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i This solution is only available in Scotland.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Completing a debt payment programme (DPP)

The day that you become debt free and complete your debt payment programme (DPP) is a huge milestone. Being on a DPP means learning to stick to a budget. Once the DPP is finished, it’s time to look into ways to improve your credit file and how best to manage credit in the future.

A DPP is a Scotland-based debt solution offered through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). It’s only available to people who reside in Scotland. The monthly DPP payment is based on the amount of money left over once all household bills are paid, rather than the amount the creditors may be asking for.

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What to expect when you complete your DPP

A DPP comes to an end when all the agreed payments in the programme are paid off.  Alternatively, you can make a lump sum payment equivalent to the outstanding amount due.

Your creditors will write to you to confirm that your DPP is coming to an end shortly before the scheduled date for completion. Your details will be removed from the DAS register and the creditors will be informed that debts included in the DPP are paid in full.

If you're paying through your wages, the DAS Administrator will let your employer know that the DPP is complete, and the payments will stop. You're now no longer liable for any debts included in the DPP, as well as any interest or changes which would’ve accrued after the start date.

Credit referencing agencies and DPPs

When credit referencing agencies (CRAs) create your credit file, they're essentially building a picture of how you behave financially. Banks and credit card companies can then decide whether to give you credit based on their information.

Get in touch with a credit rating agency to see what your credit score is. There are three main ones in the UK:

Credit Karma (powered by TransUnion, formerly CallCredit)

Clear Score (powered by Equifax)


You can check your report for free, online or request a paper copy for a one-off small fee. Once you've received the reports check all the details and compare them. These should show you your credit history for the last six years.

Understanding your credit file

The next thing you should do is check your credit file. Each agency provides guidance on how to read your report:

Credit Karma FAQs

How to read your Equifax report

Understanding your Experian report

Free multilingual debt guide

We've put together a free, downloadable guide to help you deal with your money worries

Our guide to dealing with debt in Scotland covers debt collection processes, where to get help, budgeting and what to expect from a debt advice session. It’s available to download in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish. Find out more.

Checking your credit file

Once you're comfortable reading your report, check the following:

  • All debts included in your DPP should be listed as starting on or before the start date for your DPP
  • Make sure that all the debts included are now showing as completed
  • If there are any debts that were included in your DPP that are still showing as outstanding you should write to your creditor to ask them to update this

If there were exceptional circumstances, such as redundancy, that led to your debt you can also request to add a note to your file called a ‘notice of correction’ which lenders are required to read 

How to improve your credit file after a DPP

Often the best way to approach this is to take out some form of credit, such as a credit card, with a low limit. Never miss a payment and make sure you always stay within the agreed credit limit.

By getting a small amount of credit and behaving responsibly with it you'll start to build a better credit history and gradually begin to improve your credit file. This can be useful if you're thinking of getting a mortgage in the future.

Or, you can find more information on MoneyAware about how to improve your credit rating without taking out new credit.

Looking to the future

After working hard to clear the debts included in your DPP, you may be wary about taking out any form of credit again.

However, if you want to improve your credit file you'll need to allow yourself limited access to credit, or perhaps a credit card for emergencies. Just make sure you stick to your budget, and always pay back anything you owe in full every month.

Considering a DPP? Get free, impartial debt advice

Our online debt advice service, can give you the free, realistic advice you need to find out which is the best debt solution for your situation.