Hundreds of Thanet people resort to Debt Relief Orders to deal with financial struggles

Financial news

More than 700 people in Thanet have applied for a Debt Relief Order in the last 10 years, according to newly-published figures highlighted by the free National Debtline advice service.

National Debtline is predicting that many more Thanet residents who are in financial difficulty will soon become eligible for Debt Relief Orders, ahead of “welcome” changes this month.

A Debt Relief Order is a way of dealing with debt that is designed for people with low incomes and few assets – and can give people who are eligible a fresh start by writing off unmanageable debts after 12 months.

National Debtline’s analysis of new figures published by the Insolvency Service shows a total of 743 people in Thanet have applied for a Debt Relief Order over the last 10 years.

Changes announced in last month’s Budget will remove the long-standing £90 fee to apply for a Debt Relief Order from 6th April onwards. Further changes to eligibility rules from 28th June, include an increase to the maximum level of debt applicants can have from £30,000 to £50,000.

National Debtline says these changes will mean Debt Relief Orders will become an option for many more people in future.

Separate findings from the government-backed Money and Pensions Service suggest that 13% of Thanet residents are in need of debt advice right now, which National Debtline says shows the continuing impact of the cost of living crisis on families.

The charity-run service is urging anyone in Thanet who is struggling to seek free debt advice by calling National Debtline on 0808 808 4000.

National Debtline provides free, independent debt advice over the phone and online, and is also able to register people who are eligible for a Debt Relief Order where this is the best option for them.

The charity has further information about Debt Relief Orders at:

Steve Vaid, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “Millions of people are feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis, and for many the effects have left deep financial scars.

“With 13% of Thanet residents in need of debt advice now, our message to anyone worried about their finances is to seek free advice from National Debtline as soon as possible.

“No one has to face their debts alone – our expert National Debtline advisers are here to help, and will work with you to make a plan to tackle your debts.

“With welcome changes to Debt Relief Orders starting from this month, this option will now become available to more people who are unable to repay what they owe.  Whether or not you are eligible for any particular debt solution, there is always something that National Debtline advisers can do to help – so I would urge anyone struggling to get in touch straight away.”

Anyone worried about their finances, in Thanet or elsewhere, can speak to a National Debtline adviser for free, independent advice – including on Debt Relief Orders – over the phone on 0808 808 4000, or get advice online at



  1. So people have had to pay a £90.00 fee to apply for a “Debt Relief Order” you couldn’t make it up could you?

    • Not if you wait until Saturday & if you wait until the end of June you can get away with not having to pay back an extra £20,000. So there’s still a few weeks left to increase any debt. Madness! You’re right. You couldn’t make it up.

  2. So,you can rack up £50k of debt and then have it all paid!No doubt,to continue a feckless lifestyle and rack up more.
    Where is the money coming from,to finance this?No incentive,at all,to live a sensible lifestyle.

    • It has been the case for ma years years that people can write off debts by declaring themselves bankrupt. It’s nothing new.
      But if you do choose to go down this sort or route, you will find that it is very difficult indeed to get any sort of credit or to operate a bank account.
      I wonder how it’s possible for ordinary people to run up such huge debts. Maybe lenders should be more responsible.

    • Well said Doris.Many of the debtors spend irresponsibly because they have to have the best of everything and then the rest of us are left to pay for their selfishness via higher prices and higher insurance rates.

  3. Those 700 are the small tip of a very big iceberg.
    I know of five local women from a support group I’m involved with who have turned to doing sex work to keep a roof over their children’s heads and avoid claiming benefits. They in turn know of other women doing the same thing. Some travel to London for two three days a week such is the living in the U.K. Under the Conservatives. Ironically one of the ladies regularly clients is a Tory MP who told her “ had you not been an escort you would not have met me”

    • So they’ve effectively made career choices, for them sex work being what they believe to be the best option.

  4. Not necessarily the MP is a multimillionaire so I doubt he is living hand to mouth with his “pittance of pay” as he calls it.

    • An excellent point. Just like a lot of people who use food banks. Some people cannot afford to feed themselves but can still manage to own the latest iPhone, Nike air max trainers costing £175, smoke fags and weed and then cover their bodies in tattoos costing thousands of pounds. I think a lot of people have a warped sense of priorities.

