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i This solution is only available in Scotland.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). Is it right for you?

Under the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) you can set up a debt payment programme (DPP) which helps you to repay your debts at a rate that’s affordable to you. We don't charge any fees to set up DPPs.

Visit our debt advice in Scotland page for more information on all Scottish debt solutions.

Using DAS to set up a debt payment programme (DPP)

As part of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) a DPP lets you repay your debts by making one affordable monthly payment.

This payment is based on the amount of money you have left over once you’ve paid all of your household bills, rather than the amount your creditors are asking you for. During a DPP your creditors shouldn’t contact you or increase your debt in any way.

DPPs at a glance

DPP benefits Risks
 Any interest or charges that are being applied to your debts will normally be frozen. 10% of your monthly payment is taken as fees to cover the running costs.
 Your creditors can’t contact you or take any further legal action against you. Once you’re on a DPP your details will be put onto the DAS register. This is an online register that anyone can access.
If your situation changes you can apply to vary your payment or apply for a six month payment break. A DPP will appear on your credit file for six years and is only available if you live in Scotland.

Other things to consider with a DPP

Choosing to start a DPP is a big step, and before applying you should consider the following:

  • You need to have enough income left over each month, after your living costs, to be able to pay your debts over a reasonable period of time
  • If you’re expecting to receive a lump sum of money in the next 12 months, for example from income from the sale of a house, or money given to you by your family, then you must contact your debt advisor to arrange a review
  • If you don’t keep up your payments then the DPP can fail - creditors can add interest and charges to the amounts you owe and if you’re not able to pay your debts they can take legal action against you.
  • If you’re struggling to maintain your payments you can ask us, as your money advisor, to review and potentially vary your payments to your creditors
Is a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) suitable for me?

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.

Our specially trained advisors will work with you to put a realistic budget together. Any money left over from this will be shared between your debts.

How does a DPP work?

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.

How long does a DPP last?

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. 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.

What if my situation changes on a DPP?

If your situation changes while you’re on a DPP you can apply to vary the amount you’re paying. Your DPP money advisor will consider the impact of this change and decide whether to approve it.

Your situation might change dramatically during your DPP, for example if you lose your job or go on maternity leave. If this means your income is reduced by more than 50% you can apply for a payment break while you get your situation back on track.

What fees are charged for a DPP?

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%.

What next? How to apply for a DPP

  1. The first step is to see whether a DPP is right for you. Use our free anonymous advice tool Debt Remedy or call our Helpline on 0800 138 1111 (free from all landlines and mobiles) and we’ll book you a telephone session with one of our expert debt advisors.
  2. If a DPP is right for you we’ll provide you with tailored information on how this will work for you.
  3. We’ll then set up your DPP quickly and easily. Unlike some other companies we won’t charge you any set-up fees.

Is a DPP right for you? FREE personal debt advice in 20 mins

Complete our anonymous Debt Remedy tool to get FREE debt help now

  • Completely anonymous
  • Free and easy to use

Try Debt Remedy

Why choose us?

We are the UK's leading debt advice and debt management charity.

  • We'll set up your DPP for FREE Unlike other companies we'll set up your DPP completely free of charge.
  • Expert advisors We have approved money advisors who are experts in Scottish debt law. They'll be on hand to help you every step of the way.

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 2018