman
Written by Jason Rathman

Jason writes about all financial topics such as loans, debt solutions, and bankruptcy. He is an expert when it comes to subjects like APR, loan fine print, debt collection laws within the United States. With his in-depth knowledge of all things financial, he is a great asset to Greendayonline.

FirstLoan Review

Many Americans use debt when borrowers can’t save for crises. The average long-term savings rate in the United States is less than 9%. Saving $5,000 from $40,000 in after-tax income takes a year and a half. Taking out a loan from every lender is not a good idea. Borrowers must conduct due diligence before agreeing to do business with them. The advent of the internet has destroyed privacy, but FirstLoan has information available, including various loan options for potential borrowers.

Main Points:

  • Online application: FirstLoan offers borrowers a convenient and secure online application process. This helps save time and effort, allowing borrowers to submit their applications from the comfort of their homes.
  • Credit history: FirstLoan considers multiple factors when assessing a borrower’s application, including their credit history. This approach ensures that borrowers receive a fair evaluation based on their financial background.
  • FirstLoan is a short-term online installment loan firm operating from the territory of a Native American tribe and following tribal regulations. They offer various loan programs and cater to different loan types.
  • Their loans have high-interest rates (600-795%), and payment plans are offered weekly, bimonthly, and semi-monthly with a one-year payback plan.
  • Additional fees and no prepayment penalties for paying off early during the loan application process.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has all negative customer reviews (1 out of 5 stars), focusing on high borrowing prices and collection/billing concerns.
  • User-generated reviews on other sites also have negative feedback, with most giving the company a one-star rating.
  • FirstLoan has a poor online reputation, with a low rating on Trustpilot and Trust Mamma and a bad trust score on Scam Advisor.
  • Borrowing from FirstLoan is not recommended.

What is a FirstLoan?

FirstLoan is a short-term installment loan firm that operates online. It is strikingly similar to the justifications used by payday lenders. They understand that these loans are an “expensive form of borrowing.” It only is utilized in times of extreme financial need. People have to come up with the money for things like rent, unexpected expenses for car repairs, medical expenses such as bills, and emergency expenses like emergency room visits.

FirstLoan addresses similarities since they might hurt enterprises. FirstLoan argues that their loans are better since they provide flexible repayment alternatives and cash when required.

The two types of loans, specifically personal loans, are similar regarding practical use. They’re both due soon, but they share practically everything else. They’re both rather costly but accessible in a small amount of principal and are meant to help in emergencies. Loans are easily accessible to everybody, even those who struggle to make payments, providing wider access to loans.

Is FirstLoan a licensed company?

Yes, FirstLoan is a licensed company because of its location in California. Tribal loans don’t have state licenses. FirstLoan must register with the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). The DBO’s primary mission is to ensure customers’ safety and assist companies in facilitating commerce in the financial sector. A wide range of financial products, services, and experts are subject to the Department’s oversight.

They operate from a Native American tribe’s territory and follow their tribal regulations. Tribal immunity exempts them from state and federal legislation. They often offer loan rates greater than state laws. California’s maximum annual interest rate is 460%, yet FirstLoan’s rate sample is 778%.

FirstLoan makes its tribal status clear in its fine print, like many other tribal lenders. According to their website, “The Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians, as a sovereign Tribal nation within the United States, operates FirstLoan, a Native American-owned business. All applicable federal laws and regulations, as well as tribal law established by the Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians, are followed by FirstLoan.”

It implies that they tolerate government restrictions, but they refer to a federal statute that states that Native American tribes have control over their lands. State governments have complete control over payday lenders. Thus, federal legislation has no impact.

The most often used loan phrases.

Considering FirstLoan’s offerings, some of the most commonly used loan phrases involve monthly payments and the remaining loan balance. These terms help borrowers understand the amount they must pay each month and the outstanding debt they still need to settle. By being aware of these keywords, individuals can better manage their loans and navigate the financial landscape offered by FirstLoan and other similar tribal lending institutions.

First Lending’s loan terms are comparable to payday or tribal installment lenders. They are marketed as “a great alternative to cash-out payday loans,” but they’re not much of an upgrade.

  • Customers with a principal amount of 0 to $5,500 ($1,500 limit for first-time purchasers) can receive loan funds.
  • An annual percentage rate (APR) of 600 to 795 percent.
  • Repayment terms with payment plans are offered weekly, bimonthly, and semi-monthly.
  • A one-year complete payback plan is available (no specifics, however, the loan sample appears to be 26 bi-weekly installments)
  • There are no prepayment penalties for paying off the loan obligations early.
  • There is a $25 cost for insufficient money and an extra $25 fee for each day the payment is late for more than four days.
  • Additional fees are outlined in the loan contract.

