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Blu financial services
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# 1
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 10:34 AM
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Default Blu financial services

Hi all, I am needing some advice if possible. I will give you an outline of my circumstances, both past, present and future, and the companies that I am looking at dealing with.

Okay, well in 2007 I declared myself bankrupt. I had a lot of debts that I had taken out for various things like store cards, credit cards, car loans etc, and these debts amounted to approx £32k. I saw an accountant and CAB (and spoke to the government moneyline I think it was called), and decided my only option was bankrupcy. I was only on a low wage at the time so felt this was my only viable option. I also have 2 CCJ's on my credit file, one was a month before the bankrupcy and one was about 6 months after the bankrupcy. I am unhappy about the last one as it was from a company called Welcome, who were down on the bankrupcy petition. After I informed the court that I had already been declared bankrupt and that the official reciever was dealing with my matters the court agreed to adjourn the bankrupcy order, but told me it would still stay on my file. I obviously have quite a lot of defaults from before the bankrupcy.

Now to the present. I took a small loan out with a company called FLM about 3 years ago. This was for £2000 over 2 years. I didn't really need the money for anything, but felt it worth the interest just to get my credit rating kick-started again. This was paid back in full with no missed payments. I have had a basic bank account from Natwest for 4 years now with no issues at all. I took out a credit card with Vanquis about a year ago, and again put little bits on it each month, but pay the card off as the statement comes in, in full, each time. Again, no missed payments or problems. I have the usual other stuff like virgin broadband and car insurance etc all no problems. Am registered on the electrol roll where I live. The wife and I earn a fair salary, total of about £50k per year (my job is £32k and hers is £18k). We currently rent from a housing association.

The future - well we would like to own, or at least part buy, our own house. We have started saving towards the cost of this, but to be realistic, it is going to take us about 5 years. We are currently saving £325 p/m. Here is where the loan part comes in.....

We are thinking of taking out a loan to purchase a new car. The logistics of this is that currently my car (which is a 3.2 v6) costs a heck of a lot to run. I do a 70 mile round trip to work each day so petrol costs me about £80 per week. If I can change my car to a diesel I think I can do the same journey for about half of that - £40 per week. And, when I factor in lower tax, (hopefully) less expenditure on general running costs, slightly lower insurance, I think I will save £203 p/m. The loan I am looking to take out is for £12k. This will buy us a year old Ford Galaxy/SMax.

The company I am dealing with for the loan is called Blu Financial Services Limited. They are based in Fearnhead,Warrington. For a loan of 12k they will charge me £330 p/m over 4 years. The costs to us a couple are fine. The loan has all been apporved etc, but I am having niggling doubts. The reason for this is because I am not able to find out much about them as a company. If I google them it does not come up with many results and although I can see them on companies house using their registered number (05912973) I don't really understand what I am looking at. But, the biggest crux of this for me, is that they want me to transfer my pension. Now, I have read other posts on here about trading in your pension for a loan and how that is a big no-no. But this is not drawing your pension, but rather just transfering it. The company Blu use to deal with the pension is called Fast Pensions. They sent me an email today to say the paperwork for transfering my pension to a SIPP is on the way out, and that I have to choose what to put my investment in. At the end of the day I have no issue with transfering my pension, however I have no desire to do something illegal or risk my wife and I's retirement by losing my pension. The pension value currently stands at a little over £30k.

I guess what I am asking is does anyone have any knowledge of these two companies, Blu and Fast Pensions? Can anyone point me in the right direction of where I can find anything out?
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# 2
dealer wins
Old 11-05-2012, 10:46 AM
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I am no pension expert but alarm bells are ringing very loudly!!
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# 3
tell_it_how_it_is
Old 11-05-2012, 10:54 AM
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I agree with the above. What you're saying wouldn't sit comfortably with me. If you want/need a loan, just concentrate on a straightforward one with no strings attached.

