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i The advice on this page applies to residents of Scotland only.

Completing your debt payment programme

What to expect after you've made your final DPP payment

Life after DPP


The day that you become debt free and complete your DPP is a huge milestone. It's a fantastic accomplishment and you should feel proud that you've come so far.

During your DPP you'll have learnt better budgeting skills and in most cases you've learned to live without any credit. You've also paid back what you can afford and done the right thing by your creditors.

Follow our step-by-step guide to life after a DPP, find out how to obtain your credit report, improve your credit file and manage credit in the future.

What to expect when you complete your DPP

Your DPP comes to an end when you've completed all the agreed payments in the plan, or you make a lump sum payment equivalent to the outstanding amount due.

All 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 repaid.

If you're paying through your wages, the DAS administrator will let your employer know that the DPP is complete, so that payments stop. You're now no longer liable for any debts included in the DPP, as well as any interest or changes which would have 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:

You can get a one-off credit report from each of the CRAs online or by post for as little as £2. Once you've received the reports check all of 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:

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.

Looking to the future

Because you’ve lived without any form of credit (except perhaps your mortgage) for a number of years, you may be wary of 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.

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Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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© StepChange Debt Charity 2017