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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.

1. Read your review letter and budget carefully

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. Tell us if you can’t afford your IVA payment

Keep in mind that things may change, and life happens. If you’ve had an unexpected expense or will struggle to make your IVA payment this month, you can contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

4. Tell us if you get any tax rebates

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 us as soon as possible with any questions or concerns

We will do the best to help you resolve any problems you have with making your IVA payments.

7.  Help us resolve any issues as soon as you can

If there's an issue with your IVA, resolving it quickly is the best way to keep everything on track. If we ask you call us back with some information we need, please call as soon as possible.  

8.  Keep us informed of additional income

This includes overtime, bonuses or any other extra 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.


Things to avoid on an IVA

1.  Don’t ignore your sundries and emergencies

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

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

You must talk to us before deciding to borrow money while your IVA is active. This includes borrowing money from family and friends. 

4.  Don't use an overdraft

Using an overdraft counts as borrowing money.

5.  Don't worry too much about 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 buy a car without talking to us first

If you want to replace your car or buy a new one while your IVA is active, you must talk 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