We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
mum at the table with bills

Need some Breathing Space?

Get free, online debt advice to see if you're eligible.

Get debt help

How to apply for Breathing Space

alert iconThe Breathing Space scheme is available in England and Wales. In Scotland, the moratorium period is similar, but has different benefits and considerations.

Breathing Space isn't available to everyone. There are certain criteria you need to meet to benefit from the Breathing Space scheme.

To be eligible you must:


  • Live in England or Wales
  • Owe at least one qualifying debt to a creditor

And you must not:


Important reminder: Breathing Space will only protect you for 60 days, so it's important to make sure you complete your debt advice and send in your paperwork as soon as possible, so we can set up your chosen solution.

Which debts qualify for Breathing Space?

Many debts will qualify for Breathing Space, but there are some exceptions. Take a look at the list below to find out which debts are not eligible.

Which debts don't qualify for Breathing Space?

The following debts are not eligible for Breathing Space:


  • Secured debts (but the arrears on secured debts do qualify)
  • Debts incurred after your Breathing Space started
  • Debts incurred because of fraud
  • Court fines (penalty charge notices like parking tickets do qualify)
  • Obligations from a confiscation order
  • Child maintenance or money owed under an order from family court proceedings
  • A crisis or budgeting loan
  • Student loans
  • Personal injury damages
  • Advance payments on Universal Credit
  • Council tax liabilities that are not due yet

How can I apply for Breathing Space?

Anyone contacting us for debt advice, either online or over the phone, will be considered for eligibility for Breathing Space.

If you're eligible and decide to apply, you’ll then be taken through the Breathing Space application process.

Use our free, online debt advice tool and we'll recommend the best solution for your situation and let you know if you're eligible to apply for the Breathing Space scheme.

If you're eligible, you can fill in the application form online and we'll submit it automatically on your behalf.

Who are we?

  • UK's leading debt charity
  • Over 25 years' experience
  • Free, impartial advice & managed debt solutions

How we help

We're rated

4.8 out of 5
Read reviews of StepChange » Av. ratings for our service by DMP/DRO clients after 3 months.