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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the crucial steps on ‘How to Apply for an IVA.’ You might be feeling overwhelmed from trying to find a way out to solve your mounting debt issue. A debt solution like An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) could offer you the financial lifeline you need. 

Here, we’ve got you covered, from finding a qualified insolvency practitioner to understanding what your obligations will be under an IVA. Let’s dive in!

Warren Marshall
Last updated on 15 September 2023
Fact Checked

Table of Contents

1. Find an Insolvency Practitioner to help you apply for an IVA
2. What is an IVA Company
3. Here’s how an IVA Company typically works:
4. Choosing the Best IVA Company to Apply for an IVA
5. Gather the Information You’ll Need before applying for an IVA
6. Meet With Your Insolvency Practitioner to discuss about how to Apply for an IVA
7. Check What Your Insolvency Practitioner Should Do in order to apply for a IVA
8. What If Your IVA Proposal is Accepted
9. What If Your IVA Isn’t Accepted?
10. Need more help before applying for an IVA?
11. Key Points
12. FAQ


Find an Insolvency Practitioner to help you apply for an IVA

The first thing you need to do is to hire an Insolvency practitioner (IP) to apply for an IVA. It’s because you are not allowed to apply yourself by law. And keep in mind to find an authorised IP agent with considerable experience managing IVA plans in the past. 

It’s because having an experienced Insolvency practitioner (IP) on your side comes in handy when dealing with your creditors and luring them to approve your IVA proposal.

The UK’s government website has listed names and contact details of authorised Insolvency practitioners (IP). Click here to find an Insolvency Practitioner in the UK.

We think it will be better for you if you Consider the following facts at least when deciding to choose an IP agent or an IVA Company that has Insolvency practitioners at your disposal. 

Now, you might be wondering what is an IVA Company. Let us discuss what is an IVA company and their duties first.

What is an IVA Company

An IVA company is simply known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement company. They are an individual (insolvency practitioner), business or organisation that specialises in providing debt solutions and financial advice to individuals in the United Kingdom who are struggling with unmanageable debts. 

IVAs are a formal and legally binding debt solution available to residents of the UK. They are designed to help individuals with significant debt burdens. Through that, they help them to regain control of their finances and avoid bankruptcy.

Here’s how an IVA Company typically works:

1. Assessment: An individual (like you) facing financial difficulties seeks the assistance of an IVA company. The company assesses the person’s financial situation. It includes assessing their income, expenses, and debts as well.
2. Proposal: The IVA company helps the individual to create a formal proposal if an IVA is deemed a suitable option. This proposal outlines a repayment plan. This plan can involve lower monthly payments and the freezing of interest and charges.
3. Creditor Agreement: The proposal is then presented to your creditors (those to whom you owe money). Creditors must vote on whether to accept or reject the IVA proposal. And it becomes legally binding on all creditors if creditors holding a majority of the debt agree to the proposal.
4. Repayment Plan: The individual makes regular payments to the IVA company. Then, the insolvency practitioner assigned to you by the IVA company distributes these payments to the creditors according to the terms of the approved IVA.
5. Duration: IVAs typically last for a fixed period. And it is often last around five to six years. During this time, the individual must adhere to the terms of the arrangement.
6. Completion: Any remaining unsecured debts included in the IVA are usually written off once the agreed-upon period is over and all payments have been made. Plus, the individual is considered debt-free.

IVA companies play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate the IVA process. 


  • Provide guidance, 
  • Handle negotiations with creditors, 
  • And ensure that the terms of the IVA are upheld throughout its duration.

It’s important to choose a reputable IVA company if you’re considering this debt solution. This is because there may be fees associated with their services. And you want to ensure that your financial interests are properly represented. 

Additionally, IVAs are specific to the UK.

Choosing the Best IVA Company to Apply for an IVA

Choosing the best IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) company is crucial when you’re seeking assistance with managing your debts in the United Kingdom. 

