• What is a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) in Scotland


What is a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) in Scotland

What is a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) in Scotland

The Debt Payment Programme, commonly referred to as the DPP, is a formal debt management solution exclusive to Scotland.

Maxine McCreadie
Maxine McCreadie

18th May 2023



Its primary objective is to consolidate unmanageable debts into one manageable monthly payment, effectively ensuring the eventual clearing of all debts.

The DPP is not merely an agreement between debtors and creditors, but a legally recognised programme that offers a raft of protections and assurances to the debtor.

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The Legalities of Debt Payment Programme (DPP)

The DPP operates under the legal auspices of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), a debt management tool officially sanctioned and governed by the Scottish government.

This legal underpinning distinguishes the DPP from informal debt arrangements, offering a suite of legal protections.

Once a DPP is approved, it shields the debtor from any further action by the creditors.

To draw a contrast with the Trust Deed, another debt solution in Scotland, a DPP focuses on repaying all debts over an extended period, as opposed to writing off a certain portion of the debts.

Debt Payment Programme (DPP) Qualifications

To be eligible for a DPP, certain criteria must be met. First and foremost, the applicant must be a permanent resident of Scotland.

Secondly, the applicant should have more than one debt.

Finally, the applicant must have a reliable source of income to maintain the regular monthly payments stipulated in the DPP.

In contrast to a Trust Deed, which necessitates a minimum debt level of £5,000, a DPP does not impose a minimum debt threshold.

Nonetheless, it’s imperative for the debtor to have a consistent income to facilitate the monthly repayments.

The Application Process for a Debt Payment Programme (DPP)

Embarking on a DPP entails a formal process, supervised by a certified money adviser.

The process commences with a comprehensive review of your financial status, which involves examining your income, expenditure, assets, and outstanding debts.

If the money adviser ascertains that a DPP is the most suitable solution for your situation, they will recommend it.

The essential documents required for this process include evidence of income, an exhaustive list of all debts and liabilities, and proof of residency in Scotland.

The Role of a Money Adviser in a Debt Payment Programme (DPP)

A money adviser plays an integral role in the establishment of a DPP.

This professional provides guidance in evaluating your financial circumstances, suggests suitable debt solutions based on your unique situation, and assists in crafting the DPP proposal.

Moreover, the money adviser serves as a negotiator, liaising with your creditors to arrive at agreeable terms.

They also oversee the entire process, ensuring that it adheres to the legal stipulations and operates smoothly.

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How a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) Works

A DPP functions by amalgamating your disparate debts into a single, affordable monthly payment.

The lifespan of the DPP varies, hinging on the total amount of your debts and how much you can feasibly pay each month.

It’s vital to sustain these monthly payments since failing to do so can have severe consequences, including the potential termination of the DPP.

Advantages of a Debt Payment Programme (DPP)

Opting for a DPP offers a multitude of benefits for individuals grappling with unmanageable debts.

Chief amongst these advantages are affordable monthly payments, which are tailored to your financial capabilities.

Another perk is the potential freezing of interest and charges on your debts, thereby curtailing their growth.

A DPP also grants you protection from any legal action taken by creditors.

Unlike the Trust Deed, which necessitates the writing off of a portion of the debt, a DPP enables you to repay all your debts, instilling a greater sense of accomplishment and financial responsibility upon completion.

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Disadvantages of a Debt Payment Programme (DPP)

Despite its numerous advantages, a DPP may carry certain drawbacks.

These include the potentially lengthy duration of the DPP, which could extend to several years, depending on the total debt and monthly repayments.

It may also have an adverse effect on your credit rating, making it more challenging to secure credit in the future.

During the course of the DPP, it might also be difficult to obtain additional credit.

However, with appropriate planning and professional advice, these limitations can be successfully navigated or mitigated.


The DPP represents a substantial debt solution in Scotland, offering individuals with multiple debts the opportunity to repay them in a structured and manageable way.

It’s crucial to consult with a debt professional before embarking on a DPP to ascertain whether it is the optimal solution for your specific circumstances.


  • A Debt Payment Programme (DPP) is a legally recognised debt management solution in Scotland, designed to consolidate multiple debts into one manageable monthly payment.
  • DPP, governed by the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), offers several legal protections, such as shielding debtors from further actions by creditors.
  • To qualify for a DPP, applicants must be Scottish residents, have multiple debts, and possess a consistent income to sustain regular monthly payments.
  • A certified money adviser plays a pivotal role in setting up a DPP, offering guidance in financial evaluation, suggesting suitable debt solutions, and overseeing the entire process.
  • Despite potential drawbacks like long duration and possible impact on credit rating, a DPP provides multiple benefits including affordable payments, potential freezing of interest and charges, and protection from creditors' legal action.
Maxine McCreadie
Maxine McCreadie

Maxine is an experienced writer, specialising in personal insolvency. With a wealth of experience in the finance industry, she has written extensively on the subject of Individual Voluntary Arrangements, Protected Trust Deed's, and various other debt solutions.

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Our debt experts continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

May 18 2023

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Ben McCormack

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