How to Write Off Debt
If you are currently struggling to manage your debts, we’re here to talk you through manageable solutions, some of which may let you write off some of your debt. Of course, the best route for you will come down to your personal and financial circumstances - however, with helpful advice, hopefully you can start to begin your next best steps.
The best thing to do is make sure you get professional help to help you understand the available solutions for your circumstances, rather than going ahead with any debt solution. This will give you the ability to determine what options are going to be right for your circumstances and also how your situation is going to be impacted.
This page is designed to give you a good overview of your debt management options - if you need further support, our expert team is here to help!
In this page, we will detail:
- Various methods of debt relief
- Whether you can ask your creditors to write off your debts
- General debt help
As a personal insolvency specialist, we are capable of offering effective solutions for over indebted individuals. We encourage you to contact NDH Financial for additional assistance with your debts.
How Can NDH Financial Help You Write Off Your Debt?
One of the popular debt relief solutions available at the moment are IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).
Here at NDH Financial, we specialise in helping clients to prepare and set up IVAs. However, we are also aware that IVAs are certainly not suitable for everyone — especially as they come with terms and conditions that may not suit each individual’s personal circumstances.
For this reason, whatever your own debt crisis, we urge you to contact us to specify your financial circumstances. A representative of NDH Financial can call you back and establish:
- The amount of debt you owe
- How much of this debt you can afford to pay
- Whether you qualify for an IVA
- The extent to which you could write off debt
If you speak to us and learn that you are eligible for an IVA and decide to apply for one, we will be happy to guide you through the entire process, allowing you to eagerly work towards a debt-free future.
IVAs are available to residents of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Through entering an IVA, you would form a legally binding agreement with your creditors to make affordable monthly payments on your debt over the following five or six years.
You can only obtain an IVA by arranging for an insolvency practitioner — such as NDH Financial — to set it up for you. An IVA would let you clear your debts by paying either a lump sum or instead in 60 or 72 monthly instalments over the course of a long-term plan.
An IVA can cover a range of unsecured debts — including especially risky debts, like ones resulting from payday loans. However, debts an IVA would be unable to account for include student maintenance loans, TV licence arrears, and court fines .
Also, your IVA will only start if 75% of your creditors at a decision procedure approve itt. If this does happen, the IVA can be used for reducing all of the contained debts, including those of creditors who disagreed with the IVA.
Technically, there is no minimum or maximum limit to the number of debts you can include in an IVA. Still, the fees for an IVA mean that an IVA may not be suitable for you if you have a lower debt level, for example, you have unsecured debts of less than £8,000.
While the IVA is in effect, none of your creditors will be able to attempt to recover money from you. Under the IVA, you will pay as much as reasonably possible over an agreed period before any unpaid debt left over in the IVA is written off, as our in-depth IVA Learning Hub explains.
It is also worth pointing out that, while an IVA can prove an effective debt consolidation tool, you would not be able to use an IVA to consolidate secured debts — except secured debts where the assets used as security have been repossessed.
What Other Debt Relief Options Are Available?
Of course, an IVA might not be for everyone and depending on your situation, you might not be eligible to apply for one.
The good news is that, even if you are faced with a seemingly insurmountable amount of debt, there remain various solutions you could consider for clearing, or at least reducing it.
The debt solutions available to you will depend on a number of factors, including:
The nature of your debts
Your surplus income
What assets you have
The people you owe money to are your ‘creditors’ — and, in practice, what debt solutions you are able to utilise could also be influenced by how flexible your creditors are willing to be as regards your repayments.
While none of these might quite be able to offer a silver bullet for your particular debt dilemma, dipping into at least one of the debt solutions detailed below could make it easier for you to chip away at or even completely write off debt currently taking its toll on your mental health.
Arranging Payment with Creditors
If you are behind with paying off unsecured debt, you could ask your creditors if they would be willing to accept smaller repayments until your financial circumstances improve.
Once you have factored in your monthly income, household expenditure, and outstanding debt, you will be able to figure out what kind of payment you can, for the time being, afford to make on a regular basis to each of your creditors.
At NDH Financial, we only work with unsecured debt, as secured debt cannot be used within an IVA. Unsecured debt is basically debt that is not secured against an asset. This debt can thus arise from the usage of:
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
- Store cards
If a creditor rejects your offer of reduced payment, you can nonetheless proceed to pay this amount, as it should still be accepted.