Here are some steps and considerations to help you select the right IVA company:

Research and Compare: 

Start by researching different IVA companies. Look for a list of reputable companies and compare their services, fees, and reviews

For that, You can use 

1. Online resources,
2. Review websites,
3. Or seek recommendations from friends, family, or financial advisors.
Check Regulatory Approval: 

Ensure that the IVA company is authorised and regulated by the appropriate regulatory bodies in the UK, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Insolvency Service. It’s because regulatory approval indicates that the company adheres to industry standards and guidelines.

Experience and Track Record: 

Consider the company’s experience in dealing with IVAs and debt management. It’s because companies with a long track record and a history of successful IVAs are generally more reliable. 

We all do not wish to be lab rats for startups and worsen our debt issues. Thus, it is better to seek help from a reputable IVA company and find a reliable solution to manage your debt.

Professional Qualifications: 

Verify the qualifications and credentials of the company’s staff, including insolvency practitioners. These professionals should be licensed and have the necessary expertise to guide you through the IVA process.


Look for an IVA company that is transparent about its fees and charges. Make sure you understand the cost structure upfront. And it should include any initial assessment fees and ongoing monthly fees. 

Normally, legitimate companies should not charge any fees until they’ve assessed your situation and you’ve agreed to proceed.

Client Reviews and Testimonials: 

Read reviews and testimonials from past clients. This can provide insights into the company’s reputation and how satisfied clients have been with their services.


Evaluate the company’s communication style and responsiveness. They should be accessible and responsive to your questions and concerns throughout the IVA process.

Free Initial Consultation: 

Many reputable IVA companies offer a free initial consultation. You can use this opportunity to discuss your financial situation, understand the proposed solution, and assess the professionalism of the company.


Ensure that the IVA company is independent and not tied to any specific creditors or financial institutions. This independence is important to ensure that your interests are properly represented.

Alternative Solutions: 

A trustworthy IVA company will also explore alternative debt solutions with you. These suggestions can include Debt Management Plans (DMP), Debt Relief Orders (DRO), Bankruptcy, or other debt solutions available for you to try out.

Legal Compliance: 

Confirm that the IVA company follows all legal requirements and ethical standards in the debt management industry.

Red Flags: 

Be cautious of any IVA company that makes unrealistic promises, pressures you into signing up quickly, or seems overly aggressive in their sales tactics. As a precaution, It’s better to avoid companies that ask for large upfront fees before providing any services.

Ultimately, the best IVA company for you will align with your specific financial situation and needs. Take your time to research and select a reputable and experienced company that can help you effectively manage your debts through an IVA. 

It’s also a good idea to consult with a financial advisor or seek independent debt advice before making a final decision.

Gather the Information You’ll Need before applying for an IVA

The next step in addressing How to Apply for an IVA is to gather the necessary information regarding your debts. And you need to give them to your hired insolvency practitioner. 

You should at least provide all the details regarding all your debts and how much money you can allocate towards the IVA (monthly wise) after covering all your essential monthly expenses. You can submit to your IP agent after documenting these pieces of information by attaching the following.

1. Evidence of your income:- e.g., payslips, benefits notifications, or recent bank statements.
2. Verification of savings:- like bank statements.
3. Documentation regarding your housing situation:- Such as a mortgage or rental agreement.
4. Information regarding your assets:- Including vehicles, along with their respective values.
5. Comprehensive data about your debts and creditors:- including creditor identities, owed amounts, and all relevant documents.
6. A budget sheet outlining your income and expenditure.

In some cases, you might need to clarify loans with an IVA. All this info allows the practitioner to draft your IVA proposal. 

Meet With Your Insolvency Practitioner to discuss about how to Apply for an IVA

You need to engage in an informal consultation with your insolvency practitioner to assess the suitability of an IVA prior to establishing it. These meetings can occur via telephone or at the insolvency practitioner’s office.

But what exactly happens in these meetings? Let’s break it down.

