Can I add new debts to my existing debt management plan?
2 March 2011
By James Falla (about the author)
If you are already in a debt management plan, we consider whether you can add additional debts at a later date. Debts which you had either forgotten about or which you have taken out since you started the plan.
It is not unusual for someone who has already started a DMP (Debt Management Plan) to want to add additional debts to it.
When you first set up your DMP you may have forgotten about a debt or debts which have now come to light. It may also have been possible for you to borrow additional money since you started your plan for example from a pay day lender which you are now struggling to repay.
If you need to add additional debts to your existing DMP this might be possible as long as they are unsecured debts. However it is important to understand the consequenses of this.
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Including new debts into your debt management plan will mean that all your creditors will receive a slightly lower payment each month. This is because your disposable income – the amount you can pay towards your debts in total - will have to be divided between more accounts.
If any of the people you owe money to in your original plan have already stopped interest and late payment charges, reducing the amount you pay them could mean they start to reapply these charges to your balances once again.
They will argue you have broken the original DMP agreement you made with them and so they are at liberty to add additional interest.
Once there is a track record or your new monthly payments being paid on time, your creditors should be persuaded to freeze their interest once again. However, you should remember that a debt management plan is an informal agreement and there are no guarantees of when interest will be frozen.
What if your DMP Company says they can no longer work with you?
If you are working with a debt management company who manages your debt management plan there is no reason why they cannot simply include the new debts into your plan for you.
Having said that, some debt management organisations may argue that you have broken the rules of your DMP by taking more credit. They may then react by telling you that they can no longer deal with you. If this is the case, you can move to a new debt management company.
Remember, many debt management companies will make a charge to take on a new case. However there are some that will not charge you a fee if you are already in a plan.
Ideally you should shop around and find one of these but at the very least understand what if any charge the new company will make to take on your DMP.
It is always best not to get yourself in a position where you have to add new debts to an existing debt management plan if you can possibly help it.
When you are setting up a DMP, if you do not think you can remember all of your debts, a good tip is to get a copy of your credit file. This will help you identify everyone that you owe money to.
Once you are in your plan, the best advice is that you should not borrow more money if you can possibly avoid it.
If you do find that you are still struggling to make your DMP payment and keep up with all of your other household bills, then you should speak to your debt management company. Discuss your living expenses budget with them again and look to reduce the amount you pay each month rather than borrow more from a door stop lender.
Of course, this is all very often easier said than done. If you do find yourself in a position where you have extra debts, do not delay in adding them to your existing DMP.
Taking action and adding them to your plan may cause some short term pain. However, having them in the plan will mean that they can be repaid in a managed and sensible way.
Arrange a call with a Debt Management Expert