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i The advice on this page applies to anyone with personal debts taken out in the UK.

Dos and dont's to help your DMP run smoothly

Although they can sometimes be a bit daunting, there are lots of practical things you can do to help make life on a debt management plan (DMP) easier. There are also potential issues that may arise and make your DMP a bit tougher to manage if you're not sure how to deal with them. 

5 ways to help your DMP run smoothly

1. Stand your ground with creditors. While creditor contact often reduces once you started your DMP, you may still be contacted from time to time. It's important to remember that many of the phone calls and letters you’ll receive from creditors are likely to be automated. What's more, things usually settle down once your creditors see that you’re making regular DMP payments. This is because your DMP payment is a reflection of what you can afford to offer at the moment. Although it’s still possible for creditors to take further action against you, we’re here to help with any concerns.

2. Stay on the ball. Some debts are sold onto debt collection companies. This is a normal part of the debt collection process, but let us know if it happens to you and we can update your DMP. You can even do this yourself using our OnlineDMP service.

3. Include all of your debts. We want to make sure all your debts are in the DMP, even if you think you can manage that catalogue payment or want to keep your overdraft ‘for emergencies’. Sometimes you might have missed a debt from your plan, so be sure to let us know about any changes as soon as possible.

4. Accept that it takes time to settle down. Time and consistency will usually work in your favour. Get used to making payments, commit to the DMP and you’ll find that in most cases contact from your creditors should calm down, as long as you have a realistic budget to back you up.

5. Keep in mind that things may change. Your budget should always be realistic, so it’s important to keep it updated regularly. Along with your annual review you can also update your budget online, or call us and let us know about any changes. We know that unexpected costs do crop up sometimes, so just let us know if this happens.

5 things to avoid on your DMP

1. Don’t panic! The majority of concerns can be resolved by keeping up to date with changes (especially by reading our monthly newsletter) and by staying in contact with us. We have a department dedicated to supporting you with your DMP – we know you’ll need it, and that’s why we’re here.

2. Don’t make extra payments to your creditors on top of your DMP payment in the hope of keeping them quiet. This could suggest to your creditors that you’ve got extra money to pay towards your debts, or that your budget is inaccurate. If you can afford to pay extra, let us know and we can add this to your budget. We split your DMP payments fairly to all of your creditors, so paying extra to one of them could be showing preference.

3. Please don’t struggle on if you feel things aren’t right. If you’re struggling or are worried, please pick up the phone. We’re here to do more than just administer payments. We understand debt and we can help. Don’t beat yourself up over it either – being in debt is nothing to be ashamed of.

4. Resist searching the web for answers to questions. Forums have their place (we regularly post on the MoneySavingExpert.com boards, for example), but when you’re already anxious about something, you need tailored advice. Give us a quick call or visit our website; we won’t sugar-coat anything but we’ll explain what you need to do next.

5. Don’t prioritise your DMP payment over your important bills. This might not come naturally, but don’t pay your DMP payment before your household bills and living costs. We do everything we can to make sure your payments are affordable, but if your quality of life is suffering or you’re falling behind with bills then your DMP isn’t doing its job properly. If this happens, you should call us for help. The real priority in all of this is you.

If you’ve got any other tips you’d like to suggest that might help people manage on a DMP then please email the MoneyAware team with your suggestions. 

OnlineDMP

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

OnlineDMP

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 2016