Debt Relief Orders hit the headlines

A comment on the social media reactions to the news that debt relief orders are more prevalent among 25-34 year olds than any other age group

Last week the Insolvency Service released figures showing that debt relief orders are more prevalent among 25-34 year olds than any other age group.

These figures were released to launch a “Dealing with your debt” campaign by the Insolvency Service which “aims to help the young deal with their debt in the most appropriate and effective way”.
The campaign gained a lot of publicity, being featured on BBC News programmes across the country as well as regional radio stations. BBC used a case study to illustrate the issue, which you can view below:

I’m all for raising awareness about personal debt and the solutions available, but sadly from some of the comments I saw on twitter about this story, people were focusing on the notion that a debt relief order is an “easy” way to write off irresponsible spending, rather than looking at the real reasons why more and more young people are struggling with debt.

Here are some of the comments left on twitter:

I’m no expert on debt relief orders, however I have studied them as part of the training towards my CertDR qualification and one thing which stands out to me is the strict criteria required in order to apply for a one, including:

  • Your total assets must not be more than £300.
  • Your disposable income after deducting all normal living expenses, must not be more than £50 per month.

From my experiences here at ClearDebt, the reason most people find themselves in debt is because of a change in circumstances. They took on credit when they were in a secure position to pay it back, but then a job loss, an illness, a divorce, a pregnancy or some other life-changing event affected their ability to make the repayments.
There are of course some people who are in debt due to poor money management and a “buy now, pay later” attitude, but these are a minority and I don’t believe that any debt solution should be considered an “easy” option.

Tell others:



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  1. One problem with DROs not mentioned by the BBC is that whilst the qualifying criteria effectively targets the unemployed, the DRO itself then acts as a disincentive to finding work as the debts will only be written off if there is no change in circumstances for 12 months. It seems the DWP is trying to make work pay whilst BIS is busy making sure it doesn’t.