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Thinking about going ahead with an IVA?

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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

Getting an IVA

Individual voluntary arrangements: Loans and credit

While you have an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement), there are rules over not taking out further credit, such as loans and credit cards.

You’ll need written permission from the insolvency practitioner (IP) supervising the arrangement before you can borrow any further money.

IVAs are arranged by StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, part of StepChange Debt Charity.

Considering an IVA?

They aren't available if you live in Scotland. In Scotland, a protected trust deed is a similar solution, but has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

mum at the table with bills

Thinking about going ahead with an IVA?

We're here to help. Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

What credit aren’t you allowed to take out on an IVA?

During an IVA you can’t borrow more than £500 from any lender without asking your IP for their permission first. This includes:

  • credit cards
  • overdrafts
  • personal loans
  • payday loans (and other products from commercial lenders)
  • borrowing money from family or friends

Even if you get permission from your IP, you may find it difficult to borrow from many lenders, because your credit file will show the IVA and defaults on your existing debts.

You need to think carefully about an IVA because it can affect different areas of your life, including your job, home and your ability to get credit in the future. IVAs and credit rating

If you take out further credit of more than £500 without permission, you’ll be breaching the terms of your IVA.

Can I borrow money from family and friends during my IVA?

It’s against the terms of your IVA to obtain additional credit above £500 without prior consent from your IVA supervisor. This includes borrowing money from family or friends.

By repaying your family and friends first, you’re showing them preferential treatment over and above the creditors in your IVA.

If you’re struggling with your monthly budget or your IVA payments, or you have an emergency cost to meet, it’s important you contact your IVA provider to discuss your options.

Could I enter into a salary reduction scheme during my IVA?

Like borrowing money from your family or friends, most salary deduction schemes are treated as a form of additional credit, as you’re effectively borrowing money from your employer. These include cycle to work schemes and season ticket loans.

Depending on the type of salary deduction, your IVA provider may be able to agree to this, but it’ll depend on the amount of the deduction, the reason for it and the impact on your IVA.

For example, a season ticket loan may actually result in you having more money available each month, as it’s cheaper than paying for regular tickets, so your IVA provider may be able to agree to it. However, in every case, your provider would need to see full details of the scheme before making any decision about whether they agree to you entering into it.

If you're in doubt, talk to your IVA provider. They'll be happy to clarify anything you're unsure about and tell you exactly where you stand.

Clare Lindley and James O'Carroll of StepChange Voluntary Arrangements are licensed to act as insolvency practitioners in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.

Get help now

If you’re considering an IVA, it’s important to get free and impartial debt advice first. You can only get an IVA with the help of an insolvency practitioner. StepChange Voluntary Arrangements is an approved organisation to manage IVAs.

If you already have an IVA, you should always discuss your situation with your IP first.

StepChange Voluntary Arrangements is a registered trading name of Consumer Credit Counselling Service Voluntary Arrangements Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of StepChange Debt Charity.