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First step Finance - **BANNED DIRECTORS STOLE +£6M**

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a relative was paying this company to sort out there debts.


they send you a pack with leters like the ones you can get on here for free to request ccas to lower your debt that way.


Also you pay them so much a month for them to build up a fund for you to pay off your debts

which goes into there account earning them interest over time but it doesnt stop the creditor from commig after you for the monies.


My relative was told certain debts had been closed but the creditors told my relative they hadent received anything from this company


so we told them to stop all payment to them and contact the cccs and get help from them

and with our help contacting the crediotrs we got more done in a week than this comapany had in 8 months.


We also tryed to get the few hundred pound they had payed in back with letters and phone calls but nothing has been returned


so we may have to issue proccedings if we can not get the monies back and this has ben going on for months now.


So i would avoid this company to be honest it may work for some ppl but not sure how as it can all be done for free and with hlpe from ppl here.

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Many thanks for your reply, They wanted an upfront fee of 120.00( for my creditors) and 75.00 for the paperwork, there was also somthing about 3 months worth of payments having to be paid first.


My wife and i thought it was to good to be true. i will start sending CCA'S out this week.


What a great site this is





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  • 3 weeks later...

Good Morning Prima what does STUSCFC Mean?.


I understand that you have to pay a small fee up front,


I have done some things myself with help from this great site and have received some good advice and would rather donate to this site.





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No problem MH had that Friday Morn feeling myself!! just wanted to put out the comment that the service offered is perhaps not for everyone but for those that fit, it works.



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  • 3 weeks later...

hi, have been with first step finance since june....paid the fee and continue to pay them monthly. am a wee shade worried as am now getting phone calls and letters from creditors, who say they haven't heard a thing but first step say they have all been notified. can anyone put my mind at rest about how long i will be waiting to start paying creditors....is this company good or am i a mug!!!!

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lady22, speak with the company to ensure they are doing what they say for your own peace of mind, my friend has a person she speaks to on a regular basis.



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thanks....i have regular correspondance with them, seems thats its on my part though, however my main concern was if anyone else was having the same problems as me....i guess i will have to be patient and wait , meanwhile my charges on my accounts are going up and up and up!!!!....i just want this to be resolved ...many thanks for posting back to me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This company charge a document fee up front.


You then pay a set amount per month which goes into a savings account.


Letters go out to all creditors after the first months payment.


CCA letter request 1st, you get the CCA sent to you which you forward onto first step.


It is then checked by their legal department for any errors, if unenforceable further letter to sent to creditors from the legal team,


if no CCA received within time limit into dispute it goes and so on.


You pay separately out of it for any CCA/SAR requests etc.,


Creditors do not get paid anything in the beginning,


if the CCA is enforceable they make them a token payment to begin with.


Your monthly fee in the savings account at first is taken towards the initial costs of first step

say your initial fee is 10% of the overall balance outstanding to your creditors once that is paid to first step

and your savings account gets into credit they will make full and final offers to each creditor as your saving increase.


In the end there is the fee they charge which is say 20% of the overall balance they manage to elimate/full and final for you.


Percentage rates are just a rough guide.


They are a genuine company,

this solution is not for everyone however,

they do not guarantee you will not get taken to court or receive CCJs etc.,

but have a good legal team who will do your acknowledgement of service,

witness statements etc., for you.


They do have a very good success rate.


Anything you receive from the creditors are forward to first step in the prepaid envelopes provided.


Any calls received you just tell them to ring first step and they deal with the creditors.


Yes you will still get phone calls from creditors but just as you can do your own harrassment letters first step do that as well.


They do take a lot of the stress and worry from you however.


At the end of the day it is your own choice if you go with them or not.


However, on the forum you get all the help from the caggers who have gone through all this themselves like myself


and have still won and it has only cost you a little time and effort to do exactly the same as first step do for you for a fee.


I hope this has been of some help.


