What are Cookies?

Cookies are small text files containing a piece of data which is stored on your computer or other device by websites that you visit.

Cookies are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, such as remembering your preferences and generally improve your browsing experience as well as to provide information to help us to improve our site.

What they used for?

We may collect information about your computer, including your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration and in order to create reports. This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.

Some of the reasons cookies can be used for are:

  • To estimate our users size and usage pattern.
  • To store information about your preferences, and so allow us to customise our site according to your individual interests.
  • To speed up your searches.
  • To recognise you when you return to our site.

There are different types of cookies:

Session Cookies: are temporary and are deleted when you close the browser. This type of cookie helps our website remember what you input on the previous page, avoiding the need to re-enter information.

Persistent Cookies: stay on your device after you have closed your browser and allow a website to remember your actions and preferences. Persistent cookies help us identify you as a unique visitor but don’t contain information that could be used to identify you to another person.

Third-party Cookies: are owned and created by an independent company, usually a company providing a service to the owner of the website.

Strictly necessary Cookies: are essential to enable you to move around the website and use its features as well as ensuring the security of your online borrowing experience. This type of cookie does not gather information about you for marketing purposes.

Targeting Cookies: are used to collect a number of pieces of information about your browsing habits. They are usually placed by advertising networks. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as media publishers. These organisations do this in order to provide you with targeted adverts more relevant to you and your interests.

Examples of Cookies Step One Finance may use (not exhaustive):

PHPSESSID Session This is a general-purpose identifier used to maintain user session variables such as logged-in status and actions from page to page.

The site also uses cookies for Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that helps website owners understand how visitors engage with their website. Google Analytics customers can view a variety of reports about how visitors interact with their website so that they can improve it.

Like many services, Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to track visitor interactions as in our case, where they are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We then use the information to compile reports and to help us improve our site.

Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. These cookies are used to store information, such as the time that the current visit occurred, whether the visitor has been to the site before and what site referred the visitor to the web page.

Google Analytics collects information anonymously. It reports website trends without identifying individual visitors. You can opt out of Google Analytics without affecting how you visit our site – for more information on opting out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites you use, visit this Google page.


_ga Performance. Expires after 2 years

Used to distinguish users; and

Remember the number and time of previous visits,
Remember traffic source information,
Determine the start and end of a session,
Remember the value of visitor-level custom variables.

_gat Performance. Expires after 1 minute Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made.
_gid Performance. Expires after 24 hours This helps us count how many people visit our website by tracking if you’ve visited before.
NID & PREF Persistent. 6 months / 2 years Used to collect information on user preferences to help customise advertisements on other Google properties, such as Google search. The NID cookie expires after 6 months and the PREF cookie expires after 2 years (or when you clear your cookies)
DYNSRV Session. 1 minute Used for managing server traffic demand and load balancing to track which web server to send the visitor to. Its purpose is to improve the performance of the website.
ga.js First Party Cookie. Expires after 2 years Used by Javascript to Determine which domain to measure, distinguish unique users, throttle the request rate, remember the number and time of previous visits, remember traffic source information, determine the start and end of a session, remember the value of visitor-level custom variables.
 _ _ utma Persistent. Expires after 2 years This is the main way Google Analytics tracks unique visitors. Stored in this cookie is a unique visitor ID, the date and time of their first visit, the time their current visit started and the total number of visits they have made. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.
 _ _ utmt Performance. Expires after 10 minutes Used to throttle request rate.
 _ _ utmb & _ _ utmc Session. Expires after end of session or 30 minutes The __utmb is how Google Analytics decides whether a visit has timed out and also how deep a visit has gotten. It stores the number of pageviews in the current visit and the start time of the visitor’s current visit. Each page view refreshes it otherwise it expires in 30 minutes.__utmc registers the precise exit time of the user.
 _ _ utmz Persistent. Expires after 6 months Stores the traffic source information of the current visit if it was different from the previous visit. If no traffic source information can be found for the current visit, the cookie is not changed. This is the way that Google Analytics attributes visit information, including conversions and transactions to a traffic source. It does not contain historical information for previous sources.
 _ _ utmv Persistent. Expires after 2 years. Used to store visitor-level custom variable data. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. It is used for segmentation, data experimentation and works hand in hand with the __utmz cookie to improve cookie targeting capabilities.
 urchin.js First Party Cookie. Expires after 2years Used by Javascript to Determine which domain to measure,distinguish unique users, throttle the request rate, remember the number and time of previous visits, remember traffic source information, determine the start and end of a session, remember the value of visitor-level custom variables.
 _ _ utmx Expires after 18 months Used to determine a user’s inclusion in an experiment
 _ _ utmxx Expires after 18 months Used to determine the expiry of experiments a user has been included in.
 _gaexp Depends on the length of the experiment but typically 90 days Used to determine a user’s inclusion in an experiment and the expiry of experiment/s a user has been included in.

By using our website, you agree that we can place cookies on your device. If you continue to browse our website we assume that you are happy to receive all cookies served by our site. You can block these cookies using your browser settings, however this may mean that you are unable to access certain parts of our site

Don’t want to accept Cookies?

You can block or restrict cookies from any website by modifying settings in your browser. For more information on how to use or delete cookies please visit www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies.


Please note that Step One Finance does not charge up-front fees for any loan enquiries or applications. You should be wary of any parties purporting to arrange a Step One Finance loan who are seeking to charge up-front fees. Please contact us if you have any doubts regarding a Step One Finance loan application. Customers can also obtain additional information on the FCA’s website on the dangers of Loan Fee Fraud by clicking here.




Find the perfect loan call us now on 01483 661 100 or Contact us