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Trust Deed vs. the Debt Arrangement Scheme

If you're having debt problems and you're a resident of Scotland, a Trust Deed or the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) may be able to help you. It is difficult to say which is 'better', however, as they are suited to people in different circumstances.


For both DAS and a Trust Deed, you must be unable to make your unsecured debt repayments each month.

To be eligible for a Trust Deed you must owe at least £5,000 in individual unsecured debts or £10,000 in joint ones.

If you can't currently afford your unsecured debt repayments - but you think you would be able to clear your debts in full in a reasonable amount of time - DAS might be more suitable.

There's more information about DAS on this page.

If you can't see yourself being able to pay off your unsecured debts in full in any realistic timeframe, a Trust Deed may be better.

For both of these debt solutions, you need to be a resident of Scotland.


Your new monthly repayments on both DAS and a Trust Deed are based on what you can afford.

With DAS, a qualified Money Adviser will help you draw up a budget in order to create a new Debt Payment Programme. This will be based on how much you have left over after your essential living costs and bills. These new payments will go ahead if your lenders agree.

A Trust Deed will be set up by an Insolvency Practitioner, and if at least half of your lenders who are responsible for at least a third of your debt agree to your new repayments, your Trust Deed will become protected. A Protected Trust Deed means that your unsecured lenders are legally bound to the Trust Deed as long as you keep making your new payments as agreed.

Interest and charges will normally be frozen in both of these debt solutions, so your debts will not grow larger due to interest.


The Debt Arrangement Scheme will last until your unsecured debts are repaid in full.

A Trust Deed usually lasts for four years and (as long as you've stuck to your side of the agreement) after this your remaining unsecured debt will be written off. This means you will know when you should be free of your unmanageable unsecured debts.

Effect on home

A Trust Deed may require you to release equity in your home - if you're a homeowner – and, if you can’t, then your Trust Deed can be extended by 12 months. But it should make it easier to afford your mortgage, since your payments towards your Trust Deed will be calculated to leave you with enough for your mortgage payments and other essentials.

DAS does not affect your home - and again, the payments are arranged around your essential costs, including your rent or mortgage.

Effect on credit rating

Both DAS and a Trust Deed will damage your credit rating for six years.

So which is better?

If you're still not sure whether DAS or a Trust Deed would be better for your situation, fill out our fast-track call back form and a professional will be in touch to discuss your situation and talk about your options.

Article Updated 12/12/2013