First Meeting: Explore Your Options on how to Apply for an IVA

Initially, you have an informal meeting. Here, your insolvency practitioner will:

  • Explain all your debt options, not just IVA.
  • Make sure you understand key resources, like the leaflet ‘Dealing With Money Worries.’

Got it? Good, but do you read the leaflet? Ah, let’s see.

Second Meeting: Dive Into Details

If IVA seems like your go-to choice, you schedule another meeting. This time, it’s all about:

  • Starting the formal IVA setup process.
  • Being honest about your financial status.

Hold on, did I mention the need for honesty? You’ll find out why that’s crucial.

Criminal Offences? Yes, They’re Real!

The law takes this seriously. So, if you:

  • Hide any financial information.
  • Provide false or misleading details.

Failure to disclose information to your insolvency practitioner could lead to an IVA that becomes unmanageable.

Concealing relevant information from your insolvency practitioner will impact your IVA negatively. Plus, it’s a criminal offence. Also, deliberately providing false or deceptive information to your IP agent is a criminal offence, too. And it can result in fines or imprisonment if you are found guilty of these accusations.

Check What Your Insolvency Practitioner Should Do in order to apply for a IVA

Your insolvency practitioner will assist you in establishing and overseeing your IVA until its completion.  

Court Application to Halt Creditor Actions

Before initiating the IVA, your insolvency practitioner may apply to the court to request the suspension of creditor actions against you. This includes preventing creditors from obtaining court orders or attempting to declare you bankrupt.

Following this, your insolvency practitioner should:

1. Assist you in determining the feasible amount you can allocate for debt payments.
2. Collaborate with you to develop a structured repayment plan.
3. Ensure the repayment plan is communicated to your creditors.
Determining Affordable Payments

Your insolvency practitioner will analyse your financial situation by taking into account your disposable monthly income, savings, and assets

Some assets, such as property or a car, may be included in the IVA to generate additional funds for repaying your creditors. Most IVAs contain specific provisions regarding how your home is treated.

Your insolvency practitioner may also recommend excluding certain assets, such as buildings, business-related vehicles or a car essential for your employment.

Surely, you’ll formulate a repayment plan based on your financial capability by working alongside with your insolvency practitioner.

Creating a Repayment Plan

Your insolvency practitioner will assist you in drafting a proposal for your creditors and the court. In this proposal, you will commit to repaying your creditors partially or in full over a predetermined period. An IVA plan typically lasts 5 or 6 years.

Additionally, your insolvency practitioner will prepare a report for the court to provide their expert assessment of whether the proposed plan is feasible or not.

Presenting the Repayment Plan to Creditors

Next, your insolvency practitioner will call for a meeting with your creditors after following the development of your proposal. This meeting will be typically conducted remotely. However, your attendance is important to represent your interests.

During this meeting, creditors will evaluate the IVA and decide whether to accept it or not. Many creditors have signed up for an IVA protocol that outlines the guidelines for creating an IVA proposal. Creditors are generally expected to accept a proposal formulated under this protocol without requesting unnecessary alterations.

Your creditors will review your proposal and conduct a vote to approve the proposal or disregard it. Then, your proposal will be accepted if the creditors who hold more than 75% of the debts you owe vote in favour of it.

What If Your IVA Proposal is Accepted

There are several important steps and considerations to follow once your IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is approved.

Confirmation by the Court:

Your IVA will be formally confirmed by the court. Then, your insolvency practitioner will provide you with a written copy of the agreement. This document outlines the agreed-upon payment terms and the duration of your IVA.

Publication on the Insolvency Register:

Details of your IVA, including your name and address, will typically be published on the Insolvency Register website as part of the legal process.

Address Non-Disclosure Request:

Suppose you have concerns about your address being publicly available and believe it may jeopardise your safety or that of your family. 

In that case, you can request non-disclosure of your current address. You have the option to apply for an order for non-disclosure of your address on GOV.UK.

Payment Process:

You will make payments directly to your insolvency practitioner as per the terms of your IVA agreement.

