a family on the beach happy as they have had their debt written off.

Debt Written Off: Get Rid of the Financial Burden Now!

Dealing with debt can be an incredibly stressful experience. It can feel like a weight around your neck, a constant reminder of the financial obligations you have yet to fulfil. For many, the concept of having debts written off – effectively making them disappear – may seem like a fantasy. But what does it really mean to have your debt written off, and how can it alleviate the heavy financial burden you’re carrying?

When an outstanding debt, such as unsecured debts, is ‘written off’, it means that the creditor, the party to whom you owe money, has decided to give up on collecting the debt. This usually happens when the debtor is unable to make the agreed repayments due to financial hardship or other exceptional circumstances. While it may not eliminate all consequences, like potential impacts to your credit score, it does release you from the obligation of paying back the money you owe.

Understanding this concept and how it can be applied is critically important for anyone grappling with financial hardship. It can pave the way towards greater financial freedom and offer a chance to start afresh. With the right knowledge and help, such as from a licensed insolvency practitioner, you can navigate your way out of debt and into a more secure financial future. After all, everyone deserves the peace of mind that comes with financial stability. Let’s explore this further.

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Understanding Debt Write-off

Before we delve deeper into the topic of getting your debts written off, it’s crucial to understand some key terms. Having a firm grasp of these concepts will help you better navigate your way through financial discussions and decisions.


Debt is the amount of money that one party, known as the debtor, owes to another party, known as the creditor. Debt can come in many forms such as mortgages, student loans, credit card bills, or business rates. It is typically agreed to be repaid over a set period of time, with additional interest.


Credit refers to an agreement where a person receives something of value now and agrees to repay the creditor at a later date. This could be a loan from a bank or money to purchase goods or services on a credit card. Your ‘creditworthiness’, or ability to borrow money, is typically assessed based on your past behaviour with borrowed money, which is recorded in your credit file. Debt management involves finding several debt solutions to manage your total debt effectively.


The creditor is the party to whom you owe money. This could be a bank, credit card company, or other type of lender.

Unsecured Debt

Unsecured debt refers to loans that are not backed by an underlying asset or collateral like a house or car. Examples include credit card debt and personal loans. If the debtor cannot repay an unsecured debt, the creditor cannot claim the debtor’s property without first getting a court order.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, based on an analysis of your credit file. Lenders use your credit score to determine whether to give you credit or to lend you money, and what interest rate they should charge you. Events like late payments, defaults, or having debt written off, can negatively impact your credit score.

With these key terms clarified, we can now explore the process and possibilities of having debt written off, which can often involve negotiating a binding agreement with creditors or seeking the help of a licensed insolvency practitioner.

Process of Getting Debts Written Off

There are several avenues for having debts written off, each with its own set of rules and implications. Here are some of the most common methods and situations that allow for debt write-off in the UK:

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is a legally binding agreement between you and your creditors where you agree to make reduced payments towards the total amount of your debt for a period of usually 5 to 6 years. The rest of the debt is then written off at the end of this term. An IVA must be set up by a licensed insolvency practitioner.


Bankruptcy is a court order that you can apply for if you’re unable to repay your outstanding debts. When you’re declared bankrupt, your assets (property, vehicles, etc.) can be used to pay your creditors. Most remaining debts will be written off, and you will be ‘discharged’ from these debts usually after 12 months. However, bankruptcy can have serious consequences, including a significant negative impact on your credit report for six years.

Debt Relief Order (DRO)

If you have a low income, minimal assets, and debt less than £30,000, a DRO can be a good option. A DRO is a form of insolvency that enables your debts to be frozen for a year and then written off if your financial situation hasn’t improved.

Statute Barred Debt

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, creditors have a six-year time limit (or 12 years if the debt is secured by a mortgage) to pursue most types of debt. This means if a creditor doesn’t take action to recover a debt within this time, it could become statute barred, and they lose the right to recover the money.

Other Potential Solutions

  • Composition Order: If a court has judged that you are unable to pay your debts in full, they may issue a composition order. This is an agreement that allows you to make regular payments that are a fraction of what you owe until the debt is paid off.
  • Administration Order: If you have a court judgment against you and your total debts are £5,000 or less, you could consider an administration order. The court decides how much of your debts you can afford to repay, based on your income and expenditure, and how long the arrangement will last.
  • Trust Deed (Scotland only): Similar to an IVA, a protected trust deed is a formal, legally-binding agreement between you and your creditors to make regular payments over a period of four years. After this time, any remaining debt is usually written off.

Circumstances That Allow for Debt Write-Off

In some cases, certain circumstances may allow for the writing off of debt, including:

  • Death: If a person dies, any debts owed by them are paid out from their estate (money, property and possessions) if possible. If there isn’t enough money to pay the debts, they will usually be written off.
  • Overpayment: In the case of benefit overpayment, the Department for Work and Pensions can recover debts from a deceased person’s estate. If the estate has been closed, they can sometimes ask the person dealing with the estate to repay the money.
  • Penalty Charges: Some financial institutions may agree to write off debt if it has mainly accrued from penalty charges, such as those for missed payments.

