StepChange Debt Charity solutions. Practical help to becoming debt free.
It’s important to find the best debt solution for you. That’s why your first step should always be to use the online Debt Remedy tool or complete the form on the right.
Once we understand more about your debt problem we can suggest a plan of action tailored to you.
With over 20 years’ experience of providing debt advice, Stepchange offer a range of services and solutions to suit every situation. You can see some of them above.
Help us learn more about your circumstances and we can advise on the debt solution that’s right for you.
What is an IVA – Individual Voluntary Arrangement
An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a formal agreement to repay your creditors at an amount you can afford.
This can be a one-off payment known as a lump sum IVA or over a longer period to spread payments which usually lasts five or six years. You make one affordable payment to us each month and we distribute it fairly among your creditors. During your IVA creditors should not contact you or increase your debt.
When the final payment is made, any remaining debt is written off.
IVAs are not available if you live in Scotland. In Scotland, a protected trust deed is a similar solution, but it’s important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.
Is an IVA suitable for me?
An IVA may be suitable if you can afford to pay something to your debts, but not the full amount your creditors want. If you have a lump sum to pay towards your debts, you may also qualify for an IVA.
You can only apply for an IVA if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland read our debt advice in Scotland page for more information on the solutions available to you.
How does an IVA work
An IVA is managed by an insolvency practitioner (IP), who can help you draw up a repayment proposal to send to your creditors. At StepChange Debt Charity we have our own IVA company – StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, with two licensed IPs who’ll be able to help you draw up your proposal to suit your personal circumstances.
Your IP will arrange a meeting of your creditors, where your creditors will decide whether to accept or reject your proposals. If your IVA is accepted it becomes legally binding. As long as you keep to the terms of your IVA, none of your unsecured creditors (even those who didn’t vote or who voted against the IVA) will be able to pursue you for any debt incurred prior to approval of the IVA. An IVA is a form of insolvency so it’s important that you get expert, impartial advice before entering into one.
How much are IVA fees
There are always fees involved when you set up an IVA. The fees that you’ll need to pay are the nominee fee which is the fee that covers the cost of setting up your IVA. The Supervisor fee is for the administration of the IVA and there are disbursement fees which are costs that we pay out to a third party during the IVA.
At StepChange Voluntary Arrangements our fees are set at the industry standard and we’ll make sure you’re fully aware of what we’re charging. The fees are paid out from monthly contributions (or from proceeds of a sale of assets), so there is never anything to pay up front