Skip to content Skip to footer

This advice applies to Northern Ireland. Change country

Struggling to pay your debt management plan

You may find you're struggling to make the payments on your debt management plan (DMP). If this happens to you, it's important you take action straight away. If you bury your head in the sand, you could make the problem worse.

This page explains what you should do if you're struggling to make the payment on your DMP.

Top tip

If you're in a DMP, it's normally not a good idea to take on any more debt, such as an overdraft or credit card.

If you feel that you need to take on more debt, for example if you've had some unexpected costs such as urgent repairs to your home, talk to your DMP provider first. They may be able to re-negotiate your DMP payments which would leave you with more money to pay for your other costs.

Why are you struggling to pay?

There are a number of reasons why you might find you're struggling to make the payments on your DMP. They include:

  • a change in your circumstances, such as losing your job or long-term sickness
  • your debts with your priority creditors, such as mortgage or rent, have increased, leaving you with less money for non-priority debts
  • you've taken on other debts since starting your DMP
  • you've had some unexpected costs, such as urgent repairs to your home.

Whatever the reason, if you're struggling to make your payments or think you're going to struggle, you need to contact your DMP provider immediately.

If you've missed a payment

If you've already missed a payment, you need to contact your DMP provider immediately. Missing a payment will mean your creditors don't get the monthly payment they're expecting, which may mean they decide to stop co-operating with your DMP.

Don't bury your head in the sand, as this will only make the problem worse. Talking to your provider quickly is the only way to get the problem sorted out. They may be able to negotiate with your creditors to keep the DMP going.

Can you reduce the payments?

The amount you pay into a DMP doesn't have to be set in stone. If you're struggling to make the payments each month, ask your provider whether it's possible to reduce the monthly payments.

Bear in mind that if your payments are reduced, your debt may take even longer to pay off.

Next steps

Did this advice help?