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What is a DMP?

How does a debt management plan work?

A debt management plan (DMP) is an agreement between you and your creditors to help you pay off your debt.

A DMP is usually set up and managed by a third party provider, for example a debt charity or debt management company.

Before setting up your plan, your DMP provider will help you put together a budget, This will show how much you can afford to pay to your debts after all your priority payments and living expenses have been covered.

If there's any money left over after your living costs are covered, you’ll share this out fairly between your creditors. Usually, you’ll make a monthly payment to your DMP provider and they’ll pass on the correct payments to your creditors.

Is a DMP right for me?

If you use our online debt advice tool, we can work out the best way to deal with your debt problem. If a debt management plan is the best option for your circumstances, we can arrange it for you and as a charity, our debt management plans are free.

Paying off your debts should be the ultimate goal, but there's no point in putting together a payment plan that will leave you feeling stretched or short of money. That's why our number one priority is to protect your living expenses. We’ll budget your finances carefully and make sure you can afford the payments to keep up to date with your household bills and your debt management plan.

DMPs with StepChange Debt Charity

Once we've worked out what you can realistically afford to pay to your debts, and you're happy to go ahead with the DMP, we’ll contact your creditors explaining your situation, and the amount you’ll be paying them through the DMP.

mum at the table with bills

Considering a DMP?

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

Get debt help

You send us a Direct Debit payment each month and we do the rest, paying your creditors according to the plan. You don't have to worry about contacting your creditors to reduce your payments because we do it for you. We’re always on hand to help you or give you any further information.

If you enter into a DMP with another debt management company they should make the payments to your creditors on your behalf as well.

What are the benefits of a DMP?

If a DMP is suited to your situation, there are some benefits:

  • If your DMP is free, as it is with StepChange, all the money you pay into it will go towards paying off your debts
  • There’s only one monthly payment and this should be set at an amount that's realistically affordable for you
  • You’re not tied into the agreement, so you can leave the DMP agreement if you want to
  • DMPs are flexible, so they can be adapted to suit your situation if your income or living costs change

Risks with a DMP

It’s important to remember that with a DMP:

  • It’ll take longer to repay your debts as you’ll be making reduced payments
  • Interest or charges may not stop on a DMP and could be added to your debt, making the total you repay higher
  • Making reduced payments on a DMP will affect your credit rating, even if your creditors are happy to accept the DMP
  • Your creditors could still take further action, for example passing your debt to a collection agency or starting court action