Breathing Space Debt Respite Scheme

Temporary protection from your creditors whilst you find a solution.

We provide IVAs by our licensed insolvency practitioner regulated by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. We provide information about all debt solutions but we do not provide advice as we are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Looking to apply for the Breathing Space, Debt Respite Scheme?

If you‘re struggling with your debts and meet the above qualifying criteria, then:

  • For Standard Breathing Space
    You must apply through an official debt advisor who will reach out to your creditors on your behalf.
  • For Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space
    You would apply via a mental health professional.
debt fees

You could consider an IVA if...

  • You owe £6,000 or more?
  • Your debt is hard to manage?
  • You can afford £100 or more?

If you’re struggling with unaffordable debt you could be eligible for professional debt help.

UK residents have a right to debt help and there are several tried and tested debt solutions that can help not only to write off debt but also reduce pressure from creditors and freeze interest and charges.

Debt help solutions such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) can be a positive way to manage problem debt.

If the answer is “Yes” to the above questions Money Advice could hold the key to your debt-free future as you could be eligible for legislated debt help to ease the pressure and write off part of what you owe.


Check if you qualify

A typical example of an IVA*

  • Personal unsecured debt: £39,500
  • Number of lenders: 5
Loans £17,000
Overdrafts £3,000
Credit cards £13,500
Store Cards £4,500
Utility Bills £1,500
Total Owed £39,500

Your monthly debt repayments:






*A debt write-off amount of around 78% is realistic based on the average figures of IVA clients between June 2023 to June 2024. We assess each customer individually based on their circumstances and payments to the IVA are based on what is realistic and affordable.

What is breathing space?

Breathing space is a scheme introduced in 2021 throughout England and Wales to help consumers struggling with problem debt.

There are two types of Breathing Space available. Both involve temporary protection from debt collection as measures are taken to get on top of outstanding debt.

For the duration, your creditors will not chase you for the debt and will also pause interest and charges. In return, you’d be to report any change in circumstances and keep up your regular payments such as mortgage repayments and tax.

Read on for more information on different types of Breathing Space.

Standard Breathing Space

This is a type of Breathing Space aimed at any consumers who are struggling with problem debt. To qualify, you must apply through an official debt advisor.

The benefits of this option include:

  • Creditors and debt collectors pause contact
  • Interest and charges are frozen for the duration of the scheme
  • You have time to look into a solution without added pressure from creditors

The Standard Breathing Space lasts up to 60 days maximum. After the initial 30 days, a review takes place to determine whether you will qualify for the extension.

Mental Health Breathing Space

This type of Breathing Space is intended for consumers struggling with debt, whilst also receiving Mental Health Crisis treatment, e.g. detained under the Mental Health Act.

If you qualify, then you will receive the same protection as Standard Breathing Space, but there are a few differences:

  • You can apply any time you receive Mental Health Crisis treatment
  • It lasts as long as your treatment does, plus an extra 30 days at the end
  • You do not need to seek debt advice beforehand

Who qualifies for breathing space?

Some of the eligibility criteria for Breathing Space include:

  • You must not already be in an insolvency solution, e.g. IVA, DRO or Bankruptcy
  • You must be situated in England or Wales
  • You can’t have been on Standard Breathing Space within the last 12 months
  • You must agree to not take out any further credit exceeding £500 whilst on the scheme

Get debt free

Are you struggling to pay your debt?

See if you qualify for an IVA

IVA Support

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Start today

Step 1

Get in touch

Private & Confidential Support

The first step is the hardest but you’re in the right place – talking with one of our friendly assessors can help get the ball rolling.

Step 2

Explore your options

Debt help without judgment

Talk to us about your situation, and we’ll let you know if an IVA may be a potential solution for you.

Step 3

Take action

No Obligation Service

We can carry out a suitability assessment, and if you qualify for an IVA we can help put together an application with you. There’ll be no obligation and we’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have along the way.

Debt and Mental Health

Dealing with debts can be incredibly stressful – if you feel that your financial situation is impacting your health, then there is help available to you.

We’ve gathered some information together that may help you recognise the signs that you may be struggling, as well as further support that is available to you.

What are my options?

If you are struggling to keep up repayments to your unsecured debts, but do not necessarily qualify for Breathing Space, then there are still options available that you could consider.

If you qualify for an IVA, you can still receive legal protection from creditors and have interest and charges frozen. A Debt Relief Order will also give you legal protection and could be an option for those with little to no assets or income each month.

Looking to find out more about the difference between an IVA and Debt Relief Order?

Learn more

Based in Scotland?

You can apply for an equivalent of Breathing Space called a ‘Debt Moratorium.’ Under this scheme, you can get 6 months free from creditor pressure so that you can take your time to improve your situation – such as seeking new employment or registering for a debt solution.

Learn more

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Our team of experts help thousands of families get their finances back on track with an IVA.

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We will offer support to help you find a solution.

To find out more about managing your money and getting free advice, visit Money Helper, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.

Check if you qualify for an IVA