      • I wonder how the local drug dealers will react when their clients don’t pay because they have a ”Debt Relief Order” . . .

        Similarly tattoo parlours, nail bars, etc.

  5. What a bunch of self righteous Ebenezer’s you are.
    Ann, who I don’t always agree with is trying to tell you why people get into uncontrollable debt, and you hard faced individuals bang on about the debtors improvidence,
    Yes, some might well be not very good with money, but look at it this way. You rack up the rent on the miserable hovel you let to some of these debtors, maybe some of them are suffering from long COVID and are unable to work, or their employer cuts their hours or reduces their terms and conditions of employment or the washing machine breaks down.or some other problem, which to us would seem.minor, means that a small debt they are paying off, no doubt on extortionate interest racks up and up, till they have no way to pay it off.Add in a few debt charges and legal fees and the debt balloons far from the original capital sum.
    I once saw an old couple crumple before me at a Citizens advice session over a debt that had ballooned because of the cost of an overpriced chair that some ratbag had sold them.The debt was mostly interest on interest and so will it be most of these debt write offs .They will not achieve these write offs if the court thinks they can reasonably pay.
    Who will pay the debt, why the firms that mismanaged the debt in the first place.I would expect that many of these debtors will have paid the capital imany times over.
    Perhaps instead of being self righteous key board warriors, you ought to join citizens advice and see for yourselves the misery that corporate Britain wreaks upon many of its customers.
    I might have guessed that the pink devil of self righteousness would weigh in with her usual garbage about the undeserving poor, but perhaps some of you might be capable of salvation.
    You want to know who is the most irresponsible and improvident debtor in this country? Why our current government who tried to borrow shed load of money to fund tax cuts, and some of you voted for them.If you want to bang on about undeserving debtors write to Mackinlay and Sir Roger and tell them what you think, because they are as responsible as mad Liz Truss for our financial predicament.

      • That you speak so disparaging on such serious health matters confirms (if confirmation were necessary) the widely held opinion that you are, to say the least, not a great asset to society.

          • On the one hand, there is the world-wide body of medical and scientific opinion; on the other, Ms pink.
            What peer-reviewed, published research have you done that justifies your opinion that Long Covid and Mental Health can be thought of nothing more serious than ‘flu or a bad back?

          • I didn’t say that at all.

            All I’m stating is that Long Covid and Mental Health are the latest excuses used by the work-shy. I know several of the lazy effers personally.

    • Volunteering at Citizens Advice is certainly an eye-opener. I did so for a few years. Some clients who seemed to need to get a grip maybe, but plenty dealing with awful situations that were not their fault. Often with considerable courage.

    • Maybe these people, who rack up large debts,should be made to attend classes about responsible budgeting and the perils of feckless spending.However,many are aware that they have a divine,self entitled right to have what they want,for themselves and their many offspring.
      This debt relief will just encourage more irresponsible spending on such necessities as fags,booze,drugs,designer clothes,holidays,tanning and nail bars,etc….

  6. TLDR. Perhaps lenders ought to be a little more cautious now that the magic wand of a DRO can extinguish their eagerly offer loans?

    The DRO changes are most likely to exclude certain loans, such as tax bills and child support, and most certainly any loans obtained after a certain cut off date to prevent abuse.

    Falling into debt due to “improvidence” is easy if lenders enable it so.

  7. I really sympathise with those who have debt. Especially those who are in that position simply because their income is lower than their expenditure. However I also strongly believe that the first step to assisting those on low incomes should be free classes in budgeting. And everyone who receives benefits should be obligated to attend in order to assist themselves.

    In fact, take that a step further, include it on the school curriculum so that every youngster learns before they even find themselves in such a position.

    But I also agree with some of the comments above that some of those on benefits / lower incomes always still want the newest phones, pay TV, nail treatments etc etc.

    • “…want the newest phones, pay TV, nail treatments etc etc.”
      Don’t we all.
      There’s nothing wrong in dreaming.
      The difficulty arises when the providers of these goods and services don’t make adequate checks on the capability of people to pay.

    • Your language is a bit blunt Fred, but I agree with the sentiment. People do need to take responsibility for their own actions.

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