Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

General  Am I Eligible?   Application Process  Payments

General FAQs

What makes First Response different?

Most finance companies rely on automated, computerised decisions and, although we use them to a degree we prefer using real people. We employ people who try to understanding your circumstances to make sure that the amount you want to borrow is right for you. Everything we do is aimed at providing great customer service and, if you check out our reviews online you'll see that our customers tend to agree that we're good at it.

Is First Response linked to an accident claims company?

No. First Response Finance does not operate within the accident claims arena and is not associated with any similarly named businesses in any manner.

We have been informed by members of the public that a company using the business name ‘First Response’ is contacting them regarding accident claims, but please be assured this is a different company who with have no affiliation with.

If you are contacted and feel harassed by this company we would advise you to make a note of the number from which they have been contacted and report your concerns to the Information Commissioners Office and add your number to the Telephone Preference Service, both links are below.

ICO Website TPS Website

Why choose Hire Purchase?

Hire Purchase is a popular way to finance a vehicle. It lets you choose the vehicle you want while spreading the payments to suit your budget. You’ll have the reassurance of knowing your regular monthly payments will stay the same and after the last payment, the vehicle’s all yours. Read more about Hire Purchase here.

I bought the vehicle at a garage, so surely the garage sold me the vehicle?

No, the garage sold First Response the vehicle. A Hire Purchase agreement means that we have bought the vehicle from the garage and we have agreed to hire it to you over a set period of time. Although you have all the documents, e.g. registered keeper's documents the vehicle belongs to us until you pay the loan in full.

If there is a problem with the vehicle do I go to the garage or you?

You should do both. Your contract is with us so we need to be informed at all times and we always recommend going back to the garage where you originally bough the vehicle. If there is an issue with your vehicle it is likely our team will ask the garage to deal with the faults. If you have an issue please contact our Customer Experience team on 0115 946 6368.

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Am I Eligible? FAQs

I'm self-employed, could I get vehicle finance?

Yes, but you will have to supply your last three months’ bank statements which prove your income. We cannot finance self-employed people if they do not bank their income. Find out more about van finance here.

Can I apply if I’m in the Armed Forces?

Yes, absolutely.

What if I have bad credit?

We cannot finance people in current financial difficulty, however, we will look at financing people who have past credit issues.

If you've had difficulty with obtaining credit in the past (this may be because of missed payments, being self-employed or a lack a credit history) then we may be able to help. When you apply we will have a conversation with you to understand your situation and why you’re classed as having ‘bad credit’.

Unlike most finance companies we don’t always use automated systems, this means most of the time we are able to talk to you to take personal situations into account and it is possible that we’re more likely to be able to help you.

As a responsible finance lender it is very important to us that we only lend to customers that we believe can repay without financial stress. If you are worried about whether finance is right for you we advise you source independent advice from either:

Money Advice Service

Citizens Advice

Do I need to be employed?

No not necessarily, but you do need to have a regular income as we will only lend to you if you can afford to pay it back over the period of time we agree. Please be aware that we will ask for evidence to support your application.

What if I’m already in debt?

Your current loans and credit commitments will be taken into consideration when we're making our decision and we’ll then discuss with you what would be a sensible level of additional commitment that won’t over stretch you during the term of the loan.

If you have any questions regarding finance products, debt or budgeting you can source independent advice from either of the services below.

Money Advice Service

Citizens Advice

What do I need to get a loan from First Response?

  • You need to be living in the UK and have a UK bank account
  • You must be over 18 years old (21 if purchasing a motorbike)
  • You need to be able to repay us by Direct Debit on the same date each week or month

Can I get a loan if I am not a homeowner?

Yes, most of our customers do not own their own home and the finance is secured against the vehicle.

Do I need a bank account?

Yes, a current UK bank account is required to take a Direct Debit from your account.

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Application Process FAQs

I have been rejected already by another finance company, could I still get finance?

Yes, it's possible. Every day we finance customers who have already been rejected elsewhere but we highly recommend you read all of the information on our finance section to ensure that we are the right company for you and to make sure you're aware of the pros and cons of our Hire Purchase product.

What personal information does First Response Finance need?

At first we simply need details like your name, address, phone numbers and employment information. When we talk with you we'll also want details about your income, employer and the vehicle you’re hoping to buy. We need all this information so we can agree what is a sensible loan amount over a sensible period of time.

To give yourself the best chance of approval, you should always ensure the information you give us is accurate and honest. For full details about the collection of, and potential uses of, your personal details please read our Privacy Policy.

How much can I borrow?

We can lend from £1,000 to £15,000 however the majority of our lends are between £2,000 and £10,000.

How long will it take to get my loan?

On average it takes less than one day to approve a loan. If, at this point, you have vehicle details and all the necessary proofs and information we can continue immediately to get you in the vehicle as quickly as possible.

Data correct as of 04/11/2015 and relates to all consumer web applications in January 2015 - October 2015.

Can I use my part exchange as a deposit?

Yes you can part exchange. The price of your part exchange will be agreed with the dealer you are buying your new vehicle from, it's worth noting that we do not always require a deposit.

Can you help me find a vehicle?

