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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

Getting an IVA

How do I get an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)?

An IVA is a debt solution that helps you make affordable payments towards your debt. It is a legally binding agreement with the people you owe.

It is important to understand if an IVA is right for you and what the process is like.

Get expert debt advice before choosing an IVA. You need to:

  • Make sure it is the best solution for you
  • Understand the risks and benefits

This section explains:

  • How to get an IVA
  • The fees and costs involved
  • Who can manage an IVA for you

IVAs are arranged by StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, part of StepChange Debt Charity. In Scotland, a protected trust deed is a similar solution. This has different benefits, risks and fees.

How does an IVA work?

There are two ways an IVA works. You can either:

  • Make 60 or 72 affordable monthly payments towards your total debt, or
  • Offer a lump sum settlement

IVA fees are included in your monthly repayments.

The people you owe vote on whether to approve your IVA. 75% of them must agree for it to go forward.

During the IVA:

  • You are protected from legal action on all included debts
  • Your finances are reviewed every year
  • The people you owe get progress reports

Fees are detailed in your IVA proposal, which an IP will assist in drafting. Any fees have to be approved by creditors. Your IP will explain what fees you need to pay for your IVA.

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.

mum at the table with bills

Thinking about an IVA?

We can help. Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Video: What is an IVA?

Applying for an IVA? Get free debt advice first

Use our online debt advice tool before you apply for an IVA.

You need impartial advice to know if an IVA is the best option for you.

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