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i This solution is only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

How will a DRO affect me

What happens after a DRO?

Your DRO will end 12 months after the date it was approved. The 12 months of the DRO are known as the ‘moratorium’. During this time you don’t make any payments towards the debts included in your DRO and your creditors can’t chase you for them.

Once the 12 months are over, if your situation hasn’t improved then the debts included in the debt relief order are written off.

You won’t receive notification that a DRO has ended so it’s worth noting down the date it was originally approved.

Is a debt relief order right for you?

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What action can creditors take when the DRO ends?

When your debt relief order finishes, if your situation hasn’t improved, all of the debts included in your DRO will be written off. This means your creditors can’t take any further action to recover the money at any time in the future.

The DRO does not protect you from any new debts you may have taken out after your DRO was approved. 

There are also certain debts that aren’t included in a DRO and you’ll need to keep paying these.

Can you get credit after a debt relief order?

A debt relief order will stay on your credit file for six years from the date it was approved. This may make it difficult to take out credit during this time.

Where will my DRO be recorded?

When you enter into a DRO, if you live in England and Wales, it’s recorded on the Individual Insolvency Register. This is an online database that has information about bankruptcies, IVAs and DROs.

The Individual Insolvency Register can be searched online. When your DRO is approved, you’ll be added to the database. Your details will remain on the database for the duration of your DRO and three months after it has finished. This usually means that you’ll be on the register for about 15 months.

If you live in Northern Ireland, your details will be added to the public DRO Register. Your details will be removed from the register three months after the DRO ends, whether or not it's been successfully completed or revoked.

How often can I apply for a debt relief order?

Once you’ve applied for a debt relief order and have had a successful application, you won’t be able to apply again for another for six years. This applies even if your previous DRO was cancelled after approval.

Free debt advice

If you’re thinking about entering into a debt relief order, it’s important to make sure it’s the right solution for you. Our online debt advice tool, Debt Remedy, will let you know if a DRO is suitable for your situation and will make another recommendation if it’s not.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2018