Remember, getting your debts written off is a complex process and it’s essential to get expert advice before pursuing any of these options. Our team at Become Debt Free is here to help. We are a team of licensed insolvency practitioners dedicated to helping individuals struggling with debt. Call us on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website.

Debt Write-off in the UK

If you’re struggling with debts in the UK, it’s crucial to understand the legislation and protocols that apply to your situation. This section will guide you through key points about debt write-off in the context of England and Wales.

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Legislation Relevant to England & Wales

Debt write-off in England and Wales is primarily governed by the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Here’s how they apply to your debt situation:

  • The Insolvency Act 1986 provides the legal framework for all matters relating to insolvency, including bankruptcy, IVAs, and administration orders.
  • The Consumer Credit Act 1974 sets out your rights when you enter into a credit agreement. It includes specific rules regarding interest charges, default charges and your right to early repayment. Furthermore, it also provides provisions for unfair relationships between creditors and borrowers, which could, in certain circumstances, lead to a debt write-off.

R3 Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIP)

The R3 Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIP) provide best practice guidelines to licensed insolvency practitioners when dealing with cases of insolvency. In the context of debt write-off, key points from these statements include:

  • All insolvency work should be conducted in a manner that respects the objectives of insolvency legislation and the needs of all creditors.
  • There should be transparency and accountability in all dealings with creditors and other stakeholders.
  • Insolvency practitioners should provide advice that is impartial, honest, and devoid of any conflicts of interest.

Debt Write-off Process and Requirements in the UK

For a debt to be written off in the UK, you generally need to go through a legal process that involves either an agreement with your creditors or a court order. The process you go through will depend on your individual circumstances, such as your income, your assets, and the type of debt.

Here are the main steps involved in each process:

  • Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA): Initiated with the help of a licensed insolvency practitioner, who will review your financial situation and help you propose a payment plan to your creditors. If the majority of your creditors (by debt value) agree to the IVA, all are bound by it.
  • Bankruptcy: Initiated either by you (if you can’t pay your debts) or by your creditors (if they’re owed £5,000 or more). You’ll need to apply to the court, and if it agrees to make you bankrupt, an official receiver will take control of your assets and deal with your creditors.
  • Debt Relief Order (DRO): You apply through an authorised debt advisor, who will submit your application to the Insolvency Service. A DRO is granted if you meet the criteria, including having a low income, few assets, and debts less than £20,000.
  • Administration Order: Applied for through your local County Court, where a judge will decide if an order is to be made. Your debts and creditors will then be managed by the court.

Whether your debts can be written off will ultimately depend on your personal circumstances and the type of debts you have. It’s also important to remember that having debts written off can have implications for your credit rating and future borrowing. That’s why it’s essential to get professional advice before making any decisions.

If you need help navigating these options, the team at Become Debt Free is here to help. We are licensed insolvency practitioners who can assist you in finding the right solution for your debt problems. Give us a call at 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website.

Impact of Debt Write-off

When you’re in a position to have your debts written off, it’s a huge relief. However, it’s also important to consider the potential impact this might have on your financial future and overall well-being.

Impact on Credit Score, Credit Report, and Future Borrowing

Debt write-off can significantly impact your credit score. If you’ve gone through bankruptcy, an IVA, or a debt relief order, this will be recorded on your credit file for six years, even if you’ve paid off your debts in full or they’ve been written off. This will make it harder for you to get credit in the future, as it signals to lenders that you’ve had problems paying back your debts in the past.

Credit reference agencies keep records of all your financial activity for six years. If you have a debt written off, this will be marked on your credit report as a ‘default’, which can make it harder for you to get credit in the future. However, over time, if you manage any new credit responsibly, your credit score should gradually improve.

Keep in mind that each creditor has their own lending criteria, and some may be more willing to lend to you than others, even with a history of debt write-off.

Impact on Mental Health and Overall Well-being

Financial worries can have a significant impact on mental health. The stress of dealing with debt can lead to anxiety, depression, and even more serious mental health issues.

Having a debt written off can provide a fresh start and greatly reduce the burden of financial stress. This can have a positive impact on mental health and overall well-being. However, it’s essential to seek support and develop new money management skills to prevent getting back into debt.

Remember, you are not alone. Various organisations can provide advice and support, including Become Debt Free. Our expert team can guide you through the process and help you choose the best debt solution for your particular circumstances. If you need help, don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website.

How Become Debt Free Can Help

Financial troubles can seem overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that help is available. That’s where Become Debt Free comes in.

Role of a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner

Licensed insolvency practitioners play a vital role in helping individuals and businesses in financial distress. They provide expert advice and guidance on a range of debt solutions, including IVAs, bankruptcy, and debt relief orders.

Our insolvency practitioners at Become Debt Free are highly trained and regulated professionals. They’re equipped with the necessary knowledge to guide you through the process of resolving your financial issues based on your specific circumstances.

