Advice Direct Scotland (ICO Registration Z9035412) (“ADS”) takes your privacy very seriously. This Privacy Notice is intended to set out your rights and answer any queries you may have about your personal data.

If you contact us through the helpline and are forwarded to the team, contact us through the dedicated helpline, or use services provided through (including live chat and email) the controller of your data will be ADS.

Our personal information handling policies and procedures have been developed in line with the requirements of the 1995 European Union Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC), the General Data Protection Regulation (in force from 25 May 2018) and applicable national law.

Statement of Policy

As a responsible and ethical organisation, we recognise that we have an obligation to conduct our business activities with due skill care and diligence in a way which maximises the positive impact on our workforce, on our community and on our environment.

As such we are committed to the establishment, development and continuous improvement of business strategies, and their associated processes and procedures, which reflect our core values in direct alignment with our sense of corporate social responsibility.

What information do we collect?

We collect and process personal data about you when you interact with our advisers or automated services. The personal data we process may include:

  • Initial customer details:
    • Salutation
    • Name
    • Email address
    • Address
    • Mobile phone number
  • Debt application (general):
    • Household composition
    • Address history (5 years)
    • Employment status
    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • Relationship status
    • No. of dependant children
    • No. vehicles owned
    • Housing status
    • Self-disclosed mental health issue
  • Debt application (income):
    • Income (salary)
    • Maintenance income (inc. child support)
    • Lodger/boarder income
    • Student income (e.g. SAAS)
    • Benefits
    • Pensions (inc. state and private)
    • Equity (inc. properties, mortgage, secured loans)
    • Assets (inc. value of vehicles, savings)
  • Debt application (expenditure):
    • Priority debt:
      • Rent
      • Service charge/factor fees
      • Mortgage
      • Mortgage endowment/PPI
      • Secure loans
      • Council Tax
      • Gas
      • Electricity
      • Other utilities
      • TV licence
      • Sheriff court fines
      • Maintenance/child support
      • Building & contents insurance
      • Pension
      • Life insurance
      • Childcare costs
      • Adult care costs
      • HMRC/Income Tax
      • Friend and family debt
    • Landline and mobile phone
    • Travel:
      • Transport
      • Care insurance
      • Vehicle tax
      • Fuel (petrol/diesel etc.)
      • MOT/car maintenance
      • Breakdown & recovery
      • Parking costs
    • Housekeeping:
      • Food
      • Household cleaning/laundry
      • Cigarettes/tobacco/alcohol
      • Clothing & footwear
      • Baby items (nappies etc.)
      • Pet costs
    • Other expenditure:
      • Health & beauty
      • Home maintenance & repairs
      • Internet, cable, tv rental
      • Pocket money/school trips/hobbies/leisure/sports
      • Gambling
      • Gifts (Christmas, birthdays etc.)
    • Non-priority debt:
      • Loans or hire purchase agreements
      • Car lease costs
      • Credit/store cards
      • Overdraft
      • Catalogue
  • Debt solution/plan already in place
  • Relevant evidence
  • Information related to the browser or device you use to access our website;
  • And/or any other information you provide.
What is the source of this information?

We collect this information directly from you, our personnel and through our systems and equipment.

How do we use this information and what is the legal basis for this use?

We process the data listed above for the following purposes:

Purpose Lawful Basis
to assist you in your enquiry
to provide relevant and applicable guidance, advice and information
to discern your eligibility for specialist projects
Legitimate Interests (GDPR, Article 6(1)(f)) - We need to process your data to provide you with our services
to forward you relevant information or advice via email or text, following the resolution of your query Legitimate Interests (GDPR, Article 6(1)(f)) - We need to process your data to provide you with this service
protecting ADS’s legitimate business interests and legal rights, including but not limited to, use in connection with legal claims, compliance, regulatory and investigative purposes (including disclosure of such information in connection with legal process or litigation) Legitimate Interests (GDPR, Article 6(1)(f)) - We may need to process your data to protect our organisation
to monitor use of our websites and online services Legitimate Interests (GDPR, Article 6(1)(f)) - We may use your information to help us check, improve and protect our products, content, services and websites, both online and offline
to monitor any customer account to prevent, investigate and/or report fraud, terrorism, misrepresentation, security incidents or crime Legitimate Interests (GDPR, Article 6(1)(f)) and Legal Obligation (GDPR, Article 6(1)(c)) - We are legally obliged to process data for this purpose
to provide our funders with anonymous statistics on service use Legitimate Interests (GDPR, Article 6(1)(f)) - These reports will never include any personally identifiable information, meaning no-one will be able to discern who you are from the information provided
to comply with applicable law and legislation Legal Obligation (GDPR, Article 6(1)(c)) - We are legally obliged to process data for this purpose
With whom and where will we share your personal data?
  • Personal data may be shared with government authorities and/or law enforcement officials if required for the purposes above, if mandated by law or if needed for the legal protection of our legitimate interests in compliance with applicable laws.
  • If we make a referral on your behalf, to which you agree, we may share some personal information, such as name and telephone number, with third party organisations for the purposes of facilitating said referral, in line with our legitimate interests.
  • If we contact a third party on your behalf, such as a lender, we will undertake to have you complete a Mandate of Authority before proceeding.
How long do we keep your personal data?

