We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
StepChange Debt Charity logo
Go

Debt payment programmes (DPPs) are only available in Scotland.

Father and daughter at the park playing

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Repay your debts at an amount that's affordable to you.

Get debt help now

The Debt Arrangement Scheme is a government debt management tool only available in Scotland. It lets you apply for a debt payment programme (DPP) which helps you repay your debts by making affordable monthly payments.

DPPs can only be set up by an approved organisation such as StepChange Debt Charity. We can help you set up a DPP, and unlike some debt advice companies, we don't charge any fees to set one up.

Benefits of a DPP

  • A DPP lets you repay your debts at an affordable rate, while still leaving you enough money for household bills and living costs
  • All interest or charges that are being applied to your debts will normally be frozen
  • Your creditors can’t contact you or take any further legal action against you
  • If your situation changes you can apply to vary your payment or apply for a six month payment break

Risks of a DPP

  • 10% of your monthly payment is taken as fees to cover the running costs
  • Once you’re on a DPP your details will be put onto the DAS register. This is an online register that anyone can access
  • A DPP will appear on your credit file for six years
  • If you don't keep up your payments the DPP could fail, and creditors can add interest charges, or take further action against you

Is a DPP right for you?

Use our free online debt advice tool to get tailored advice and debt solutions in around 20 minutes.

Get debt help now

DPPs are only available if you live in Scotland. A debt management plan (DMP) is a similar solution available in England, Wales or Nothern Ireland, but has different benefits and risks associated with it.

How to apply for a DPP

  1. Find out whether a DPP is the right debt solution for you. Use our online debt advice tool or speak to one of our expert advisors.
  2. If a DPP is right for you we'll provide you with tailored advice on how it works.
  3. We'll set up your DPP for you. Unlike some companies we won't charge you any set-up fees.

DPPs from StepChange Debt Charity

Watch our video and see whether a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) could be a solution for you.

Common DPP questions

A DPP will normally be suitable for you if you have money left over at the end of each month (after you’ve paid your household costs, like food shopping, accommodation and utility bills) and you can clear your debts in a reasonable amount of time.

You must fit certain criteria, and you can only apply for a DPP if you live in Scotland.

You make an affordable payment into your DPP. This payment is then shared out on a fair basis between the different creditors that you owe money to.

Your DPP is set up and managed by an ‘approved money advisor’, and your payments are taken and passed onto your creditors by a ‘payments distributor’.

StepChange Debt Charity is an approved money advisor and a payments distributor. This means if you set up your DPP with us, we’ll do all of this for you.

The average length for a DPP is seven years. You’ll only be able to set up a DPP under the DAS scheme if you can repay what you owe in a reasonable amount of time which is usually under ten years. 

If you can’t repay your debt in a reasonable amount of time you may be more suited to a form of insolvency like sequestration.

Your DPP ends when you’ve made all the payments you agreed to make and the debts have been cleared, or if you clear the debts with a lump sum payment. Read our guide to completing your DPP to find out what to do next.

We’ll set up your DPP completely free of charge. Some commercial debt management companies charge for this.

Once your DPP is approved, 10% of your payment is taken as fees to cover the running costs. The percentage is set in law, and there are no other hidden charges.

So if you're paying a creditor £100 your debt will be reduced by £100, however the creditor will actually receive £90 and the other £10 will cover the fees. 2% is paid to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) and 8% is kept by your payments distributor.

If you set up your DPP with us and we enter your details on the DASH Portal (the system the AiB uses to process and monitor DPPs) after 1 July 2015, we’ll be your payments distributor, so we’ll keep the 8%.

If your DPP details were entered on the DASH Portal before 1 July 2015, another company will be your payments distributor and they’ll keep the 8%.

More Scottish debt solutions

There are a variety of debt solutions available in Scotland to help deal with your debts. You can find out more about the solutions below or you can visit our visit our debt advice in Scotland page.

Worried about debt?

Use our free online debt advice tool to get tailored advice and debt solutions in around 20 minutes.

Get debt help now

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.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2018