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

Debt relief order (DRO). How your belongings could affect your application.

To apply for a debt relief order (DRO) you can only have a small amount of assets.

So our DRO clients are not confused, here's a clear explanation of what assets are affected by a DRO.

Assets are items you own which could be sold to raise money. Examples of assets include:

  • Shares - this include funds held in three or five-year company 'Sharesave schemes' sometimes offered by supermarkets and other retail employers
  • Savings and inheritances
  • Caravans or timeshares
  • Antiques, collectables and other luxury items
  • Business vehicles
  • Property
  • Electronics (like smart phones and tablets)

To qualify for a debt relief order the total value of your assets must be less than £1,000 if you live in England or Wales or less than £300 if you live in Northern Ireland.

DRO and my vehicle

As we've advised you, to qualify for a DRO your total assets cannot be worth more than £1,000 (in England and Wales) or £300 (in Northern Ireland), however you are able to own one domestic vehicle worth up to £1,000 on top of this.

If you do have a vehicle, you’ll need to provide details including the make, model and registration number. The value of your vehicle will be checked and if it appears to be worth more than £1,000 you'll need to provide valuations from two independent motor dealers.

If you own a vehicle that’s used for business purposes only, it will be included as part of the £1,000 assets you’re allowed. This means if your business vehicle is worth more than this, a DRO won’t be possible.  

What's not included in a DRO?

Some items won't be taken into consideration for your DRO. These fall into four main categories:

Essential household items

This covers your basic household items like clothes, bedding, furniture and household equipment (like washing machines, fridge or microwave)


If you have a pension fund this won't be considered as an asset in your DRO. You won't be allowed to carry on paying into you pension during the 12 month moratorium period, expected if the payments are taken from your wage as part of an employer's pension plan. You can carry on making these contributions as long as you're paying the minimum amount that's allowed under your employer's scheme.

Tenancy deposits

If you live in rented accommodation and paid a deposit before you moved into your property, this amount won't count towards the asset limit.

If you move house during your 12 month moratorium period you'd need to tell the Insolvency Service so they can return your deposit to you.

Tools of the trade

If you're self-employed and you need items which are essential for you to be able to do your job then these won't be included in your DRO. These could be things like tools, books or machinery. 


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*


Calls are free from all landlines and mobiles

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

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