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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

What is an IVA

What is an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)?

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a way to pay off your debts at an affordable rate. It is legally binding agreement between you and the people you owe. Payments are managed by an insolvency practitioner.

An IVA stops the people you owe from taking further action against you. Some of your debt is written off at the end.

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.

It is important to get debt advice before setting up an IVA.

StepChange is an approved organisation to manage IVAs.

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.

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.

Video: Introduction to IVAs

How does an IVA affect your life?

An IVA is an insolvency solution and can affect your finances in many ways.

Your credit rating is affected for six years, from the date the arrangement is agreed.

During this time your IVA is also recorded on:

You must keep to a budget agreed with your provider.

The IVA can be extended if you miss payments.

You probably do not have to sell your home, but you may have to release equity from it by remortgaging.

Find out more about how an IVA can affect you.

The people you owe can add conditions, or ‘modifications’, to your IVA before they approve it.

  • Modifications are changes your creditors ask to make to your IVA proposal
  • The meeting of creditors can be paused for up to 14 days if you need time to think about them

Your IVA will be approved at the meeting of creditors if you agree to the modifications.

Do the people I owe have to agree to the IVA?

Yes, the people you owe need to agree to your IVA.

There will be a meeting of creditors to decide whether or not to approve your IVA.

For your IVA to be approved:

  • The creditors who you owe 75% of your debt to must vote in favor
  • This must also be 75% of the people voting at the meeting of creditors
  • We cannot make them approve it

Most creditors look favourably on a proposal if:

  • It has a budget showing what you can afford
  • You making the best offer you can

Our IVA subsidiary, StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, can support you if this is the best option for you.

Is an IVA a good idea for me?

Get expert debt advice to find out if an IVA is right for you.

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Looking at an IVA?

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"They were so kind, they listened patiently and helped me through the process" Alison, Kent

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