For other ideas, perhaps consider buying a cheaper second hand diesel, or, as you mention you rent, what about the possibility of moving closer to work?
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# 4
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tell_it_how_it_is View Post
I agree with the above. What you're saying wouldn't sit comfortably with me. If you want/need a loan, just concentrate on a straightforward one with no strings attached.

For other ideas, perhaps consider buying a cheaper second hand diesel, or, as you mention you rent, what about the possibility of moving closer to work?
Straight forward loan with a bank or simlar is out of the question due to the bankrupcy being on my credit file.

I know it sounds a funny thing to say, but the saving of buying a cheaper 2nd hand car just wouldn't be there. If I buy a year old one, for example, I won't have an MOT for 2 years etc. And I worry about buying into the unknown. Although my car is nearly 9 years old I know it is realiable and that I have looked after it.

As for moving closer, we are trying. We both work in the same area and my parents live there as well. However, we obviously want to stay in a housing association property. As such our only options are what they call a mutual exchange (bit like buying selling a house - you find someone that wants yours and you want their's) or go back onto the waiting list. So, yes that is an option we are exploring, but I can see that taking a good few years tbh. Which is why we would like to buy/part buy as we can then go where we want to go, but again, that is looking like 5 years away.

Thanks for the advice though, appreciate your time.
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# 5
tell_it_how_it_is
Old 11-05-2012, 11:16 AM
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Sorry, I didn't clearly suggest, but I was thinking of the smaller loan in view of getting it in the missus' name, should that be an option. I have absolutely zilch knowledge on the housing association front, but good luck with that too.
“In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.” - Roosevelt
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Last edited by tell_it_how_it_is; 11-05-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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# 6
KingElvis
Old 11-05-2012, 11:39 AM
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I wouldn't go near this with a ten foot cattle prod.....it stinks of fish and you stand a good chance of being well and truly shafted.
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# 7
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the reply's. This is the email I got this morning from Fast Pensions:

Quote:
Morning David,

I have spoken to Blu this morning and I have been instructed to get the pension transfer completed. I will send you over the terms of business from us on Monday explaining the costs and also the investments. If you can sign this and send it back, I will arrange for the IFA paperwork to be sent out. Once the IFA paperwork is completed, we can then set up the SIPP account for the pension proceeds to be transferred. Once this is transferred into the SIPP we can purchase the investments. This process should take approx. 4 weeks. The delay will be getting the current pension companies to transfer into the SIPP. I will chase this to try and get it quicker.

As mentioned the next correspondence will be from us explaining the terms and fees etc which we will despatch on Monday and you will receive on Tuesday.

Any queries, please call me
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# 8
zxspeccy
Old 11-05-2012, 11:55 AM
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There is a well respected company called Blue Financial Group, or more commonly “Bluefin”. They are part of AXA but I didn’t think they offered personal loans, as their business is mainly around insurance and wealth management.

Is the company definitely spelt Blu?

If you spelling is correct then, like other poster on here, I would avoid this company. Also the APR looks to be in the region of 14.5% which given you circumstances seem too good to be true.

Don’t really have any extra info on Fast Pensions I’m afraid.
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# 9
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxspeccy View Post
There is a well respected company called Blue Financial Group, or more commonly “Bluefin”. They are part of AXA but I didn’t think they offered personal loans, as their business is mainly around insurance and wealth management.

Is the company definitely spelt Blu?

If you spelling is correct then, like other poster on here, I would avoid this company. Also the APR looks to be in the region of 14.5% which given you circumstances seem too good to be true.

Don’t really have any extra info on Fast Pensions I’m afraid.
Yeah, spelling it correct. This is from their email to me:

Quote:
Peter Moat
Blu Financial Services Limited

Cinnamon House
Cinnamon Park
Crab Lane
Fearnhead
Warrington
WA2 0XP
As I say, if you google the company registered number it does show up on companies house: bizzy.co.uk/uk/05912973/blu-financial-services

But I really don't understand what all that information means.

