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DMP. What if something changes?

Debt management plans (DMPs) often run for a number of years. Along the way, it is likely things will change at some point for you. It might mean it could be harder to keep to your plan. Or you might have some good luck and be able to settle your debt.

Read our guide to changes that could affect your DMP.

What changes could impact my DMP?

These changes could be:

  • Wages going up or down
  • Redundancy or job loss
  • Retirement
  • Starting a family
  • Moving home
  • Starting or ending a relationship
  • Starting or finishing study
  • Illness

Your budget and your DMP: Reviews

You need to review your finances at least once a year while you are on a plan. We can do this through OnlineDMP or over the phone. We do this to make sure your DMP is still right for you and work out a DMP payment you can afford. Also it keeps the people you owe money to informed.

We need to do this:

  • At least once a year
  • Or when you tell us something is likely to change

Your DMP can be changed at any time based on your needs. Don't worry, your creditors know that things will change from time to time.

If you do not have a review, we cannot be sure a DMP is right for you. We may have to cancel your DMP if you miss reviews regularly. We will always try our best to contact you before stopping your DMP.

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

You might find you have less money left over to pay towards your DMP. This could be because your income has gone down, or your living costs have gone up.

Making payments you cannot afford could end up making things worse.

We would not just cancel your DMP. We would always check if it is still right for you.

If it looks like you can't pay off your debt in a reasonable amount of time, a DMP may not be the best option for you. If this happens, there is no need to panic. We will help you work out whether to keep your DMP or look at a different debt solution.

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

Your creditors know we review your DMP and they want us to do this. They understand that DMP payments are based on what you can afford. And they know this might change over time.

If you need to reduce your payments:

Your creditors may want to see a copy of your new budget. We will share this with them so they can see what has changed. It will show them you are paying the most you can afford.

If they do not think your payment is fair, a creditor could take action. They could:

If anything like this happens, just let us know.

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

Your added income will be added to your budget.

If you can afford to pay more through your DMP, you may be able to pay off your debts faster.

But you may not be able to pay more through your DMP. We also need to check if your living costs have gone up at the same rate. You may be earning more, but if the weekly shop and bus fare costs more you are no better off.

We never ask you to make DMP payments you cannot afford.

Other ways to make the most of more money coming in

While we always look into increasing your DMP payments, there may be other ways this can help you. Maybe you have had a bonus or other one-off payment?

It is always best you contact us so we can talk you through the best options for you.

You could:

Priority debts are:

  • Arrears on council tax, mortgage arrears or utility bills
  • Court debts such as fines or parking tickets

We may have included priority debts in your DMP so they get a share of your monthly payment. Or, we may have advised you to carry on paying them outside your DMP. Either way, you could use this extra money to pay them off faster or clear the debt.

It is worth checking if there are any yearly bills you could pay off in full. Paying these in one go can often be cheaper than paying monthly.

This could be your contents or car insurance.

There is a part of your budget for ‘sundries and emergencies’. This is to cover all the things you cannot plan for. Such as a vet bill, or your car breaking down.

It could be wise to open a savings account to keep this money to one side.

If you have a large amount of money, you may be able to make an offer to clear a debt. This is called making a 'full and final settlement offer'. It means you make a one-off payment and the rest of the debt is written off.

We have a team who can help you with this. They can find out if there is a way to settle your debts, in a way that is fair for everyone.

If you do not have enough money to do this, you could still make a one-off higher payment to reduce your debts. This will help you pay off what you owe more quickly.

You could do this in two ways:

1. Share out the extra money fairly across all of your creditors

You can do this by paying extra into your DMP, and we will share it out for you. Call or email us if you need help.

2. Pay off one or more individual debts

We generally recommend treating all debts fairly. But it might be better for you to do this if one of your creditors:

  • Is adding interest to your debts
  • Has sold the debt to another company who are contacting you
  • Has offered to settle the debt for a reduced payment

Contact us first if you plan to do this so we can look into the pros and cons. Putting one creditor above another can be a bad idea if you are considering bankruptcy.

You must get the agreed offer in writing. This is the best way to prove it was agreed in case the creditor changes their mind.

I will have some extra money coming in soon. What should I do?

Look into your options now if you are getting money from:

  • Selling a house
  • A friend or family member's will
  • Insurance pay out
  • Other lump sum payment

We based our debt advice on what was happening to you when we advised you. When you get this money, get in touch so we can advise you again.

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

Easy, just update your plan in OnlineDMP. If you make big changes in OnlineDMP, we may need to follow up with a call.

You can also give us a call and talk to our team.