FirstLoan presents an example of a typical loan accessible on its website, demonstrating how ludicrous these terms are. Only $0.17 of the first installment is applied to the principal. It is more than seven times the initial principal owing! The total loan cost to borrow is $3,387.82.

Online Reputation Management

FirstLoan has been in business for at least a couple of years, and they’ve had plenty of opportunities to establish a respectable track record as one of the online lenders. Acquiring a second or third opinion is a good idea when researching a lender, especially when considering the range of loan amounts they offer. A third and fourth opinion is okay too. We’ve summarized the most critical aspects of the FirstLoan evaluation.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Let’s start with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They’re among the best sites for determining a company’s quality since they operate slightly differently from other review sites that rely on crowdsourced feedback.

On the website, all of the customer reviews are negative. The site has just eight reviews, but they all give the lowest possible rating (1 out of five stars). Most critics focus on the company’s exorbitant borrowing prices, although that isn’t its sole flaw. The fact that most complaints are about collections and bills on time concerns is even more concerning.

Sites with User-Generated Reviews

The crowd’s more common evaluations repeat the issues found on the BBB profile. For example, FirstLoan’s Trustpilot profile has 1.4 five-star ratings based on many reviews (88).

FirstLoan has done far less to manage its Trustpilot profile, unlike the BBB website. They have yet to claim their listing, respond to concerns, or even explicitly encourage anybody to submit a review. One recurring issue is their loan servicer needing to respond more adequately to the concerns raised by customers.

Customers often mention that the qualification requirements must be clearer or more transparent. Every other review of FirstLoan says the same scenario. Three-quarters of the 43 Trust Mamma ratings give it a one-star rating. They’ve also managed to get on Scam Advisor’s radar and have a bad trust score.


While GreenDayOnline doesn’t recommend borrowing money from FirstLoan or any other tribal lender, it’s not unusual for folks to fall into this trap. Below are some features that intrigue them, particularly for people who need to be qualified for standard loans.

  • A method for submitting applications that takes only a few minutes for candidates to complete.
  • Low qualifying standards make them available to people needing help acquiring credit, especially eligible borrowers.
  • Requirements borrowers need to meet tend to be less stringent, making the loans more accessible.
  • The capacity to fund loans for eligible borrowers as soon as the next business day.
  • The modest principal balance is ideal for covering minor costs.

These loans seem like a lifesaver to those short on cash and can’t wait until their next paycheck. However, the tiny print reveals they’re nothing more than a long-term payday loan with the same risks.


The risks associated with FirstLoan’s products are similar to those associated with similar tribal installment loans. Even individuals with sufficient means to repay their current loan before the due date (two weeks later) learn they have engaged in a payday loan transaction. It is not wise for them to follow the example of their friends and apply for a loan using money from FirstLoan.

The following are the critical concerns with FirstLoan.

  • Their APRs are substantially higher than almost any other type of credit (except for payday loans).
  • Borrowers likely need help completing their types of loan repayment, resulting in additional fees and exacerbating the problem.
  • FirstLoan cannot be sued for criminal activity like a regular lender.

Tribal financing is dangerous in general, and FirstLoan is no exception. Their loan amounts are higher than their competitors, making them riskier. The financing cost for loans at the highest rate of 795 percent results in a total interest payment of $30k annually. Evaluating the risks of borrowing from such high-interest lenders is essential when considering additional loans.

What is the procedure for applying for a FirstLoan?

Applying for an installment loan takes little time because they have fewer qualifying standards than traditional lenders. Prospective borrowers must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for funding through FirstLoan:

  • Employer verification or a reliable source of monthly income
  • Provide proof of income when required
  • Maintain a good-standing bank account.
  • Check whether the applicant has a working email address and phone number.
  • Borrowers must be at least 21 years old.
  • Are borrowers in a state where FirstLoan helps?

Anyone who meets these basic minimal standards has a reasonable probability of being approved when they apply for a personal loan. Remember that one of their numerous benefits is their loan application procedure. The process takes a brief period before it is finished.

Give the following information.

The following information about the borrower and the required proof of income are listed below.

  • Details about the borrower’s living situation, as well as evidence of identification and contact information
  • Information about earnings (or other sources of money) and earnings levels in the workplace.
  • Borrowers’ bank account so that FirstLoan transfers funds and debit the account to make payments. Banking information.

