Northwest Debtors Anonymous


Frequently Asked Questions About DA​

​​​If you decide that DA is not for you, keep us in mind for the future. You are always welcome.

Debtors Anonymous will be here when you need it.

If you are ready to seek help for your problems with debt, you will likely want to visit these pages, too: 

DA Can Help YouSigns of Compulsive Debting, Getting Started in DA, 12 Steps of DA, 12 Tools of DA, and 12 Promises of DA.

Are there any requirements for DA membership?

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.

Does it cost anything to join DA?
There are no dues or fees for DA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

What happens at DA meetings?
While formats vary from region to region and meeting to meeting, there are some common elements to most of them: a member chairing the meeting, various readings from
DA literature, DA-related announcements, a 7th Tradition collection for the meeting’s financial support, and sharing by participants. Additionally, meetings may dedicate time to read the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions, the Signs of Compulsive Debting, the Tools of DA, the Promises of DA, and other conference-approved DA literature. Usually meetings allocate time during or after a meeting on a monthly basis to hold a business meeting.

Why is it important for newcomers to attend meetings regularly?

We gain a sense of hope. We identify with others. We meet people who can help.

Why do DA members continue to attend meetings year after year? 
We, the men and women of
Debtors Anonymous, come together to solve our common problem of compulsive debting. We share our experience, strength, and hope with one another to arrest the disease of debting. We have found compulsive debting to be a painful, confusing, and destructive disorder. Compulsive debting takes many forms from incurring unsecured debt to compulsive shopping, from grandiose thinking to deprivation mentality. All these symptoms of debting seriously affect our quality of life — financially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially.

Wait a minute, what is compulsive debting?
Compulsive debting is a disease. We have found that it is a disease that never gets better, only worse, as time goes on. It is a disease, progressive in its nature, which can never be cured but can be arrested. This disease affected our vision of ourselves and of the world around us. It led us to believe that we were "not enough" — at home, at work, in social situations, in love relationships. It also led us to believe that there is not enough out there in the world for us. The disease manufactured a sense of impoverishment in all that we did and saw. In reaction to this, we withdrew into a dream world, fretted over money, and avoided responsibilities.

What is compulsive spending?
Compulsive spending is one of the symptoms of the disease of debting, and begins to lose its hold on us only after we have stopped incurring new unsecured debt one day at a time.

What is anonymity?
We respect the anonymity of others. The principle of
anonymity means we do not take outside the meetings what we hear and see in the meetings. Most of us like our identities and stories to remain confidential. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

What is solvency?
Solvency, the primary goal of
Debtors Anonymous members, is the practice of not incurring any new unsecured debt one day at a time. Unsecured debt is any debt that is not backed up by some form of collateral, such as a car, house, etc. Solvency is also referred to as abstinence and sobriety by some DA members.

How do DA members achieve solvency?
As members of
Debtors Anonymous, we have chosen a spiritual path of healing and growth which requires working the “Twelve Steps” and using the “Twelve Tools of DA.” The Twelve Steps form the foundation for our recovery. The DA Tools aid us in working the Steps. As a result of beginning this recovery process, we have been able to stop incurring new unsecured debt, one day at a time, and to retire our existing debt through reasonable debt repayment within our means. We are learning to understand ourselves and to form genuine loving connections with others and to discover a relationship with a Higher Power of our own choice.

Why would solvent DA members want to help me?
We share our program with other compulsive debtors so that they might understand what we have come to know about debting and to experience the relief we have found. We share our own experiences of debting and recovery, specifically: “What life was like for us, what happened, how we changed, and what life is like for us now.” Our shares (and sponsorship) express the opinions and experiences of the individual member and are not necessarily those of Debtors Anonymous as a whole

What are pressure relief groups (PRGs) and pressure relief meetings (PRMs)?
After we have gained some familiarity with the DA program, we organize pressure relief groups consisting of ourselves and two other recovering debtors who have not incurred unsecured debt for at least 90 days and who usually have more experience in the program. The group meets in a series of pressure relief meetings to review our financial situation. These meetings typically result in the formulation of a spending plan and an action plan.