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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

Managing an IVA

Individual voluntary arrangements and job loss or redundancy

It can be worrying to lose your job during an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). Redundancy can happen to anyone, and affects many aspects of your life.

Contact your IVA supervisor about any letters threatening debt enforcement action, like bailiffs or a County Court judgment (CCJ).

Tell your IVA provider about your redundancy as soon as you can.

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.

Does a redundancy settlement affect my IVA?

Your IVA lets you keep six months’ of your regular take-home pay from any redundancy settlement you get.

This should be enough to pay your bills and your IVA payments while you look for a job.

For example:


  • Your monthly take-home pay was £1,000
  • You can keep £6,000 (six months' take-home pay) from your redundancy settlement
  • Any money over this amount goes into your IVA

You need to pay any leftover money into your IVA if you find work within the six-month period.

Tell your IVA provider when you start working again so they can review your situation.

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.

What are my rights during redundancy?

It is always good to know your rights.

Use our online benefits calculator to see if you can get any benefits.

You may qualify for council tax benefit if you live alone.

How do I keep on top of expenses?

A number of factors could impact how long it takes to find a new job. So keeping on top of living expenses is crucial.

Review and update your budget.

How could you save money on your living costs and household bills?


Could I take out some credit to help me through my redundancy?

You must not take out credit without speaking to your IVA provider first.

There are rules about credit cards and loans during an IVA.

You cannot borrow more than £500 without asking your insolvency practitioner (IP) for their permission first.

This includes:


  • Credit cards
  • Overdrafts
  • Personal loans
  • Payday loans (and other products from commercial lenders)
  • Borrowing money from family or friends

Taking out credit without checking with your IVA provider is a breach of your IVA terms.

This could make your IVA fail.

What happens if I cannot afford my IVA after redundancy?

Do a review with your IVA provider. They can:


  • Tell you if it is still the right solution for you and
  • Give you options if it is not

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