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Getting an IVA

IVA companies. Advice on your options

If an IVA is the best debt solution for you, you’ll need an insolvency practitioner (IP) to manage the process for you. An IP may work independently or they may be part of a company which offers IVAs alongside other debt solution.

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

An IVA is a form of insolvency. It’s a legally binding arrangement between you and your creditors, where they agree to either 60 or 72 affordable monthly payments or a lump sum settlement.

It’s important you understand how an IVA could affect you before you apply. You should always get free, impartial debt advice before considering an IVA. As the UK’s leading debt advice charity, we can provide that for you.

If the best solution for your situation is an IVA, our own IVA provider, can support you through the process. No matter who arranges your IVA there are associated costs and fees. Our IVA costs and fees follow industry standards and, at StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, there are no up-front fees, and we won’t charge you for debt advice.

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.

Other IVA companies may charge different fees. It's important to check and understand them before going ahead.

IVAs are not available if you live in Scotland. In Scotland, a protected trust deed is a similar solution but it’s important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

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Is an IVA right for you?

By using our online debt advice tool you can find out if an IVA is the best debt solution for your circumstances. If there's a more suitable solution for you, we’ll recommend it.

An IVA should be considered carefully because of the possible consequences for your personal, professional and financial life. There are several risks and things to consider.

You should be aware that IVAs are only suitable for people with:

  • A regular income, enough to cover all living costs with enough left over to make monthly payments, or
  • A lump sum of money available now or guaranteed in the near future

What does an insolvency practitioner do?

Only an insolvency practitioner (IP) can assist you with an IVA. The IP has several different roles to fulfil during your IVA.

They will firstly act as an advisor to you and help you finalise the terms of your IVA.

Once you decide to proceed with an IVA the IP becomes your Nominee. At this stage they have legal duties to fulfil and need to report to your creditors on the viability of your IVA. The Nominee must remain impartial and can’t be influenced by either you or your creditors.

Once your IVA has been approved, the IP becomes the Supervisor of your IVA. Their role includes reviewing your IVA at least once a year, collecting and passing on your payments and ensuring you stick to the terms of the IVA.

Usually your IP will act as both the Nominee and Supervisor, so you’ll be dealing with the same organisation throughout your IVA.

How do I choose an insolvency practitioner?

If you don’t want to use StepChange VA as your IVA provider there are other companies available. However, it’s still important to get proper debt advice first to make sure an IVA is the best solution for you.

Regardless of who sets up your IVA for you, there will be costs involved. The fees involved with setting up and running an IVA might vary between companies, so it’s worth comparing a few first before going ahead with one.

IVAs with StepChange VA

We set up our own IVA company (StepChange Voluntary Arrangements) in 2007 to make sure that IVAs remain an effective way of helping people out of unmanageable debt.

Free IVA advice

Before deciding on an individual voluntary arrangement, make sure it’s the best option for you.

Our online advice tool will identify the best solution to your debt problem. Alternatively, you can call us for free debt advice.

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