A debt relief order is an alternative to bankruptcy for people struggling with debts of less than £20,000.

What is a debt relief order?

A debt relief order is only available to people who have a disposable income of less than £50 per month and personal assets worth less than £1000. Motor vehicles worth less than £1,000 will generally not be included in this limit.

What debts count towards a debt relief order?
  • Unsecured debt – Loans, credit cards, store cards, overdrafts, payday loans.
  • Household debts – Rent, utilities, telephone, council tax.
  • Finance – Hire purchase, credit agreements, buy now pay later agreements.
Who is a debt relief order suitable for?

Individuals with relatively low liabilities, small surplus income and few or no assets and who are possibly not in a position to pay off their debts in a reasonable time.

Criteria for a debt relief order
  • Unable to pay their debts.
  • Total unsecured debt must not exceed £20,000.
  • Total gross assets must not exceed £1000.
  • Disposable income, following deduction of normal household expenses, must not exceed £50 per month.
  • Live in, or in the last 3 years have been resident or carrying on business in, England or Wales.
  • Must not have previously been subject to a debt relief order within the last 6 years.

The debtor must not be involved in another formal insolvency procedure at the time of application for a DRO, such as:

  • An undischarged bankrupt.
  • A individual voluntary arrangement.
  • A bankruptcy restrictions order or undertaking.
  • A debt relief restrictions order or undertaking.
  • An interim order.
  • A pending debtor’s bankruptcy petition in relation to the debtor but the debtor has not been referred to the DRO procedure by the court as a more suitable method of debt relief.
  • A current pending creditor’s bankruptcy petition against the debtor but the debtor has not obtained the creditor’s permission for entry into the DRO process.
Alternative solutions
Not sure which debt solution is right for you?

Finding the right debt solution can often be a daunting task – that’s where we come in!

Take our debt test

or call us now on
0800 988 2318

Calls are free from mobile phones and landlines

Our advisors are all trained to help you find the best solution to your financial situation.

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service

To find out more about managing your debt and receiving free debt advice visit moneyadviceservice.org.uk or read the article Options for Paying off your Debt.

Find out more