Trust Deed

A Scottish Trust Deed is a legally binding financial agreement between a person and their creditors. Similar in scope and terms to IVAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, trust deeds are only available to people living in Scotland.

Free and impartial money advice is available from the Money Helper, an organisation set up by the Government for people in debt.

To learn more about managing debt and receiving free, impartial debt advice, visit Money Helper or read about options for paying off your debt

Scottish Trust Deed Debt Solution

Trust Deed

A Guide to a Trust Deed

A Scottish trust deed involves your financial situation being assessed by a debt advisor or a licensed Insolvency Practitioner who serves as a Trustee of your debt and will act as an intermediate between you and your creditors. In general, a trust deed is available to anyone who is currently living in Scotland or who has lived there in the previous 12 months, running up to the time an application is made.

You must:

  • Live in Scotland, either now or in the last 12 months. You could also have a place of business in Scotland
  • Have unsecured debts of more than £5,000 in total
  • Be able to pay a monthly contribution due to having a sufficient expendable income. A general rule is that your Trust Deed will allow at least 10% of your debt to be repaid. However, this does not guarantee that your Trust Deed will be accepted and becomes ‘protected.’
  • Be insolvent. In other words, they cannot repay their debts as their liabilities are more significant than your assets.

What You Need to Know

If you’re dealing with unmanageable debt, a Trust Deed can be an effective way to take back control of your finances. However, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding.

Benefits of a Trust Deed:

  • Single Monthly Payment – A Trust Deed allows you to consolidate multiple unsecured debts into one affordable monthly payment. This makes it easier to manage your finances and prevents you from falling further into debt.
  • Debt Written Off – At the end of your Trust Deed, any remaining unsecured debts are written off, giving you a clear timeline for becoming debt-free.
  • Legal Protection from Creditors – Once your Trust Deed is in effect, creditors can no longer take legal action against you. This means they can’t contact you or take any steps to collect their debts. You’ll also be protected from attachment of earnings and charges against your property.
  • Frozen Interest and Charges – With a Trust Deed, interest and charges on your accounts are frozen, which can help you get out of debt more quickly.
  • Includes HMRC Tax and VAT Debts – If you’re a business owner, a Trust Deed can help you deal with HMRC Tax and VAT debts by including them in your debt management plan.


  • Publicly Listed – While a Trust Deed agreement is not typically publicised in local newspapers, your name and address will be listed in the Scottish Insolvency Register, which is accessible online.
  • Homeowners Must Release Equity – If you’re a homeowner, you’ll be required to release 100% of your share in any equity in your property to increase the amount you repay to your creditors. This can be arranged at any point during your Trust Deed.
  • Relatively Inflexible – Once you’ve started a Trust Deed, it’s not easy to change the terms of the agreement. Any significant changes can only be made with the agreement of your creditors, and if your circumstances change and you cannot make your payments, your Trust Deed may fail.
  • Negative Impact on Credit Rating – Starting a Trust Deed can significantly impact your credit rating.


A Trust Deed can be a valuable solution for managing unmanageable debt, but it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages before deciding. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of a Trust Deed, you can decide whether it’s the right solution for you.

Free and impartial money advice is available from the Money Helper, an organisation set up by the Government for people in debt.

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