Advice you can trust
At Debt Advisory Centre, we can display this badge because our Debt Management plans are provided by Gregory Pennington, an organisation that complies with the Debt Management Plan Protocol. In other words, they've shown that they follow a strict set of rules designed to make sure customers get the high standard of service they need from a debt management company. That includes telling people what they need to know about dealing with debt - before they commit themselves to anything.
How our expert debt advice could help you
Our debt advisers have helped thousands of people in a similar situation to you.
If you dream of becoming debt free, call us now and we'll talk you through the solutions
We can help with most debt problems, depending on your circumstances. You could
simplify your finances with debt consolidation, or you could lower your monthly
payments with debt management. The part of your debt you can't afford could be written
off on successful completion with an IVA. Why not try our debt solution finder to
see which is suitable for you?
Find out more about what we do
How our debt advice works
We will give you help tailored to your situation. We need to know how much debt
you have, who you owe it to and how much you're currently spending on it, as well
as your income and how much you spend on essentials. Then we can work out whether
debt management, debt consolidation, an IVA, or bankruptcy would be suitable.
Learn about our range of debt solutions
Our help begins with a personal budget
We want to find affordable debt help for you, so our debt help begins with a budget
and repayment plan that is designed to be acceptable to your lenders and affordable
for you. Debt management, debt consolidation, or an IVA could only lower your repayments
if they're really suitable for you.
First of all we'll go through your income and spending with you. This is important
because one of the best things about entering into a debt solution with us is that
we make sure you keep enough of your income for your priority bills. Your repayment
plan would be based on your 'disposable income' - what you can afford once you've
paid for all the essentials.
We will offer guidance if it looks like you're spending too much on non-essentials,
because lenders expect you to pay as much as you can afford towards your debts.
We'll tell you everything you need to include in your essential spending. Ultimately,
we could tell you in the very first phone call whether one of our debt solutions
would be suitable.
You are under no obligation to take our advice or any other services offered.
We need to know if any of your debts are more of an issue than others. For example,
if any of your lenders are taking legal action against you, we will tell you about
your options, including bankruptcy advice.
When you enter a debt solution with us, we negotiate with your lenders on your behalf.
We explain that you have taken debt advice, show them that the repayment plan we
propose is what you can truly afford, and that our repayment plan should allow you
to repay your debt in the shortest possible time.
If you decide to enter into debt management, an IVA or bankruptcy, you won't have
to deal with your lenders any more. We will deal with all the paperwork and phone
calls on your behalf. And we'll keep you updated on how things are progressing.
Read more about the debt help we offer below, including our range of debt solutions.
Learn more about debt solutions
If, after you have received our debt advice, you choose to enter a debt management
plan, we do all of this:
- We deal with your lenders on your behalf, whether you have two or twenty.
- We try to negotiate a repayment plan that lowers your monthly repayments to an affordable level. Lenders don't have to accept this - we'd try to show them why it's the best approach.
- We negotiate to freeze interest & charges. Again, lenders don't have to agree - and if they don't, making smaller payments will cost you more in the long run.
We create a personal budget for you, based on what you have told us and we use this to
negotiate affordable repayments with your lenders. We can't guarantee that they would agree
to lower payments, or to freeze interest & charges, but we'll do all we can to demonstrate
why a debt management plan is the right option for everyone involved - why it makes more
sense than taking you to court, for example, or trying to make you bankrupt.
Once the repayment plan is agreed, we'll send it to you, detailing:
- Your new, affordable monthly payment.
- The fees payable for the service.
- How long you can expect to be on a debt management plan. Repaying your debts will
take longer, but you'll be able to afford your payments.
You can arrange your debt management plan from the comfort of your own home. You
simply need to sign the appropriate documents that we send by post and we will organise
everything else. You only need to send us one monthly payment and we'll distribute
it to your lenders, as well as handling all the paperwork and phone calls to them.
