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1st Financial Bank / Fraud

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I signed up for automatic payments in the early months of 2009. I thought I was being responsible because I would not have to worry about late fees if I did not have time to send a check on time. After I started the automatic payment, I stopped receiving paper statements. I really should have looked further into this but I tend to look the other way and pray everything will work out. I am a busy college student with papers to write.

I moved in early April, and did not notify the company of my address change, since I was not receiving statements anyway. I know this was a bad idea, but again, busy college student. On June 16, 2009 (my bday, no less), I was told that I was over $400 over my credit limit of $7, 000 and needed to make payments immediately. I asked how this was possible because I believed I still had somewhere around $3, 000 dollars left of credit on this card. Apparently, the ### who set up the automatic payments, set them up for AFTER the due date. I was incurring late fees and had no clue because I wasn't receiving statements. When I told them I stopped receiving statements, they denied it and told me to check with my post office. My mother works at the post office, and it is possible for things to get lost once in a while, but not multiple times. They instead blamed me not notifying them of my move for not receiving the statements, although I moved several months after I stopped receiving the statements. However, it is impossible to prove something that I do not have.

They refunded me the late fees that I incurred, but insist that I went over the credit limit because of the purchases that I made. However, I made these purchases when I was unaware of how much the late fees and the increased percentage rates had increased my overall amount owed. Furthermore, they took $459 from my checking account without my ok, when I had less than $300 in the account. The amount of overdraft charges was ridiculous. I demanded to cancel all automatic payments from here on out, which they did except for the very next one which they insist is necessary to bring my account back into good standing. This all frustrates me to death because it would not have been in bad standing had they not caused me unnecessary late fees in the first place. Ridiculous.


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A  22nd of Dec, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Ist Financial Bank, south dakota will try EVRY method in the illegal book to financially 'rape' anyone with their credit card. My situation is different but hopefully someone will learn something on how to deal with these scammers! My credit card started with a $500 limit and was increased to $9800 in a matter of months (I guess the bank liked EE students). I have been lucky to have ALWAYS paid off the entire balance in FULL each month. When I started paying electronically is when ALL the problems with late fees, over-limit charges, etc started.

I have always put my disputes in writing with return receipt to this company, only to get a response to "get an attorney!!" Well I DID!! I had ALL my paper work, confirmation numbers, etc. Then, I sued them!! I won and they paid my attorney's fees in addition to $1000 for the "hassle."

Do NOT EVER GET 1st FINANCIAL, South Dakota credit card. Not worth it in my opinion.
N  27th of Jan, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I just hung up with First Financial Bank for what seems to be the 6th or 7th time in the past year, on behalf of my daughter.

I got this card for her as "training wheels" -- I didn't know they would run her over with late fees, bogus charges ($9 for the privilege of paying online??? are you kidding me???) I am a freelance writer and I am interested in exposing this credit card company and its "commitment to college students" for what it really is. Although the government now prohibits them from charging a fee for online payment (as of 2/22), they still should be exposed for the greedy, unethical practices that they have continued despite all these issues. If you would like to go on the record and be quoted in anything I write about this company, please contact me at naturalcurls81@yahoo.com. Thanks.

Doreen Fera
A  3rd of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
First Financial is adding your interest daily to your account so if you go online to make your payment before the due date it tells you, you owe more then your minimum amount due on your statement. Then they will charge you over limit fees because you only made the minimum payment. This company is fraud as far as I am concerned
A  12th of Feb, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This bank, if that's what you want to call them, is the biggest piece of you know what FRAUD out there. They raise rates on EVERYONE. Even if you are responsible and make payments on time. I received a letter saying they were going to be billing at least $100. So even if you have a small amount credit, you will still have to pay that much a month! It's FRAUD.
A  20th of Dec, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This bank harrasses you for non-payment even though they have received and cashed your payment. They also blame the post office for slow delivery even though you send in your payment 7 days in advance. This company may be withholding processing payments to charge late fees and interest. FRAUDS!

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