The debt arrangement scheme (DAS) in Scotland is a debt management tool that can act as an effective lifeline for Scottish households struggling with debt.
Allowing individuals to arrange a debt payment plan so they can keep up on payments and avoid court action, it’s something that can hopefully put your mind at ease if you run into difficulties meeting your repayment deadlines.
But you need to understand everything around it, including how exactly it works and whether it’s right for you. You’ll need to know how to apply and even the downsides to a DAS payment programme.
The DAS is a unique personal debt solution that allows someone to apply for a debt payment programme (DPP), which lets them make affordable monthly payments.
With a DPP, someone can repay their debts over several years, freeze interest and protect their assets, such as their home.
The DAS was set up by the Scottish Government, so is only available to people in Scotland who are looking for a useful alternative to insolvency.
It is also an effective way to prevent creditors taking particularly aggressive court action and better manage their unsecured debts. They can’t even contact you if you have a DPP with them.
A DPP can last up to 20 years in rare cases.
If your situation changes, you can apply to vary your payment or a payment break, although the term of the break will be added to the DPP.
Who does the debt arrangement scheme help?
The DAS will be suitable for Scottish individuals who still have money left over at the end of each month after they have paid their household costs so they can clear their debts in a reasonable amount of time.
So, if you have no way to meet your debt payments after you have paid the bills, the DAS might not be for you, in which case you may be more suited to a form of insolvency like sequestration.
But with the recent and continuing rise in living costs, the DAS is likely to be beneficial to more households than usual as Scottish households feel the squeeze of higher food prices and energy bills.
Yet, the DAS is also a useful tool for households that suffer from sudden unforeseen circumstances, such as job losses or being put out of work because of an accident or long-term illness.
It’s unfortunate, but such circumstances can prompt creditors to trigger legal action, in which case the DAS will be almost essential.
How to apply for a debt payment programme
To apply, you should first be absolutely sure the DAS and a DPP is the right solution for you. We cannot recommend enough that you get in touch with us to discuss your situation in depth and in full confidence.
If we recommend you go ahead, we’ll give you an action plan with information about getting it set up and support you during the process.
Once we have the information we need, we’ll then contact your creditors and start making payments to them through your DPP.
The disadvantages of a debt payment programme under DAS
There is some extra information you need to know, which you need to consider before you go ahead with the DAS, even if it is clear it will assist you in your financial situation.
For instance, once you’re on a DPP, your details will be put onto the DAS register, which is an online register that anyone can access. A DPP will also appear on your credit file for six years.
Furthermore, if you don’t keep up your payments, the DPP could fail, in which case creditors can add interest changes or take further action against you.
Thomson Cooper has a dedicated personal debt solutions department run by personal debt professionals.
The team are friendly, knowledgeable and approachable.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free initial chat.
Alternatively, visit our stand alone personal debt website – Debt Solutions In Scotland | Free Advice On Your Debt Options (tcdebtsolutions.com)