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01.11.2018

Trust Deeds and Car Finance

A Trust Deed is a formal debt solution available in Scotland that allows you to pay off your debts with an affordable monthly repayment, with the remainder of the debt being written off at the end of the repayment term. It usually lasts for 4 years, however, a longer period can be considered depending on your circumstances.

A Trustee will act on your behalf and pay your creditors with your monthly contribution. Although equity may need to be released from your assets, the main benefit of a Trust Deed over sequestration (bankruptcy) is you won’t be asked to sell your home.

Protected Trust Deeds can include a variety of unsecured debts into one, affordable monthly repayment. The debts which can be included in a Trust Deed are:

  • Credit Card debt
  • Store Card debt
  • Personal Loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Payday loans
  • Council Tax Arrears
  • Car Parking Charges
  • Rent Arrears
  • All unsecured debts

If you have taken a car out on a Hire Purchase agreement, this debt can’t be included into a Trust Deed as it is a secured debt. This means the debt is secured to an asset – another example of a secured debt is a mortgage.

Your car finance will be considered when your affordable monthly payments are calculated, the amount you pay for your Hire Purchase will be added to your essential expenditure – as long as it’s not excessively large.

Can I get Car Finance If I Have a Trust Deed?

One common question people ask when they are considering whether not to enter into a Trust Deed is how it will affect their chances of purchasing a car on finance. Entering into a Trust Deed will make accessing any kind of credit more difficult, however, it’s not entirely impossible.

During a Trust Deed, you will need permission from your Trustee to obtain any form of credit – not informing your Trustee breaches the terms of your contract and could lead to your Trust Deed failing.

Your Trustee will decide whether or not your request to take out car finance is reasonable. They will decide if taking out a car on finance is suitable for you based on your income and expenditure. Your Trustee is likely to approve your request if the car finance is sustainable with your current budget and living costs. However, since a Trust Deed involves you paying a substantial amount of your disposable income towards your debts it may be the case you don’t have enough left for monthly car payments.

Whilst in a Trust Deed, the number of car finance programmes that you are eligible for will be a lot lower because it is a formal insolvency arrangement. Therefore, a Trust Deed will appear on your credit file, demonstrating to lenders that you have had problems managing credit in the past – meaning lenders may be more cautious.

There are companies which do specialise in providing people who have struggled to manage debt, or poor credit scores, with loans. We advise you are cautious of such companies as the cost of borrowing money when you have a poor credit history can be costly. Therefore it is vital you weigh up whether you really need a car or not.

If you can manage without a car temporarily – by organising a car share or using public transport – it’s definitely worth trying to save money to purchase a used car.

Of course, you may have no option as having access to a car may be essential to your work, and saving up to purchase a used car may not be feasible. In this instance, it is important to shop around to find the best value deal possible. You could consider approaching a credit union which is a community savings and loans provider. They allow you to borrow money with low interest rates and are known for helping people who would struggle to access a loan elsewhere.

Car finance after your Trust Deed

Once you have been discharged from your Trust Deed you will be removed from the Insolvency Register however, it will remain on your credit file for 6 years from the date you took out your Trust Deed. For example, if your Trust Deed lasts 4 years it will remain on your credit file for a following 2 years.

This can bring down your credit score, which can make it difficult to find a suitable lender. Waiting until you have rebuilt your credit score may be a better option when considering taking a car out on finance as you will be able to access better deals – as long you make responsible use of credit.

If this is not an option, however, you should shop around and use comparison websites to find the best lender. If you are struggling to find a company willing to approve your application it may be an idea to approach a credit union.