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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)

Individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a formal agreement between you and the people you owe. It helps you repay your debts at an affordable amount.

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.

IVAs are legally binding. agreements that can help you deal with your debts. You can only get one with the help of an insolvency practitioner (IP).

How does an IVA work?

1. You build a budget with your IP to see what you can afford to pay towards debts

2. You make an offer of payment to the people you owe

3. If they agree, they set fees to be included in your payments

4. You pay off your debts through either:

  • A 60 or 72 month repayment plan or
  • A one-off payment (lump sum IVA)

5. Any leftover debts are written off at the end

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.

Watch: An introduction to IVAs

How can I apply for an IVA?

You need to get free debt advice before applying for an IVA.

Our IVA subsidiary, StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, can help if an IVA is the right option for you.

They will:

  • Review your finances and
  • Make a proposal to your creditors

There are no upfront fees and we do not charge for debt advice.

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.

Our IVA costs and fees follow industry standards. There are no fees if you decide not to go ahead with an IVA.

mum at the table with bills

Want to know how an IVA will work for you?

Free, online debt advice available now

Get debt help

household bills iconWorried about money and your mortgage?

Maybe it is a strain to keep on top of monthly spending. Or you don't know what to do when your fixed rate mortgage ends.

Together, we can look at your situation and unlock your options.

Read our homeowner guides.

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