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Enjoy the latest news and views from the Bluestone Credit Management team

Bluestone Credit Management is proud to provide a highly ethical credit management service. Effective credit management supports people seeking to work their way clear of credit issues and minimises the cost of bad debt on the wider community. Treating customers fairly with dignity and integrity is an essential part of the way Bluestone works. For press comment or speaking engagements please contact our PR agency at All requests will be swiftly channelled to the appropriate person.

The FCA Calls for Lenders to Support Vulnerable Customers

On June 16th, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates financial services in the UK, wrote to more than 3,500 lenders, reminding them of the standards they should meet as people across the country struggle with the rising cost of living.

Within the letter, the regulator noted, “With household bills expected to continue to rise into the autumn, it is important that firms act now to make sure borrowers struggling with payments and customers in vulnerable circumstances can access the help they need.”

Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills

We recognise that utilities costs have risen significantly, causing hardship. If you are struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to take advantage of certain benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers. The following summarises some of the available options. These apply to England, but many are universal across the UK and may be supported by the devolved governments.

Get a £400 energy discount from the government

The government will give every household £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back. 

You’ll get the £400 in 6 instalments starting from October 2022. You’ll get:

  •         £66 in October and November
  •         £67 in December, January, February and March

You’ll get the discount monthly, even if you pay for your energy quarterly or use a payment card.

What Impacts My Credit Score?

With interest rising from their historic lows, some people may be worrying about whether this will impact their credit score.

In itself, the answer will be no, but that does not mean that lenders might become more cautious in their lending activity, which in the case of ‘risk-based pricing’, where the interest rate lenders charge customers is linked to the risk assessment of an individual undertaken by lenders using this model.

The Rising Cost of Utilities Don’t Suffer in Silence

Working at the frontline of helping people work to address debt issues, we know very well the challenges people are feeling right now. It is essential to highlight that while we want to help people resolve debt, we want to do it affordably and sustainably.

The people we help are often surprised by our listening approach, as we seek to understand peoples’ circumstances, working with them to find a way forward. Right now the cost of living is increasing, particularly the dramatic rise in utility costs which people may never have experienced.. We cannot just make debt disappear, but in common with other similar companies, we are not here to add to peoples’ burdens and are happy to signpost help.

For people struggling to pay for energy or who think they may get into difficulty, contact your supplier. Additionally, the Government’s financial help site, Money Helper has a range of support options it can direct people towards for assistance.

The Importance of ‘APR’ & ‘APR Representative’

Research undertaken by one of the UK’s challenger banks and published in March suggests that six million people in the UK have borrowed money without even knowing what Annual Percentage Rate (APR) means.

APR, or Annual Percentage Rate is the term used to outline the total cost of borrowing for a year. It includes standard fees and the interest you will pay.

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Millennials and Gen Z – Facing Up to Rising Inflation

UK inflation hit a thirty year high in February with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) hitting 6.2% in the 12 months to February. Primary drivers of the rise are fuel, energy and food costs surged. Nor are things set to improve anytime soon, the Bank of England has warned inflation may reach 8% and possibly higher, in the coming months.

With inflation meaning the pound in our pocket will buy less than a year ago, the Bank of England has increased the Bank Rate (sometimes called the ‘Bank of England base rate’ or even just ‘the interest rate’) for the third time in four months to 0.75%.

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Managing Credit in Times of Inflation

For many people, inflation in the cost of living is outpacing average wages. On March 15th 2022, the Office for National Statistics said that annual growth in regular pay, excluding bonuses, fell by 1% in the three months to January after adjusting for its preferred measure of inflation – the biggest fall since July 2014.

The outcome of this economic dialogue is that many people will find their spending ability reduced, or even be faced with making hard choices about how to spend what they have.

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