A range of options for those facing financial hardship.

Debt relief order

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is one way to deal with your debts as long as you meet the criteria.

A DRO normally lasts 12 months after which you will be discharged and your debts will be written off.

Obtaining a Debt Relief Order

You get a DRO from the Official Receiver, an officer of the Bankruptcy Court, but you must apply through an authorised debt adviser. They will help you fill in the paperwork.

Search online for The Money Advice Service which has information about how to apply.


There is a one time set up fee of £90.


You will be eligible if you meet all of these criteria:

  • you owe less than £20,000 to your unsecured creditors

  • you have less than £50 a month spare income after taking into account all of your necessary costs

  • you have assets worth less than £1,000

  • you have lived or worked in England, Wales or Northern Ireland within the last 3 years

  • you have not applied for a DRO within the last 6 years


If you successfully apply for a DRO you cannot

  • borrow more than £500 without telling the lender about your DRO

  • act as a director of a company

  • create, manage or promote a company without the court’s permission

  • manage a business without telling those you do business with about your DRO

If you want to open a bank account, you may also have to tell the bank or building society about your DRO.

The restrictions usually last for 12 months. They can be extended if careless or dishonest behaviour caused your debt problem. For example, you lied to get credit.

What you need to know

While you have a DRO you still have to pay your normal household bills and certain debts such as Student Loans and court fines.

DROs can be cancelled if your finances improve whilst the DRO is in force or you do not co-operate with the Official Receiver, for example if you don’t give them the information they ask for.

Public record

Your DRO will be added to the Individual Insolvency Register. This is a public record.  The record is removed after the DRO ends. Your DRO will stay on your credit record for at least 6 years.

Call us today to speak with one of our advisors who can help you understand your options and find out the right choice for you. We're here to help on 0800 019 8383.


Find out the right choice for you.

Call us today to speak with one of our advisors who can help you understand your options and find out the right choice for you. We're here to help on 0800 019 8383 .

Opening times

Monday - Thursday: 8:00am - 6:00pm Friday: 8:00am - 5:30pm

Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday: Closed

Vanguard Insolvency Practitioners Limited, Registered address National House, 80-82 Wellington Road North, Stockport, Cheshire SK4 1HW

Company Registered in England and Wales Number 09610770 - Data Protection ZA 131723

Peter Jackson is authorised to act as an Insolvency Practitioner in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Data protection registration number ZA103596

The Money Advice Service is a free service set up by the Government to help people make the most of their money. If you would like to learn more click here. The Insolvency Service, an independent government agency, has produced a guidance leaflet on dealing with your creditors. If you would like a copy, click here.

The Association of Business Recovery Professionals, known as R3, produce a booklet called “Is a Voluntary Arrangement Right for Me?”.  If you would like a copy, click here.

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