What is an IVA?
IVA stands for Individual Voluntary Arrangement. An IVA is an agreement between yourself and the people who have borrowed money to you. The arrangement usually says:
- You will agree to pay back a percentage of your debts
- The majority of your debt will be written off
- The arrangement will last for 5 years (60 months)
- You will agree to make low monthly payments into an IVA
- Your creditors will not be allowed to contact you whilst you are in your arrangement
- Your interest and charges will be completely frozen whilst you are in your arrangement
What debts can go into an IVA?
As a general rule, your unsecured debts can go into your IVA. Examples of unsecured debts are:
- Unsecured loans
- Payday loans
- Credit cards
- Catalogue debts
- Council tax debt
- Benefit overpayment
- HMRC debts
- Old mortgages
- Old rent arrears
- Other unsecured debts
What debts do not belong in an IVA?
As a general rule, you can not include debts which are secured to a home or a car in an IVA. These type of debts are also known as secured debts. Some examples of secured debts are:
- Mortgage payments
- Car finance
- Hire purchase arrears
- Secured loans
- Guarantor loans
- Student loans
- Court fines
- Social fund loans
- Other secured debts
How can I apply for an IVA online?
If you want to apply for IVA online, the process is easy and straight forward for you.
- Use our online IVA calculator to check if you are eligible
- Our friendly advisors will call you for an initial consultation. They will run through your income and expenditure and run a quick background check
- Your IVA proposal will be prepared
- If you are happy to proceed with your IVA proposal, just sign it online and your IVA will begin to be processed
- Enjoy complete peace of mind!
How much will it cost?
Your IVA payments are based on your affordability. Your advisor will be looking to work out your disposal income. This number is based on the difference of your total income and your total outgoings. An example of how we work out disposable income is below:
Example Individual Voluntary Arrangement
Household Bills £200
Mobile phone £30
Other costs £100
Total Expenditure £1390
Total Expenditure (£1390) – Total Income (£1300) = £90
In this example, your plan would cost you £90 per month. This is after you have included all of your allowances for food, entertainment, household bills, entertainment, mobile phones, childcare and all other costs.
There are no upfront costs. All you will be asked to pay is 60 low monthly affordable payments, and at the end the remainder of your debt is completely written off. All insolvency practitioners charge fees (including charities). These charges are to cover the fee of the insolvency practitioner.
Do I need IVA Advice?
An IVA is dependent on a number of people helping you to get into your IVA. First of all, you will need IVA advice. An IVA advisor is necessary as he will run through your income and expenditure, look at your allowances and agree a low monthly amount with you that will be fixed in place for the 5 years of your IVA.
IVA Pros and Cons
- Your interest will be completely frozen, so your balances will not increase any further
- No charges will be added on to your credit account, this is particularly helpful with overdrafts and payday loans which are notorious to carry high and regular charges which increase the debt amount.
- The people that you owe money to, will not be allowed to contact you by law. You will be given a reference number which you can pass to your creditors, once your IVA is in place. From that point, you will not have to deal with any calls, texts, emails or other queries relating to your outstanding debts.
- Your IVA will not be advertised in the London Gazette, unlike bankruptcy.
- You will be completely debt free at the end of your IVA. This will give you a fresh start to your finances.
- You will have allowances which you may not have in your budget at the moment.
- You may have had a damaged credit rating as you have juggled your debt, when your IVA is finished you will have the opportunity to rebuild your credit rating.
- Keep your home
- You will be allowed to keep your car in most circumstances
- If you have a very good credit rating, this will be damaged during your IVA.
- You will not be allowed to take out credit during your IVA.
Do I qualify?
There is no official criteria for taking out an IVA. It actually depends on the appetite of the insolvency practitioners office. As a general rule, you will be accepted for an IVA if you meet the following conditions:
- You are over 18 years old
- You have £4000 or more in unsecured debt
- You have some regular income
- You are happy to pay £70 or more into your IVA
- You are a resident of England, Wales or Northern Ireland
If you are in Scotland, you will need a Scottish Trust Deed.