Bankruptcy (like an IVA) is a form of insolvency and is normally only suitable if you can’t pay back your debts in a reasonable time. Bankruptcy shouldn't taken lightly as it's a big step and any assets you own (such as your car or home) may be sold. Bankruptcy will also be registered on your credit history for six years and could affect your job. In some cases, you are asked to make monthly payments towards your debts from your available income. This is known as an income payment agreement (IPA), and can last for three years. You should always get expert advice before making the decision to go ahead with it. The easiest way to find out whether bankruptcy is your best option is to use our free online debt advice tool.