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Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

DAS Or DMP? Debt Arrangement Scheme advice

DAS and DMP are both plans that help you repay what you owe at a rate you can afford. But they can affect you in different ways.

  • A debt payment programme (DPP) through DAS is available in Scotland only
  • A debt management plan (DMP) is available across the UK

Debt Arrangement Scheme

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a scheme the Scottish government set up.

  • It lets you apply for a Debt Payment Programme (DPP)
  • Both you and the people you owe are legally protected

You cannot set up a DPP on your own. You need the help from either:

  • An 'approved money adviser' or
  • An 'insolvency practitioner'

Debt Management Plan (DMP)

A debt management plan (DMP) is an informal solution.

  • There are no legal protections
  • Your creditors do not have to agree to your DMP
  • But we find that they usually do

Your DMP can be set up either:

  • By a debt solution provider
  • They must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • By yourself
  • You can manage one on your own if you choose

There are no fees for a DPP or DMP with StepChange.

account relationship iconStepChange: Approved money advisers in Scotland

We can help you set up with DAS from our Scottish office in Glasgow.

We can also:

  • Help you with a DMP
  • Find another option that suits you better

Find out more about debt advice in Scotland and how we can help you.

You must get free and impartial debt advice before going ahead.

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Is DAS right for you?

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How might the Debt Arrangement Scheme help with debts?

DAS helps you fully pay off your debts, at a rate you can afford.

  • It is a formal, legal contract
  • Both you and the people you owe are protected by law

How it works:

  • You make a single monthly payment
  • This is based on what you can afford
  • This is shared across your creditors
  • The 'Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)' runs your DPP
  • They decide if it can go ahead
  • It does not matter what the people you owe think
  • The people you owe are asked if they think your application is fair
  • No response is counted as approval
  • You stop being chased for payments
  • No more interest added to the debts in your DPP
  • No more charges added to the debts in your DPP
  • Interest and charges are written off when you complete your DPP
  • Assets, like your home or car, cannot be taken from you
  • But you must keep up with any repayments on them
  • You cannot go to court for debts in your DPP
  • You cannot be made bankrupt for debts in your DPP
  • Your name is listed in the public DAS Register
  • If things change, you may be able to apply for:
  • Crisis breaks
  • Changes to your plans terms or
  • Payment holidays

How long can a DPP last?

There is no maximum time that a DPP can last for.

StepChange only applies for DPPs that last less than 20 years.

  • Other options are probably better if the DPP is longer
  • Another money advisor can help you if you still want a DPP

Find out more about a setting up and managing a DPP through DAS.

How does a DMP help with debts?


  • The people you owe do not have to agree to your plan
  • But most accept DMP payments

How it works:

  • You make a single monthly payment
  • This is based on what you can afford
  • It is shared among the people you owe
  • The people you owe can still contact you
  • But you do not have to respond
  • Many creditors stop adding interest or charges
  • It is up to them if they do this
  • Your DMP is not recorded on a register
  • The payments are on your credit file
  • Creditors can take action to recover money you owe
  • They can use any assets you have, like your home
  • They can apply for an order forcing you to get their permission before selling your home

How long can a DMP last for?

This is usually up to 10 years.

But it depends on what is right for you.

Find out more about getting a debt management plan.

Free multilingual debt guide

Download our free guide to get help.

In includes:

  • Where to get help
  • How to budget
  • What to expect from debt advice

Languages include:

  • English
  • Urdu
  • Punjabi
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Is DAS right for you?

Free, online debt advice available now.

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Can I pay my DPP or DMP off early?


Yes, you can end your plan early.

You need to:

  • Make a lump sum payment
  • Sum must be equal to the total outstanding payments

Partial Settlements

You can offer a 'partial settlement' if you only have a lower sum.

  • This is shared fairly across the people you owe
  • Those that accept are removed from your plan
  • Those that do not accept stay in your plan
  • You need to keep repaying them

Offering a composition

This is when you ask the people you owe to take less than what you owed at the start of DAS.

You can do this if:

  • You repay 70% of what you owe
  • You made full payments up to this point

Your DPP can end early if all your creditors accept.

Ask your money advisor to help you with this.


You can use a lump sum to pay off a DMP early.

It may be that you can offer to settle part of the debt.

  • You can then ask for the rest of the debt to be written off
  • This depends on what you already paid back
  • Your creditors decide yes or no

Find out more about making settlement offers to creditors.

How long do DPPs and DMPs stay on your credit file?

Your credit file records:

  • Missing payments
  • Reduced payments
  • Defaults

They stay on your file for six years.

Payments to a DPP or DMP are reduced so they go on your credit file for six years.

How do I find out if the Debt Arrangement Scheme or a DMP is right for me?

Get debt advice to make sure any plan is right for your needs.

Debt advice covers:

  • Who you owe money to
  • What types of debt you have
  • Whether you have assets you need to keep
  • If your job could be affected
  • How much you can afford to pay towards debts
  • Whether things might change for you in the next few years

The process goes like this:

  • You make a monthly budget
  • You see what money is left each month to pay towards your debt
  • This is after what you need for food, bills and housing
  • You see which debt solutions best fit your circumstances

How do I apply for a DPP through DAS or a debt management plan?

After advice, you get a ‘personal action plan’.

This includes guides to setting up any debt solutions we recommend.

We are always on hand to support you.

Use our free online debt advice tool to get help at a time that suits you.

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