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i This solution is only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Your debt relief order (DRO)

Whichever stage you're at in the DRO process, we're here to support you

Your debt relief order

Stages in your DRO process

  1. Application: this page and our expert advisors are here to help our existing clients get an DRO application completed as quickly as possible.
  2. Submission: it’s quick and easy to submit your DRO application to the Insolvency Service as we do it all for you.
  3. Moratorium: for 12 months there are certain conditions you need to stick to. After this your debts will be written off and you can start afresh. 

Completing your DRO application

We’ve recommended that a debt relief order (DRO) is the best way for you to deal with your debts based on the amount of money you’ve got coming in each month and all of your household costs.

It can seem like a daunting process, so here’s a step-by-step guide on what you need to do to get your DRO up and running as soon as possible. 

One hour after your advice

Sit down, put the kettle on and have a cup of tea.

The hard bit is over and done with. You’ve put together your budget and we’ve helped you work out how much money you need to make sure all of your household bills are paid every month.

Before you start getting all the information you need for your DRO application take 15 minutes to relax and feel happy with the fact that things are only going to get better from here on in.

Your personal action plan will be with you in the next couple of days.

A couple of days after your advice

Right, time to get things moving. 

So that we can complete your DRO application we need four things from you. To make sure we can complete your application as quickly as possible please send these four pieces of information to us in one go.

Your signed and dated DRO agreement. Use this form if you live in England and Wales. Contact us if you live in Northern Ireland.

We need:

  1. Your signed and dated DRO agreement
  2. Proof of your income. This needs to be your pay slips for the last three months, your most recent benefits award letter, or a bank statement. The amount shown on your proof of income needs to match the amount that’s on your budget. If it doesn’t make sure you include a note to tell us why
  3. An account or reference number for each one of your debts
  4. This completed DRO checklist

You need to send us this information because a DRO is a formal process and we need to see this information before we can complete your application.

The week after your debt advice session

As long as you sent us all the information we need we’ll be busy completing your DRO application.

While we do this, if we told you to open a new basic bank account during your advice session, you should do this now. If you’re not sure how read our basic bank account advice

The stages in your DRO process

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Step 1 - Starting the process

We’re busy getting all the information you've sent us together and putting into your application. This is something we do electronically through the Insolvency Services application system.

Step 2 - Check your application

Once we’ve processed all of your information we’ll send you a draft copy of your application for you to check. This is to make sure all your information is correct.

Step 3 - Paying your fee

Once you’ve checked your application you need to pay your £90 fee to the Insolvency Service. You’ll be sent a letter with a barcode on and you use this to pay your fee at a Post Office or PayZone outlet.  

Step 4 - Your acknowledgement 

Once you've paid your fee call your creditors and ask for your up to date balances and call us. We'll submit your application and you'll be sent a final paper copy of your application form. 

Step 5 - Granting your DRO

The DRO team at the Insolvency Service will review your payment and all of the information on your application form and then decide whether to grant your DRO. 

Step 6 - Confirmation

The Insolvency Service will confirm their decision in writing within 10 working days. If your application is successful they'll tell your creditors. If your application isn't succesful call us.


What should I do if...

Find out what to do in these common situations, before your DRO is set up, and after it's been approved.

Before DRO set up

My situation changes

You'll need to contact us so we can check a DRO is still right for you. 

My creditors contact me

Make small payments of £1 to your creditors and let them know what's happening.

I have a car

If you own a car or any other items of value it might affect your DRO - read our DRO assets information.

I have priority arrears

If you've fallen behind with your household bills these will be included in your DRO application.

I have a benefit overpayment

This will be included in your DRO, so your income should go up a little bit.

I don't have £90

If you live in England and Wales you can pay in instalments over a six month period.

After DRO approval

My situation changes

If this happens during your moratorium period find out what you need to do.

My creditors contact me

Even when your DRO has been approved your creditors could still contact you. Find out how to deal with creditor contact.

I have a car

If you own a car or any other items of value it might affect your DRO  - read our DRO assets information.

I win the lottery

Depending on how much you win this might affect your DRO. Find out what would happen if you won the lottery.

I've forgotten about a debt

You'll have to contact this creditor and come to an arrangement to repay the debt.

My DRO is revoked

This is rare, but if your DRO is revoked you need to contact us and we'll look at other ways to deal with your debts.


Watch: An introduction to DROs


Need a helping hand?

If you need a bit of extra help getting your DRO set up

0800 107 1339*

Or if you live in Northern Ireland

02877 767 745**


*Freephone (including all mobiles)

**Calls from landlines are charged at a local rate. Mobiles could be considerably more. Please check with your provider.

More information

Read this useful guide to debt relief orders from Gov.uk

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