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. Freephone (including all mobiles).
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Free advice on problem debt
based on what's best for you

0800 138 1111 Freephone (including all mobiles)

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

How can my DMP fail?

Now your debt management plan (DMP)’s in place, hopefully you’re feeling much more in control of your situation. You also have access to a dedicated team of advisors who can provide you with any help and support if you’re struggling with payments.

Debt management plans are meant to be flexible to life's occasional ups and downs. There's still a chance that other issues can creep in that might make being on a DMP difficult, however. Let's take a look at some common issues that you should try and steer clear of while on your DMP.

Not sticking to your budget

When you had your initial debt advice session, we put together a budget to show where your money needs to go every month. In order to keep your DMP running smoothly, you need to stick to the living expenses outlined in your budget. There are plenty of budgeting apps you can use to help keep track of your day to day spending.

If you find the budget we put together doesn’t match the amounts you have to spend each month, get back in touch with us and we can update it.

Not letting us know when things change

Sometimes things can happen ‘out of the blue’ and make life a bit difficult. Big life changes such as redundancy, marriage, divorce or a new baby can all affect the amount you have available to pay to your debts.

If anything changes about your income or your circumstances, let us know so we can make sure the DMP is still right for you.

Taking out more credit during your DMP

When you enter into a DMP, it’s with the understanding that you won’t take out any more credit products while you’re paying off your existing debts. Taking out more credit is likely to prolong the problem rather than make things easier for you. 

If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected expense such as boiler repairs or replacing an appliance, please call us before deciding on how you’ll pay for these things.

Not allocating money for sundries and emergencies

When we put together your budget, we added a section for sundries and emergencies. This was so you could put aside a certain amount of money every month to cover these expenses.

It’s important that you don’t spend the money meant to cover these costs, just in case the unexpected does happen. Putting it in a separate bank account - or even in a jam jar - is a good way of ensuring that this money is available if you need it.

Not treating your creditors equally

Sometimes creditors will contact you during your DMP to ask for an increased payment. Some may even try to persuade you to pay them extra directly, outside of your DMP.

If this happens, explain that you’re paying the most you can realistically manage through your DMP.  Don’t be tempted to pay them extra – if you do, there’s a risk you won’t be left with enough to cover your household bills and other living costs. 

If you find you have a bit extra available one month and you want to pay more to your creditors, get in touch with us for advice on the best way to use the money.

Not asking for help

As we’ve already mentioned, we have a dedicated team of advisors who are here to answer your questions and ensure that your DMP is working for you. The majority of problems can be resolved by staying in touch with us. You can access OnlineDMP at any time. Most of the information you may need can be found on the existing DMP clients page. Our MoneyAware team are also on hand to give you great budgeting and moneysaving tips. 

In addition to our support, you can also speak to people just like you who are currently dealing with debts via a DMP on MoneySavingExpert.com’s DMP and mutual support forum thread.


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 on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2016