We will not keep your personal information for any purpose for longer than is necessary and will only retain the personal information that is necessary in relation to the purpose. We are also required to retain certain information as required by law or for as long as is reasonably necessary to meet regulatory requirements, resolve disputes, prevent fraud and abuse, or enforce our terms and conditions.

If you contact us through any or our services, we will keep your information for as long as is necessary to resolve your query and for 5 years after the query is closed, in line with Financial Conduct Authority regulations.

We will retain your data for a short time beyond the specified retention period, to allow for information to be reviewed and any deletion to take place. In some instances, laws may require ADS to hold certain information for specific periods other than those listed above.

How we keep your data secure?

As a controller of personal data, we have in place appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure we implement the data protection principles outlined.

Our approach to data protection is monitored by a core team involving both Senior and Junior Management. Guided by our ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accredited Information Security Management System and delivered by all personnel, our data protection approach is designed to ensure that our operations are resilient. All data we hold is stored in Tier 3 and Tier 4 Data Centres with multiple redundancies and extremely strict access requirements, within the European Economic Area (“EEA”).

If any personal information is stored on a third party, cloud-based solution, we ensure that the third party complies with data protection principles when processing your data.

Forms of Authority

In order to work with third-parties and discuss your case with creditors, we will require a Form of Authority. This allows third-parties and creditors to talk to us about your debt with the same level of detail as you would receive, and is a vital component in allowing us to help you. This Form will be provided by the advisor/portal where required.

What are your rights in relation to your personal data?

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete, you can notify us and ask us to correct or supplement it.

You also have the right, with some exceptions and qualifications, to ask us to provide a copy of any personal data we hold about you.

You have a right to be “forgotten”. You can ask us to delete all personally identifiable data stored about you.

Where you have provided your data to us and it is processed by automated means, you may be able to request that we provide it to you in a structured, machine readable format.

If you have a complaint about how we have handled your personal data, you may be able to ask us to restrict how we use your personal data while your complaint is resolved. In some circumstances you can ask us to erase your personal data (a) by withdrawing your consent for us to use it; (b) if it is no longer necessary for us to use your personal data; (c) if you object to the use of your personal data and we don’t have a good reason to continue to use it; or (d) if we haven’t handled your personal data in accordance with our obligations.


Similar to most other websites, our website uses cookies. ‘Cookies’ are small pieces of information stored on your computer which allows websites to recognise you when you visit. These cookies will not identify you as an individual but will collect statistical data concerning your browsing patterns and actions online. We use cookies in order to understand more about how our site is being used by visitors.

Cookies help us track various aspects of user visitations to our website. This includes the length of a user visit, their geographic location and patterns of user navigation on our site.

You can switch off cookies on your computer, although this may result in a loss of functionality when accessing our website.

Other websites

The website may contain links to websites which are controlled by external organisations. This privacy policy only covers our own website. Therefore, we strongly advise that you read the privacy notices of other sites, even if they are accessed using links from our website.

Additionally, we are not responsible for the privacy policies and security practices of other third-party sites which may link you to our website. We are not responsible for the policies and practices of these sites and recommend that you read the privacy policy of these sites. 

Review process

Advice Direct Scotland ensure that this policy is kept under regular review. Any updates or amendments to the document will be posted on our website.

Where can you find more information about ADS’s handling of your data?

If you have any outstanding questions or requests regarding this policy or our privacy practices in general, you can contact us by email through this website. Alternatively, you can write to us at:

Data Protection Officer
Mercantile Chambers
39 – 69 Bothwell Street
G2 6TS

If you are not happy with our response or require further information regarding data processing rules and regulations, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office: