Debt Advice Glossary



A Debt is an amount of money owed.

Debt arrangement scheme

The debt arrangement scheme (DAS) is a statutory scheme run by the Scottish Government to help people living in Scotland repay their debts.

Debt collection agencies

Debt collection agencies are organisations that chase outstanding debts. They are either employed by creditors to recover the debt or they can buy the debt from the creditor.

Debt consolidation

Debt consolidation is the term for taking out a loan & using the money to repay other debts.

Debt management plan (DMP)

A debt management plan is a way of repaying your debts by making reduced payments to your creditors if you can’t afford the full contractual payments.

Debt payment programme (DPP)

A debt payment programme (DPP) is the name given to the formal repayment programme provided under the debt arrangement scheme (DAS). A DPP lets you repay your debts over a realistic amount of time without the threat of court action from your creditors.

Debt relief order (DRO)

A debt relief order is a way of writing off your debts if you’re unable to pay them. It’s a form of insolvency. You have to owe less than £20,000 to apply for a debt relief order.


A debtor is someone who owes money.

Decreasing term assurance

Decreasing term assurance is a type of life assurance that pays out a lump sum if you die within the term, but where the amount that’s paid out reduces during the term.

Decree (Scotland)

A decree is a judgment or order, issued by the Scottish courts for non-payment of a debt.

Diligence (Scotland)

Diligence is the term for debt enforcement through the Scottish courts.

Default notice

A creditor issues a default notice when the terms & conditions of a credit agreement are broken, for example if you can’t pay your contractual payments.


A dependent is someone who relies on others financially, for example a child.

Direct debit

A direct debit is an instruction that you give your bank to pay a certain person or company each month. A direct debit can be for a variable amount.

Discount rate

A discount rate is an interest rate that’s reduced for a certain amount of time before it reverts back to the standard rate. Discount rates are often offered as a type of mortgage rate, or for energy bills.

Disposable income

Disposable income is the amount of money which you have available to spend on non-essential items after you’ve paid for your household bills.