CASHflow - an approved way to deal with debts yourself

 February 2017

Fact sheet no. 28 SCOT CASHflow

This fact sheet tells you what the CASHflow service is and how to use it.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • find out the benefits of using the CASHflow service to make your budget;
  • help you understand how the service works; and
  • find out if CASHflow is a suitable option for you to help you deal with your debts.

What is CASHflow?

CASHflow is a way of dealing with credit debts that you are struggling to pay.  It involves working out a budget sheet and writing to creditors.  This is similar to the self-help process set out in our self-help pack.

What are the benefits of using CASHflow?

  • With CASHflow, an adviser will give you full advice and check your budget sheet for you before you send it to your creditors.  Your completed budget sheet will have the CASHflow logo and a unique reference number on it.  This helps to show your creditors that you have had proper advice from a money adviser and that your offers of repayment are reasonable.
  • Many creditors support CASHflow and use it to help them decide if they will accept offers from people in debt.
  • There is no charge for any part of the CASHflow process and you can always contact us for advice if you need it.

How does CASHflow work?


paper copy

If you don't have an email address and access to the internet, we can send you a paper copy of the budget sheet for you to fill out and post back to us.

If you decide to use CASHflow you will be invited to fill in a detailed budget sheet.  If you have an email address and internet access you can do this online.  We will email you a registration link so that you can set up a secure account on the CASHflow website.

You will be able to log in and out of this account as you fill in your budget sheet and save any changes that you make as you go along.

Filling in the budget sheet

Extra advice:


The information you add is treated confidentially. Your creditors will only see a summary of this information once you decide you are ready to show it to them.

  • The CASHflow budget sheet is set out in a standard format that many creditors and advice agencies use.
  • There are notes to help you to understand what the different headings mean, as well as things that you should keep in mind as you are filling it in.
  • You can add your own notes to explain any of the items in the budget sheet if you want to.
  • You can also add notes if you are unsure about something, to remind you to ask an adviser when you have your budget sheet checked later on.

What if I cannot afford to pay anything?

CASHflow can still be an option even if you do not have any spare money to pay towards your debts. You can use CASHflow to offer token payments, or to explain that you cannot afford to make any payments until your situation improves. Contact us for advice.

When the budget sheet is ready

  • When you have finished your budget sheet, call us back to arrange an appointment with one of our CASHflow advisers.
  • The adviser will check your budget sheet and tell you if you should think about changing anything.  This will include checking whether your spending is within a range that many creditors think is reasonable.
  • The next step is for the adviser to approve your budget sheet and ‘lock’ it to create a financial statement that you can send to your creditors.
  • You can then print copies of your financial statement and sample letters using the CASHflow website.
  • Send the letters to each of your creditors.  Don’t forget to include your financial statement.
  • You can send follow-up letters if creditors do not agree to your offers straight away, or if they ask for a review of your situation.

If your situation changes or you are concerned about the response from your creditors, you can always contact us for more advice.


creditors support the CASHflow process

Many creditors support the CASHflow process because they know it means that you have had independent advice before getting in touch with them.  In many cases, this means they are more likely to agree to your offers, but it does not mean that there is a guarantee that your payment offers will be accepted.  If a creditor does not accept your CASHflow payment offer, contact us for advice.


the CASHflow guide

The ‘CASHflow guide’ contains useful information about what to do if creditors do not accept your offers straight away and what to do if your situation changes.  You can download it from the CASHflow website after you have registered your account. If you do not have internet access, we can post this to you.


What if I have priority debts?

Extra advice:

contact us

If you have any problems when negotiating repayment of your priority debts, contact us for advice.

The law gives different creditors different ways of getting their money back.  If you owe money to a creditor with more power to make you pay, the debt is called a 'priority debt'.  Examples of priority debts include:

  • mortgage and rent arrears;
  • council tax arrears;
  • fuel arrears;
  • court fines; and
  • maintenance arrears.

We call these priority debts because, if you don’t act quickly, these creditors have got strong powers to make you pay.  CASHflow is a way of negotiating with unsecured, non-priority creditors.  Before you can finish your CASHflow budget, you need to agree payments to pay off the arrears on any priority debts that you might have.

Is it the best option for me?

10 ways to clear your debt

In the Debt topics area of our website, we have a section which sets out 10 ways to clear your debt. You can compare:

  • how big or small your debts must be to use each of these options;
  • what type of debt you can repay using each option; and
  • how long each option might last before you are debt free.

At National Debtline we look at all your options so that you can make the best choice. We can also advise you about free debt management plans and alternative options such as bankruptcy, protected trust deeds (PTDs) and the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).  We can give you more information about CASHflow and the other self-help options. Contact us for advice.

Self-employed people

CASHflow does not help you complete a business budget sheet.  If you are self-employed please contact Business Debtline for advice on 0800 197 6026 or

What are my next steps?

If you would like to use CASHflow, call National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 to speak to an adviser. The adviser will ask you questions to help understand your situation and to make sure you get all the advice that you need. If CASHflow is a suitable option, the adviser will arrange to send you an email invitation or a postal pack.