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Help and support during your TPP

This solution is available throughout the UK.

If we’ve recommended a token payment plan for you, it’s because something in your financial situation is going to improve within the next 12 months. Perhaps it's that you're currently paying off arrears, or returning to work soon. When this happens we'll be able to recommend a longer-term debt solution.

Even though a token payment plan (TPP) won't help you repay your debts in full, it'll give you some much-needed breathing space while you concentrate on getting things back on track.

On this page, you’ll find…

People iconAnswers to the questions our token payment plan clients ask us most often. There’s also more information to be found in the Debt Information section of our website.

Clock iconA timeline that tells you what you can expect over the course of your TPP, from how to deal with creditor contact to when you’ll need to review your budget with us.

Don’t forget…

Check iconIf you want to see if your situation has improved enough to go on a more long-term debt solution, you can use our budget improvement calculator.

Phone iconcontact us if you need help about a significant budget change, making your TPP payment or dealing with an emergency such as bailiffs.

Money iconThe team are here to support you while you’re sticking to a budget with money-saving tips and ways to increase your income.

How to set up a TPP

To set up your TPP we only need four things from you. So we can get your plan up and running, please send all of this information to us in one go, if possible:

  1. Your signed TPP agreement. Without this we can’t contact your creditors.
  2. A list of your debts. Don’t worry about sending us a statement from each of your debts. We just need the name of the company and your account number with them.
  3. Proof of your highest income. This should match the amount you gave us during your debt advice session. If it doesn’t make sure you include a note to tell us why. It also needs to include your name and can be one of the following:
      Your most recent payslip (dated within the last three months)
    •  A recent bank statement that shows your income received (dated within the last three months, and you can also highlight your income figures if you feel this would help us identify it quicker)
    • Your most recent benefits award letter (all pages and this should include the amount of benefits that you’re currently receiving)
  4. The completed Direct Debit mandate.

You can post your documents to:

Plan Activations, StepChange Debt Charity, 123 Albion Street, Leeds, LS2 8ER. If you post your information to us, make sure you take your envelope to the post office and pay the correct postage.

Or, if you can scan all of the information you can email it to us. If you don’t have a scanner you can take a picture of the documents on your smartphone and send this to us. Please make sure they’re good, clear photos. If you do this don't forget to include your name and client reference number in the email.

What you can expect during your TPP

  • Day 1 - Your plan is active

    We've sent each of your creditors a proposal. This tells them you'll be paying £1 a month until things improve. They'll probably still contact you as it can take them a while to process this information.

  • Month 1 - Your first payment

    We'll take your payment by from your account. It'll be £1 for each of the debts you have. So if you have six debts we'll collect £6 from your account. We recommended that you pay your token payment plan by Direct Debit.
  • Month 3 - Peace and quiet (hopefully)

    Contact from your creditors should be starting to die down now they've received a few payments. If you're still being contacted have a look at what you can do if your creditors keep getting in touch with you.
  • Month 4 - Interest and charges

    Most of your creditors will see that you're trying to improve your situation and will have stopped interest and charges. If some creditors are still adding interest and charges find out what you can do.
  • Month 5 - Default notices

    You may have received default notices from your creditors. These will stay on your credit file for six years but are a normal part of the collections process. Just carry on making your monthly payment.
  • Month 6 - Debt swapping

    If you get a letters from debt collection agency saying they have taken over a debt, you need to give us a call and let us know their details. We'll contact them and start sending them payments instead.
  • Towards the end of your TPP

    Hopefully your situation should have changed, or be about to change. We'll contact you before this happens and ask you to call us with your up-to-date details about your income, outgoings and debts.
  • The end of your TPP

    Now your situation has improved we'll look at a long-term debt solution for you. One of our advisors will explain the debt solution that's best for you and the next steps you need to take.

Frequently asked questions about TPPs

There are some common questions clients ask us when they're on a TPP:

Some creditors may say you need to pay more than £1 a month. You don't. Stick to the £1 and don't pay them anything outside of what you pay us. 

You need to make your payment to us through your bank, preferably by Direct Debit. This is quick and easy and we'll take the payment from your account on the 1st or the 10th of each month. 

We still want you to keep in regular contact with us so we can support you. We’ll still review your budget and look at the best way to deal with your debts. In the meantime, we have lots of tips that can help you keep your TPP running smoothly.

You can contact us anytime your situation changes and we'll review your budget. This could mean that we can recommend a long-term solution to help you become debt free sooner.

We may have included arrears to your rent or mortgage, council tax, utility bills, TV licence or other household costs in your TPP. If we’ve included these arrears they’ll be paid from the money you pay into your TPP. But you must keep making the normal weekly or monthly payments directly to these creditors yourself.

For example, if your rent of £500 a month is in arrears and you’re starting a TPP at £10 a month we’d contact your landlord and offer them a share of your £10 TPP payment towards the arrears. But you must keep paying the £500 monthly rent yourself to stop any further arrears building up.


Sandra, Lanarkshire

"Getting help earlier would've taken a lot of pressure off me, and cut down the amount of stress I was under."

male builder smiling

Brian, Nottinghamshire

"Everybody I spoke to was very understanding and friendly...within weeks things were starting to get sorted."