There are a number of government approved ways of paying off your debts depending on your personal circumstances together with many organisations and charities that can advise you on the best possible course of action if you fall into debt.

Government Approved Schemes

The government approved schemes for paying of your debts depend on:

  • what spare income you have - this can be used to make regular payments to your creditor
  • what assets you can sell - these can be sold to help pay your debts
  • your situation - for example, if you’re bankrupt or facing bankruptcy

For an overview of the options available go to this link.

Debt Management Plan is an agreement to pay your creditors via a licenced debt management company. Details of eligibility and how to set up a Debt Management Plan are available from:

An Administration Order is a way of helping to settle a county court or High Court judgment, if the debt is less than £5,000. Details of eligibility and how to set up an Administration Order are availablle from:

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is an agreement to make regular payments to an ‘insolvency practitioner’, who will divide this money between your creditors. Details of eligibility and how to set up an IVA are available at:

A Debt Relief Order(DRO) is a way to deal with your debts if you owe less than £15,000, have little spare income and don’t own your home. Details of eligibility and how to set up a DRO are available from:

Fast-track Voluntary Arrangement (FTVA) were a way to deal with your debts if you’ve already been made bankrupt and have assets available that can be sold to pay your creditors. FTVAs have been abolished in England and Wales, so no new ones can be made. Existing FTVAs will continue until they are completed.

Guides to Debt and Borrowing

A comprehensive guide to taking control of debt, getting free debt advice, and how to borrow affordably is avalable from MoneyHelper.

A Guide to Borrowing and Debt, including the best ways to pay off your debts, can be found at AdviserBook.

Prioritise and deal with late payment letters

Comprehensive details of how to prioritise your debts is available from MoneyHelper.

Ignoring late payment letters is the worst thing you can do and will only make the situation worse

Advice on how to prioritise late payment letters is available from AdviserBook.

More information on letters from creditors is available at StepChange Debt Charity.

Debt Collection Agencies

If your debts have been in arrears for a while, or you’ve been sent default notices, you’ll almost certainly start to hear from debt collectors. 

For an explanation of why debt collection agencies are involved, follow this link.

Unlike a Bailiff, a debt collector does not hae any special legal powers - a full explanation is available here.

Full details of how debt collectors work and what they can do is available from StepChange Debt Charity.

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a court order which tells you to pay money you owe to a debt. It’s one of the actions your creditors can take as part of the debt collection process. Help and advice on how to deal with a CCJ is available at the following links:

Letters and Court Forms

Sample letters and downloadable templates that will help you write to creditors or debt collectors  are available at this link.

A library of common court forms and guidance notes to help you respond to the County Court or respond to a statutory demand from creditors is available at this link.

Debt Confidentiality

The details of your debts are confidential and your and cannot be discussed or disclosed by your creditors to any third party.

Further details are available at this link.

What to do if your creditor goes into administration

Information on where you stand and what to do if the business that you have a debt with to goes into administration is available from

Improve Your Credit Rating after a DMP 

If you’re close to finishing a debt management plan (DMP) it’s important to spend time working to improve your credit rating to protect your financial future.

More information is available from StepChange MoneyAware.

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