Getting the help you need with your debts
If you're worried about your debts, it's important that you don't delay getting help. The longer you leave it, the more time there is for problems to develop.
Call us on 0800 505 3848 for a chat with one of our friendly advisors. They'll talk you through all the options for tackling debt and help you decide which one best meets your needs.
In the meantime, here's a quick introduction to some of the debt solutions we provide.
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
The Debt Arrangement Scheme was introduced by the Scottish government to help people with unaffordable debt repayments. Under the Debt Arrangement Scheme you'll have your own Debt Payment Programme (DPP) - an affordable repayment plan for your unsecured debts, ensuring you also have room for your secured debts and essential living costs.
If your lenders agree to this, you'll be protected against further action from them, as long as you keep up with your payments.
You will still repay your debts in full, just more slowly - so your credit rating will be affected in the medium to long term.
Learn more about DAS
A Trust Deed writes off the unsecured debt you can't afford, as long as you repay as much as you can for (normally) four years. You'll make one affordable monthly payment to us, from which we'll pass on your agreed payments to each lender.
If your Trust Deed is accepted by your lenders (which isn't guaranteed) and becomes Protected, it will give you legal protection against further action from your unsecured lenders. But there will be an impact on your credit rating in the medium to long term – and if you fail to meet your Trust Deed commitments there is a risk of bankruptcy. Plus, if you're a homeowner, you may have to release equity from your property.
Learn more about Trust Deeds
There are a number of ways to consolidate debt. 'Debt consolidation' can be used to refer to any solution that combines your monthly debt repayments into one and makes them easier to manage.
Different types of debt consolidation work in different ways, but they are all designed to make your monthly repayments easier to manage; although this will often mean it takes longer to repay your debt, so it may cost you more.
Learn more about debt consolidation
Debt management plan
A debt management plan is an informal agreement between you and your lenders for affordable payments towards your unsecured debts. It works in a very similar way to DAS, but it's not legally binding and your lenders don't have to freeze interest (although they usually will), so repaying your debts can cost you more in the long run. Since you're not repaying your debts as originally agreed, it'll have an impact on your credit rating in the medium to long term.
Learn more about debt management plans
Bankruptcy is a legal process that writes off the unsecured debt you can't afford to repay, normally after a year. However, you might have to make affordable payments towards your debt for three years.
Please be aware that bankruptcy is a serious step with long-lasting consequences - and it could cost you your home, if you own it.
Learn more about bankruptcy
LILA is not actually a solution in itself, but a route into bankruptcy for people with a low income and relatively few assets, who don't own, or jointly own, property or land (LILA stands for Low Income, Low Asset). If your lenders haven't yet started legal recovery action regarding your debts but you don't qualify for any other debt solutions, LILA could help ensure you still get the help you need.
Note that entering bankruptcy will affect your credit rating in the medium to long term.
Learn more about LILA
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