The email address they give in their emails: blufinancialservices.co.uk

doesn't seem to go anywhere, however bludebtmanagement.co.uk

seems to be the same company, as it has the same directors as I am dealing with.

Last edited by djh77; 11-05-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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# 10
zxspeccy
Old 11-05-2012, 12:22 PM
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Looking at the Company details they were set up in 2006, so not a long standing finance company. Interestingly they were original called "Blue Finance Services Ltd" but changed to "Blu" in 2008 (this may have been inforced due to Bluefin not being happy). In addition there is are two "Compulsory Strike Off Suspended" registered against the company in 2010 and 2011. Not entirely sure what these are but assume that they breached Companies House rules at some stage.

I would recommend you avoid due to the relatively cheap APR they are offering, and the fact that they don't seem to have a company website (as well as the info from Companies House).
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# 11
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djh77 View Post
the saving of buying a cheaper 2nd hand car just wouldn't be there. If I buy a year old one, for example, I won't have an MOT for 2 years etc.
This comment needs a response: have you really thought this aspect through?

Do you realise how much a new car depreciates the instant you drive it away from the showroom? That depreciation would have bought an awful lot of MOTs and services for a secondhand car.

If you're honest with yourself, you need to accept that your motivation is to have a shiny new car on the driveway, and not because it will be cheaper or significantly more reliable than carefully buying a one year old car - because it won't.
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# 12
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fwor View Post
This comment needs a response: have you really thought this aspect through?

Do you realise how much a new car depreciates the instant you drive it away from the showroom? That depreciation would have bought an awful lot of MOTs and services for a secondhand car.

If you're honest with yourself, you need to accept that your motivation is to have a shiny new car on the driveway, and not because it will be cheaper or significantly more reliable than carefully buying a one year old car - because it won't.
No it isn't. Not trying to be funny here, but I have done the research and the maths. A 1 year old car will have already done the biggest depriciation it will have.

For example a brand new SMax costs somewhere in the region of £28k. A 2010 plate will cost between £11k-£12k. That's a depreciation of £16k in 2 years!. A 5 year old SMax (which is how old the car will be by the time I finish paying for the loan) is currently selling for about £5.5k. So, in the 4 years a car I buy for say £12k will depriciate by £6.5k, so £1625 per year.

I will save, as said, £40 per week in fuel (just to work) and another £20 per week for leisure use. So that's a saving of £3120 per year. That is double the depriciation value. My insurance would go down from currently paying £448 to £326 per year. Tax bracket drops by £120 per year. The servicing costs on the SMax would be cheaper. My car, for instance, needs the cambelt doing really within the next 3/4 months. Vauxhall (I wouldn't take it there btw) want £550 just for the cambelt change.

I appreciate what you are saying with regards to an older car, but I believe they are false economy. Yes I would still make the savings with regards to fuel, but more than likely they are going to have more go wrong with them. I can't afford, with living the distance I do from work, to have an unreliable vehicle.

The maths add's up. This isn't a 'whim'. I have no 'motivation' to have a brand new car. It is a one/two year old car I want. Since the bankrupcy I have been so careful with money and have watched every penny almost to an OCD level. The only good thing, from my point of view, to come out of me getting into massive amounts of debt and eventually bankrupt is that it has made me appreciate and respect money a lot more. This is why I am asking on here about these two companies. I do not want to get shafted.
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# 13
fwor
Old 11-05-2012, 1:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djh77 View Post
It is a one/two year old car I want.
Apologies, but your earlier posts on this seem unclear, and it looked (to me at least) as though you were ruling out a one year old car in favour of a new one.

What you say makes sense, though if you're planning to buy a property soon it would make more sense (IMO) to keep your 9 year old until it breaks and save for a replacement in the meantime. Even the cost of a hire car for a few days when it does will be peanuts compared to the cost of a 12k loan.
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Old 11-05-2012, 1:21 PM
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Yep, good luck but desire seems to be clouding your better judgement.