Unfortunately, making monthly payments below the threshold requested by the creditor will hurt your credit rating, making it harder for you to obtain further credit.
Because of this, you might be better off taking out another debt relief option, such as our IVAs. With an IVA, you only pay one monthly payment towards your debts - at the end of the IVA period the rest of the debt is wiped off, with no additional interest charged. The IVA will also affect your credit rating, however, the fixed time frame may allow you to start taking steps to repair your rating once the IVA is complete.
Debt Management Plan (DMP)
If you struggle to reach new agreements with creditors by dealing with them yourself, you could consider a solution through a third party in the form of a debt management plan (DMP).
Though it is possible to self-manage a DMP, you might be more comfortable with asking a third-party organisation — such as a debt charity — to set up a DMP on your behalf.
In the latter instance, you will make a single monthly payment that is sent through the DMP provider and subsequently shared out amongst your creditors. However, this is all on the assumption that the creditors agree to the plan, as they would not strictly be obliged to do so.
With an IVA, only 75% of your creditors at the decision procedure have to agree to the scheme, so this may be a better option than a DMP if you’re unsure about whether all your creditors will agree to a DMP.
It’s important to get financial advice first as DMPs might not be the best option for all people saddled with debt — especially since they can only be used for paying unsecured debt.
Debt Consolidation Loan
It’s easy to confuse the terms ‘debt consolidation’ and ‘debt management’, but the former is ultimately a riskier endeavour if it involves taking out a loan to pay off existing debts.
Many people who take out a debt consolidation loan do so to:
- Lower the interest rate on their debt
- Ensure they are able to make more affordable payments
- Reduce the number of their creditors
The principle behind debt consolidation is that you take multiple debts and put them into one package. This would theoretically make your debt easier to handle, as you can pay all of your creditors in one go rather than be forced to make a separate payment to each of them.
However, as a debt consolidation loan would entail you borrowing money in order to make repayments, you might want to consider an alternative avenue for debt consolidation, like an IVA. You may need to rule out going down the loan route anyway if your credit file is in bad shape.
An administration order works much like a DMP, in the sense that it would involve you making one payment to an external body that proceeds to divide the money between your creditors.
However, you would only be able to apply for an administration order if:
- You have failed to agree with at least one creditor about how you will repay a debt
- A County Court or High Court action has been made against you due to this debt
- You are unable to pay this debt in full
- You can prove you are still able to afford regular repayments
- The debt — including any interest and charges — is less than £5,000
- You live in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland
In England or Wales, you can seek an administration order before submitting it to your local court. The court will rule on:
- How much of your debt you need to repay
- The amount you will repay monthly
- How long the arrangement remains in place
The arrangement is technically called a ‘composition order’ if it does not cover all of your debts.
Because the eligibility criteria for an administration order is quite stringent, there’s a good chance you might not be eligible to apply. In situations like these, an IVA may be the better option.
Debt Relief Order
What if you lack enough spare income to pay your debts in a reasonable amount of time? In this case, you might be able to implement a debt relief order (DRO).
To be eligible for a DRO, you must:
Live in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland
Not be able to afford more than £75 per month to pay to your creditors
Not own your home
Owe less than £30,000
Your assets must be worth less than £2,000, although cars up to that value are excluded
If you indeed satisfy all of the eligibility criteria for a DRO and succeed in obtaining one, your creditors will be unable to seek payment from you without the court’s permission.
Usually, a DRO will write off debt after 12 months, and you are not required to make any payments apart from the £90 application fee. However, in the meantime, you would need to follow a number of restrictions. For example, you will be unable to:
- Borrow over £500 without notifying the lender about your DRO
- Take up a directorship at a company
- Start, manage, or promote a business without the court’s permission
If you leave out any debts from your application, these will not be included in your DRO, and the DRO may be revoked if your circumstances improve, and you are no longer eligible, or if you do not comply with the Official Receiver.
Student loan repayments would still be necessary under a DRO, while you would need an alternative option if you are threatened by bailiff action for criminal fines or child maintenance.
Due to the DRO criteria, it is only available in limited circumstances, and there is the potential for it to be revoked if your circumstances change, which can mean it is not available for everyone.
How much equity is there in your home? The answer to that question will depend on your home’s worth as well as how much you owe in mortgage repayments.