We would be more than happy to help you, we have great relationships with a wide range of dealers throughout the UK and we’d be happy to recommend some to you so long as you came to us directly (applied through the website). Unfortunately if a dealer has introduced you to us then we are unable to provide alternative dealerships.

Can I purchase a vehicle privately?

No, all vehicles we finance must be from a licensed dealer.

Can I choose to go to any motor dealer?

Yes, so long as they are allowed to sell finance. Dealers must be FCA authorised, simply ask them if they're allowed to sell finance or check if they have a licence using the website below.

Check a dealer's licence

Please be aware that there are some dealers First Response Finance will not work with for various reasons. This could be customer feedback or past experiences but rest assured that we believe excluding these dealers is in the best interest of our customers.

What should I do when I've found the vehicle I want?

Call us and give us the registration number, mileage and price plus the dealers’ details or email them to sales@frfl.co.uk but please ensure you put your full name and post code on the email so we can find your details.  We will then do the necessary checks to ensure it is a safe vehicle to purchase.

If you're a new customer in England or Wales you can call 0115 946 6260.

If you're a new customer in Scotland or Northern Ireland you can call 0141 848 8939.

If you've been with us before then call 01942 686 687.

Do you use a Credit Reference Agency for a credit check?

Yes we use Experian. Their registered business address is: Experian Ltd, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, NG80 1ZZ

Will you contact my employer?

Not in all cases but sometimes we need to validate the information you've given to us about your employment, this could be if you're on a temporary contract or have only been there for a small period of time. If for any reason we decide contacting your employer is necessary to your application, we will contact you before we contact them.

Do I need to pay a fee or commission charge?

No, we do not charge additional fees to our customers you will simply pay the price of the car plus interest. As the dealer acts as a credit intermediary they may receive a commission if you enter into an agreement with us.

Why have I been turned down by First Response?

We take personal details (such as age, income and employment) and the results of credit reference enquiries into account when deciding if we can finance your application. If you have been turned down by us it is likely that your application failed to meet the minimum acceptance criteria set by us. We recommend you check your credit file with Experian, Equifax or another Credit Reference Agency to see what the issues are.

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Payment FAQs

How much are my payments and how much will I pay back?

The monthly payments and the total to repay are fixed (this means they’re the same each month) and will depend on how much you borrow and for how long. You will be advised how much this will be before you enter into an agreement, both verbally and in writing, in order to give you adequate time to make up your mind. You can calculate how much it could be using our finance calculator.

How do I pay the loan back?

Payments are taken from your bank account; the most popular method is by Direct Debit, so all you need to do is ensure the required funds are available in your bank account in time for the promised repayment date. Other than that you needn't lift a finger.

What happens if I’m going to struggle to make a loan repayment?

You must be up front and honest with us when you see issues coming up - we understand that unforeseen events happen and if you warn us about a potential problem before the promised repayment date, we may be able to work something out with you. We have resolution plans in place which means, depending on your circumstances, we may be able to accept a partial payment until you can get back up to date. Please call 01942 686 686 and we will be able to discuss this in more detail with you.

Please note that if you only make partial payments you'll still fall into arrears and this also means you may be charged late interest, so it's best all round if you can maintain your agreed payments throughout the term of the loan.

If you have any questions regarding finance products, debt or budgeting you can source independent advice from either:

Money Advice Service

Citizens Advice

What happens if I don't pay?

If you have paid less than one third of the total amount you owe we could repossess the vehicle. You should be aware that any late payments could also negatively affect your credit rating.

If you have paid more than one third of the payments then legally the goods are 'protected'. First Response Finance will need a court order to repossess the vehicle unless you agree to the repossession.

How much will I be charged if I pay late?

You may be charged a late interest fee and you may also incur collection charges if we need to contact you regarding non-payments.

What happens if the vehicle is repossessed?

We will sell the vehicle, usually at auction, and use the money to pay off part (or all) of your debt. If there is still debt remaining you will have to pay the rest.

But could I not get a much better price selling the vehicle myself?

Legally you do not own the vehicle, which means you have no legal right to sell it. Only First Response Finance can sell the vehicle and this is likely to be through an auction or to a garage for less than the market value.

I'm finding the payments a struggle and want to sell the vehicle - can I do this?

No. Not without specific permission from us as we are the legal owners. If you get permission to sell the vehicle, you still need to pay all of the outstanding money on your credit deal.

If I can't sell the vehicle what can I do?

You have the right to terminate your agreement at any time. If you terminate, you are required to pay half the amount on the agreement and give the vehicle back to us.

If you have already paid more than half of the amount you owe then, providing you are not in arrears, you will not have to pay any more. Please note that you may be charged for any outstanding repairs that the vehicle requires.

Do I need to work these figures out myself?

No. The figures will be on the documents you signed at the start of the agreement.

I've come into some money - can I pay off the HP early?

Yes, this is called early settlement and means you could be entitled to a reduction in the interest you have to pay. Please be aware that for fraud prevention our team may ask for further information on the origin of this money.

How do I know how much I have paid on my agreement?

We will send a statement to you annually. Alternatively you can request a statement at any time by calling 01942 686 686.

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