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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

How an IVA affects me

Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) and my job

Most jobs are not affected by an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). But there are important exceptions.

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.

Check if your job could be affected before you set up an IVA.

Get debt advice to make sure this is the best choice for you.

There are no up-front 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.

An individual voluntary arrangement is legally binding. It can help you write off debts, but can have serious consequences.

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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.

Will an IVA affect my job?

An IVA does not affect most jobs, but there are some you cannot keep while you have an IVA.

These are usually jobs where you are in control of other people’s money.

For example, jobs in:

  • Legal services
  • Financial services
  • Property conveyancing
  • Accountancy

An IVA may mean:

  • You cannot keep working these jobs or,
  • You can only work these jobs with certain conditions

Find out if there are risks to your role before you enter an IVA.

Check if an IVA will affect your role by:

  • Checking the terms and conditions of your employment contract
  • Speaking confidentially to your HR department
  • Speaking to your trade union or professional body

Find out more about how an IVA could affect you.

What should I do if an IVA could affect my job?

And IVA may not be the right choice for you if:

  • You think your job may be affected, or
  • You are applying for a job that may be affected

All IVAs are managed by a supervisor who can advise you on this.

Other debt solutions you may want to look at include:

  • A debt management plan (DMP)
  • You make affordable monthly payments
  • Payments are shared out to your creditors
  • This lets you pay off your debts in a reasonable amount of time, usually less than 10 years
  • Remortgaging to pay off debts
  • This is when you use equity in your home to pay a lump sum

Will my employer find out about my individual voluntary arrangement?

Your employer can only find out about your IVA by:

  • Doing financial checks
  • You must approve this in advance
  • Searching the public Insolvency Register
  • This is rare

Your employment contract should cover the rules for when:

  • Your employer asks to do a credit check on you, or
  • You enter an IVA
  • Their policy may be that you have to tell them
  • Do this before a credit check

Your details are on the Insolvency Register for the term of your IVA plus three months.

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Ready to find out if an IVA is right for you?

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Does an IVA affect getting a job?

Some employers might run the type of credit check that shows an IVA. But most do not.

A credit check is more likely for a role where you could access other people’s money.

By law, employers should ask you before they run a credit check.

What happens if I lose my job during an IVA?

Tell your IVA supervisor if you lose your job during your individual voluntary arrangement.

  • This changes your financial situation
  • Your supervisor can go through options with you

Losing your job does not automatically cause your IVA to fail.

IVAs are usually quite flexible.

It might be possible to:

  • Request a payment break of up to nine months
  • Ask the people you owe to suspend your monthly IVA payments until your situation improves

Can I get an individual voluntary arrangement with StepChange?

We can set up and manage IVAs with our award-winning subsidiary, StepChange Voluntary Arrangements.

But only if this is the right solution for you.

An IVA is legally binding debt solution and can have serious consequences.

Make sure you fully understand them before going ahead.

Find out if an IVA is right for you

Use our online debt advice tool to find the best options 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.

"Don't delay and don't worry! StepChange really help and make a huge difference" Anonymous, Angus