If you are of retirement age, releasing equity in your home can result in money you would be able to use as a lump sum payment on debt. You can choose from the following equity release plans:
Interest-only lifetime mortgage
Home reversion plans
Equity release is not for everyone — and, even if it seems like a sensible option for you, the best equity release plan for tackling your debt problem will depend on your personal circumstances.
For this reason, it would be advisable for you to speak to a personal insolvency specialist, or a financial advisor, before drawing upon any equity release plan.
Since equity release can hamper your entitlement to benefit income and add to your mortgage borrowing costs, you might want to prioritise considering alternative means of debt relief.
What exactly is an ‘asset’?
Here, we use the term to mean anything you own that has a value. You could find yourself to have plenty of assets you would be able to offload in exchange for money.
When you look closely at your own assets, you could realise that some of them were originally sourced in exceptional circumstances and, largely for this reason, are now readily disposable.
For example, you might have originally bought a caravan just for taking with you on a specific holiday, or a motorcycle for displaying at an open-air show. Naturally, then, both vehicles could now be surplus to your requirements and well worth selling.
Nonetheless, your current circumstances could rule you out of selling particular items. Perhaps you own some jointly with someone else who insists on keeping them or the sale of certain items would be counterproductive due to associated fees, penalties, or other costs.
One of the main issues with selling assets is that it can be an unpredictable market. This means that it might take some time for you to sell your goods - particularly higher value items such as vehicles. If you’re being contacted by debt collectors or bailiffs, you need to attempt to reconcile your debt issues as fast as possible, as extra charges may be applied.
Because of this, a more traditional approach to clearing your debts may be preferential. If your debts are classed as unsecured, an IVA is the perfect solution, as it will give you legal protection against bailiffs and debt collectors.
A Bankruptcy Order
What if there is little chance of you paying off your debts in the foreseeable future? You might have to mull the option of bankruptcy, a form of insolvency that would place certain restrictions on you for a specific duration but ultimately enable you to write off debt.
Nonetheless, bankruptcy can have severe consequences, as it would typically entail assets you own — like your house — being sold to clear your debts. Once you have been discharged from your bankruptcy status, you will be free of nearly all your unsecured debts. Certain debts cannot be included, such as child maintenance arrears, student loans and court fines.
Before applying for bankruptcy, due to the potential consequences, you should consider alternative debt relief measures, such as striking informal agreements with creditors. It would also be worthwhile for you to educate yourself on what debts can and can’t be included in a bankruptcy order, to make sure it is appropriate for you.
For example, while bankruptcy can rid you of credit card debt, one of the most common kinds of unsecured debt, you would need to find a different strategy for dealing with student loan debt.
Can You Ask Your Creditors to Write Off Your Debts?
You might be unable to pay anything towards your debts. This could be because you are permanently incapable of working or have taken out bad loans in a fruitless attempt to rein in your debt level. In instances like these, creditors might be willing to write off debt on request.
- See that you are unlikely to make repayments to them
- Notice you lack assets that could go towards debt payment
- Realise that it would not be worthwhile or fair for them to try recovering money from you
Still, a creditor is likely to only agree to write off debt for you in special circumstances — and you would very likely need to provide evidence of these, such as with medical documentation.
On the more positive side, a creditor may be content to partially write off a debt on the condition that you agree to pay off the rest in a lump sum or monthly instalments.
Other Debt Advice
When trying to write off debt, it’s important to get as much help as possible by educating yourself on the situation. Being in debt can seem like a scary challenge, but help is available to you. Before making a decision on your next steps, it would be wise for you to heed a wealth of debt advice.
Our in-house licensed insolvency practitioner here at NDH Financial, has more than 15 years’ experience in providing help with debt relief. Our specialist focus is IVAs, but we would urge you to obtain debt advice before jumping straight into any debt relief option.
That way, you can be confident that the debt relief strategy you settle on will be a well-informed one. Detailed below are numerous reliable sources of debt advice.
Avoid Using Credit
One of the key things to consider is to try and avoid using credit for purchases, as this is one of the most common ways that people find themselves in debt.
With the advent of modern technology, credit purchases have become increasingly popular, with many people now choosing to finance their cars and other purchases, instead of buying them outright. Credit cards are now used often to buy things, with many shops and catalogues now offering credit options too.
Whilst buying on credit can seem like an easy idea at first, it can be hard to pay the money back if you don’t have it, particularly with the interest charges that are often added on. If in doubt, the best option is to try and avoid using credit - particularly if you don’t have the funds to be able to pay for the item in full at the time of purchase.
