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Home » Debt Solutions » Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

How can an IVA help me?

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is an agreement reached between you and your creditors to repay the money you owe over a set period. It’s a legally binding arrangement designed to make your debt more manageable, offering you a clear path towards becoming debt-free.

For personalised IVA debt advice, our experts can guide you through the process and help you understand if an IVA is the right solution for your financial situation.

IVAs aren’t available for those in Scotland, but there are alternative debt solutions available. Visit our Debt Help Scotland page for more information.

Once you enter an IVA, your creditors aren’t permitted to contact you directly. Instead, all contact goes through your Insolvency Practitioner (IP).

After making repayments for a set period (usually five years), any remaining debt is officially written off. Learn more about How IVA’s Work.

Example IVA

See how an IVA could make a difference to you…

Bank Loans £14,000
Credit Cards £2,442
Payday Loan £900
Overdraft £2,474
Total amount owed £18,798

Using our average debt write-off

Total debt:

Debt written off:



Total repaid £5,075 🎉 Reduced by 73%

*26% of MoneyPlus customers who completed an IVA in 2023 wrote-off more than 85%. On average our IVA customers had a debt write-off of 65% in 2023. May not be suitable in all circumstances. Fees apply. Your credit rating may be affected.

4 ways an IVA could benefit you if approved

  • Stops interest and additional fees
  • Consolidates debts into one monthly payment
  • Gives you peace of mind
  • Legal protection from creditors

When deciding whether an IVA is right for you, it’s important to make sure you know how it could change your current situation and whether you’re able to cover the costs involved.

Keep in mind, an IVA will affect your credit rating and there’s no guarantee creditors will agree to the request.

Can an IVA cover all debts?

An IVA can cover most types of unsecured debts (credit cards, personal loans, overdrafts, council tax arrears etc). However, there are some exceptions. Typically, an IVA won’t cover secured loans, such as mortgages or car finance agreements, student loans and child support payments. They also don’t cover court fines or TV licence arrears. An IP can provide detailed advice about which of your debts can be included.

IVA Advantages and Disadvantages


  • An IVA may result in a substantial amount of your debt being written off
  • One affordable monthly payment each month
  • Protection from bailiffs and other legal action
  • Creditors can only communicate with the IP
  • No additional interest or fees will accumulate
  • The IVA is a legally binding agreement, offering security
  • Major assets, including your home, are generally protected


  • Entering an IVA will negatively affect your credit rating and it’ll remain on your credit file for six years from the start date
  • There’s no assurance that creditors will agree to your proposed IVA plan
  • An IVA only applies to unsecured debts, with secured debts still requiring payment
  • Entry into an IVA is noted on the public Insolvency Register, disclosing your name
  • Failing to comply with the terms permits creditors to recommence collection activities
  • You must stick to a strict budget for everyday expenses throughout your IVA
  • You might need to release home equity. If this isn’t possible, your IVA period could be extended

Find out more about IVA advantages and disadvantages.

Are you eligible for an IVA?

Our expert debt advisors can provide you with all the details on debt solutions and what you need to qualify. If you’re considering an IVA, here’s a quick rundown of the basic requirements: 

  • At least £80 in spare income each month 
  • A minimum overall debt of £6,000
  • Debts with at least two separate creditors 
  • Residence in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland

Further IVA debt advice

How much does an IVA cost?

Explore a detailed breakdown of fees associated with an IVA including nominee’s, supervisors, and disbursement costs.

Self-employed debt help

Essential IVA debt advice for self-employed individuals facing debts, the consequences of non-payment, and solutions for financial recovery. 


How do I choose an IVA company?

An IVA is a formal and legally binding agreement between you and your creditors to pay back your debts over time, so it’s important to work with a company that is reputable and trustworthy.

Always research and compare IVA companies and check the company is registered and accredited by a relevant body. To check if a firm is authorised and has permission for the service it’s offering, you can use the Financial Services Register to find information on how you’re protected.

