We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Calls are free from all major mobile networks.
StepChange Debt Charity logo

Free advice on problem debt
based on what's best for you

Request a call back »
Or call us on 0800 138 1111Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm

Debts if you live outside the UK

If you're currently living outside the UK but you're struggling with debts that you took out before leaving the country, we can help you get your situation back on track.

As long as your debts were taken out in the UK we can still give you free debt advice. We'll help you put together a realistic budget and give you a debt solution that's tailored to your situation. Even though you're living abroad, most of the solutions we offer are stil available depending on where you lived in the UK.

How can you help me if I live abroad?

Even though you live abroad, we can still offer you the support you need to help you become debt free.

  • Personalised debt adviceWe'll provide you with a budget and free debt advice that's tailored to your individual situation
  • Realistic debt solutionsWe'll give you advice on the solutions that are open to you and how these will work if you live abroad
  • On going help and supportWhatever your solution, we'll be available to help and support you. Whether this is over the phone, by email or through our OnlineDMP service

Putting a budget together

The first step in dealing with your debts is putting a realistic budget together. The most important things you need like your mortgage, rent, utility bills and food shopping will always come first. You can find out more about how important is to do this in our budgeting section.

So we can help you deal with your debts, we’ll need to complete your budget in Sterling, rather than Euros, or Dollars or any other currency.

To help you work out what your costs are in Sterling follow our 3 easy steps:

  • Work out what you spend on all of your household costs and write these figures down in the currency of the country you’re currently living in
  • Use a currency converter tool, like the one on the Oanda website, to change these figures from the original currency into Sterling. All you need to do is enter the amount you spend in each area and convert this from the currency you use into Sterling.
  • Make a note of what the costs are in Sterling and use these when you call us, so we can help you complete a budget. 

How can I deal with my debts if I live abroad?

Debt management plan (DMP)

If you've got money left over once you've paid your household costs we can set up a DMP completely free of charge.

This will help you to help you repay your UK debts. You can also include foreign debts on your DMP but the foreign company may charge an exchange rate if they have to convert the payment from Sterling.

You'll need to make your payment to us in Sterling.


If you've been living outside the UK for less than 3 years or your main centre of interest is the UK (this normally means if you run a business in the UK)  you can still apply for bankruptcy.

You’ll need to come back to the UK to submit your application, but this would only be to have a hearing at court, so it wouldn’t take more than a day. It will cost you £705 to go bankrupt.

Debt relief order (DRO)

Similar to bankruptcy, as long as you've been living outside the UK for less than 3 years you can apply for a debt relief order (DRO).

You need to owe less than £15,000 and have very few assets to be eligible for a DRO.

A DRO will cost you £90, and although you don’t need to come back to the country to apply for it, you'll need to have someone in the UK pay the £90 for you as this has to be done at a Pay Zone outlet.

Token payment plan (TPP)

If you've got a reduced income but your situation is going to change we can help you make reduced payments through a token payment plan to your creditors until your situation improves. Just like a DMP you would need to make your payment to us in Sterling.

What can my creditors do if I live abroad?

If you have UK debts your creditors can still collect these from you, even if you’re living abroad.   

If you have a debt with a bank or collection agency that has branches in countries other than the UK then they'll find it easier to collect the debt from you if you’re living abroad.  

Your creditor could start court action in the UK by applying for a county court judgment.

If you live in the European Union they can apply for a European Enforcement Order to collect the debt back from you. A European Enforcement Order lets them transfer the debt to a similar type of court in the country you’re living in, and then this court will then collect the money you owe.  

If you live outside the European Union, and the country you’re in has a reciprocal agreement with the UK, the creditor could apply to have the UK court order enforced in that country, using that country's legal system.

Why choose us?

With over 20 years’ experience, you can be confident that you’re getting the best possible advice.

  • Our advice is completely FREE. It’s based on what’s best for you, not what’s profitable for us.
  • Tailored advice.Whether you go to our online Debt Remedy tool or speak to one of our expert advisors, our advice will always be right for you.

Contact us

If you're contacting us from abroad

+44 113 297 0126 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Sat 8am-4pm


How clients feel after contacting StepChange Debt Charity

41% of people in debt wait a year before seeking help

90 percent of people felt reassured after getting help from StepChange Debt Charity

Helping you become debt free...

"I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt. They were a pillar of support to me." (Leslie, Essex)

StepChange Debt Charity logo

Foundation for Credit Counselling (trading as StepChange Debt Charity) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (Company No: 2757055 ) and a charity registered in England and Wales (Registered Charity No: 1016630). Registered office: Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG. Consumer Credit Counselling Service (Scotland) trading as StepChange Debt Charity Scotland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland (Company No: SC162719) and a charity registered in Scotland (Registered Charity No:SC024413). Registered office: 33 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 6NL. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

* Major mobile networks include Orange/EE, O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Three, Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Call charges from other networks may vary.