An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a repayment contract between you and your creditors. An insolvency professional will help you make a repayment proposal, but you'll need 75% of your creditors to approve this in order to enter into the contract.
Interest charges will be frozen and you can then legally discharge your debt.
Do I qualify for an IVA?
Typically, people suitable for an IVA have unsecured debts of £15,000 upwards with multiple creditors that they are unable to cope with. Homeowners could lose their home if they enter into an IVA.
What to consider before entering an IVA
An IVA will be noted on your credit report for six years so you may struggle to access credit even after your debts have been cleared. Mortgage lenders and creditors such as the Inland Revenue are unlikely to allow you to discharge your debts in this way.
Finally, in most cases you will need to pay the insolvency firm a fee, which can amount to thousands of pounds.
Where can I get more information?
To find out how you can get free help dealing with your debts, read our guide to free advice.
Moneywise.co.uk recently launched a new debt section, which includes the latest news and features on how to manage your debt the right way.
You can also watch Moneywise TV's quick tips on banishing your debt demons and download free factsheets on your different debt options, from bankruptcy to debt relief orders.
You'll also find all the contact details of debt charities that offer free help and support to people struggling with debt. And if you want to speak to an insolvency professional, then you can fill out our rapid response form, which will be passed on to a carefully selected group of firms who can explain your options.