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Debt management plans: How to set up a DMP

A debt management plan (DMP) is a debt solution that can help you to pay back debts at an affordable rate. Setting up a DMP is relatively straightforward, but you'll need to provide some paperwork for your provider.

This page explains the steps you need to take to set up a debt management plan.

How do I set up a DMP?

It's important to get debt advice from a debt charity or debt management company before you choose a debt solution.

If this option is recommended to you, some paperwork is needed to get your DMP. The process of sending this to your provider is quite simple and usually can be done online.

The paperwork you will need to send in includes:

  • a signed DMP agreement, to authorise the DMP company to make payments on your behalf
  • a signed Direct Debit agreement, so you can make payments
  • proof of income, to check you can afford payments
  • account numbers for all of your debts, to work out who you owe money to

The DMP provider will then work out who you owe money to, how much and what you can afford to pay. This information is used to work out the payment to each creditor.

document iconWe recommend that you send letters to your creditors to tell them you’re having financial difficulties and are setting up a DMP. You could use our sample letter for this.

A debt management plan (DMP) can affect you in several ways. As with any debt solution, there are a number of benefits and risks you should consider before entering into a DMP.

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What happens after the DMP is set up?

Once your plan is in place, you will be making regular payments towards your debts. It's normal to still get letters from creditors but you can expect contact to reduce as long as you stick to the payments.

How long does a debt management plan take to set up?

A DMP is usually set up in a few weeks, once you've provided all of the requested information.

Can I move my debt management plan from another company?

Yes, you should be able to move your DMP, and we would always encourage you to choose a fee-free DMP company. This way, all your money is going towards repaying your debts rather than on extra fees.

Your new provider will want to assess your financial situation, and may recommend an alternative solution if they don't think a DMP is suitable for you.

Can I set up a debt management plan myself?

You could set up your DMP yourself, but you would have to manage your own payments and administer it yourself.

Some debt management companies charge for DMPs, but as a charity, StepChange provides free debt management plans. All of the money paid into your DMP will go to your creditors, and pay off your debts more quickly.

While you're setting up your DMP, you may be able to apply for the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) which is designed to help people who have had debt advice.

Find out more about how debt management companies work.

Already a DMP client?

If you already have a debt management plan with us, find out how to get the best out of your DMP.

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