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

What is a DRO

Debt relief order. What is it?

A DRO is a form of insolvency that can help you to write off debt that you’re unable to repay in a reasonable amount of time.

A debt relief order (DRO) is only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland you might be able to apply for bankruptcy using the minimal asset process (MAP). This is a similar solution, but it's important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

Is a DRO suitable for you?

Try Debt Remedy

Free online debt advice in 20 mins

Get debt help

Am I eligible for a DRO?

To apply for a DRO you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You need to reside in England. Wales or Northern Ireland, or have done business in one of these countries in the last three years
  • Your debts add up to less than £20,000 
  • You’re not a homeowner
  • Your assets are worth less than £1,000 – though you can own a motor vehicle worth up to £1,000 in addition to this
  • You have less than £50 a month left over after you’ve paid all of your living costs.

How does a DRO work?                               

You need to apply for a DRO through one of the organisations approved by the Insolvency Service, of which we are one.

If your DRO is approved, payments to your debts are put on hold for 12 months and your creditors cannot take any action to collect the debts during this time, although interest and charges can still be added. If after the 12 months your circumstances haven't improved, then all of your debts included in the DRO are written off.

If during the 12 month period your DRO is cancelled (revoked), your creditors can pursue the debt again, with interest and charges added. You would then need to consider what other repayment options are available to you. Should this happen, we can help you look into what you can do next.

How much does a DRO cost?

A DRO costs £90. You pay the fee directly to the Insolvency Service and you can’t submit your application until the fee is completely paid.


Free DRO advice

If you’re considering a debt relief order, we can help you through the whole process.

Use our online debt advice service Debt Remedy, which will suggest the best debt solution. Alternatively you can ring our Freephone Helpline (free from all landlines and mobiles).

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