As specified in the IVA, these payments will be used to cover the practitioner’s fees and distribute the remaining funds among your creditors.

Payment Frequency:

Typically, you will make regular monthly payments as part of your IVA. However, in some cases, you may have to agree to make a single lump-sum payment instead.

Reporting Changes in Circumstances: 

It is crucial to inform your insolvency practitioner promptly if your financial circumstances change during the course of your IVA. 

These changes can include:

1. Changes in income,
2. Employment status,
3. Or unexpected financial windfalls.

Your practitioner will need to assess how these changes may affect your ability to meet your obligations under the IVA.

Keeping open communication with your insolvency practitioner and adhering to the terms of your IVA agreement is essential for a successful debt resolution process. 

Failure to report significant changes in your circumstances could impact the effectiveness of the IVA and your ability to achieve debt relief.

What If Your IVA Isn’t Accepted?

The fees you owe to the insolvency practitioner are usually added to your existing debts if your IVA proposal is rejected. 

Be sure to fully comprehend this aspect as you apply for an IVA, whether you apply for an IVA online or offline through an IVA application form.

Need more help before applying for an IVA?

We have created a dedicated article titled “IVA – Individual Voluntary Arrangement – Help & Advice” to give you more guidance and tools to check out your eligibility for an IVA.  

Feel free to visit the above-mentioned article to gain more knowledge on IVA and make an informed decision regarding solving your debt issue.

Or click here to check eligibility for an IVA by filling out this web form yourself.

Key Points

  • Applying for an IVA in the UK requires hiring an authorised Insolvency Practitioner (IP) with experience in managing IVAs effectively.
  • IVA companies specialise in offering debt solutions and financial advice to individuals in the UK struggling with unmanageable debts.
  • The IVA process involves assessment, proposal creation, creditor agreement, execution of a repayment plan, fixed duration, and eventual completion, typically lasting around five to six years.
  • IVA companies play a crucial role in guiding individuals, negotiating with creditors, and ensuring the IVA terms are upheld. Choosing a reputable IVA company is important, considering potential fees and proper representation.
  • To apply for an IVA, gather essential financial information, including income, savings, housing details, assets, and debts. 
  • Have an informal consultation with your insolvency practitioner to assess IVA suitability. Hiding financial information or providing false details is a criminal offence.
  • Your insolvency practitioner’s role includes applying to the court to halt creditor actions, determining affordable payments, creating a repayment plan, presenting the plan to creditors, and ensuring compliance.
  • The court will confirm your IVA after getting approval from your creditors for it. Then, it is published in a public Insolvency Register. Then, the payments are made through the insolvency practitioner. 
  • If your IVA proposal is rejected, any fees owed to the insolvency practitioner are typically added to your existing debts.
  • Seek additional help and information on IVA eligibility and guidance through a dedicated article titled “IVA – Individual Voluntary Arrangement – Help & Advice.” You can also check your eligibility for an IVA by filling out a web form.


How do I start the process of applying for an IVA?

The first step in applying for an IVA is to find a qualified insolvency practitioner. You can check GOV.UK for a list of authorised practitioners.

What does an insolvency practitioner do?

The insolvency practitioner helps you determine what you can afford to pay and creates a repayment plan. They also negotiate with your creditors and manage the IVA until it ends.

What happens after my IVA is accepted?

Once your IVA proposal is accepted, the court will confirm it. Then, your insolvency practitioner will give you a written copy detailing your payment plan and the duration of the IVA.

Will my IVA be made public?

Yes, details of your IVA will be published on the Insolvency Register website. And it usually includes your name and address.

How do I make payments for my IVA?

You’ll make your payments directly to the insolvency practitioner. Then, the IP agent will distribute the money amongst your creditors after deducting their fees.

Can I change the payment terms of my IVA?

In this case, You must consult your insolvency practitioner first if you want to change the payment terms. They will guide you on how to proceed and negotiate with the creditors if needed.

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