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Trust Deed

What is a Trust Deed?

Available only in Scotland, a Trust Deed is a legally binding formal arrangement between you and your creditors to repay some of your unsecured debts.

You can find out more about how it works below – it’s just one of the solutions we offer to help you deal with your debts.

Generally speaking, for a Trust Deed, you’ll need to have unsecured debts of £5,000 or over and be in a position to make regular payments over a fixed period. A Trustee will take care of the day to day running of your Trust Deed and liaise with your creditors so you don’t pay them directly.

You’re in safe hands – all our Trustees are Insolvency Practitioners with many years of experience in helping people just like you through the process of setting up a Trust Deed.

Am I eligible for a Trust Deed?

  • Do you live in Scotland?
  • Have you got more than £5,000 of unsecured debt?
  • Are you employed (or self-employed) with at least £50 surplus income before you pay your debts every month?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to these three questions, you are likely to be eligible for a Trust Deed.

It’s always worth having a chat with our team – depending on your circumstances, it may be that a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), Minimal Asset Process (MAP), Debt Management Plan or Sequestration are better options for you.

How do I apply for a Trust Deed?

You don’t need to worry about the process – the team at PayPlan Scotland will set up and manage your arrangement for you.

All we need to start things moving is an idea of your income, outgoings and debts so we can make sure this is the best solution to get you debt free as soon as possible.

STEP ONE: Speak to one of our specialist advisers in confidence, use Live Chat or complete our simple online form if you prefer. Tell us about your situation so that we can help you deal with it.

STEP TWO: If a Trust Deed looks like the best option for you, we will work with you to create a proposal to put forward to your creditors.

STEP THREE: Your creditors need to agree to the proposal so that the Trust Deed becomes protected. As long as more than half in number or a third or more in value do not object to it, your Trust Deed will be protected.

STEP FOUR: Once your Trust Deed is in place, and you have made your first payment, you’re protected from further contact and legal action from your creditors. Finally, after you’ve made your agreed monthly payments over 4 years, your remaining unsecured debt will be written off and you will be debt-free.

What’s the difference between protected and unprotected Trust Deeds?

A protected Trust Deed is legally binding, and this is the solution we offer at PayPlan Scotland. This means that your creditors have agreed to the arrangement and that none can chase you or take you to court.

An unprotected Trust Deed means that not all creditors are bound by the agreement. So some may still try to recover what they’re owed. If you have any concerns at all, just talk to our team who will put your mind at rest.

What happens if I can’t get my Trust Deed protected?

Sometimes creditors don’t agree to the Trust Deed if they feel they could get more of their money back another way. If your Trust Deed doesn’t get protected, your Trustee will look at other options for you.

In the event that your creditors object to what’s in your proposal, then your Trust Deed is said to have failed and your Trustee may consider petitioning for sequestration.

Can I get a joint Trust Deed with my partner?

Joint Trust Deeds don’t exist, but if this is the right solution for both you and your partner, you can apply for separate Trust Deeds that take your joint finances into account. Our team can give you the right advice about your options. Just give them a call on 0800 197 7211.

Will a Trust Deed affect my mortgage?

If you own your home, you’ll probably be expected to release any equity as part of your Trust Deed. Your mortgage is a secured loan so it’s important that you keep up with mortgage payments during the Trust Deed. If you’re in a Trust Deed with us and are struggling to make your mortgage or other priority payments, please get in touch on 0800 197 7211.

If you don’t own your home and are hoping to take out a mortgage, being in a Trust Deed can affect your chances of doing so.

Does my landlord need to know about my Trust Deed?

No. If you rent, your landlord won’t find out about your Trust Deed unless you tell him or her.

Will a Trust Deed affect my credit rating?

A Trust Deed remains on your credit file for six years so borrowing money may be more difficult. This can make it harder to get credit like a mortgage or a loan in the future.

Once you’ve completed your Trust Deed, you will no longer have any outstanding unsecured debt so you can start rebuilding your credit rating.

Can I change or cancel my Trust Deed?

As your Trust Deed is legally binding, you won’t be able to cancel it once it’s under way. If you’re having difficulties, please let your Trustee know so they can review your income and expenditure to make any changes if necessary. We want to make sure your payments remain affordable so you can successfully complete your Trust Deed. Getting you debt free is our top priority.

Can I get a Trust Deed twice?

You must have been discharged from your first Trust Deed before you enter into a second arrangement.

Legally you are able to apply for a second Trust Deed without any time limit. Your creditors still vote on the Trust Deed in the same way as the first arrangement. If you’ve been through one already, you will know how it all works.

Do I need to tell people at work?

Some jobs need you to declare that you’re in a formal debt solution, so check your employment contract or with HR to be sure about this. It is unlikely to affect your job and most employers are very understanding, as you’re clearly taking action to deal with your situation.

I don’t live in Scotland. Is a similar solution available elsewhere?

A Trust Deed is similar to an IVA. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can find more about other debt solutions that may suit your circumstances here.

What happens at the end of my Trust Deed?

After you’ve made all payments over the agreed term, you will be legally debt free from those debts included in it.

Your Trustee will give you a certificate of discharge, confirming that your creditors must write off your outstanding debt to them, and your credit file will also be updated.

You can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Trust Deeds here – if you still feel unsure, talk to our specialist team on 0800 197 7211.

What other solutions may be available?

Living in Scotland, you may be able to apply for a debt payment programme under the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) – this enables you to pay off your debts in full over a reasonable period of time with no interest, fees and charges guaranteed.

Depending on your circumstances, you could also consider a Debt Management Plan – this is an informal arrangement where you pay a monthly payment to your creditors. It won’t appear on any public registers and it’s not a legally binding solution. Take a look at when might be the right time to consider a Debt Management Plan.

Sequestration is an insolvency option that will allow you to deal with your debts when other solutions aren’t appropriate. If you can’t afford to pay debts of more than £3,000, you may apply to the Sheriff’s Court to declare you bankrupt. Find out more about sequestration.

You can get more help and support from Money Advice Scotland and MyGovScot.

Is a Trust Deed right for you?

Here’s a quick summary of what to bear in mind when you’re considering a Trust Deed as a debt solution. Have a chat with our team to help you decide.


  • Fixed timeline, usually 4 years
  • Affordable monthly payments
  • No more hassle from your creditors
  • No more interest and charges
  • Keep your home
  • No hidden fees
  • Unsecured debts written off on completion


  • You may have to remortgage or sell your assets
  • Affects your credit rating
  • Recorded on Register of Insolvencies
  • Can affect your employment
  • Risk of bankruptcy if your Trust Deed fails

Nobody has exactly the same circumstances, which is why we’re here to help you find out which option might suit you best. Simply call 0800 197 7211 or get free debt advice from specialists at PayPlan Scotland today.

Let’s make life more affordable

You’re just two steps away from taking back control of your finances and freeing up more money for you and your family.

No impact on your credit score.

Excellent, professional, friendly and empathetic service. PayPlan have given us our lives back!
Sandra Daly

Sandra Daly

5 stars
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Excellent, professional, friendly and empathetic service. PayPlan have given us our lives back!
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