Frequently Asked Questions
What information do I need for debt advice?
We’ll ask you about your income, outgoings and your creditors (the people / companies you owe money to) so we can put you on the right path to getting debt free.
We’ll also do a soft credit search to understand the full picture – but this won’t have a negative impact on your credit file or be visible to other companies.
How much does it cost to get debt advice?
Our online debt form is completely free to use, whilst giving us an initial idea of potential solutions for you and your debts. Any information or advice you receive from ourselves is also completely free.
If you are eligible for help with your debts through an IVA, the fee for the Insolvency Practitioners’ work and any other associated costs and fees will be included in your affordable monthly payment amount
We don’t take any payments upfront.
What if I don't know who I owe money to?
Don’t panic if you don’t know – with your consent, we can carry out a soft credit search that will bring up all your creditor information, including how much you owe and who you owe it to. A soft search means that no negative footprint is left on your credit file.
What if I’m not ready to talk about my debts?
Reaching out for help with your debts is one of the hardest steps you can take in the process – we know this. It’s never easy.
One of the most frequent pieces of feedback we hear from customers is that they felt like a weight has been lifted once they spoke with one of our advisors. Our team has a wealth of knowledge between us.
What debt solutions are available?
Once you’ve completed our free online assessment or spoken with one of our debt advisors, we will have a better idea of what’s going on for you. Then, we can discuss all the options you qualify for.
The main debt solutions include:
- Debt management plans (DMP)
- Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)
- Debt Relief Orders (DRO)
If you live in Scotland you may also qualify for other options such as a:
- Protected Trust Deed
- Debt Payment Plan via the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
We're committed to helping you
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Private & Confidential Support
The first step is the hardest but you’re in the right place – talking with one of our friendly assessors can help get the ball rolling.
Explore your options
Debt help without judgment
Talk to us about your situation, and we’ll let you know if an IVA may be a potential solution for you.
No Obligation Service
We can carry out a debt suitability assessment, and if you qualify for an IVA we can help put together an application with you. There’ll be no obligation and we’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have along the way.
What’s an IVA?
This is one of the questions we get asked the most, so we have lots of information on how an IVA works and what to expect.
Essentially, IVAs are a scheme that was introduced by the UK Government in 1986, to help consumers get on top of their finances and reduce debts. IVAs involve you only paying what you can afford monthly towards your debts, whilst your creditors agree to write off a portion as well. This is a solution that lasts 5 years, but provides a solution for many consumers who would prefer an alternative to things like Bankruptcy or Debt Management Plans.
How long does an IVA last?
An IVA typically lasts around 5 years. An additional 12 months may apply if you’re a homeowner and cannot release equity in your home.
Following the completion, any remaining debt is completely written off and will no longer appear on your credit file following the sixth year.
Is an IVA right for me?
We won’t know whether an IVA is right for you until we have a thorough understanding of your personal circumstances, however, we wouldn’t suggest this option to you unless we felt this was a realistic option for you.
We’d recommend taking a look at our IVA Pros and Cons support page, which will highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of this particular solution.
Will an IVA affect my credit rating?
Your IVA will be registered on your credit record and it will stay on the register for the period of your IVA and for up to 12 months after your IVA has concluded. The effect of your IVA on your credit rating will depend to some extent on what your credit rating was like before your commenced your IVA.
How do IVAs work?
An IVA is a legally binding, formal agreement between you and your creditors to repay a portion of your debt. An assessment of your income and spending is carried out. This will help determine what you can afford to pay into the IVA each month. Once an amount is established, your creditors vote to decide if the IVA should be approved. The majority of your creditors need to vote for the IVA for it to go ahead – once approved, the IVA usually lasts for 5 years, with any of your remaining debt written off at the end.
How do I set up an IVA?
Setting up an IVA is very straightforward, but this will need to be done via a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. To set up an IVA, you must include all your unsecured debts.
Also, there are certain criteria that, if met, mean you could qualify for an IVA – this includes things such as a minimum debt level and the number of creditors.
Our team at Money Advice can help get your IVA application together to submit to your creditors. We will always ensure that any proposed monthly payments are entirely affordable to you and that you thoroughly understand the process before you agree to anything.
What happens if I stop paying into an IVA?
If you stop paying into your IVA, you will likely breach your contract, and it will fail.
If for any reason, you are concerned that you will struggle to make a payment towards your IVA, you must inform your Insolvency Practitioner as early as possible. It may be possible for alternative arrangements to be made.
How long does it take to set up an IVA?
Once you have weighed up your options and decided that an IVA is a route you want to take, then this can typically take around 4-6 weeks to set up.
We will need certain documents from you, so the quicker we have these, the faster things can get moving. Once your proposal has been created, your Insolvency Practitioner will meet with your creditors to get this approved.
What happens if my IVA application is rejected?
It’s not common, but if for any reason your IVA application is rejected, there’s no need to worry – our debt advisors will be able to talk you through alternative options that you are likely to qualify for and if necessary, put you in touch with other trusted providers.
Can I cancel an IVA once I start?
An IVA is a legally binding contract, so you aren’t able to simply cancel the IVA if you change your mind once this has begun. If you are wishing to cancel due to a change in circumstance or any other reason, then the best thing to do is speak directly with your Insolvency Practitioner to see what can be done.
Money Advice - the debt help & IVA specialists
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Money Advice help over 3,000 people in the UK every year
Our team of experts help thousands of families get their finances back on track with an IVA.
*To find out more about managing your money and getting free advice, visit Money Helper, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.