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Questions asked regularly and interesting questions asked elsewhere on Beat My Debt are posted here for the benefit of all.
There is no time limit on the length of time a Debt Management Plan will last. This will depend on how much you owe and how much you can afford to repay each month (your Disposable Income).

There is normally no agreement from your creditors to write off any of the debt and therefore you will have to continue with the plan until all the debt is paid in full. If your creditors continue to add interest and late payment charges, then these will have to be repaid as well extending the length of the plan still further. This means that a Debt Management Plan may last several years.

Because there is no agreement with your creditors to write off debt, in practice it is normally not sensible to use a Debt Management Plan to try and solve a serious debt problem which will take more than 5 years to repay. Often, a Debt Management Plan will be used as a short term fix until your financial circumstances improve – perhaps you get a wage increase, your wife returns to work or children go to school and child minding costs are reduced.

If you feel that it will take longer than 5 years to repay your debt using a debt management plan, it may be a more sensible option to consider an IVA.