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1st Financial Bank Usa / Abusive, uncaring, rude

1 United States Review updated:

I have been a customer with 1st financial bank for over 6 years now, no problems. I always hated that they charged me to pay my bill, but it is what it is. In the last year or so, i started having trouble making my payments. I was responsible - - i called them, i set up payment plans, ect. Whenever i went over my limit, it was because of their huge intrest fee! But i always paid, period.

This year, i got a notice in the mail stating that i qualified for thier program where they lower your interest rate to 0%, and payments are drafted automatically and at the end of the program, they give you a $250 credit. I signed up, and was quite satisfied as it brought everything up to good standing, i didn't have to worry about them not picking up the payment, and so on.

My card expires in february, and today i got a letter stating that they would not be re - issuing my card, and if i wanted to know the reason i had to call them. So of course, i call. The first two people i spoke to were lovely, apologetic, and honestly seemed to want to help me and get this straightened out. Then, i got a woman named parianna or something of the sort, who completely chewed me out, and made me feel so ashamed i just cried and cried when i got off the phone. She informed me that i was ineligable due to the program i had entered, as it puts a "hold" on your account, and thus they cannot reissue the card and the account will be closed, no ifs ands or buts. I told her that no one informed me of this when i signed up for the program! I was told how wonderful this program was going to be, how much money it would save me, but never that it would result in me loosing my account. The woman snapped back "it doesn't matter! We have to have some kind of standards here, " and went on to say how many times i had paid late, and how many times i had been over the limit (In 6 years, mind you, almost everyone makes a late payment here and there, life happens!) . Any time i was late, i communicated with them. I always paid. Any time i went over the limit, it was because of their interest fees, not because i was out there racking up my card. She said nothing i could do would ever make me eligible for their card, and she said "ok?" which of couse i said "um, no not really, i've been a customer for 6 years and i've always been responsible, and now you're just taking it away. " she then repeated about having standards (18 year olds who don't know better and have no credit and no jobs seem to be their standards) , and said goodbye. She treated me like a dog, she didn't care i had made arrangements, she didn't care i had tried, she just said i wasn't good enough to have their card.

I'm pondering if it has something to do with me not using my card, like at all for the last year. I've been trying to be responsible and pay down my debt, and i can't believe they're just going to throw me away as a customer after i did what i was supposed to do.

Furthermore, the woman was so brash, she was just so rude, and rather abusive in her tone and speech to me. There's no need for that - - i was calm, i never said anything like she dared to say to me. There was no need to treat me like she did, and now here i am feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

Needless to say, consumer beware! Yes, they're a great credit card when you're starting out, they're my one and only credit card i've ever had, and up until this point i was very satisified with them, even with their silly fees and astronomical rate hikes. I thought it was so wonderful and a godsend when i was offered this program, and i was just flat out wrong.

Di
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Comments

  • Ta
      21st of May, 2010
    +3 Votes

    I completely agree with this complaint! I was a freshman in college (8 years ago) when I recieved an application for 1st Financial Bank USA. They accepted me and gave me a $150 limit with 0% APR. Over the years I have paid it off, and also had my limit raised. My limit is $8400, and I am now at 29.99% APR. I have maybe had 3 late payments in 8 years. A few years ago I was hospitalized twice in one year and got behind on my bills due to the increasing medical bills. Stupidly I paid all of my medical bills off with my card, not thinking about the interest rates. It now has a balance of $7800. And every once in awhile have I had to use the card when my money is tight, primarily because I make a $200 payment, which $150 goes to interest. I have called numerous times and asked if they could lower my interest rates, and every time they tell me I am at the lowest APR they offer. I have gone to numerous banks and loan companies to try and get a loan to pay off this revolving debt. No bank will give me the money because I have no collateral. My credit score is very good but this card is killing me. I was reccommended to call Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Ohio. Long story short they work with these companies to get a better interest rate, I pay them and they pay the companies. I signed up to work with CCCS on a debt management program which would pay off my debt in 4 years and save $15, 000 in interest. I called 1FBUSA to inform them that the payment would be 1 week late that I was working with CCCS. They said that was fine, they would put a note on the account and wait for the proposal from CCCS. Exactly one week after my due date went by 1FBUSA called to ask why payment was late because it was never late. I told them that I had called the week before and explained my situation. The girl who called was very rude and told me that I still had to make a payment that day because I would be late. I was put through to 3 different people, ending with a "supervisor", who informed me that I had to make this payment or they would not work with CCCS at all. Then he changed his story and told me that if they got the proposal in with them in the next few days they might consider it. Then the story changed again. The payment wasn't even 14 days late!!! I kept telling them to call my counselor at CCCS and she would talk to them. They kept ignoring that and bullying me, trying to get me to make a payment. He even tried to get me to defer my car payment to pay them, when I said I wouldn't do that he tried to get me to talk to my landlord about not paying rent for a month. Little did he know that my fiance is my "landlord" and he pays the house payment every month. I kept asking why I was told by the woman I talked to before that it was ok that it would be late and they just kept changing the subject back to how and when I was going to pay them. These people were so rude, and talked to me like I was very stupid. The "supervisor" would go from rude to fake sympathetic telling me that he could get the calls stopped for a few days if I post dated a check to them. I called my credit counselor and she said that they do that to strongarm people to get them to pay because they get a percentage of the late payment fee. That I was never to defer my car payment to pay a credit card company! She could not believe that they did this after being only one week late. I am still waiting to see if they accept CCCS's proposal. Hopefully they will because it is more a month than I usually pay. I am very nervous about this because the next option is bankruptcy and that is not my style. I want to pay back what I owe but I need help! And since they evidently will not help (of course they won't they are rolling in my hard earned dollars), I will work with CCCS. Please, if you have this card, cut it up and pay it off!

