What is a Protected Trust Deed?

A protected trust deed (PTD) is a legally-binding debt solution that was created specifically for people living in Scotland. It was created by the Scottish government to help people who are struggling to repay unsecured debts at the rate originally agreed. You simply make one affordable monthly payment to us, which we distribute amongst all of the agreed creditors for four years. After this period, any remaining debt is simply written off, leaving you debt free!

As with all debt solutions, there are pros and cons to protected trust deeds, this is why you need to talk to our expert trust deed advisers who can look at your specific set of circumstances and discuss the best solution for you.

Please Note: Debt Assist UK only provide debt advice; we do not directly provide any financial solutions ourselves. We will talk you through your available options and if appropriate, we can offer you a no-obligation referral to a regulated debt solution provider, from whom we may receive a referral fee. Some debt solutions involve fees to you – these fees may differ based on the circumstances of your individual situation, but will always be explained to you by your chosen solution provider in writing before you decide to take up their service(s).

Pros of a Protected Trust Deed

  • After four years, any remaining debt can be written off.
  • Creditors must stop chasing you for payment.
  • All interest and charges are frozen.

Cons of a Protected Trust Deed

  • Your credit rating will be affected for six years.
  • May affect your job.
  • You may have to release equity in your home.
  • Your details will be added to the insolvency register.
  • Failure could lead to sequestration and any frozen interest could be added on.
  • Your expenditure is restricted.
  • Your creditors don’t need to approve a trust deed.
  • Any debts not included will still need to be repaid in full.

The main advantage of a trust deed is that it is a legally-binding agreement, which means that any further interest or charges will be frozen (which means the sooner you contact us, the less you pay back), your creditors must stop chasing you for payment – providing that much needed relief from the the stress that debt can bring – and, the best part, after four years, anything that remains of your debt can be legally written off!

On the negative side, it is only available to residents of Scotland (although if you are based elsewhere in the UK an individual voluntary arrangement is similar), your credit rating will be affected for six years, however if you are in the position that a protected trust deed is suitable, your credit rating isn’t likely to be exemplary in the first place, and after six years you are in a great place to begin building it up again. The last two cons – having an effect on your job and equity release in your home – depends wholly upon your individual circumstances and you should talk to our advisers about this.


Alternatives to a Protected Trust Deed

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a legal procedure for people in financial difficulties with unsecured debts. It is a legal agreement between you and your creditors to only pay what you can actually afford to pay off your debts.

Debt Management Plan (DMP)

Usually suitable for people with unsecured debts totalling under £15,000, a debt management plan (DMP) is an informal way to repay your creditors by making a single, affordable payment every month. As DMPs are flexible, the amount you pay can change depending on your financial circumstances.


If your debt has reached an unmanageable level, bankruptcy is one way of managing it, especially if you are in no position to pay off your debts in a reasonable time frame.