Debt Relief Order

Debt Relief Order (DRO) FAQs

Here is a list of your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Debt Relief Orders:

What Is A Debt Relief Order?

A debt relief order is granted by the Insolvency Service if you are no longer able to pay off your debts.

How Do You Qualify For A Debt Relief Order?

In England and Wales, you qualify for a debt relief order if you meet these criteria:

  • You have resided in England or Wales, or operated a business in these countries
  • Your debts are less than £15,000 and they are of a certain type
  • You have less than £50 after paying your normal household expenses
  • Your assets are worth less than £300; the value of your vehicle is worth less than £1000 (unless you have a physical disability that has required modification)

What Type Of Debts Can Be Included In A Debt Relief Order?

There are certain types of debts that qualify for inclusion in a debt relief order:

  • Special financial arrangements such as ‘Buy-now; Pay later’
  • Hire purchase or conditional sale agreements
  • Utility arrangements, council tax and telephone bills
  • Property rent
  • Benefit over-payments and social fund loans
  • Credit cards, loans and overdrafts

Calculating Your Spare Available Income

In order to calculate how much spare income you have, you need to work out your:


Make a total of the money you are bringing in each month from sources such as salary, pension, rental income, welfare benefits, Jobseeker’s allowance, etc.


Make a total of the money you are paying out each month such as living costs, loans, food bills, fuel, etc.)

Once you have a list of income and outgoings, you need to subtract your outgoings from your income in order to arrive at the amount of spare income you have available.

How Long Does A Debt Relief Order Last?

A debt relief order usually lasts for 12 months. Your creditors would not be able to take action against you to recover the money you owe them and, at the end of this period, you will be free of all the debts unspecified in the debt relief order.

How Do You Apply For A Debt Relief Order?

To apply for a debt relief order, you need to make contact with an authorised debt relief adviser who operates as an intermediary between you and the Official Receiver through the Insolvency Service.

You can find debt relief intermediaries here:

What Is The Process Involved With A Debt Relief Order?

Once you have made contact with a debt relief intermediary, you will be consulted about the details of your financial income and outgoings in order to establish whether or not you qualify for A debt relief order. If you do qualify, the debt relief intermediary will handle your application and advise you on what course of action needs to be taken.

How Much Does A Debt Relief Order Cost?

There is a charge of £90.00 to create a debt relief order. This can be paid in instalments but you must remember that your application for a debt relief order will not be processed until your fee has been received in full.

What Happens After The Debt Relief Order Begins?

When your debt relief order commences, you will no longer be required to pay any of the creditors that have been listed in the order.

How Does A DRO Affect Your Credit Rating?

The establishment of a debt relief border will be noted on your credit records and remain on your credit file for six years. This will affect your ability to obtain credit in the future as potential lenders will regard the debt relief order as a poor reflection on your ability to manage your finances.

What Happens After The DRO Finishes?

Once the debt relief order finishes, all the debts specified in it will be written off.

How Often Can You Apply For A Debt Relief Order?

You can only apply for a debt relief order once in every six years.


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