Credit Card Debt and an IVA

Credit Card Debt and an IVA

Credit card debt can be included in an IVA. The interest and charges will be frozen and any unpaid debt outstanding at the end of the agreement written off.

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Does an IVA write off Credit Card Debt?

Credit card debt is unsecured debt. As such you can and generally must include this type of debt in an IVA.

If you are already in arrears with your monthly card payments you may already be getting threatening letters and phone calls. Once the Arrangement is in place your creditors are legally obliged to stop their collection activities.

After you have completed your IVA any outstanding debt is written off. This includes all credit card balances that were included in the agreement.

The amount of credit card debt written off by an IVA varies from person to person. It depends on what you can afford to repay during the Arrangement.

Can you start an IVA if you have recently used Credit Cards?

You may have been using your credit cards up until very recently. However this does not matter. It is still possible to start an IVA application straight away.

You do not need to be concerned about being accused of fraud. It is only fraud if you borrowed money with no intention to pay it back. This was not the case as you did mean to repay what you owed. You just cannot afford to so so.

Of course the lenders will not be pleased that you have used your cards in the last month or two. But within your proposal you will give them information to explain your situation and prove that you cannot pay.

You should stop using your cards as soon as you start an IVA application. You can also stop making the monthly payments towards the cards.

What happens to Interest and Charges during an IVA?

Once your IVA is accepted all the creditors including the credit cards must stop adding interest and late payment charges to your accounts. This is a legal requirement.

The balances are fixed on the date the Arrangement starts. Once you have completed all your required payments and any other obligations then any outstanding debt is written off.

You will only ever have to pay extra interest if your circumstances improve during your IVA and as a result you can repay your debt in full. If this happens you will also have to pay interest on the debt added at 8% per year from the agreement start date.

If your circumstances improve during your IVA meaning you can pay your debt in full you will have to pay interest on the debt of 8% from the start date.

Is it possible to use a Credit Card during an IVA?

You are normally required to include all your credit card debt in an IVA. Once the Arrangement is in place, the accounts will be cancelled and you can no longer use them.

However in certain circumstances it may be possible to leave one of your cards out and continue to use it. Specifically this would be if the facility is required to cover monthly business expenses and your job could not be performed without it.

The balance on the account would have to be zero at the start of the Arrangement. In addition you would have to commit to paying the balance in full each month so no further debt builds up.

If you have a credit card account with a zero balance this will not be included in your IVA. The account will therefore remain open and in theory you could continue to use it. However if you do you must repay the balance in full each month.

Struggling with credit card debt and need more advice about an IVA? Give us a call (0800 011 4712) or complete the form below. The advice is free and without obligation.

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4 thoughts on “Credit Card Debt and an IVA

    Lucy says:

    If I want to do a Iva but took a credit card out in February can I stil do it

      Hi Lucy

      If you recently took out a new credit card it is still possible to start an IVA. However how easy this will be depends on what the balance is on this card compared to all your other debt.

      Where the balance is relatively low there should be no problem. If your other creditors agree the proposal then even if this card is unhappy they are still legally forced to accept the agreement.

      The only time you could face a problem is if you have a relatively large balance on the new card (over 25% of your total debt). Where this is the case this creditor could reject your IVA proposal.

      If this happens you will not be able to start the IVA. In these circumstances you might have to use a debt management plan for 6 months and then re-apply for an IVA after that.

    George says:


    I recently took a loan (10k in march). My circumstances have been changed over the last months. I am not going to able to pay. Can I still do an iva? Totally debts are around 28K.


      Hi George

      If you only took this loan a couple of months ago starting an IVA is going to be very difficult at this time. It is highly likely that the loan company will reject the proposal meaning that it could not go ahead.

      I suggest using a debt management plan to bring down your overall debt payments to a more affordable level for 6 months. After that you should be able to revisit the IVA option and will have much more chance of it being accepted.

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