Bankruptcy or debt agreement: what’s the best option?

21 October 2015

Bankruptcy or debt agreement: what’s the best option?

Despite your best efforts, are your debts out of control?

If you are unable to get your debts under control, it might be time to think about taking action. Two common solutions are signing a debt agreement or filing for bankruptcy. Before you decide on bankruptcy as your last resort, here are some important facts you need to know about debt agreements.

Signing a debt agreement

A debt agreement allows you to make a repayment offer to your creditors based upon what you can reasonably afford to pay. If the agreement is accepted by your creditors, it becomes a legally binding arrangement in which you make regular repayments until the end of the term — which is no more than five years.


  • Interest is frozen on all your provable unsecured debts.
  • You will no longer receive calls from debt collectors about the debts captured by your debt agreement.
  • You will have a single, manageable regular repayment to pay off the debts captured by the debt agreement rather than having to make repayments to multiple banks and lenders.
  • It is a legally binding agreement, and one that your creditors must adhere to.
  • Once the agreement is finalised, you are released from your unsecured debts captured by the debt agreement.


  • The debt agreement is listed on your credit report for five years, which could affect your ability to obtain credit during this period.
  • A public record of your debt agreement will be permanently listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII). This is searchable through the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) website.
  • Debt agreements have an impact on certain careers as some professional bodies and trade associations may impose certain restrictions or conditions should a member or licensee enter into a debt agreement (e.g accountants, lawyers, barristers, tax agents etc).

Fox Symes is the largest provider of debt solutions to individuals and businesses in Australia. Fox Symes helps over 100,000 Australians each year resolve their debt and take financial control.

If you are in debt and want to know more about the solutions available to you contact us on 1300 098 127.

Have your Say

All comments are moderated, and your name may appear with your public comment.

Colin Proudley

i am seeking advice on how to best deal with my current situation. November 2017 i had a workplace accident and haven't worked since while the long term prospect of me ever working are slim, i have managed since then to keep all my payments under control but unfortunately i am almost out of money, i will attempt to go on welfare payments once i am broke but i want to avoid going bankrupt, i thought about trying o withdraw from my super but i was told that i could only withdraw 10k once, i am looking for advice on which way i can go before i have to surrender my assets,any help or advice would be great or who i can contact for advice going forward,
thank you for your time in this matter
Colin Proudley

Gail Cowe

Hi i am just wondering, My husband and son in law are looking at trying to get backing to be able to purchase a house. As we are paying dead money into other peoples property over the last four years we have paid 75000,00 into someone elses property. My question is i have a debt agreement with you and would like to know would i be able to go on the application or because of my debt agreement i am not able to.


Hi i have almost completed paying off my debts. I am wondering if after i finalise them and it has been 5 years of me being with fox symes, Will i get a credit rating back or will it be bad still?

Fox Symes

Hi Lynette,

You will be able to apply for a loan, however the debt agreement is listed on your credit report for five years, which could affect you successfully obtaining a loan during this period.

Kind regards,
Fox Symes

Lynette Gordon

Hi just a query can I apply for a loan once I have paid off my Debt Agreement???