Can I write off my debt?



The simple answer is yes. The more considered answer is that it depends on your circumstances. Contrary to what most people think, it is not just about the size of your debt, albeit there are certain thresholds of debt in order to qualify for particular debt solutions. There are a number of things to be considered in order to select the most appropriate debt solution and thus determine how much debt you can write off.

Assessing your problem

The first thing to be done is to assess the extent of your debt problems and work out how much you owe and to who. In conjunction with this it is important to work out your income and in particular what is left from your income after normal living expenses such as food and rent etc.

You must also qualify for particular debt solutions and this must be considered to find out what your options will be. In addition to this you must also take into account your personal circumstances in terms of the effects particular debt solutions may have on important aspects such as your job, and your home if you are a home owner.

Seek professional debt advice

We always recommend that you seek professional debt advice to ensure you have the latest information available and can be advised by professional advisors who will provide independent and objective advice. E-P Debt offers free and confidential debt help across Scotland.

Debt solutions to consider

We would normally list the debt solutions in order of ascendancy based on considering the least serious options first. However as this article has led on writing off debt we have listed the options by the highest amount of debt that can potentially be written off.


Bankruptcy should always be seen as the last alternative debt solution. It is a formal legal solution for people who are unable to repay their debts in a reasonable time period. It enables individuals with serious debt problems to agree an affordable monthly payment, usually for up to three years and to be able to write off their unaffordable debt. People are normally discharged from bankruptcy after a year.

Trust Deed

A trust deed is a Scottish debt solution used as an alternative to bankruptcy which has the benefit to home owners of being able to keep their home, albeit they usually have to release equity in it to do so. A trust deed is a formal agreement with your creditors to make an affordable single monthly payment for three years after which the balance of your unsecured debts are written off.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

The debt arrangement scheme is a Scottish Government backed scheme that helps people who are struggling with debt to make an agreement with their creditors to reduce their monthly payments by repaying over a longer period of time. This type of arrangement does not reduce your debt or allow you to write off any of your debt.

This format also applies to other debt solutions such as debt management plans and debt consolidation loans which can help people to manage their debts but can end up meaning you pay more in the long run and there is no option to write off any debt.

By E-P Debt

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