TEF Debt Support

If you have lots of debts and are struggling to pay, there are things you can do to help you get out of debt.

You might be able to talk to your creditors and arrange a way to pay them, or make a formal agreement called a 'debt solution'.

You’ll need to decide what the best solution is for your situation. It’ll depend on things like:

  • the type of debts you have
  • the total amount of debt you have
  • how much money you can pay towards your debts

If you have some money to pay your debts, you could arrange to pay off your debts over a few years. You might be able to get a debt management plan, an administration order or an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA).

If you don’t have any money to pay your debts there are still options that could help you. If you owe less than £30,000, you might be able to apply for a Debt Relief Order (DRO). If you owe more than £30,000 applying for bankruptcy might be an option.


Before you explore any debt solutions it's important to talk to your creditors. You might be able to come to an agreement with them to pay off your debts, or get more time to work out your situation. 

If you've already agreed to make payments to your creditors you should still check if other debt solutions could help you - there might be a better way forward.

If you don’t feel able to talk to your creditors directly, or they won’t agree to your offers, check if you can use another solution. 


If you're not ready to use a debt solution or you can't afford to right now, the government-backed Breathing Space scheme could give you extra time.

If you’re eligible, you could get 60 days of breathing space where your creditors can’t:

  • contact you
  • take action to make you pay
  • add interest and charges to your debt

It covers most debts, including credit and store cards, loans, overdrafts and arrears on household bills. You'll need to get advice from a debt adviser first - they’ll check all your debts to see if they’re covered.


If you’re getting mental health crisis treatment

You might be able to get breathing space from your creditors for the whole time you're getting crisis treatment, plus 30 days after. Crisis treatment includes things like getting emergency or acute mental health care in hospital or the community.


Use our free budgeting sheet and other free resources to help support you back to good financial health.  

TEF Budget Sheet
PDF – 134.0 KB 195 downloads
TEF Hold Action On Your Account
PDF – 70.4 KB 199 downloads
TEF Reconsider A Token Offer
PDF – 70.5 KB 218 downloads