  • Th
      27th of May, 2010
    +3 Votes

    I strongly agree with these complaints and vouch for their accuracy. I have been a 1st Financial customer for 6 years and ALWAYS faithfully paid my bill each month, even in full for the first few years. I started with a pretty high limit ($5000, I believe) and because I was so consistent with payments, they continually increased my limit over the years up to $13, 000. As a grad student these past three years, I've had seasons of unemployment where I relied heavily in this card to supply usual living expenses (like rent and groceries, not partying in Cabo). The past year has been especially rough and I finally decided to stop using credit & entered a debt management program. I was able to do that for 5 months before I got laid off. I was unemployed for 3 months after that and wasn't able to make payments. I did the right thing and called them to notify them of my situation and asked for a grace period on my program. They said no. And in addition, I would be charged "late fees" on a card I haven't used in 9 months, plus the 15% interest rate on my already unmanageable balance. When I spoke with them last week, I first got a kind, understanding man who seemed helpful, then got transferred to 3 other people, the last of whom was extremely rude, demeaning, and abusive. I finally had to hang up as she kept pestering me about making a payment I'd just told her 3 times I couldn't make. And today alone I've received 6 calls from them harassing me about my account. This company's sole purpose seems to be to lull you into a false sense of comfort & understanding, only to hike your interest rate up to 29.99% (yes, that happened to me) and then bully you and your family (my mom's number was on my account too) about payments, even when you've done everything in your power to responsibly manage your credit.

    RUN FAR FAR AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!!

  • He
      2nd of Jun, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I HATE THIS CARD - Did you know that your interest is added to your account DAILY - YES THAT IS CORRECT - DAILY INTEREST... how the heck can you pay it off when you accrue daily charges. It's BS, and if anyone has any suggestions on how to work towards paying it off I would be so grateful. They target college students - and it IS good... if you only use it for the bare minimum and never go above the initial $250 limit.

    I too had a hard time after college - working 2 jobs and still barely making ends meat. I did use the card for needed items only, and now i'm screwed. My limit is $6, 500, and I pay $200 a month toward it - AND ITS NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Every month I pay $200 on time - and even more some months if I can afford it. I'm just not getting anywhere with this and even though my credit score is great, I can't get a loan through my bank to pay this debt off.

    Help Please!!!

  • Se
      15th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I have been a customer of First Financial bank USA for 4 years and have had nothing but problems. Nothing but rude people, high interest rates, and absolutely NO customer service. They could care less what your situation is, you could be on your death bed and they would still harass you for your money. Do not get a credit card with these people!!!

  • Pr
      15th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Well i am a new customer to this bank. My limit is $150 with 0% apr. My experation date is in December. With the comments i just read im nervous on how high the apr gets. Should i not re-new with this bank next year?

  • He
      15th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Precious321 - It's really not that bad of a card if you don't get into the same trouble I did... as long as you can pay off your FULL balance every month, NEVER make a late payment, and NEVER go over your credit limit. If you are able to do these things, this card will actually be really great for you. it really helped me build my credit the first 5 or 6 years, but after college I needed it to survive, and thats when i ran into trouble. it's just not a good card to have when life surprises you and puts you into financial hardship.

