Debt Relief Orders

If you owe less that £15,000, have £50 or less to contribute towards your debts and have assets and any savings which are worth less than £300, then a Debt Relief Order may be a faster and cheaper alterative to Bankruptcy if you can’t afford to pay your debts.

Granted by the Insolvency Service at a cost of £90, a Debt Relief Order usually last for 12 months and during that 12 months your creditors are not allowed to take action against you and you will be debt free at the end of that period.

The criteria for acceptance are tight so DO NOT apply if your debts are:

  • You have debts over £15,000
  • You own items or have savings that are valued at over £300
  • You have a car valued at over £1,000
  • You are bankrupt, in an IVA or applying for an IVA
  • You have been given a Bankruptcy Restriction Order or your creditors have applied to make you bankrupt and you’re waiting for the hearing
  • You have already had a Debt Relief Order in the last 6 years

The types of debts which can be included in a Debt Relief Order include:

  • Credit card, loans and bank overdrafts
  • Utility bills, council tax, and rent owed
  • Hire purchase and ‘buy now and pay later’ agreements

You will continue to owe money for student loans, court fines, and child support and maintenance.

How to get a Debt Relief Order

You can only apply for a Debt Relief Order via an approved third-party. Approved companies and charities include the Citizens Advice Bureaux, StepChange/CCCS and National Debtline. A full and official advice sheet is available at