Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

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.

DAS and DPP are only available in Scotland. 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.

DPP benefits

Any 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

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 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?

YYou 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.

 

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. 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 free 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.

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