I have no legal training and any knowledge I possess is based on my own experiences

Previously on the forum as Diamond Girl but still having problems logging back in

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  • 1 month later...


just to let you know my partner joined this company in june 2009.


they have had all credit card and loan aggreements back from companys by end of july,


and they have done NOTHING.


he paid £300 a month to them for his "pot" that they would use to pay creditors if they couldn't help,

which they couldn't and they haven't.


one company took him to court over non payment.


don't worry they said, we wouldn't let it go to court if we thought you couldn't win.


RUBBISH! the judge ripped them apart and practically laughed in my partners face over there "defence",


said they hadn't recieved all paperwork from creditor, yet it was all there.


he is now in a worse mess than before.


been to someone else, been given free advice and they are trying to get him an iva.


we think he will of lost all money he paid them for his pot as no one will speak to him on the phone!


does anyone know if he'll get his money back?


we are talking £1,800 which he can't afford to lose.

please please be very careful if you are thinking of going with this company, things that sound to good to be true usually are!

Edited by mattalex
wrong amount entered first time
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  • 1 month later...


I'm new to this site I have paid this company half of their fee it's £75, I have to pay the rest 2morrow. i'm worried this will be more trouble for me as I am deeply in debt and struggling to get by with 2 kids, Could someone please point me in the right direction. I am desparate :-|

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Hi There,


I was going to go to First step finance, but looking into their company it seems that for the 1st 3 months all they do i bank your money (the pot as they call it) None of this money goes to the debt only to their admin costs.


I am with payplan, i know some people do not like them but i am in quite alot of debt and it seems to be working ok for me





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  • 4 weeks later...

hi i am new to this but i have just had a phone call from first step but i dont know what to do now as i have been told to go with cccs because they will help you and because they are free can any one help me plz :)

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They sounded so good when I fist went with them 5 months ago.

They told me I would receive regular updates but they rang only once and I think they were just checking the standing order was set up.


We pay them £200 a month but out of that they only pay one creditor £12 a month.


They just keep saying they are waiting for signed agreements to be returned.


I am very disappointed with them and wish I had never went with them.


Nothing has been written off so far.


I would be careful before going with them.

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I have been with first step finance for five months and made 5 payments of £150 total £750 + £75 admin charge

and as yet no ones been paid anything.


I'm still getting the constant phone calls at all times of the day and i'm at the end of my tether.


The letters keep coming which i pass on to first step as requested. I dont know at what point my money is going to be distributed.


Before First Step Finance i was with CCCS with no problems but was then approached by FSF, im sorry i went with them.


What are the chances of getting my money back and how would i go about it.


Should i stop paying them ?


Are they allowed to keep my money.

Thankyou in advance

Very worried.

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Hi everyone,


yes I am a bit worried about First Step Finance myself.


In April 2009 I paid their initial document fee/admin charge of £75, and based on what I can afford have been paying them £112 a month.


I had been with DM companies such as Sterling Green (Manchester) before that,


but the salesperson from first step seemed to sound more professional and said why waste time with a debt mgmt co


if you can go with a debt "elimination" co.


As most readers will know, they challenge any creditors without a full signed agreement.


On the positive side they have written off two small accounts I had with payday loan companies (aka legalised loan sharks), thats about £700,

but I have now paid about 10 months of £112 and after all this time only about 4 out of a dozen creditors are being paid £1 a month.


I get frequent phone calls from Halifax, Black Horse and Welcome Finance (well, Welcome can take a running jump but it's still a problem i can do without)


who claim they haven't received (satisfactory) correspondence from first step.


Like the last poster has said I don't know at what point the money is going to be distributed.


Prima seems quite pleased with First Step, but others seem doubtful.


.. I have now "bit the bullet" and cancelled my standing order due on 1st March


- do you think I'm doing them a disservice as they have done something for me, but not recently.


I would doubtless lose what I've paid so far though. But I think it's better just to send template letters myself


and take advice from this CAG website.


Can anyone advise me what to say to them on the phone as I will have to ring First Step soon...


Another thing is that they were supposed to give me "monthly progress" calls but haven't done so recently. Thanks.