Once you're with us, we'll handle all contact with your lenders. If they call you, just
ask them to call us. If they send you letters, just forward them to us in our prepaid
envelopes. Once you've given us permission to deal with your debts on your behalf, they
can't refuse to talk to us unless they have a very good reason.
Be aware that lowering your repayments will affect your credit record for six years,
and as you'll be repaying your debts for longer, you could pay more interest in
the long run. Finally, keep in mind that it's only suitable if you cannot afford your
current repayments - if you can, your lenders will certainly expect you to.
Learn more about Debt Management
If you have come to us for debt help and we think debt consolidation
is the right debt solution for you, you'll be able to:
- Lower your monthly repayments (if you want to)
- Repay all your unsecured debts with one monthly payment.
- Simplify your finances.
Debt consolidation is suitable for many people with multiple debts. If you consolidate
all of them into one, you'll only have to worry about one monthly payment.
If you're a homeowner, you might be able to consolidate debts by releasing equity in your
home: adding the debt to your mortgage or taking out a secured loan. This can work
out more affordable, although you'd need to be confident you can afford the payments as
your home might be at risk of repossession if you don't keep up with them.
Just remember - as with other kinds of loan:
- You might have to pay a fee to the company that's arranging the loan
- If you have a poor credit rating, you might pay a higher interest rate - or you might not be able to get a loan
- The interest rate you pay might change, which can make it harder to figure out the total cost
Even so, a great thing about debt consolidation is that it can free up money in your monthly
budget by lowering your monthly repayments. This is usually done by spreading the
repayments over a longer period. Just be aware that this could actually increase the amount of interest you repay overall.
Plus, debt consolidation can give you a clear idea of when you will clear your debt, helping you plan your finances more effectively.
Learn more about Debt Consolidation
IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement)
If our debt advisers suggest an IVA, or Individual Voluntary Arrangement,
it could help you in the following ways:
- Write off the part of your unsecured debt that you can't afford.
- Freeze interest charges.
- Lower your monthly repayments.
If you decide to go ahead. an Insolvency Practitioner will create a repayment plan, known as
an IVA proposal. This lays down the proposed terms of the IVA, including how much you could
pay in to it, based on your income and essential expenditure.
We'll then send this proposal to each of your lenders - if lenders who own 75% of your
unsecured debt to agree to it, it can go ahead. As you'd expect, lenders will want you to
repay as much you can realistically afford - and no more. That means they won't approve your
proposal if they think it leaves you with too much money for luxuries and non-essentials.
We can't guarantee they'll agree, but again, we will do all we can to demonstrate that
it's the right option for both you and your lenders.
Once the Individual Voluntary Arrangement is agreed, it can begin. An IVA usually lasts
between five and six years and as long as you stick to your side of the agreement, any
remaining unsecured debt included in the IVA will be written off once your IVA comes to
a successful conclusion.
While you're on an IVA, you are protected from legal action by your unsecured lenders,
but not by your landlord / mortgage provider, so it's vital you pay your rent or
mortgage. If you are a homeowner, you may be asked to release equity by remortgaging in the 54th
month of the IVA, but an IVA should not force the sale of your home.
Note that entering an Individual Voluntary Arrangement will affect your credit record for six years.
This can make it more difficult to find a remortgage.
- If you do find one, it might come with a higher interest rate.
- If you don't find one, it doesn't mean your IVA will fail - it can be extended by 12 months, giving you time to make some extra payments instead of releasing equity.
Finally, IVAs are only suitable for people who can afford to make regular payments for the full term of the IVA, as it could lead to bankruptcy if it fails. So if an IVA's the right approach for you, we'll make sure your payments are realistic - and leave you with enough money for all your essential costs, from your mortgage or rent to food, clothing, utility bills, transport and so on.
Learn more about IVAs
We can offer bankruptcy advice to you, whether your lenders are
petitioning for your bankruptcy, or we think it's your best option. You could:
- Write off the unsecured debts that you can't afford.