It’s important to note, IVA companies will not be on the register if they’re not FCA authorised. IVA companies are not required to be authorised by the FCA as the IP is personally regulated by a Recognised Professional Body (RPB) such as:
– Insolvency Practitioner’s Association (IPA)
– Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
– Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
– Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)

IVA companies will not be on the register if they are not FCA authorised. IVA companies are not required to be authorised by the FCA as the registered IP is personally regulated by another RPB such as Insolvency Practitioner’s Association (IPA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI).

How do I know if an IVA company is good or bad?

Entering an IVA is an important decision, so it’s wise to take time to consider all your options thoroughly -perhaps even discuss them with family or friends. While it’s advisable to tackle your debts as soon as possible, companies shouldn’t pressure you by pushing for a decision.
A good IVA company will keep you updated every step of the way, clarifying the process and what you should expect next. For an IVA to be legal, it must be handled by a licenced Insolvency Practitioner.

Are there free IVA services?

IVA services are never free. Debt charities still charge IP fees and their service costs will be passed over to your creditors, meaning that you may not get the best repayment deal as you would with a top-rated private se

How long does an IVA last?

An IVA typically lasts for five years. However, the duration can vary based on individual circumstances. In some cases, if there are changes to your financial situation or if certain conditions are met, the IVA could be extended. 

How long does it take to set up an IVA?

It typically takes between four to six weeks to set up an IVA. However, the overall duration can vary depending on how quickly you can provide your financial information, the complexity of your financial situation and how long it takes your creditors to respond.

How long does an IVA stay on your credit report?

An IVA will appear on your credit report for six years, starting from the date it was approved. This record won’t be removed if you finish your IVA earlier, but it will be marked as ‘complete’. 

Can I get my IVA debt written off?

At the end of the IVA term, any remaining unsecured debt covered by the agreement is typically written off. This means you wouldn’t be responsible for paying the remaining balance of these debts after successfully completing the terms of your IVA.

Do I have to be employed to enter an IVA?

No, you can enter an IVA if you’re unemployed, self-employed, part-time, full-time, retired or in receipt of benefits. You’ll just need to have at least £80 in spare income each month that can be paid towards your debts. However, if you can afford more, your monthly payments may be higher.

How will an IVA affect my credit rating

Your IVA will be recorded on your credit report meaning your credit score will go down as a result. Here’s How to improve your credit score after an IVA.

Can I improve my credit score after an IVA?

As your IVA ages, your score should gradually improve. This is because lenders typically pay more attention to your most recent credit history. Your IVA will look better once it’s marked ‘completed’ too.

After six years, it should be removed from your credit report. Because the IVA restricts what you can borrow, you won’t have much credit information during this period, so your score may still be low. However, there are steps you can take to improve your score.

Will an IVA stop bailiffs?

If you have any outstanding court actions including the use of a bailiff, they will be stopped once an IVA has been put in place. This means that bailiffs will no longer be able to attempt collections to repay any debts included in an IVA.

Can you pay off an IVA early?

If your circumstances change or you receive a large windfall whilst completing your IVA, you may be able to settle early. You IP will make the offer by writing a proposal that they put to your creditors. This is called Variation, and for it to go ahead, a minimum of 75% of creditors that respond must agree to it.

What’s the difference between an Individual Voluntary Arrangement and a Debt Management Plan?

Debt Management Plans (DMPs) and IVAs both offer the option to make manageable monthly payments to creditors. However, the key difference lies in their legal status. An IVA is a formal, legally binding agreement that prevents creditors from contacting you directly for payments, requiring them to go through your IP instead.

Whereas, a DMP doesn’t offer this legal protection, meaning creditors could pursue legal action to recover debts.

What’s the difference between an Individual Voluntary Arrangement and Bankruptcy?

Both IVA services and Bankruptcy are forms of insolvency, and entering either requires paying certain fees.
IVAs protect assets while you make reduced payments over five to six years, whereas Bankruptcy, which typically lasts around 12 months, offers little asset protection.

With an IVA, you’ll need at least £80 in spare monthly income, while Bankruptcy only requires you to cover the Bankruptcy fee itself, plus any court fees. Read more about the differences between IVAs and Bankruptcy.