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i Scotland only

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

What is the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)?

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a statutory debt management tool overseen by the Scottish Government. It lets you apply for a debt payment programme (DPP) to repay your debts over a reasonable period by making affordable monthly payments.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is not available if you live in:

  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

In these places, a debt management plan (DMP) is a similar solution. But, it has different benefits and risks.

Video: An introduction to DAS

Is a DPP suitable for me?

A DPP may work for you if:

  • You live in Scotland
  • You have money left over once you have paid your household bills
  • You owe money to one or more organisation or person

Each month you make an affordable payment to your DPP. This payment is then shared between the people you owe money to.

A percentage (%) of your monthly payment is taken to cover the running costs:

  • 20% is taken by your money advisor and payments distributor
  • 2% is taken by the Accountant in Bankruptcy. They act as the DAS administrator and manage the Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government

Your DPP can be for any amount of money  - as long as you can repay what you owe in a decent amount of time.

If you are not able to repay what you owe in a decent amount of time there may be other debt solutions open to you. Like a protected trust deed, or sequestration bankruptcy. Find out more about debt solutions in Scotland.

We have made a free, downloadable guide to help you deal with your money worries

Our guide covers:

  • Debt collection
  • Where to get help
  • Budgeting
  • What to expect from a debt advice session

Find out more

Setting up a DPP

If we recommend a DPP, we can set this up for you. All the costs of your DPP are covered by the people you owe.

Your DPP is set up and managed by a 'continuing money advisor' (CMA). They must be fully trained and approved under the Scheme.

If a DPP is the best option for you:

  • A proposal is sent to the people you owe money to
  • They have 21 days to decide whether or not they are happy with it
  • Even if the people you owe do not agree, your DPP could be approved by the DAS Administrator. If they think it is fair and reasonable
  • If your DPP is approved, you make one monthly payment to a payments distributor. They share this money between the people you owe

What is the DAS register?

When you apply for a DPP your details will be put onto the DAS register.

This is an online register that anyone can access. It has information about everyone who is:

  • In the process of applying for a DPP
  • Currently on a DPP

This is so that the people you owe know you are on a DPP, and cannot take court enforcement action against you.

Considering a DPP?

mum pushing son on swing

Considering a DPP?

Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Are interest and charges stopped on a DPP?

From the date you apply for a DPP your creditors have to:

  • Stop any interest or charges being applied to your debts
  • Stop taking any further court or enforcement action
  • Stop sending you letters asking for payments

If your DPP is not approved or you stop paying your DPP, the people you owe can:

  • Apply interest and charges on your debts
  • Take court enforcement action again

Changes to your situation while on a DPP

Changing your payments

When you are on a DPP, you can apply for your payment to be 'varied' at any time. This means you could pay more or less, depending on what has changed. The people you owe and the DAS Administrator will consider:

  • The impact of the change
  • Whether to approve it

If you have an emergency or crisis where you need to pay for an unexpected cost, you can request a short-term break of one month.

 Your money advisor can approve this and will let the people you owe know. You can request up to two of these in a 12-month period. Your payment will not change but your DPP term will be extended to cover the break.

Having a payment holiday

You can apply for a payment holiday if you have:

  • A short term ‘income shock’ while you are on a DPP, and
  • Your disposable money (what you have left after bills) has been reduced by 50% or more

This could be something like:

  • Losing or changing jobs
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Not being able to work because of illness
  • Divorce or separation, including from a co-habiting partner
  • A reduction in tax credits or benefits payments

On a payment holiday, you can have up to a six month break from making DPP payments.

But, if you had a six month break, this would add a further 6 months to your DPP end date.

How much does a DPP cost?

When you enter into a DPP with us, the costs are covered by all the people you owe in the DPP. You do not make any extra payments.

When a DPP is approved:

  • 22% of your payments will be taken to cover the running costs of the DPP
  • This percentage is set in law
  • The people you owe will write off this amount from the debt owed

There are no other fees.

When does a DPP end?

A DPP ends when:

  • You have made all the payments you agreed
  • The debt is cleared with a lump sum payment, or
  • The people you owe agree to complete it before it was due to end

When one of these things happens, you do not need to make any more payments towards the debts. You will be debt free.

Can I get DAS help from you?

If you want to find out if a DPP is the right option for you, you can find out with our online debt advice tool.

If it is the best solution for you, we will book you a phone appointment with one of our Scottish debt advisors.