Debt Relief Order

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is a formal debt solution for individuals with low disposable income and minimal assets. It can be used as an alternative to bankruptcy.

A DRO can be used if you don’t own your own home, don’t have much spare income, and your debts are £20,000 or less. However, there are some kinds of debt that don’t count towards this limit, so check whether you’re eligible before you decide.

Debts that can go into a DRO are called qualifying debts.

Included debts

  • Credit cards, overdrafts and loans
  • Arrears with rent, utility bills, telephone bills, council tax and income tax
  • Benefits overpayments
  • Hire purchase or conditional sale agreements
  • Buy now – pay later agreements
  • Business debts.

If you obtained any of these by fraud, you will still have to pay them when the DRO has ended.

If you’re behind on your rent, your landlord can still take action to get their property back, even if the rent arrears are included in your DRO. This means you may have to continue paying these after a DRO is made.

Some debts can not go into a DRO and will not count toward the limit:

  • Magistrates court fines and confiscation orders – these are fines relating to criminal activity
  • Child support and maintenance
  • Student loans
  • Social fund loans
  • Compensation for death and injury.

A DRO will last for around one year and you will not be required to make payments towards most types of debt included in your DRO. The businesses that you owe money to will not be able to force you to pay off the debt. At the end of the DRO period the qualifying debts will be written off, although any debt not included in this list will still need to be paid.

There is a £90 fee to apply for a DRO – if you are not able to afford this, you may be able to get help from some debt charities such as Turn2Us.

A DRO can provide a way out of debt. However, getting a DRO will have an impact on your lifestyle and credit rating – the DRO will remain on your credit file for 6 years and will make it difficult to for you to get credit during this time. You will also be bound by restrictions, during timescale the DRO is active:


  • You are not permitted to borrow £500 or more without telling the creditor about the DRO
  • You can’t get involved in promoting, managing or setting-up a limited company, or be a company director, without getting permission from the court
  • Should you have a business under a different name from the one under which you got the DRO, you’ll have to tell everyone you do business with the name you used when you got the DRO
  • while the DRO is in force, and for three months afterwards, your details will appear on the Insolvency Service’s Individual Insolvency Register, which can be viewed by anyone.

If you think you may be eligible and that a DRO is right for you give Creditfix a call. You can speak with one of our advisers and find the best debt solution for your situation.

Call us now for immediate and confidential free debt advice on 0808 208 5198 or complete the form. We can start to work through our debt problems as soon as you contact us.

Do you have less than £20,000 of debt? Call today and find out how we can help.


  • If your position remains unchanged, your debts will be cleared in 12 months.
  • Low application fee of £90.
  • Creditor calls/correspondence stopped once the order is accepted.


  • Only able to obtain a DRO once every 6 years.
  • You are unable to apply if you are a homeowner.
  • The DRO will appear on a public register for 12 months.