Debt Advice in Scotland



If you live in Scotland & have problem debt the laws on dealing with secured & unsecured debt differ from those in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. This means that the range of debt options available for residents of Scotland is slightly different too.

If you need free debt advice in Scotland, please search the free & impartial advice gateway: Scotland's Financial Health Service.

Debt options in Scotland

We've listed a brief summary of the debt options available in Scotland.

Trust Deeds

There are 2 types of trust deed, a voluntary trust deed & a protected trust deed.

  • A voluntary trust deed is not legally biding on creditors which means they can still take action to recover the money they are owed regardless of the trust deed agreement. They could, for example, still apply to make you bankrupt.

  • A protected trust deed is broadly equivalent to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. A protected trust deed in Scotland is a formal agreement whereby you repay a percentage of your debts to your creditors for an agreed period (normally between 4-5 years) and at the end of the period, your outstanding debt is written off. You'll need to use an approved money adviser to find out more about a trust deed.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

  • The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a government-backed debt management tool which allows you to repay what you owe through a debt payment programme. Under a debt payment programme, you repay your debts in one affordable monthly payment over an extended period.

  • DAS freezes interest, fees and charges on the debt and offers protection from creditors (the people you owe money to), which means they should not contact you or increase your debt during the period of your programme.

To find out more about the Debt Arrangement Scheme, talk to an approved money adviser or check out the DAS Scotland website.

The Minimal Asset Process (MAP)

This is effectively the Scottish equivalent to a Debt Relief Order in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It provides a lower cost route into bankruptcy for people in debt with low income – i.e. you are in receipt of benefits only for at least 6 months, or have no available surplus after being assessed using the common financial tool.

To qualify for MAP, you must have total assets worth less than £2,000 (with no single asset worth £1,000 or more). If you own (or jointly own) a house or any other property, you can’t qualify for MAP.

A sequestration

The Scottish equivalent to Bankruptcy, this debt solution has the most dramatic effect on your credit rating and personal circumstances, but in some cases it can be the only viable solution available.