Debt Relief Order (DRO)

What Is A Debt Relief Order?


What Is A Debt Relief Order?

A Debt Relief Order (‘DRO’) is a debt solution for people with low levels of debt, few assets and a low disposable income. This solution freezes your payments and interest to all qualifying unsecured debts for a set period of 12 months. If your financial situation remains the same and has not improved by the end of this time, all included debts are then written off.


To qualify for a Debt Relief Order, you cannot be a homeowner, and must owe £20,000 or less to your creditors. This solution is available to residents of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – residents of Scotland have access to Scotland-specific debt solutions.

Advantages and Benefits

  • A Debt Relief Order is a formal solution so creditors cannot chase for payments.
  • If your circumstances do not improve, debts in a DRO are cleared after one year.
  • During the 12 months the DRO is in place, you will not be required to make any payments towards the included debts.
  • A DRO has a relatively low set-up cost of £90 and can be paid in instalments.
  • Interest and charges relating to debts including in the DRO will be frozen for the 12 months the DRO is active.

Disadvantages and Potential Consequences

  • A Debt Relief Order can impact on certain jobs.
  • If your financial circumstances improve during the 12 months, your debts could be reverted back to you.
  • You cannot have more than £1000 worth of assets.
  • A Debt Relief Order will affect your credit rating and, your ability to gain credit will be limited and the DRO will remain on your credit file for 6 years.
  • It is a criminal offence to falsify information on a DRO.
  • Upon entering a DRO, your details will be added to a publicly searchable record.