The number of people using the Government-run debt arrangement scheme (DAS) as an alternative to bankruptcy has doubled.
Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the near 100% rise, from 440 in the last three months of 2010 to 878 in the same period last year, as evidence of growing awareness of the scheme.
However, over the same period, awards of bankruptcy rose 5%, from 2,501 to 2,615.
DAS, administered by Government insolvency agency Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), offers people struggling with unmanageable debts an alternative to becoming bankrupt.
It allows people to freeze interest and charges to prevent debts mounting up and stops creditors using debt enforcement action, safeguarding people's homes so long as they keep up mortgage repayments.
Mr Ewing, who was at Glasgow City Council's Money Advice Centre to launch a campaign to publicise DAS, said: "DAS is a way for people who are struggling to pay back their debts to freeze their interest payments and charges, protect themselves from legal action and give themselves longer to pay. Rather than juggling several payments, they make a single regular payment to one organisation.
"DAS is the only Government-backed scheme to do this and it allows hard-pressed families to take control of the situation before it is too late.
"AiB's recent work to raise awareness of DAS and its benefits for debtors and creditors has been reflected in the recent increase in take-up for the scheme. It offers a sensible option for Scots who are finding it difficult to keep on top of their debts but want to avoid bankruptcy.
"We have seen a 100% growth in the number of people using the scheme between the third quarter of 2011-12 and the corresponding period last year. I welcome this increase and would encourage others who are struggling with debts to use the scheme to take control."
Debt payment programmes arranged under DAS allow people to repay debt over any reasonable length of time, based on the amount they owe and their income and outgoings. Creditors receive at least 90% of the money they are owed by the time the payment programme finishes, more than they would likely receive if the debtor went bankrupt.