  • Je
      27th of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Precious321: unlike Heather12's comment advising you otherwise, as a consumer you do not want a card that is "not that bad" or "not a good card to have when life surprises you". You want a card that will work with your spending habits and lifesyle - i.e. travel/hotel rewards, cash back, etc. - in other words, life happens and you need to be prepared for that. 1FBUSA is a company that preys on its cardholders - particularly college students - with terrible customer service, sky-high interest rates, unpredictable changes to terms & conditions, and the company can severely damage your credit no matter how hard you work to be responsible. I highly, highly recommend you discontinue this card next year. This is coming from a girl with a 29.9% interest rate. Believe me, it's hard to get ahead when your every monthly payment is pure interest.

  • Sp
      7th of Aug, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I'd like to add a different variety of complaint to those listed above (all of which I agree with, by the way) having struggled with similar issues over the 6 years that I've had the card.)

    My major complaint with the company right now is their exasperating lack of tech savvy. They are shockingly behind the times insofar as the internet is concerned. The website is seriously underdeveloped, and the company has recently restructured their firewall to prevent linking in with popular personal finance management software such as Quicken and Mint.com.

    A little background to explain why this is a huge issue:

    I have struggled with large debt for years (several medical emergencies during undergrad were put on credit cards), and am finally beginning to tame the beast. I am an enthusiastic advocate of personal finance software --Mint.com (which is free!) has really helped me to get a handle on how to attack my debt, and I highly recommend it, as well as Quicken, which I have used for clients for whom I work as a personal assistant. Essentially, the way these programs work is to utilize website passwords for one's accounts in order to automatically transfer data from said accounts into one location. You must provide these passwords over a secure website, after which you can track all spending and payments, as well as view progress over time on a number of graphs and charts generated from your account info, and designed to help you better understand and manage your finances--assets and debt. The sites will also generate a list of ways to save money based on your current accounts, and alerting you of other, better offers you may not be aware of from other companies. Both Mint and Quicken have websites with the highest levels of internet security--their business depends on it.

    I have been using this software with all of my numerous accounts for several years now, and recently First Financial began to prevent mint.com from pulling my data, despite the fact that I had authorized mint to access my account information. I called 1st Financial, and was transferred through a number of service reps before finally landing with tech support before anyone even seemed to know what I was talking about. I finally wound up on the phone with a supervisor named Anne, who was shockingly unprofessional in her rudeness, condescension, and even sarcasm. She essentially told me that 1fb is blocking this authorized transfer of data because it presents a "security issue." This official stance makes no sense, particularly given that much, much larger companies, such as Amex, Chase, Discover, HSBC, Citibank (to name a few, all of whom I hold accounts with) who have much better and more comprehensive technological wherewithal--including higher security standards-- than 1FB, continue to allow personal finance software data transfers. The obvious unofficial reality is that 1FB, despite being a tiny, podunk excuse for a bank, is quite crafty in their methods of disenfranchising customers attempting to manage their debt.

    The irony is that for 5 years this company has had my mother's contact information on file (I have not lived with my parents for 7 years, mind you) and after repeated requests/demands on my part to delete her information, and even written withdrawal of permission to contact her, they still have not removed her information-- although each time this issue comes up, they promise me they have deleted her info. Of course to defy my express withdrawal of contact permission is completely illegal, but they seem to be perfectly able to insinuate the data must still be in their files due to some sort of tech snafu...

    Other frustrations with the 1FB internet situation: unlike ALL other major banks/credit card companies, 1st Financial requires that you waste a personal paper check when making an online payment. All other companies directly transfer funds from one's bank account utilizing a routing number or debit card. In addition, arbitrarily, the highest payment one can make via the internet is $999.99. If you wish to pay more, you must wait a full week before making another payment (wasting yet another personal check--not to mention accruing additional interest fees.) Up until the US government (thanks guys!) made it illegal, the company also charged a fee to make an online payment-- absolutely unacceptable in this day and age.

    In short, it would seem that in response to recent government restrictions on the predatory manner in which card companies do business, 1st Financial is scrambling to find ways to continue to hurt their customers in any way possible. To be able to make a single large payment, to be able to track spending and interest rates, to have freedom of access to one's own information utilizing the services of an outside party of one's choice-- these things would seem like simple, inalienable rights. And they should be. I fully intend to write my congresswoman, senator, the Better Business Bureau, and the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, as well as to continue posting comments and blogging on the internet. Please continue to speak up about the unacceptable business practices of this company, and do everything in your power to make higher payments than the minimum, on time, every month. Transfer your balances if you can, and fight with all you have to pay down your debt and get out from under the weight of this terrible company.

    And, if you don't have the card yet, definitely, definitely look to greener pastures. The interest rates are not competitive, the hidden fees are exhaustive, the technology is prehistoric, and the "customer service" ranges from incompetent to down-right abusive.

  • Ol
      1st of Nov, 2010
    +2 Votes

    Unlike all these other people, I do not have a card through this company, unfortunately I do have a phone though. For months now I have been receiving phone calls on a DAILY basis from this company. Leaving automated voice messages every single day, or nearly every single day. They never call with the same number more than twice a week or so. I have never had a card through this company. They undoubtedly got my number through another company sharing information or something. What makes them think that calling someone repeatedly and excessively will get them to, first off, answer their calls, and secondly, sign up for their card? If this is how they treat people that aren't signed up with them already, I don't want to know how they treat someone who actually owes them money. I will never apply for a card with this company.

  • Ah
      3rd of Nov, 2010
    +2 Votes

    This card is a trap. I've been a cardholder for 6 years, never paid late, never went over my balance, and most of the time pay more than the minimum. My credit limit is 10, 900 and I have about a 5, 000 debt to pay with them. Last month I had some extra money so I paid 1, 000 instead of the usual minimum of 140 and this month they upped my APR from 23.9% to 29.9%!!! There is no way I can think of to pay off this card. The minimum payment is 140 a month and the interest is 132. The $8 that goes to my $5, 000 debt doesnt really help much.

  • Gu
      22nd of Dec, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I've been a card holder for 9 years. Up until now, I've been very, very satisfied, except for charging me to pay my bill online. Hello 1980? Things have changed...

    Anyway, a few months ago I started noticing some weird charges on my card. They had been accruing interest from the DAY OF PURCHASE! I have NEVER seen this before, and I've had plenty of credit cards/ lines of credit/ etc. I've almost always paid my balance every month, for 9 years. Never late, 20k limit. I've put a LOT of money through this card over the years.

    I called them and they tell me they sent out a mailing telling me of changes in the terms, which I never got. My neighbors probably accidentally got it and shredded it... who knows.

    Now they say it has been too long and will not re-instate my ORIGINAL terms... that I had for almost a DECADE. Why would I use this card now? I haven't... in months. I can't cancel since it will hurt my credit score, so it's sits idle. I will never use it for another penny. It's a shame that they no longer want my business after so long.

    This is absolutely not how you treat a long standing customer, I don't predict this company will survive.

  • Lm
      4th of Feb, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I have been a card holder with this company for 6 years, I signed up for the card when I was a senior in high school. I started out with a $500 limit and made 1-2 purchases a month just to build my credit. My credit limit gradually grew to $7500. In those 6 years I got married and had a baby, but never went over the credit limit. I have never been late on any payment and have always paid at least $5 above the min amount due. Recently they I went online to pay my bill (2 weeks ahead of time) and I seen that they had closed my account. I sent them a message asking if this was a mistake and they replied saying my account was closed and could be for one of the following reasons: late payments, over the limit, or they can not see how I can pay off my debt. None of these relate to my account. I am only at $1, 000 out of $7, 500 of a credit limit and have never been late. I don't know who they have working for them, but to hear all of your complaints and after this has happened to me I don't see them making it much further as a successful company.

  • Br
      11th of Feb, 2011
    +2 Votes

    My experience has been different but just as bad. I've been with them since the start of my freshman year. It wasn't bad to start, I elected a $500 credit limit and things were fine for the first year or so. Then suddenly they start kicking up the credit limit without my requesting it or authorizing it. Now it's $5, 750 an the APR is 29.9 (which happens to be their only rate!). But I've always paid my balance in full so the rate hasn't been a problem. Now the newest problem, getting the statements in time or at all. During the last 9 months 7 of the statements have been received with less than 5 business days before the payment is due, 2 times I haven't received them at all. It's like they are trying to trap me so my payment won't get in on time, then hit me with a late charge and interest. Every month I've called and every time they are rude, tell me they have mailed them and that I need to contact the post office because the problem has to be there. Personally I think the statements aren't being mailed timely to trap their clients and their customer service is unacceptable. AVOID THIS COMPANY AT ALL COSTS.

  • Si
      15th of Feb, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I agree. My daughter has this card. Started out low interest then all of a sudden its up to 23.9% interest. Now if she was to use it she would pay 29.9% interest. Insane!!! She has had this for 3 years, never late, never over limit. Another credit card offered 0% for 12 months balance transfer. Guess what, she did it. Whether it hurts credit score or not this account is getting closed. Will hurt just as much everytime they raise your limit. Banks will say you have too much credit. So close the account after a year it won't matter anymore.

