DA Meetings

Debtors Anonymous (DA) is a 12-step programme for anyone who wants to stop incurring unsecured debt. Membership is free, and the only requirement is the desire to stop using any form of debt.

DA involves a series of anonymous meetings conducted autonomously by DA groups in cities and towns throughout the UK. Meetings are an opportunity for members to share their experiences in recovery from compulsive indebtedness on a one-to-one basis and in a group setting.

What is Debtors Anonymous?

Debtors Anonymous is a global fellowship founded in 1968. It follows in the footsteps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, with a focus on spirituality, community building, and the famous 12-step programme. The 12 steps are a set of principles that DA uses to guide members on their journey to recovery from debt addiction.


Debtors Anonymous is not connected to any religious organisations and has no political affiliations. It is open to anyone of any faith, gender, or sexual orientation. Faith and spirituality are often discussed, but DA makes it clear that spirituality and faith are subject to individual interpretation.


DA is completely anonymous. Your details will never be shared online or with anyone outside the organisation, leaving you free to recover at your own pace.

What is a debtor?

A debtor is a person or entity that owes money to a lender. The entity could be an individual, a firm, a government, a company or another person. If you have outstanding debts that are taking a toll on your personal life, consider turning to DA for help. Anyone who identifies as having a problem with debt, compulsive spending or overspending can join any meeting.


While debt may not be commonly associated with addiction, new research suggests that there is a common link between debt, addiction and common mental disorders.

What are the 12 steps?

The 12 steps of Debtors Anonymous are a tool that can be used together with the DA programme. 12-step programmes are highly regarded, thanks to the positive outcomes recorded by participants in recovery from traumatic addictions.


  1. We admitted we were powerless over debt – that our lives had become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practise these principles in all our affairs

What should I expect from a Debtors Anonymous meeting?

Meetings are the cornerstone of the DA programme. They provide an opportunity for members to discuss and share their experiences with debt addiction. The principles and traditions of DA guide meetings and can include individual contributions from members sharing their experiences with debt addiction.

The DA programme also includes some actionable lessons for managing spending. These are referred to as ‘keeping numbers’ and can include:

  • Spending record: Keeping a record of any money spent, usually in a notebook. This can then be used to create a;
  • Spending plan: This is a list of all goods and services to buy in a given month. Members will regularly review and assess their spending plans month by month.

After a few months of ‘keeping numbers’, new members can develop an action plan to repay their debt.

Action plans

New members can begin to work on their action plans with the help of a sponsor from their meeting group. Think of sponsorship as a tool to keep you accountable during recovery. Your sponsor will be able to guide you through a pressure relief group.

What is a pressure relief group?

A pressure relief group consists of two new members and two other recovering debtors who have not incurred any unsecured debt for at least 90 days. The group will review their financial situations and develop a revised action plan and spending plan. Pressure relief groups will require you to bring at least 2 months of data:

  • Earnings and where it came from
  • What you’ve spent and what the money was spent on.

What are the benefits of Debtors Anonymous meetings?

Since its creation, Debtors Anonymous has been responsible for helping many people overcome their addiction to incurring debt. The benefits of joining Debtors Anonymous include:

  • Accountability: Meetings provide opportunities for self-surveillance, which includes keeping numbers, maintaining spending plans, and fostering relationships with sponsors. Mutual help groups offer a supplementary tool to one-on-one therapy and professionally led group support.
  • Clarity: Debtors Anonymous and its 12 steps provide clear instructions on how to manage the thoughts and feelings surrounding debt addiction. In a recent study, 86% of recovering addicts reported adhering to a 12-step programme.
  • Community: Pressure relief groups, regular meetings and one-on-one discussions are just some examples of community building that fellowship members have credited with successful recovery. Conversely, when analysing dropout rates of addicts in recovery, it was found that those who dropped out had not used peer support groups.

Regional Debtors Anonymous Meetings

If you are struggling with debt addiction, there are plenty of local meetings nearby. You can find a list of local meetings of local meetings on the DA UK website.

Getting the right help

Seeking support for overcoming debt is more crucial than ever as financial struggles continue to impact lives year after year. Debt-related stress and its consequences are on the rise, making timely intervention essential. Contact us today to explore effective strategies and resources for managing and reducing debt. Take the first step towards financial freedom and a healthier, stress-free life.

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Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.


Are there online DA meetings?
Yes, there are online DA meetings available. These virtual meetings offer the same support and structure as in-person meetings and can be a convenient option for those who cannot attend in person due to location, scheduling conflicts, or other reasons.
How long are DA meetings?
DA meetings typically last about an hour, although some meetings may be slightly longer or shorter depending on the group’s structure and the number of participants.
Are DA meetings free?
Yes, DA meetings are free to attend. The organisation is self-supporting through voluntary contributions from its members. This ensures that everyone, regardless of their financial situation, can access the support and resources they need to overcome debt and achieve financial stability.

(Click here to see works cited)

  • https://debtorsanonymous.org.uk/about-da/
  • https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/23/1/108/464719?login=false
  • https://soar.suny.edu/bitstream/handle/20.500.12648/13570/4634_meghan.pistorino.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
  • https://www.proquest.com/openview/1326a6c31c9e7912a704bb08a0b72d7e/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y