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Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)


An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a legally-binding arrangement to pay an agreed amount off your debts over a set period. Any unpaid parts of the debts included in the IVA are then written off once the arrangement is completed.

An IVA can either be a monthly payment plan over a fixed term (e.g. five years) or a short term arrangement if you have a lump sum to put forward. Some IVAs are a mixture of both monthly payments and a lump sum.

An IVA may be good debt help option if you have:

- spare money available every month to pay towards your debts, or

- a lump sum or assets that could be included, or

- spare money each month and assets or a lump sum

For an IVA, you would normally need:

  • at least three debts totalling £15,000 or more
  • debts with two or more different creditors
  • at least £100 per month spare income after paying your essential bills
  • to be able to pay back at least 10p for every £1 of the debt that you owe to your creditors 

You may still be able to consider an IVA even if your circumstances fall outside of these guidelines. Contact National Debtline for independent, expert advice on whether an IVA is the right debt help option. They can also help you understand if you and your partner can enter into an IVA together as an ‘interlocking IVA’ or if a ‘Fast-Track Voluntary Arrangement’ (FTVA) is suitable if you have been made bankrupt. 

You can include most types of debt in your IVA, including priority debts such as council tax arrears, tax debts and fuel debts.  

You cannot include the following in your IVA:

  • maintenance, or arrears of maintenance, ordered by a court
  • Child Support Agency arrears
  • magistrates’ court fines
  • mortgage, secured loan or rent arrears (unless your lender or landlord agrees)
  • student loans (for IVAs made on or after 6 April 2010)

An IVA has to be set up by an Insolvency Practitioner (IP). All IPs will charge fees for setting up and supervising an IVA.  Creditors have to vote on whether to accept the IVA before it becomes legally binding. 

Records of IVAs are kept on a public Individual Insolvency Register. IVAs are also normally held on credit reference agency files for six years from the date the IVA began.

IVAs are available from various debt help providers. You can find them easily on