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i The advice on this page applies to residents in England and Wales only.

Tips to keep your IVA running smoothly

Starting an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) can be daunting. Now you’re one of our clients, we’re here to help you stick to the terms of your IVA.

There are some practical things you can do to help make life during your IVA term easier.

9 things to do to keep your IVA running smoothly:


  1. Read your review letter and budget carefully, and use this to manage your money between reviews.
  2. Be vigilant with your budget. Even when your IVA is approved, it’s always wise to keep track of any fluctuations in your expenditure. A budget can give you a sense of control over your spending.
  3. Get in touch if you have an unexpected expense and you can’t afford your payment.  Keep in mind that things may change. and life happens. If you’ve had an unexpected change you can contact us and we’ll do our best to help.
  4. Tell us if you get any rebates from the taxman. It’s important because these must be paid into your IVA in full.
  5. Keep track of all your paperwork. File it as soon as possible in a way that makes it easy to refer to. It might sound a bit obvious but it’s amazing how easy it is to lose track of these things.
  6. Call all us as soon as possible if you have any questions or concerns. We will do the best to help you resolve any problems you have with making your IVA payments.
  7. If we ask you for any information, please get back to us as soon as you can. If there's an issue with your IVA, resolving it as quickly as possible is the best way to keep everything on track. 
  8. Keep us informed of any overtime pay or other additional income you receive. We'll review your situation and work out how much extra you need to pay into your IVA. Not doing this may be considered a breach of your IVA, which is a formal agreement. Remember – if you earn above your limit, you’ll need to pay more into your IVA.
  9. Reclaim missold PPI. If you have a valid PPI claim try not to use a fee-charging claims management company. Instead, you can make the PPI claim yourself for free. Any money you receive must be paid into your IVA.


6 things to avoid doing while on an IVA:

  1. Don’t ignore the sundries and emergencies section of your budget. The money allocated to sundries and emergencies is meant to be put aside in case of unexpected expenses. If you start neglecting this part of your budget, it can be much harder to deal with an unexpected expense such as fixing a broken appliance. Put the money in a separate account or even a jam jar if this is easier!
  2. Don’t pay unsecured creditors separately to your IVA payment. Your creditors are bound by the terms of your IVA and shouldn't be asking you to pay anything extra to them.
  3. Don't borrow any money during your IVA, even from family or friends, without talking to us first.
  4. Don't use an overdraft. Using an overdraft counts as borrowing money.
  5. Don't worry too much about receiving letters from your creditors. These are usually statements, and you don’t need to do anything. However, if there’s a threat of action send a copy to us and we’ll look at it for you.
  6. Don't replace your car or get a new one without talking to us first. Cars count as assets and can have ongoing costs that may affect your IVA. 

Our team is here to help

0800 197 1713 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm


Our address

StepChange Voluntary Arrangements

Arena Point

Merrion Way



Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2017