Debt advice for customers paying by Direct Debit or payment card

If you're struggling to make your TV Licence payments, you'll find help here with answers to the most frequently asked questions.

I’m finding it hard to keep up the payments for my current TV Licence. What can I do?

We know that some customers find paying the licence fee difficult. We will do all we can to help. If you have a question about your payments, please contact us as soon as possible to talk about what to do next.

If you pay for your licence with a payment card, please call 0300 555 0286

If you pay by Direct Debit, please call 0300 790 6068*.

* Lines open 8:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday. Calls to our 0300 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number, whether from a mobile or landline. If you get inclusive minutes with your mobile, calls to an 0300 number will be included.

What happens if I am made bankrupt?

You need a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any device. This applies even if you have been made bankrupt.

Would you like some more help?

If you would like to speak to someone about your finances, there are not-for-profit organisations who could help. Their advice is free, confidential and independent. We’ve included some contact details for these organisations below:

  • Citizens Advice – visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau (you can find the address in the phone book) or go to adviceguide.org.uk (England and Wales) or cas.org.uk (Scotland).
  • National Debtline – if you live in England, Wales or Scotland, call 0808 808 4000 or go to their website for advice and information.
  • Advice NI – if you live in Northern Ireland, call 0800 028 1881 or go to their website for debt advice.
  • Money Advice Scotland – if you live in Scotland, call 0141 572 0237 or go to their website to find details of debt advice in your area.
  • StepChange Debt Charity (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service) – call 0800 138 1111 or go to their website for debt advice throughout the UK.
  • Credit Services Association – search for ‘credit services association’ in search engines for general help and advice on debt related matters.
  • MoneyHelper – access to sources of free advice online or by telephone. If you live in England you can access Money Helper - Money Adviser Network and if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can access Money Helper Debt Advice Locator
  • Civil Legal Advice (CLA) – You may be able to get free and confidential advice from CLA as part of legal aid if you’re in England or Wales. Legal aid rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The Insolvency Service – provides advice to the public on insolvency and redundancy.
  • Christians Against Poverty – provides free debt counselling, call 0800 328 0006.

Breathing Space

People can go to a debt advice provider to apply for a ‘breathing space’ from their debts. A 60 day Breathing Space may be given. For those suffering a mental health crisis, the Breathing Space will last as long as any treatment and for 30 days after the end of treatment.

TV Licensing will then work with the debt advisor to ensure that the customer is on the best payment plan to help them reduce the money (arrears) they owe. Breathing Space applies only to arrears, not to regular payments.

Customers can’t apply directly to TV Licensing for a Breathing Space – this needs to be done through a debt advice provider.

The law says you need a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any device. Without one, you risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000*.

* The maximum fine in Guernsey is £2,000.

General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: