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Considering a DMP?

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How does a DMP affect me?

Debt management plans. Credit scores and reports

Being on a debt management plan (DMP) affects your credit file and score. You may pay less than the minimum amount you agreed when you took on the debts.

Your credit file is affected before a DMP if:

  • You miss payments
  • You accounts 'default'

You can rebuild your credit rating after completing your DMP.

Not sure if a DMP is right for you?

Get free and impartial advice before choosing a debt solution.

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Considering a DMP?

We give free, impartial debt advice online.

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Will a DMP show on my credit file?

If you pay the full contractual amounts:

  • Your DMP will not appear on your credit file

If you pay less than the minimum payment:

  • ‘Partial payments’ will be recorded on your credit file

Some creditors add DMP or ‘arrangement to pay’ markers for payments through DMPs.

Find out more about DMPs and credit files.

How long does a DMP stay on a credit file?

Details are recorded on your file for six years. This includes:

  • Court action
  • Defaults
  • Partial payments
  • Missed payments

They are removed six years from the date it happened. Even if the debt is not fully repaid.

Improve your credit score by using credit sensibly when your DMP ends you can.

Does a DMP affect your credit rating?

Your credit rating is affected any time you:

  • Miss payments, or
  • Pay less than the agreed minimum payment

Making smaller payments through a DMP shows creditors you are dealing with your financial issues.

A longer record of missed payments could have a bigger impact on your credit score.

Some lenders or landlords may ask you to use a guarantor before agreeing to lend to you or allow you to rent one of their properties.

Find out more about guarantors for loans, rent and mortgages.

Can I improve my credit history on a DMP?

Your credit history starts to look better after your DMP.

Information like missed payments or court action is removed after six years.

If an account has defaulted, the debt is removed six years after the default. Even if it is not fully repaid.

Here are a few things during and after your DMP to improve your credit score:

  • Regularly check your credit report:
  • Correct any wrong details when they appear
  • Get on the electoral roll:
  • Helps future lenders check your details are correct
  • Pay your bills on time:
  • Bills like gas, electric and mobile phone can appear on your report

How do I check my credit file?

A number of credit reference agencies (CRAs) offer a free one-month trial where you can access your credit score.

Find out about the CRAs operating in the UK.

What could be added to my credit file during a DMP?

Creditors record many things on your credit file.

They note every time you:

  • Miss a payment
  • Take an agreed payment holiday
  • Pay less than the minimum on a debt

Try not to worry. This is not as serious as it seems.

Let’s look at what a creditor may log on your credit file and why.

Payment history

All payments you have made to your debts are logged on your credit file.

DMP payments can be less than the normal payment on a debt. Your history shows partial payments.

This happens even if a creditor accepts your reduced payment.

DMP flag or marker

Nowhere in your credit report shows you are on a DMP.

But each account in your DMP can show that payments are made through a DMP.

A creditor can only add a DMP marker if they accept your offer of payment.


You creditor adds defaulted accounts to your credit file.

Defaults stay on your file for six years from the date added.

It is common for accounts to default. But you may not get a default for every debt on a DMP.

Court judgments and decrees

If you receive:

Details of this will also be added to your credit history for six years.

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Considering a DMP?

We can help with free, impartial debt advice online now.

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DMPs and rental agreements

Current tenancies

Your current landlord may not be told about your DMP.

Rent is a ‘priority payment’.You should try to:

  • Pay your rent in full, outside your DMP
  • Arrange to make payments you can afford to any rent arrears

New tenancies

Starting a new tenancy on a DMP may be difficult. Some landlords check your credit file.

  • They may not accept you if you have missed payments or defaults
  • Landlords can only access your credit file with your consent
  • They need you to sign a consent form first

Not all landlords perform credit checks.

Social landlords are less likely to look at your credit history, like:

  • Local authorities
  • Housing associations

Smaller private landlords and letting agents might not use CRA information. Some will check public records.

  • They do not need your consent to do this
  • They can find out if you had recent court action or insolvency
  • It will not tell them about defaults or missed payments

Some landlords and letting agents will accept a poor credit history, but they may ask you to:

  • Provide a guarantor with a good credit rating
  • Pay a larger deposit or rent in advance

DMPs and mortgages

Taking out a new mortgage

It is hard to get a new mortgage on a DMP if you do not own a property.

Debts do not look good in a mortgage application.

  • Debts on your credit file could count against you
  • Not having a lump sum deposit is a problem too


It may be harder to remortgage on a DMP.

There may be some options open to you. This depends on how long you have been on the plan.

If your mortgage deal expires:

  • Your current mortgage lender will usually offer their ’standard variable rate‘
  • This is likely not the best deal on the market
  • But it means your mortgage can carry on with your current provider

Whether you can get a new deal depends on a few things:

  • How much negative information is on your credit file
  • How much equity is in your property
  • Your current income

Get qualified mortgage advice if you need help remortgaging while on a DMP.

Learn how a DMP may affect your mortgage, rent or tenancy.

Car insurance and DMPs

If you make monthly car insurance payments:

  • There may be credit checks when you sign a new agreement
  • Your car insurance could be cancelled if you do not keep up payments
  • Lenders offering these credit agreements are likely to refuse you

Very few of our clients have problems getting car insurance although:

  • You may not pass a credit check on a DMP
  • You may be charged a higher rate of interest
  • Monthly payments could be higher

Find out more about interest and charges.

Mobile phone contracts

Keep your mobile phone costs low if you are on a DMP.

With new mobile phone contracts:

  • You may be credit checked
  • You may be rejected for expensive phones with high costs
  • You are more likely to be approved for cheaper handsets with lower costs

Not sure if you can afford your current mobile phone contract?

Utility bills

Some companies run credit checks.

This might happen if you apply to change from a pre-payment meter to a credit meter paying monthly or quarterly.

Find out how to get help with and save money on utility bills.

Can I get credit while I am on a debt management plan?

Do not take out any more credit while trying to repay existing debts through a DMP. This risks breaching the terms of your plan.

Your budget should cover all costs that might crop up on a DMP so you do not need to borrow.

Speak to your DMP provider if you have an unexpected high expense.

  • They can check if there are options other than borrowing more
  • You might be able to:
  • Reduce your plan payments or
  • Apply for a grant

The lender will run a credit check if you do need to take out a new credit agreement.

  • You may be charged a higher interest rate
  • You may be refused

Do not consider a debt consolidation loan if you are on a DMP.

Can my DMP affect the people I live with?

Your DMP only affects people you have joint debts or financial products with. This includes:

  • Loans
  • Bank account
  • Household bills that are in joint names

A ’financial association' links your credit files. This means your record of making reduced payments may affect:

  • The other person’s credit file
  • Their ability to get credit

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