  • Ke
      23rd of Feb, 2011
    +1 Votes

    These people are insane. I have had pretty much ever problem that they have all had and not one of them have a nice thing to say and neither do i. DO NOT GET THIS CARD!!! The customer service is awful and the rate are ridiculous. They charge you to pay your bill.. oh wait you can mail it in throught snail mail and if it is late they charge you. This is a scam and stay as far away as possible. Personally i like Chase.

  • Co
      13th of Apr, 2011
    +1 Votes

    This is a horrible credit card company. They target college students and recent graduates-appealing to them without really explaining what the possible ramifications will be. I got a card as a college student, and you know life can be tough in school when you're on your own. I didn't buy crazy stuff and wasn't irresponsible, but getting out of debt with them is virtually impossible, not only because of their RIDICULOUS interest rates, but I'm only allowed to make one payment over I think two weeks or something like that, making it impossible to make multiple payments a month, like I could as my paychecks come in, if their policy wasn't so restrictive. I finally did a balance transfer to a Citi card, not that they're much better, but I've found they are much more up front about their fees and balances, etc. They were also willing to give me a year at 0% APR, which hopefully means I'll be able to pay off most of my debt. After that rate, sure, the interest shoots up-but still lower than 1st financial. They don't want to help you because they want you to drown in debt and pay them literally forever. I cannot believe they don't get more bad press...truly ridiculous. Especially preying on young students and making it look like a good deal.

  • Di
      3rd of May, 2011
    +1 Votes

    It's actually criminal what this company does. This company preys on freshman college students. DO NOT MAKE ONE LATE PAYMENT. Your interest rate will spiral out of control. I made one late payment after I decided to pay online on their website that looks like it was made by a 10 year old and for some reason my payment wouldn't go through suspiciously and I had to try the next day because of their site problems. My interest rate skyrocketed.
    The time I stopped paying (yes, I gave up. I have money now, but even refuse to pay them because I've paid them for what I bought about 10x over) I was paying over 4oo bucks a month for my minimum payment.
    What kind of company charges $9 to make a phone payment?ly

  • Ca
      1st of Jun, 2011
    +1 Votes

    THIS IS THE WORST CREDIT CARD EVER! DO NOT GET THIS CARD!

    I got this card as a freshman in college and I've had it for 6 years. At that time, I signed up for the $250 limit (it was 0% interest under $250). Within the first year, they had increased my limit to $2500 AUTOMATICALLY. It's now up to $6800.

    About a year ago, I called to have them lower my interest rate (18.99%). I had had the card for over 5 years, always paid on time, never went over the limit, and had a 736 credit score. They refused 4 times. Seriously, they said 18.99% was the lowest interest rate they offered. But, as I see from the comments above about 15%, that was obviously a LIE! So, not only were they charging me $9 on my online payments, but only about $5 of my $100 or so minimum payments were going toward my balance. If that doesn't say PREDATOR I don't know what does.

    Anyway, last year, after they RANDOMLY started charging me a $50 annual fee, I decided to have my balance transferred to another card, with 0% interest for 6 months and 10.24% after that. Yes, that's the APR I deserve! And that was the best decision I ever made. IF YOU WANT OUT OF THIS CARD, DO WHAT I DID. Cut up your card (literally!) and transfer your balance to a lower interest card with NO payment charges.

    And to add insult to injury, I got a letter a few months ago from 1st Financial. Guess what it said? They raised my APR to 29.9%! Why? I HAVE NO IDEA! How ridiculous is that? I still have EXCELLENT credit and I haven't used the card in over a year--I was planning on canceling it when my next annual payment came up. And I don't care if closing a card looks bad on my credit--I'M NOT GIVING THEM ANY MORE OF MY MONEY.

    SERIOUSLY--this is the worst company I've EVER done business with (if you even want to call it that!) Freshmen don't need to have people practically stealing their money--money they don't even have. That's just cruel and wrong. And that's exactly what this company is. STAY FAR FAR AWAY!

  • Ci
      8th of Nov, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I just got off the phone with 1FBUSA. I called them to let them know that my payment will be late this month because of a bank holiday that will delay my paycheck. They informed me that since my payment will be about 12 HOURS late, I will be charged a late fee and there's nothing I can do about it. I am immediately going to see if I can get this balance transferred to a lower interest card. This is just ridiculous.

  • Sk
      5th of Dec, 2011
    +2 Votes

    This credit card company does nothing but harass. They have ABSOLUTELY ZERO consideration for college students. As soon as I finish paying off my credit card balance, i'm closing the account. Not to mention their ridiculous late fees. Avoid them at all costs. It will save you a lot of time and trouble.

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