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- do you think I'm doing them a disservice as they have done something for me, but not recently. Thanks.



To be honest P-C-B, only you can decide this based on whether you think they are they are achieving what they advised in their initial sales pitch when you first started with them and whether you think they are value for money.


On previous posts other Caggers have made comments and given you the different options available and pointed out all the pros and cons of these methods. But no one can tell you what decision to make, as only you are in possession of all the facts.


I was in a free DMP with CCCS for a number of years, but ran into difficilty when an account was old to an aggreessive DCA who refused my payment offer and threatened a charging order and bankruptcy. CCCS advised continuing payments and accepting a charging order if I was taken to court. so if was faced with accepting CCCS advice or leaving the DMP and go it alone.


I found CAG and received lots of support and help. Based on my personal circumstances I left the CCCS DMP and so far so good I've managed just fine.


These decisions can only be made by the individual after weighing up their personal circumstances having listened to the different opinions and advice and deciding what fits your circumstances best at the time.


It's not easy making this type of decision and no one can be 100% sure of the eventual outcome. I wish you good luck and hope you find the best way forward for you.:)

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Hi veryweary, thank you for being so honest and not just giving the first decision that comes to your head :-) Only I know all of the facts, in my particular case.


It's surprising that you had so much trouble with the CCCS, or with one of your accounts anyway, because many or even most creditors appear to prefer the CCCS to 'private' debt management companies as there is no fee paid by the customer/debtor to the plan.


I think I will at least have to phone First Step Finance, having cancelled the standing order. Think I'm due a 'progress' call anyway to see what the state of play is with the creditors.


Has anyone on this forum yet gone through a plan with FSF to completion, with the company actually making full-and-final settlement on their behalf?


Thank you again. :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

i have been with first step finance for 12 mths.Have now had to involve ombudsman to try and recover £1035 which i have sent to them.They have hidden charges, break promises,give conflicting accounts of what they are doing with your money.Untrustworthy company who do not deliver what they promise.

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first step finance will charge you £50 for every phone call which they make to you. If you need a progress report, insist they put it in writing. They will then have to reveal their charges to you.

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Hi batley12 - and welcome, as I've noticed it is your first post! (well 2nd now as we've just received another one!)


I was going to say that I do agree with the broken promises, and also some conflicting accounts, as the initial salesperson said that it wouldn't affect one's credit rating or make it worse but i think it has done as i now have a stream of "missed" payments for several creditor accounts now.


I didn't know about the £50 for every phone call they make. Fortunately, with the last 2 progress reports *I* have phoned *them* - wonder if they still charge for speaking on the phone to us? Have been with FSF for 11 mths myself now, and I have paid at least 10 lots of £112 so more than you now, actually! Do you think the Ombudsman would help at all, as we on the CAG have been advised for the most part not to bother. Wouldn't be surprised if first step finance had a clause saying that we wouldn't be able to claim it back (under most circs).


Have the Ombudsman actually been in contact with you? Another question is that do you (or anyone else) think it might be worth writing off the money I've paid FSF and going instead either to the CCCS or dealing with the creditors myself?

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they charge you £15 if you phone them.ombudsman have been a help, fsf had to reveal there true charges when ombudsman got involved. fsf will be thinking that people like myself will give up and write money off.IF they break promise,they break agreemeant.I reported them to officer of fair traiding and martyn lewis(money expert).Dont give in to fsf.

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I think I'll ask FSF to send me a progress report in writing, and insist on that, especially as I haven't made such a request before. What is £15 if I have already paid them so much. Then I'll phone the Ombudsman to ask for their help, on the basis I have been misled. I expect you'll agree that I should cancel my standing order with fsf at the first opportunity? When I asked them when they would make their promised 50% offer to creditors, they just said "well not yet" and i think they said they'd need more money 'in the pot' from me. They have paid £1 to a few creditors for about 6 months on my behalf though (but that would only come to about £30 - £35). Thanks for all your info.

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