Services Provided by Become Debt Free

At Become Debt Free, our services extend beyond just providing advice. We’re dedicated to helping you take control of your financial situation. Here’s a glimpse of what we offer:

  • Expert advice on a range of debt solutions
  • Guidance on managing your disposable income and expenditure
  • Support through the process of setting up an IVA
  • Assistance in dealing with creditors
  • Help with navigating the complex legal landscape of debt write-off

Dealing with debt can be a stressful and complex process, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. If you’re struggling with your financial situation and need professional advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Call us today at 0800 169 1536, or leave an enquiry on our website to begin your journey towards financial freedom. With Become Debt Free, you’re taking a step towards regaining control of your finances and making a fresh start. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to have debt written off?

Having a debt written off means that your creditor decides you no longer need to repay the money you owe. This can happen under several circumstances, such as when the debt is statute-barred or when an insolvency practitioner agrees to a formal debt solution like an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or bankruptcy.

How does a debt write-off impact my credit score?

A debt write-off can negatively impact your credit score. It will typically appear on your credit report for six years from the date it was settled or defaulted. This may make it harder for you to borrow money in the future. However, it’s important to remember that this impact is temporary and your score will begin to recover over time.

What’s the role of an insolvency practitioner in debt write-off?

A licensed insolvency practitioner (like those at Become Debt Free) can provide advice on various debt solutions, including IVAs and debt relief orders. They can guide you through the process of setting up a debt solution and provide assistance in dealing with your creditors.

Can all debts be written off?

Not all debts can be written off. Secured debts, such as mortgages or car loans, cannot typically be written off through debt solutions like an IVA or bankruptcy. Also, some types of unsecured debt, such as court fines or student loans, may not be included in these debt solutions.

What’s the difference between an IVA and bankruptcy?

An IVA and bankruptcy are both formal debt solutions but they work in different ways. An IVA allows you to repay a portion of your debts over a set period (usually five years), after which the rest is written off. Bankruptcy, on the other hand, involves selling your assets to repay your debts. The choice between these two solutions will depend on your individual circumstances and should be made with the advice of a licensed insolvency practitioner.

Is debt write-off the same as debt forgiveness?

While they may sound similar, debt write-off and debt forgiveness are not the same. Debt forgiveness refers to your creditor voluntarily cancelling your debt, often due to hardship or exceptional circumstances. Debt write-off typically occurs as a result of a formal agreement or legal ruling.

Remember, if you’re facing financial difficulty and considering getting your debts written off, it’s essential to seek professional advice. At Become Debt Free, we’re here to help. Call us on 0800 169 1536 or visit our website to get started.


Facing a mounting pile of debt can feel overwhelming, but it’s crucial to understand that you’re not alone in this situation. Many people struggle with debt and there are solutions available that can alleviate your financial burden. Debt write-off is one such solution that could offer you a fresh start. While it does come with some potential impacts, such as a temporary dip in your credit score, the long-term benefits often outweigh these concerns, especially when mental health and overall well-being are considered.

The key to finding the right solution is to have a clear understanding of your situation, know your options and seek the right advice. This is where we, at Become Debt Free, step in. As licensed insolvency practitioners, we’re committed to helping you navigate through this challenging time. We work closely with you to understand your unique circumstances, provide comprehensive advice on possible solutions and guide you throughout the process.

So, don’t let your debt burden define your life. Take the first step towards becoming debt-free by reaching out to us today. Call us on 0800 169 1536 or leave an enquiry on our website. Remember, every journey begins with a single step and your journey to financial freedom is no different. It’s time to take that step, and we are here to help you along the way.


The primary sources for this article are listed below.

How to get a Debt Relief Order (DRO) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Trust deeds in Scotland – Citizens Advice Scotland

Details of our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content can be found in our editorial policy here.

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Customers can get free debt advice from the Money Advice Service – an organisation set up by the Government to offer free and impartial advice to those in debt. For more information from the Money Advice Service visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk. MAS is part of the Money & Pensions Service. We are not affiliated with MAS in any way.

Become Debt Free is a trading style of Re10 (Finance) Limited Registered Number 04651137.  Data Protection Act Registration Number – Z8613095

Become Debt Free specialise in providing and administering Individual Voluntary Arrangement (“IVA”) solutions to individuals based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  We do not administer Debt Management Plans, Debt Relief Orders, or any other debt solutions.  We only provide advice after completing or receiving an initial fact find where the individual(s) concerned meets the criteria for an IVA, therefore, all advice is given in reasonable contemplation of an insolvency appointment.

* To qualify for debt write off in an IVA with us, you must have a minimum of £7,000 of qualifying unsecured debt owed to two or more creditors.  The amount of debt write off is based on your own personal circumstances – typically this could be up to 85% of what you owe; and this has been achieved by over 10% of our customers who have successfully completed their IVA’s in the last 12 months.  The amount of debt write off differs for each customer and is dependent upon their individual financial circumstances and subject to the approval of their creditors.

Andrew Bowers is authorised in the UK to act as Insolvency Practitioner by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.


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