This looks like a non standard horror to me.
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# 15
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fwor View Post
Apologies, but your earlier posts on this seem unclear, and it looked (to me at least) as though you were ruling out a one year old car in favour of a new one.

What you say makes sense, though if you're planning to buy a property soon it would make more sense (IMO) to keep your 9 year old until it breaks and save for a replacement in the meantime. Even the cost of a hire car for a few days when it does will be peanuts compared to the cost of a 12k loan.
Sorry, perhaps didn't make the totally clear. Would never buy a new car (well, unless I won the lottery) as they lose far too much money the moment you drive them off the forecourt.

Property purchase, if we can do it because of the bankrupcy, won't be for 5 years as we need time to save. But, that is the long-term plan. I am pretty confident my car will be okay for the foresable future. It is in good condition, and I look after it. Have it service regular etc. It is just the running costs that I keep thinking to myself 'that money could be better spent'. I mean I average 24 MPG.
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# 16
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Old 11-05-2012, 1:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxspeccy View Post
Looking at the Company details they were set up in 2006, so not a long standing finance company. Interestingly they were original called "Blue Finance Services Ltd" but changed to "Blu" in 2008 (this may have been inforced due to Bluefin not being happy). In addition there is are two "Compulsory Strike Off Suspended" registered against the company in 2010 and 2011. Not entirely sure what these are but assume that they breached Companies House rules at some stage.

I would recommend you avoid due to the relatively cheap APR they are offering, and the fact that they don't seem to have a company website (as well as the info from Companies House).
Agreed, I found them on 192.com hope its the same company.

You can read about a notice of striking off action confirmed, although personally I wouldn't pay to see it in full just knowing its there is enough of a warning. Avoid this company. They seem very shady.
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# 17
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 1:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingElvis View Post
Yep, good luck but desire seems to be clouding your better judgement.

This looks like a non standard horror to me.
I have a desire to get a new(er) car, but as I said in the op, that desire won't be fulfilled at the risk of our future (my pension). It is exactly why I posted here, to see if anyone knew of these two companies as I am having niggling doubts about them.

Is there anywhere I can go, ie the FSA or somewhere, that might have some information on them?
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# 18
djh77
Old 11-05-2012, 1:34 PM
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Just a question though. If this is some kind of scam, what is the angle?

I mean the pension option must be regulated or Standard Life (who I am with at the moment) wouldn't release the pension fund, would they? How, exactly, would they scam me?
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# 19
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Old 11-05-2012, 1:55 PM
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Found this company website for Blu, seems they are also a debt management company? It's the same address.

Edit: Just reading the fine print, they're not regulated by the FSA and the loans are secured?

Quote: "Finance is subject to status, terms and conditions apply, you must be aged 18 or over to apply. Security may be required. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Blu Debt Management Limited is not regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Blu Debt Management Limited is an introducer to lenders and providers of finance."

Do they want your pension to secure the loan? I'm a bit green with these companies so I hope I'm misinterpreting it.

Last edited by ineed; 11-05-2012 at 2:16 PM. Reason: Adding...
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# 20
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Old 11-05-2012, 2:08 PM
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I think sometimes you just have to let your head rule your decision.

The fact you have had second thoughts about it and come on here, plus the fact there is a lack of information about each company (my albeit brief search would give me no confidence), arguably gives an indication things might not be rosy.

I wouldn't dismiss the older car out of hand - you can get some cracking motors for a few thousand - though personally I would always steer clear of something which seems too good to be true. And lets face it, any car, old or new, has the potential to be a bad 'un.

You don't say how much your current car is worth, but would it be enough to put a big percentage towards a decent second hand car? As your main aim is to get on the housing ladder, the less you can spend on a more economical car now might be a decent decision.
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Last edited by tell_it_how_it_is; 11-05-2012 at 2:10 PM.
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