If you’re already in debt, you may find it hard to take out extra credit. If you find that you are able to still use credit, the interest charges may increase, or your credit score may take a further hit.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to stop using credit once you get into debt, to help mitigate the risk of increasing your debt in the future.
The independent organisation of Citizens Advice has a mission of assisting people with various problems — including those of legal, consumer, and housing categories. Citizens Advice also boasts rich expertise in debt management, including the following subjects:
Figuring out which debts to prioritise
Investigating methods for increasing income
Trimming regular outgoings
Checking options for eliminating debt
The Citizens Advice website has articles about all of these debt management subjects — and can also ease your efforts to deal with council tax arrears, mortgage arrears, court fines, and other urgent debts.
They’re a fantastic resource if you’re looking for advice on any subject, however you may still need to take out a debt relief option to deal with the debts themselves.
Once you’ve had a look through the advice available to you, give our friendly team a call and we’ll be happy to go over the future steps to becoming debt-free!
Residents of England and Wales can also consider applying for Breathing Space.
Under the scheme, you can have a certain level of protection against your creditors for up to 60 days — during which time, you will be required to continue making debt repayments. You will, however, be able to temporarily prevent:
Enforcement action being taken against you
Creditors getting in touch with you about debts covered by your Breathing Space
Creditors adding interest or charges to your debt
If you are being treated for a mental health crisis, the above protection can last for as long as the treatment as well as a further 30 days.
The good thing about taking out Breathing Space is that it gives you time to consider your options and create a plan of action towards tackling your debts.
During this time, you can choose a debt management option (for example, an IVA), giving you peace of mind and more power over your debts.
Seek Out Financial Advice
A debt adviser — otherwise known as a money adviser, financial adviser, or debt counsellor — has the responsibility of helping people who are facing difficulties in paying off debt. They work for FCA registered organisations, which includes charitable and private organisations, and can provide advice on all solutions for dealing with your debts
This kind of professional can assist you in not only exploring debt repayment methods but also handling adverse consequences of being in debt. A debt adviser can:
Look for details of benefits or entitlements you could potentially claim
Help you to write off debt sooner
Take account of your current financial circumstances while keeping them confidential
At NDH Financial, our in-house Insolvency Practitioner has been in the business for many years, having provided assistance to thousands of people in the process. Although we are not FCA Registered, as we have our own Insolvency Practitioner who is licenced through the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales,, we can still provide debt help , as we specialise in IVAs.
If you’re looking for help with your debts and think you might like to apply for an IVA, contact us today and we’ll see if we can help!
Will Your Credit Rating Be Impacted if You Write Your Debt Off?
If you have your debt written off in full, it will be marked as satisfied or settled on your credit history. Nevertheless, if you have missed any payments, the account has been defaulted prior to you paying the balance off, or you paid less than what was agreed, this will be recorded on your file for a minimum of six years.
In some instances, creditors could be willing to write off some of the debt you owe should you offer to pay the remaining amount over a few months or as a lump sum. This is what is known as a final and full settlement. This will be marked on your credit file as a partial payment.
There is no guarantee that your creditors will be willing to accept your offer. The chances of them agreeing to this will depend on the amount of money you are able to pay to them. Nevertheless, you have a better chance of this being accepted than your creditors simply agreeing to write off your entire balance.
Contact NDH Financial for Further Information about Writing Off Debt
As this page shows, there are various scenarios in which you would be able to achieve a debt write-off. However, we emphasise that the information here should be seen only as guidance - the onus is on you to discern what debt solution would best meet your needs.
At NDH Financial, we specialise in IVAs - they can be an ideal option for people who are struggling financially with more than one unsecured debt, so they’re worth considering if you come under that umbrella, especially if your circumstances mean you do not want to apply for bankruptcy, or are unable to obtain a DRO. If you’d like to find out a little more about the IVA process, our IVA Learning Hub is the place to be!
If you remain unsure whether it is practically possible for you to write off your particular debt, feel free to call us on 0800 002 9051 for further information or to apply for an IVA.
Do You Have Any More Questions?
Our IVA Learning Hub Can Help
We know you might have questions and that’s fine.
We can answer most of those on our call.
But we’ve also built our learning hub so that you can learn more about an IVA and see if one is right for you.
Click below to check it out.