Warning: Late repayment of payday loans can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyhelper.org.uk

Rates from 12.9% APR to 1721% APR. The minimum Loan Term is 3 months. The maximum Loan Term is 36 months. 

Representative Example: £1,000 borrowed for 18 months. Repayment of 17 Months at £87.22 and final repayment of £87.70 The total amount repayable is £1570.44. Interest amounts to £570.44, an annual interest rate of 59.97% (fixed) Representative APR: 79.5% (variable)

Please note: We are a broker, not a lender, and do not make credit decisions.

Subject to application being approved by the lender. Not all lenders are able to provide up to £5000

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Payday loans by 1st Class Loans
Payday Loans art work by 1st Class Loans

Here at 1st Class Loans, we strive in providing a seamless, online service to all of our customers, in their search for an online payday loans. Our business model is designed to provide a first-class service, that our customers would be happy to recommend to others. We aim to be your number one choice whatever your financial needs in the UK market.


Our introductory service provides you with a simple and fast online lending application process, providing you with an instant decision for your short term loan.

  • The security of your personal data is important to you, which makes it a priority to us. That’s why 1st Class Loans does not retain any of your personal information.
  • We will only ever ask you for personal details which relate to your loan application and nothing additional for research or marketing purposes unless you want us to.
  • If you’re not satisfied – we’re not. Please tell us if you feel there is anything that we can do to improve your experience by visiting our Contact Us Page

How does 1st Class Loans work?

We are a credit broker and not a direct lender. We use a system called ‘pingtree tree’, this system helps customers find instant cash loans from a large panel of lenders in under 2 minutes.

Introduction to online payday loans in the UK

Here at 1st Class Loans, we want to believe in transparency, so we will always aim to be as open as possible by telling you the pros and cons of online payday loans UK.

Payday loans should only ever be taking out as a last resort and over this page, we will cover:

  • How 1st Class Loans works and how it helps you find a loan.
  • What should be considered when searching for payday loans online
  • The cost of short term loans in the UK
  • What to do if you have a bad credit score and are looking for a loan
  • How the APR works
  • FAQs – the most asked questions around direct payday loans.
  • History of payday loans
  • Statistics for payday loans


Do I really need to take out a payday loan – or can I wait?

First and foremost, what should be considered if you have found yourself searching for a quick loan is – do you really need it?

Whilst a payday loan can be a great option for bridging short financial needs, they should always be considered as a last resort due to the high cost.

If you’re considering an online payday loan for purchases such as a new car, then considering an alternative solution like a personal loan might be a better option. However; if you need the funds instantly for an emergency cash injection, then a payday loan UK could be the answer you’re looking for.

If you’re still unsure if you do need to take out a payday loan or not, visit the Money Advice Service for more information on what should be considered.

Can I afford to make the repayments?

The second factor which should be taken into account, is can you comfortably afford to make the repayments in full and on time for you bad credit loans? Instant Payday loans, are a form of high-cost short-term credit which ultimately means you are paying higher interest rates on your loan because the amount of borrowing is over a shorter period. Although you can get 12-month payday loans, we would recommend you try paying it off as soon as you can as you will pay less interest.

Typically, the amount of interest charged will be around, and no greater than, £24 for every £100 borrowed. However, if you do not meet the agreed repayments, this type of borrowing can become a lot more expensive due to charges applied to your loan.

So be sure to consider if there are any foreseen changes in the near future that might impact your ability to repay the loan before making a final decision.


Payday loans UK by 1st Class Loans
Payday Loans UK

As part of our first-class service, we believe that transparency is key. So unlike other companies that portray to be a payday loans direct lenders, we want to be as open and honest about the way our service works.

We are not a payday loans UK direct lender, however, we have access to a large panel of lenders through a clever piece of technology. This works by sending your application details to search the panel of FCA approved lenders to see if a lender is willing to borrow to you. If you are found a match, you will then be redirected to the lender website to complete your loan application. Some of the leading lenders in the UK are SafetyNet Credit, Amigo Loans, My Jar, Lending Stream, Sunny payday loans and more. We work with a large percentage of them.


We will never charge you any fees for using our service. Our service is completely free for you to use, as we are paid as a ‘referrer’. This means that once we introduce you to a lender and you agree to proceed with the loan application, the lender will pay us a fee.

What payday loans are best for bad credit?

There’s no guarantee that we will be able to find you a payday loan no credit check if you do have bad credit. However, the way in which our business works means, that applying through us may increase your chances of finding a suitable loan provider to your circumstances. Using our services will also save you time by removing the need to complete numerous application forms with different loan providers.


  • Friends and family – We always recommend asking friends and family first before taking a payday loan.
  • Credit cards – if you have a credit card with an available balance that covers the loan amount required; then use your credit card to save opening an additional credit account. However; make sure you pay back the additional amount borrowed in full before your next due date.
  • Extend your overdraft – This one can be tricky, going into your overdraft without permission from your bank can actually have some extremely high interests rates. Some more than payday loans themselves. However, if you can agree with your bank to get an arranged overdraft it might work out cheaper than getting a payday loan.

We’ve only listed a few of the main alternatives to payday loans, however, The Money Saving Expert goes into a lot of detail regarding alternatives to payday loans.


If you are looking for the best payday loans in the UK, we will try and give you our honest opinion.

If you are looking for a payday loan broker, then we would recommend ourselves 1st Class Loans (well we wouldn’t we?)