- Be discharged from bankruptcy after 12 months.
Bankruptcy is a particularly serious debt solution, because it can have the biggest
impact on your credit record and it can force the sale of your home and possessions,
and strip you of any assets, like your pension and savings. You would also have
to go to court and you would have a limited income during bankruptcy, because you
would be expected to make monthly contributions that you can afford for up to three
Despite the 'scary stuff', it's fair to say that bankruptcy can offer people a 'light
at the end of the tunnel', if their debt has become out of control. Bankruptcy could
be successfully completed after 12 months, allowing a fresh start without the debts
that caused the problems. During bankruptcy, you are given protection from your
lenders, and afterwards, the debt that you cannot afford is written off. Bankruptcy
does have a big impact on your credit rating for six years, is recorded on the Insolvency
Register and will be advertised in the London Gazette (a newspaper for insolvency
professionals). It could also affect your eligibility for some types of professional
We can offer bankruptcy advice if we think it's suitable for you. Bankruptcy may
be suitable if you really cannot afford to repay what you owe, you don't have many
assets and if you think your financial situation isn't going to get any better in
the foreseeable future.
Our debt advisers would only recommend bankruptcy after we have looked at other
ways to help you out of debt. It costs £700 to apply for bankruptcy in England and
Wales. If you need to go bankrupt, but you cannot afford the fees, a Debt Relief
Order (DRO) might be suitable.
Learn more about Bankruptcy
Debt Relief Order (DRO)
A DRO costs £90 to apply for and could wipe out all of your unsecured
debt after just 12 months. Our debt advisers would only recommend a Debt Relief
Order (DRO) if you met the criteria set out by the Insolvency Service. It's sometimes
suitable for people who want to go bankrupt, but cannot afford the fees.
A DRO could:
- Wipe out your debt after 12 months.
- Protect you from legal action from your lenders.
However, DROs aren't suitable for everybody. This debt help is only available for
the people who really need it. To ensure this, the Insolvency Service has placed
conditions on DRO applications.
To qualify for a Debt Relief Order you must have £15,000 or less of unsecured
debt and assets that total £300 or less. That means
homeowners can't apply, but you can own a car up to the value of £1,000.
Even if you're in this situation, another debt solution may still be an option if
you have a reasonable amount of disposable income. If you have
more than £50 available every month once you have paid for your
essentials - like your mortgage / rent, your utilities, food and child care - you
wouldn't qualify for a Debt Relief Order. The good news is you could still qualify
for other help: debt management, for example.
DROs are available to residents of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You cannot
have had another DRO within the last six years and you cannot be going through any
other form of insolvency when you apply. A DRO would affect your credit record for
six years - borrowing can be more difficult during this time and it's an offence
to borrow more than £500 without disclosing that you are subject to a DRO. You will
remain liable to pay certain debts, such as student loans, fines and debts arising
from family proceedings.
Learn more about DROs
Debt help and expert advice, from the Debt Advisory Centre
Expert advice from the Debt Advisory Centre begins with a simple phone call to one
of our debt advisers.
Debt problems can have a really negative effect on your health and happiness. If
you are struggling to deal with your unsecured debts as they are, you don't need
to carry on alone. It could be that some small changes to your budget are all it
takes to get back on track. Or, if things are more serious, we could provide debt
advice and practical help with the right debt solution.
Now that you know a little more about debt management, Individual Voluntary Arrangements
(IVAs), debt consolidation loans, bankruptcy and Debt Relief Orders (DROs), call
one of our advisers to discuss your options. We could give you an answer in one
We have good relationships with lenders and have a good success rate when it comes
to finding the most appropriate debt help for borrowers.
Try the debt solution finder to the right of the page. It could tell you which debt
solution might help, based on the details you provide, and a debt adviser will get
back to you to discuss your options. Alternatively, call us at a time that's convenient