Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) allows you to combine all your repayments into one affordable payment. You make this payment over an agreed period, after which any remaining debt can be written off. The term is usually 60 months (Five years) for tenants and 72 months (Six years) for homeowners. An IVA is typically set up and administered by a qualified Insolvency Practitioner, known as an IP.

IVA example:

  • Debt amount: £15,000.00
  • Monthly IVA payment: £120.00 (IP fees Included)
  • IVA term: 60 months (Five years)
  • Estimated Insolvency Practitioner (IP) Fees: £3,650.00
  • Total amount repayable over 60 months: £7,200.00* (IP fees Included)

* The total amount payable into an IVA may vary; for example, if you have a windfall such as an inheritance, you would be expected to contribute more to your IVA.


To learn more about managing debt and receiving free, impartial debt advice, visit Money Helper or read about options for paying off your debt

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

Individual Voluntary Arrangement IVA

If approved, the benefits of an IVA are:

  • One monthly payment over an agreed period, so you know when you will be debt-free, is typically 60 months (Five years) for tenants and 72 months (Six years) for homeowners.
  • Any remaining debt at the end of the agreed IVA period is written off.
  • It is affordable. Your monthly IVA payment will depend on your specific income & expenditure.
  • Your creditors are no longer allowed to make any further contact with you about your debts, so an IVA stops phone calls, text messages & demand letters.
  • Legal protection – your creditors cannot pursue the debt any further, including debt collectors, bailiffs, attachment of earnings or a deduction of benefits.
  • Partners: You can set up a joint IVA if you have a partner struggling with debt repayments.
  • Essential items such as your home, vehicle, mobile phones etc., can be protected.
  • Creditors can agree to an IVA if you are a homeowner or a tenant.


  • You are not guaranteed approval; most of your voting creditors by debt amount must agree to your proposed IVA.
  • An IVA is a formal agreement, so you must maintain the payments whilst on an IVA; otherwise, your IVA can fail – allowances can be made for a sudden drop in income for periods of unemployment or being unwell.
  • It will affect your credit score – an IVA will remain on your credit file for six years from the date your creditors agree to the IVA. If your IVA term is for five years, it will stay on your credit file for 12 months at the end of your IVA.
  • You must owe at least £6,000 to enter an IVA.
  • The insolvency practitioner who administers the IVA for you and your creditors will charge fees. Your creditors agree upon these fees at the outset, which are deducted from your monthly IVA payment. There are no set-up fees, and you do not pay anything besides your monthly IVA payment contribution.
  • The IVA is held on the insolvency register.
  • If you are a homeowner, you may be asked to release equity in the home – if this is not possible due to your partner being unaware of your debt, or you do not have enough equity in your property, or you are just unable to get a remortgage, you will be asked to extend your IVA payment contributions over six years instead of 5 years. This does not apply to tenants.

The types of debts that can be included:

  • Unsecured debts such as overdrafts, credit cards, store cards, catalogues, payday loans, unsecured loans, doorstep loans, and credit unions.
  • Arrears from utility suppliers, e.g., gas, electricity, or water.
  • Council Tax arrears (previous years and current years).
  • Arrears from previous properties or suppliers, e.g., mobile phones, digital TV.
  • Debts previously secured against an asset repossessed, e.g., shortfalls on vehicle HP and properties.
  • HM Revenue & Customs VAT, PAYE, Self-assessed tax, National Insurance.
  • Debts with a CCJ, attachment of earnings, deduction of benefits or bailiff.
  • Overpayment of benefits and benefit advance loans.

How your IVA repayments are calculated

A debt advisor will thoroughly assess your financial circumstances, which the insolvency practitioner must approve. This could be monthly payments, a lump sum, or a combination.

The repayment plan should be based on an amount you can afford, and the creditors will need to agree to it. If you’re making monthly payments, the IVA will usually last for five years for a tenant or six years for homeowners.

Any repayments will be paid directly to the insolvency practitioner. They will then distribute the money to your creditors. The insolvency practitioner will keep some of this to pay their fees.

IVA Costs and Fees

Regardless of who supervises your IVA, there will be fees associated. This is due to the nature of the IVA and the process involved. However, the costs and fees involved in an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) can worry people already struggling with their finances.

How much does an IVA Cost?

We recommend our clients to our Insolvency partner Johnson Geddes, and they do not charge any upfront fees for setting up your IVA. Instead, once your IVA has been approved, any fees will be taken from your agreed monthly payments.

The fees will not affect or increase the amount you pay each month. You pay the amount agreed in the IVA proposal, and your Insolvency Practitioner will distribute the funds to cover the fees and your creditor repayments. You would still pay the same monthly amount if there weren’t IVA fees.

What are the fees, and what do they cover?

Nominees Fee

The nominee fee is incurred while assisting you when putting together your proposal to creditors. The Nominee (also a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner) will re-confirm your income and expenditure and all the information we collect when submitting your IVA. They will also consider your assets, discuss with you whether an IVA is right for you, check you meet the criteria and help you put together a proposal that is likely to be accepted by your creditors. An IVA requires a specialist, qualified practitioner to set up the IVA, which is why there is a cost. The actual fee depends on which practitioner you use and who your creditors are, but it will usually either amount to the value of the first five months of your IVA payments or £1,000, whichever is the greater.

Supervisors Fee

The Supervisor fee covers the ongoing costs of the IVA and is usually set at 15% of payments into the IVA. This fee is usually paid once the nominee’s price has been paid in full. Your Nominee will become your supervisor once your IVA is approved, and they will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout your IVA. They will also conduct annual reviews to check your income and expenditure are correct and that you can still afford your monthly payments.


Disbursements are payments made to third parties involved in your IVA to cover essentials such as the registration fee that comes with being added to the insolvency register. There is no available legal aid to assist with setting up the IVA, but our Insolvency Practitioner partners do not charge upfront fees. You won’t have to worry about these fees as these will also be deducted from your monthly repayments.

In the unlikely event that you find you can pay the total amount of debt owed at any point throughout your IVA, bear in mind that you will then be liable to pay these fees on top of your outstanding debt.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must fully understand all the Pros and cons of entering a debt solution like an IVA. Further down this web page, we have compiled a list of FAQs’.

Free and impartial money advice is available from the Money Helper, an organisation set up by the Government for people in debt.

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Complete the form to see if you qualify for an IVA.



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They will explain all your options so that you can decide which solution works best for you!

Types Of Debts We Help With

2023 Central Bedfordshire Council Tax Arrears


Store Cards

Bankruptcy Vs IVA

Payday Loans

How long to repay a credit card

Credit Cards



Council Tax

Central Bedfordshire Council Tax Support


Utility Bills

Frequently Asked Questions

An IVA is a formal insolvency solution that allows you to deal with *unsecured debts that you cannot afford to repay. In an IVA, you agree to an affordable repayment plan with your creditors (the people you owe money to), which can be a monthly repayment or a lump sum (if you can access it). You usually pay less than what you owe in an IVA, and any remaining debts are written off on completion of the arrangement.

*Unsecured debt refers to debt that is not secured against an asset or protected by a guarantor. This includes debts such as credit cards, store cards, overdrafts, and some loans.