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Changes to your debt management plan

Debt management plans (DMPs) often run for a number of years, so along the way it’s likely you’ll experience a change in circumstances.

Here we’ll explain what to do when something happens that could affect your DMP.

What changes could impact my DMP?

Whether they’re planned or not, lots of life changes could happen that change your income or living costs. These changes could affect the amount you can afford to pay to your debts through your DMP.

These changes could be due to:

  • a salary increase or reduction
  • redundancy
  • retirement
  • starting a family
  • moving home
  • starting or ending a relationship
  • starting or finishing study
  • illness

I’m worried about telling you I need to change my DMP

By the time your first DMP review comes around your creditors will be used to receiving your DMP payments. You’ll probably have seen a reduction in the amount of letters or calls from your creditors, and hopefully interest and charges should have been stopped or reduced (although of course we can’t guarantee this).

If things have been going well so far, it’s natural to feel a bit nervous about making changes.

Don’t worry though. A regular review ensures that your DMP remains affordable and is still your best option. Your DMP can be altered at any time based on your circumstances, and your creditors understand that things will change from time to time.

I need to pay less to my DMP, will it be cancelled?

If your income goes down or your living costs go up you may find you don’t have as much left over to pay towards your DMP. Making payments that you can’t afford could end up making your situation worse.

If the amount you can afford to pay to your plan is not enough to pay off your debts in a realistic time a DMP may not be the best way to deal with your debts now.

If this happens, don't panic. We’ll discuss all the options with you, and help you work out whether to continue with your DMP or look at a different debt solution.

My income has increased. Do I need to pay more to my DMP?

A pay rise is usually good news. If your income has gone up, we’ll make sure this is reflected in your budget. If you can afford to increase your DMP payments, this means you’ll be able to pay off your debts faster.

But this might not always be the case if your living costs have changed. For example, your income may have gone up but bills, travel costs or other household expenses may have increased as well. This is why it’s important to look at your whole situation when reviewing your budget.

We’ll never ask you to increase your DMP payments if you can’t afford to.

Will my creditors be annoyed if I make changes to my plan?

Your creditors expect us to review your budget at least once a year. They understand that DMP payments have to be based on what you can afford, and that this might change over time.

Of course a creditor may not be happy if the payments to them go down. But we’ll provide them with a copy of your budget showing what’s changed, so they can see your DMP payment is still the most you can realistically manage.

In some cases, if your DMP payment reduces, a creditor may take action, such as passing your debt to a collection agency or sending you a default notice. If anything like this happens, just let us know.

Paying an amount to your DMP that you can’t afford would end up causing bigger problems in the long term, as you would find it difficult to cover your essential living costs.

Do I need to complete a plan review at least once a year?

Yes. It’s vital to review your situation every year, or when your circumstances change significantly, to make sure your plan is still working for you.

Even if it seems like nothing much has changed, it’s still important we check this. Sometimes a few very small changes to income or living costs can add up

If you don’t complete your review, we may have to close your plan because we won’t know if it’s still the best solution for you.

We’ll send you a reminder when you need to do a plan review, so it’s important you don’t ignore them. We’ve also got some tips that can help you prepare for your DMP review.

How can I let you know about changes to my DMP?

Easy, just give us a call and talk to our team.


Manage your DMP online. Update creditor details or complete your annual review at a time and place to suit you, day or night.


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)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2017