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Rise in people needing debt relief as cost of living continues to bite   

National Debtline responds to the latest monthly Insolvency Statistics.

Posted March 15, 2024

  The Insolvency Service has published its latest monthly Insolvency Statistics, showing personal insolvencies were up by 23% compared to February 2023 at 10,136.  

The rise was driven by a 44% increase in Debt Relief Orders (DRO) applications compared to February 2023. In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced an end to fees for DRO’s from April, a move that National Debtline has welcomed as vital to tackling financial barriers to accessing this avenue for debt relief.  

Applications for the Government’s Breathing Space scheme were also higher in February 2024 – up 10% on the same period last year. The scheme gives people the time to make a plan for dealing with their debt after seeking advice, without being subject to creditor collection and enforcement activity.  

 Responding to these latest figures, National Debtline is urging people in financial difficulty to seek debt advice, saying its advisers can help including checking eligibility for the Government’s Breathing Space scheme and Debt Relief Orders.  

David Cheadle, acting chief executive at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline said:     

“These figures highlight the impact that sustained high costs have had for many people, as the number of people accessing debt options has risen.  

“As a growing number of people need help with their debts, services like National Debtline continue to play a crucial role in ensuring they access the option that is right for them.  

“Breathing Space gives people time after seeking free debt advice to find a safe route out of debt without creditors chasing them.  

"However, many people may not know about the scheme, or how it can help them – so my advice would be to get in touch with National Debtline if you are struggling to see if you are eligible for the scheme. Even if you aren’t eligible for this particular scheme, our advisers are here to help and can find the right option for you. "

National Debtline provides free, independent advice – including on the Breathing Space scheme. Contact us free on 0808 808 4000 or via     

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