Credit card debt, overdrafts, loans and rent arrears are covered by a DRO.
A Debt Relief Order can be a way to help people out of unmanageable debt.
From October 1 the debt limit for a DRO increased to £20,000 so you might now be eligible.
You could qualify for a DRO if you don’t own your own home, have up to £1,000 worth of assets, a car worth no more than £1,000 and have £50 or less left each month once you’ve paid your essentials.
Debts such as magistrates court fines, student loans and child support maintenance aren’t covered by a DRO but credit card debt, overdrafts, loans and rent arrears are so check first whether you’re eligible.
The DRO lasts a year and during that time you don’t have to make any payments towards most debts included in your DRO.
Your creditors can’t force you to pay off the debts either.
At the end of the DRO period your debts will be written off but you’ll still be responsible for paying off any debts that weren’t included in the DRO.
It’s also important to consider that while a DRO can help you deal with your debt, it may affect your credit rating and if during the 12-month period you borrow more than £500 you have to tell the creditor about your DRO.
To apply for a DRO:
• There’s a fee of £90. If you can’t afford to pay the fee you may be able to get help towards the cost from some charities; • You have to go to a DRO adviser, also called an approved intermediary – you can’t submit your own application. You can find a DRO adviser at most local Citizens Advice Bureaux.
You can look for a charity to help with the cost of fees on the Turn2Us website at www.turn2us.org.uk
South Holland Citizens Advice bureau have specialist Money Advice case workers who can help you explore your options and find the most effective method for dealing with debt and money management.
The service is free, impartial and confidential.