Breathing Space

Breathing space. (Debt Respite Scheme)

A Breathing Space or Debt Respite Scheme is a government initiative that offers temporary relief from creditor pressure to individuals facing debt. It provides a period where interest, charges, and enforcement actions are frozen, allowing individuals to seek debt advice and develop a sustainable repayment plan. The scheme aims to provide crucial protection and support, empowering individuals to regain control of their finances and work towards resolving their debt without constant creditor pressure.

During the scheme, individuals can engage with professional debt advisors to assess their financial situation and create a realistic plan for managing their debts. It is important to seek guidance from an approved debt advisor to access the scheme’s benefits. The Breathing Space or Debt Respite Scheme offers a vital break from creditor actions, giving individuals the time and support needed to address their debts and strive for long-term financial stability.

Breathing Space is a new debt option that gives you temporary protection from the creditors you owe money to if you’re struggling with debts.

This includes:

  • Freezing most interest, fees and charges on debts
  • Pausing most enforcement action and contact from creditors


There are 2 types of Breathing Space:

  • Standard Breathing Space – which you apply for through debt advice, and which lasts for up to 60 days, with a review between days 25 and 35.

  • Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space – which is specifically for people in mental health crisis treatment and can only be applied for with an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMPH). It lasts for the duration of your treatment, plus 30 days.