Debt Relief Order FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions about DROs

A Debt Relief Order could help you to:

  • Suspend your unsecured debts for one year
  • Write them off afterwards, if your circumstances don’t improve
  • Avoid going to court

Have any questions?

Call 0800 970 7673 or fill in our simple form to recieve a no obligation call back from a friendly, experienced adviser.

Fees & Key information

Find out more about the fees involved with each debt solution.

Find out if you qualify for a DRO

Tell us about your situation

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Useful free guides

Download the Insolvency Service guide to dealing with lenders.

Download the information package from Scotland’s Insolvency Service.

Need debt advice?

Call 0800 970 7673or fill in our simple form to receive a free no obligation call back from a friendly, experienced adviser.

What is a DRO?

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is an insolvency solution for people with limited finances. It involves suspending your unsecured debt repayments for a year, after which they'll be written off if your circumstances haven't improved.

Many people who want to apply for bankruptcy find they simply can't afford the fees (currently up to £700). A DRO costs just £90, which can be paid in instalments if necessary.

Am I eligible for a DRO?

To qualify for a Debt Relief Order, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have unaffordable unsecured debts amounting to no more than £15,000
  • Your monthly disposable income (after essential living costs) must come to less than £50
  • You must have assets worth less than £300 in total (you can own a car worth less than £1,000)
  • You must not have had a Debt Relief Order in the last six years
  • You must not be going through any other insolvency proceedings
  • You must have been living or carrying on business in England, Wales or Northern Ireland in the last three years.

What's the difference between a DRO and bankruptcy?

The end result is the same - your unmanageable unsecured debts will be written off on successful completion. However, a DRO is designed specifically to help people with a very low disposable income and limited assets.

Unlike bankruptcy, you won't have to go to court to arrange a Debt Relief Order. Normally, you can arrange a DRO over the phone - call 0800 970 7673 or fill in the callback form at the top of this page to see if you qualify.

What does it cost?

The only cost associated with a DRO is a £90 application fee to the Insolvency Service - and that's all you'll pay if you arrange a DRO with our partners. However, some companies may charge an additional fee for the service. Avoid any company trying to charge more than £90 for a Debt Relief Order.

Can it help with secured debts?

Secured debts can't be included in a DRO, but by freezing (and then writing off) unsecured debts, it can help to make your secured debt repayments affordable. If you continue to struggle with your secured debt repayments during or after your Debt Relief Order, you should seek further advice.

How can I apply for a DRO?

A Debt Relief Order application must be made through an approved intermediary. So first of all, talk to our partners about whether a DRO is right for you. If they think it is, they can take care of your application for you.

If they don't think a DRO is right for your circumstances, they'll help you find a more appropriate solution for tackling your debts.

Can I get a Debt Relief Order if I'm unemployed?

Yes. Your employment status isn't considered when you apply for a DRO. Because it doesn't involve regular payments, a regular income isn't an important factor in your application - so as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria, you could qualify.

What are the disadvantages of a Debt Relief Order?

A Debt Relief Order will be recorded on your credit history for six years after it starts, making it more difficult to get further credit during this time. Plus, you will be commiting an offence if you obtain credit of £500 or more without disclosing that you are subject to a DRO.

You will still have to pay certain debts, such as student loans, fines and some debts you owe as a result of family proceedings.

Your employment may be affected and you would not be able to act as a director or manager of a company unless a court agrees.

However, just remember that not getting the help you need could have even more serious consequences in the long run.