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National Debtline

Advice you can trust

     

Ways to clear your debt

Find the best option for you

Use the information on this page to help you find the option that is appropriate for your situation. There are links to further information about each option.

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​Negotiating with your creditors

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt.

What type of debt?

Use this option for credit debts only, after you have dealt with priority debts.

How long will it last?

There is no time limit. You may be paying for many years.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt.

What type of debt?

All debts must be included: priority debts such as council tax arrears and non-priority debts like credit cards. Debts being collected by a deduction from a social security benefit continue to be taken.​

How long will it last?

For individuals, couples and sole traders: any reasonable length of time, but usually within 10 years.

Protected trust deed

How much debt must I owe?

At least £5,000. Some insolvency practitioners may set their own minimum debt level at higher than £5,000.

What type of debt?

Most types of debt, but not all.

How long will it last?

​They usually last 5 years.

Bankruptcy

How much debt must I owe?

A creditor can bankrupt you if you owe £5,000 or more. You can bankrupt yourself however much you owe.

What type of debt?

Most types of debt, but not all.

How long will it last?

Most people are discharged after 1 year. You may have to make payments for up to 3 years.

Minimal asset process (MAP) bankruptcy

How much debt must I owe?

Your debts must be between £1,500 and £17,000.

What type of debt?

Most debts but not all.

How long will it last?

You will be discharged after 6 months and be under restrictions for 6 months after discharge.

Consolidation loan

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt. It will depend upon what the lender is prepared to lend.

What type of debt?

Any debts that your lender allows you to include.

How long will it last?

It will last the length of time it takes you to repay the loan.

​Full and final settlement offer

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt.

What type of debt?

Use this option for credit debts usually.

How long will it last?

A short time, unless payment is in instalments.

​Write off the debt

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt.

What type of debt?

You would usually use this option for credit debts.

How long will it last?

Debts would be cleared at the time they are written off.

Equity release

How much debt must I owe?

£5,000 or less.

What type of debt?

Use this option to clear any type of debt.

How long will it last?

There is no time limit. Different schemes can give you money in different ways and at different times. Some may give you a cash lump sum. Others may give you regular payments over time.

Pension release

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt.

What type of debt?

Use this option to clear any kind of debt.

How long will it last?

This depends on how much money you take from your pension fund and how often you take it.

Selling assets

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt. More likely to be a suitable option if you have debts that you can’t afford to clear with income.

What type of debt?

You can use this option to clear any type of debt.

How long will it last?

There is no time limit. It may take you longer to sell some assets than others. It depends on the asset and the method you use to sell it.

Charitable payment

How much debt must I owe?

There is no minimum or maximum level of debt.

What type of debt?

It depends on the charity, but usually priority debts.

How long will it last?

Debts would be reduced or cleared by the payment.

Free debt management plan (DMP)

How much debt must I owe?

No minimum or maximum level of debt. You will need to be able to pay at least £5 each month to each debt.

What type of debt?

Use this option for credit debts only.

How long will it last?

You will usually have to be able to repay your debts in less than 10 years.

Need help with your options?

If you can't find the information you ​need, or you would like to talk through your debt options, you can webchat with one of our specialist advisers.

Our webchat service is available

Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm

Saturday 9:30am to 1pm