If you are searching for the best payday loan direct lender then we would recommend one of the following: Cashfloat, Lending Stream or SafetyNet Credit. However, all the best payday loan lenders in 2021 are FCA approved so they all have to follow the strict payday loan regulations.

what are the best payday loans UK? By 1st Class Loans


APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate and is a calculation of the full amount of the loan you will pay over a course of one year.

We often find that customers can get confused by APR and here’s an example below why:

If you were to get a £100 loan over 1 month and the total repayment was £122.

That means your cost of credit is £22.

To most people, the interest on that loan is 22% which is correct, however,

In the APR terms, this is in fact 1000% APR – which appears extremely high.

Data source: BBC monthly interest calculator.

Unless you are considering a 12-month payday loan, then we suggest looking at the total amount of interest payable on the loan as opposed to the APR, as APRs can make the interest repayable appear higher. However; if you’re in need of a loan longer than a 12-month period, then consider the APRs as well as the total amount repayable on your loan.

FAQs about Payday loans

  1. Do you do guaranteed payday loans? No, no company can guarantee you a guaranteed or cheapest payday loans.
  2. Do you do student payday loans? Yes, some lender we work with will accept student payday loans but please be aware that being a student and taking a loan out isn’t recommended.
  3. Do you compare payday loans? Our clever system might match you with the lender with the lowest rates. When searching for payday loans compare, a broker like 1st Class Loans might be your best option.
  4. What payday loans will accept me? This depends on a number factors including your credit score, have you taken a loan before and if you are employed.
  5. What payday loans have gone bust or into administration? Payday loans like Wonga went into administration back in 2018. This year, 2019 Quickquid the 2nd biggest lender behind Wonga has just gone into administration.


History of payday loans

In this section, we’ll give you some information about how the payday loan industry started and how it has changed with the induction of FCA regulations.

Where did it all begin?

In the United States of America back in the 1980s. Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 created the Deregulation of interest rates. This allowed lenders to offer quick and easy loans with higher APR.

No regulations

Since then the industry exploded in the 21st century, however, initially it was an industry with no regulations.

With no regulations, the industry started to gain a bad reputation and with good reason. Companies here in the UK started charging 5000%+ APR on their loans with no capped repayments. This meant a lot of customers were getting into large amounts of debt and there were no laws in place to protect them.

America was the first to introduce regulations. Some states banned payday loans altogether, whereas some just put a cap on the APR that firms could charge.

1st April 2014 the FCA in the UK stepped in and bought in a number of regulations for consumer credit. Here are some of the regulations:

  • Limit the number of loan rollovers to two
  • Display clear risk warnings on all adverts and promotions
  • Reduce the maximum daily interest rate to 0.8% / day. For every £100 borrowed you can only pay back a maximum of £24.
  • Cap the maximum total cost of a payday loan to 100% which means no customer can pay back more than double what they borrowed.
  • Capped default fee to £15, this helps protect customers who are struggling to pay their loan back.

How the regulations have changed the industry?

There are around 70-90 lenders in the UK in 2020  (according to Wikipedia), this is significantly less than in 2013 before the regulations came in.

It was estimated there were around 200 lenders in the UK before the regulations came in place in 2014. A lot of lenders could not pass all the requirements to meet the new FCA practice and the industry lost 55% of its lenders and brokers.

It is estimated that the payday loan industry is worth around £220million in 2018 compared to £2billion quoted before the regulations came in 2014.

According to the BBC, this figure is calculated at 760,000 loans funded in 2017 at an average loan value of £300, equalling £228million.

As the FCA regulations made it stricter for lenders criteria, the 760,000 funded loans are a lot less than 2014.

Payday Loan statistics

According to Finder:

  • 2016 there were 1.1million loans taken out and 106 firms operating
  • 2017 there were 1.3million loans taken out and 93 firms operating
  • 2018 there were 1.5million loans taken out and 88 firms operating

Although the figure is slightly different from the BBC figure of 770,000 loans in 2017 quoted above, it is quite interesting to see the amount of loans is increasing, yet the firms operating is decreasing.

This is very unusual for an industry to see growth in product and demand yet see competition decreasing, however, it is demonstrating that the FCA regulations is having an impact so the trust in firms can be greater.

Who are still taking out online payday loans?

Online Loans | 1st Class Loans
Online Loans By 1st Class Loans
  • 24-34 year olds were the most popular age group taking out payday loans in the UK (37%)
  • Compared to 45-54 years olds (16.5%) and 55+ (6.4%)
  • £260 is the average loan
  • 3 in 4 customers take out more than 1 loan a year
  • 6 loans per year is the average number of loans a customer takes out a year
  • It is reported that 24% of the UK adults report a low level of confidence with managing their finance
  • People earning less than £1500/month were most likely to take out payday loans
  • 83% of payday loan customers have taken a loan out online.
  • Out of 100 people surveyed, 5 people would consider taking a loan at Xmas ie Christmas loans

Let’s wrap it up

It is quite worrying that 24% of UK adults don’t feel confident in managing their finances, that is an extremely high amount. Should schools be doing more to educate the younger generation around the basics of managing finances and the adverse impacts of debt?

The most popular age group is 24-34, should universities and business be doing more to educate young adults about savings?

Here at 1st Class Loans, although we are a broker for payday loans, we still believe in helping customers with useful information which might help customers so they don’t need a loan.

Please see our help get out of debt blog if you feel caught in the payday loan cycle. You are not alone, if you are one of the customers who find themselves getting 6 quick loans a year, this blog could benefit you.

There is plenty of help out there, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Charities like Step Change and national debt have been set up to help customers who are struggling.

See our loan page here

Warning: Late repayment of payday loans can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyhelper.org.uk.