Don’t worry if you’ve still got a few questions about how Debt Arrangement Schemes (DAS) work. Our DAS FAQs will help to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Scottish debt solution.
We don’t currently have a DAS service at Harrington Brooks. But if it is the most suitable solution for you, we will signpost you to free advice:
If your financial situation changes while you have a debt payment programme (DPP), you’ll need to get in touch with your DAS-approved Money Advisor. This is the person who helps set up your DPP. They’ll look at your finances to see if your DAS can continue.
And if you’ve had a more dramatic change of circumstances – you’ve lost your job, for example – you might be able to have a payment break. This can last up to six months and can help you get back on your feet before you start paying again.
If you received a windfall – like an inheritance or lottery win – you might want to use this to pay off your debts. You can end your DPP early with a lump sum payment. Just give your DAS-approved Money Advisor a call to organise this.
You can own a property with DAS. Please note: you must continue to pay your mortgage and any other secured debts as DAS only includes unsecured debts.
If you have a short-term change to your finances, you might be able to take a payment break for your DPP. Your disposable income must have fallen by at least 50% for this.
You can take a payment break of up to six months while you get your financial situation back under control. The months you miss will be added to the end of your DAS.
There’s no set length for DAS – it’s just until you’ve paid off all of your unsecured debts included in the solution. When your DPP is accepted, your DAS-approved Money Advisor will give you a fixed end date – but this can change if you take a payment break or vary the amount that you pay.
If you’re applying for DAS and it will take a long time to pay off your debts, another debt solution might be more suitable. The Money Advisor will be able to talk you through this when you apply.
Some companies will charge you for setting up a DPP though free services are available for this.
When your DPP is approved, 10% of the monthly payments are taken as fees. This covers the running costs of your DPP. The Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) takes 2% of the payments and your payments distributor takes 8%. This adds up to the total 10%. Creditors bear this cost, meaning you never pay back more than the amount you owe.
You can include all unsecured debts in DAS. These are things like credit cards and store card debts, personal loans, bank overdrafts, catalogue debts and doorstep loans.
You can also include household bill arrears in your DAS. So if you’ve fallen behind with your rent or mortgage, your council tax or your utility bills, you may be able to add these into your DPP.
When you have a DPP, this appears on your credit history for at least six years. So if you apply for credit at any point in this time, the lender will be able to see this on your credit record. This means they could be more likely to reject you. Or if they do accept you, it might be at a higher rate of interest or for a lower credit limit than you applied for.
It’s not just lenders who could run a credit check on you. If you apply for a rental agreement or a mobile phone contract, your DPP could show on credit checks for these services too.