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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

What is an IVA

IVA: Can we get a joint individual voluntary arrangement?

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is designed for only one person. This means you cannot get a joint IVA, but you may be able to get “linked” or “interlocking” IVAs.

An individual voluntary arrangement can affect different areas of your life, including:

  • Your job
  • Your home
  • Your ability to get credit

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.

What are interlocking IVAs?

You and your partner can set up separate IVAs that are linked or ‘interlocked’ with each other.

This means that:

  • Your IVAs are administered together
  • You make one joint payment between you

This takes into account what you both pay towards the household and helps make sure your IVA is affordable.

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.

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Can joint debts be included in an IVA?

You can include part of a joint debt in an IVA, but:

  • The other person is still responsible for making payments towards it
  • They have to pay the remaining money back even if you have some of the debt written off in your IVA

Joint debts can also be included in interlocking IVAs. This means:

  • The joint debts get a payment from the interlocking IVAs
  • They are written off when the IVAs end

Get debt advice to understand how an IVA affects you and your partner.

Get free IVA advice

You can only get an IVA with the help of an insolvency practitioner. StepChange is an approved organisation to manage IVAs.

  1. Use our free online advice tool to find out if an IVA is right for you
  2. Our specialist company, StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, can help you set an IVA
  3. We review your finances and put forward the IVA proposal to your creditors

There are no up-front fees, and we never charge for debt advice. Fees are detailed in your IVA proposal, which an IP assists in drafting. Any fees have to be approved by creditors. Your IP will explain what fees you need to pay for your IVA.

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