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The housing benefit reforms launched by the UK government is leading to a debt crisis for Scots, a report claims.

The findings from the Scottish Government highlight that rent arrears are on the increase with private renting increasingly becoming ‘completely unaffordable’ in some parts of Scotland.

The report highlights that the introduction of Universal Credit is having a big impact not only on the numbers who have rent arrears but also on how much they owe is increasing.

Their findings highlight that 72% of East Lothian’s social housing tenants who claim universal credit are now behind on their rent, compared with 30% on average for the region.

Around one in five of Scotland’s 2.4 million households receive financial help with their housing costs.

Parts of Scotland also highlight that some private landlords are looking to sell their rental properties which is making families homeless.

People living in Scotland and struggling with their debts

For people living in Scotland and struggling with their debts, there is help at hand and freely available advice.

One potential way to find out what you can do to deal with your debts is to speak with the debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed who can discuss your current situation and a way to resolve it.

This advice is impartial which means you don’t have to follow it.

Along with the option of undertaking a trust deed, which is a way to repay your debts at an amount you can afford and the amount that remains at the end of the agreed period being written off, there’s also the chance of a debt arrangement scheme (DAS).

This was created by the Scottish government and works in a similar way to a trust deed in that you agree to repay your creditors at a lower rate for a set period until all of the debt has been repaid. This is an increasingly popular choice for Scots in debt.

Advantages and disadvantages with a debt arrangement scheme

As with the Scottish trust deed, there are advantages and disadvantages with a debt arrangement scheme with the advantages including protection from your lenders hassling you and all charges and interest being frozen on the debt.

The debt arrangement scheme helps to make unsecured debts, that’s things like bank overdrafts, payday and personal loans and credit cards, be more manageable.

The aim is to repay them at an amount you can afford over a longer period of time though it is possible to have a suspension of repayments should you suffer a reduced income temporarily.

The disadvantages to a debt arrangement scheme include not being able to include your secured debts such as a mortgage or hire purchase repayments and the arrangement will last until the debt is fully cleared.

Also, your name will be on the DAS register so you will be unable to borrow more money while the agreement is in place.

Living in Scotland and struggling with debts

For those who are living in Scotland and struggling with their debts, the debt arrangement scheme will appear to be attractive but it’s important you receive expert debt advice which may outline your other potential options.

If you want to know more about a debt arrangement scheme, or a trust deed, then you should speak with the team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed as soon as possible.