Alternatives to a First-Time Borrower’s Loan

One of the most common reasons consumers turn to a lender like FirstLoan is because they need help to afford their credit ratings aside from a cash shortage. Many applicants feel they still need to obtain a loan from a bank. They assume that the only choice is to pay exorbitant service fees.

Tribal and payday lenders claim that the rates they demand are necessary to make money, yet, considering the risk, they assume. Many lenders lend to high-risk consumers and provide competitive rate APRs substantially lower than those charged by FirstLoan. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Look for lenders with a minimum credit score requirement, making it easier for first-time borrowers or those with less-than-perfect credit to obtain a loan.
  • Consider a fixed-rate loan as an alternative, which can offer predictable interest rates and payments over the life of the loan, making it easier to budget and manage your finances.
  • Credit unions are one of the best solutions for people who need more credit. Be a member to be eligible for a loan. They offer a wide variety of loan options and frequently have lower prices than those offered by other lenders, even for people with bad credit,
  • Private lenders with secured credit: Lenders hesitate to give loans to those with a poor track record of repaying their debts. They want to avoid taking the chance of losing money on their investment. However, they may provide loans with adjustable rates and favorable terms to poor credit borrowers with assets like a property or car. Pay off the secured debts on time to avoid losing one’s home.
  • Cash Advance Request Forms. Cash Advance Request Forms. Cash advance applications are an excellent option for folks who need a small amount of money until payday. Earning cash allows workers to receive payment for their work as soon as they finish.

FirstLoan Alternative

NetCredit is a FirstLoan alternative that offers fast and straightforward online loans. It’s a great option if you’re looking for an alternative loan with lower interest rates than those in long-term payday or traditional installment loans. This makes it a perfect choice for shorter-term financing needs.

The company offers personal loans up to $10,000, and they have one of the quickest turnarounds regarding funding. With their secure application process, customers can get pre-approved for a loan in as little as 10 minutes. Upon approval, a purchase agreement is provided, clearly outlining the terms and conditions of the loan.

NetCredit provides borrowers with flexible repayment options and support tools such as their LoanPayback feature, which allows borrowers to align their payments with their budget restrictions. This feature can be particularly beneficial for eligible purchases like emergency expenses, large appliances, or any other financial need that fits within the loan amount. Furthermore, there are no setup or late fees associated with NetCredit’s services.

NetCredit is a great alternative to FirstLoan, providing quick funds with competitively low-interest rates. Another benefit of using NetCredit is its TransUnion lender profile scorecard, which helps potential borrowers understand where they stand regarding getting approved for a loan. This way, customers can view which type of loan products might be best for them before applying.


FirstLoan is too costly if individuals are looking for a simple FirstLoan review that explains everything they need to know about borrowing money from the company, especially for most borrowers. Consider one of the above ideas if one needs assistance with the costs.

Avoid borrowing again by cutting costs or earning more. Try to figure out how to solve the problems without borrowing money in the first place. One of the customer care specialists helps individuals complete the loan process, which includes checking personal facts before final loan approval and funding. A credit specialist is a useful (and reasonable) option if someone needs assistance with their credit score.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key factors I should consider before taking out a loan, and how can I conduct a comprehensive loan review?

Consider interest rates, fees, repayment terms, eligibility requirements, and total costs across multiple lenders. Read the fine print and do the math to estimate payments. Evaluate alternatives like savings or credit cards.

Are there any hidden fees or terms I should be aware of in loan agreements, and how can I spot them during a loan review?

Watch for origination fees, prepayment penalties, variable rates, and balloon payments buried in the fine print. Have an expert review agreements or read carefully yourself highlighting unclear or concerning sections.

What are the different types of loans available, and how do their terms and conditions vary?

Loans include mortgages, personal, student, business, auto, and payday loans. Key variables are interest rates, repayment terms, collateral, credit requirements, and fees.

How can I determine if I’m eligible for a loan and what steps should I take to improve my chances of approval?

Check your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and collateral. Improve your chances by paying down debts, extending credit history, providing collateral, and getting a cosigner if needed.

What are the potential risks associated with taking out a loan, and what strategies can I use to manage and repay the loan effectively?

Risks include unaffordable payments, damaged credit, and asset seizure. Make payments on time, pay extra when possible, refinance if beneficial, and communicate with lender if struggling.

Jason Rathman

Jason Rathman


Jason writes about all financial topics such as loans, debt solutions, and bankruptcy. He is an expert when it comes to subjects like APR, loan fine print, debt collection laws within the United States. With his in-depth knowledge of all things financial, he is a great asset to Greendayonline.