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Is there any age limit on an IVA?

Posted 10 January 2016

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If you’re thinking of getting an IVA your age might make a difference. Read on to find out if you’d be eligible for one.

You may be thinking about using an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) to resolve your problem debt, but are there any age limits? And if there are, what are they? 

There are lots of things that may affect your eligibility for an IVA, including where you live (IVAs are not available to Scottish residents), how much debt you have, whether those debts are secured or unsecured and your age. Because of this, IVAs are not suitable for everyone, if this is the case, all is not lost. There are a number of other debt solutions available. 

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To find out which is the best one for your specific circumstances, you should speak to an expert debt advisor before going ahead with anything. In any case, even if you think an IVA would be perfect for you, it’s not possible to enter into one by yourself. You need to speak with an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) to arrange an IVA. You can call our debt advisors to see what would be the best option for you and if they agree that an IVA is the perfect solution, they can start the process right there and then. 

If you think you’d like to explore the idea of an IVA to help you resolve your problem debt,   why not speak to one of our trained debt advisors? Just use the ‘contact us’ buttons on the left of the page.   

What is the minimum age for an IVA? 

You need to be at least 18 to enter into an IVA. This is because if you’re below the age of 18 you wouldn’t be able to borrow money anyway, you cannot sign credit agreements under the age of 18, so would not need a debt solution. 

What is the maximum age for an IVA?

There’s no maximum age on entering into an IVA – after all people of any age can get into financial difficulties. However, whether or not your IVA is accepted will depend on your lenders: they have to vote on whether they think it’s the best option for you or not. 

One things that may affect the likelihood of the IVA being accepted is how near to retirement you are. In an IVA you make regular, affordable, payments towards your debts, usually for five or six years, so you need a regular income coming in. If you are near to retirement, or have already retired, and you need a debt solution, an IVA may not be offered as a solution, especially if you’re not going to be able to afford to make payments once you retire and your income drops.  Is that’s the situation you are in, don’t worry, there are other debt solutions you can explore. If you’re in this situation please call and speak to one of our advisors, they’ll go through your finances with you and help you decide the best debt solution for you.  If you want to chat with us, just choose one of the ‘contact us’ buttons on the left of the page. 

The advantages and disadvantages of an IVA

All debt solutions come with pros and cons. The pros of an IVA include your IP taking over all contact from your lenders and you having a definite end date for your debts, as most last five years, and when it’s finished, any debts you still have will be written off. 

However, alongside these pros are some cons too. For example, your credit score will be affected for at least six years from the date that you start your IVA. So, as IVAs usually run for five years, it will remain on your credit history for one more year after completion. This may make it more difficult or more expensive for you to get credit in the future. Entering into an IVA may also affect your job.  Your debt advisor and IP will talk you through all of the details to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you make any decisions. 


by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.