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How Long Does An IVA Stay On Your Credit File?

Wondering how an IVA stays on your credit file? You can find the answer to this question here in this brief but informative guide on the topic.
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If you’re someone who’s struggling to pay off your debts, it may be recommended that your enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

This debt solution can help certain people who are in a position where they are unable to pay their current debts. However, it can harm your credit rating, which is why it is essential to learn all about it before entering into the agreement.

We’ve put together this guide to help you know how long an IVA stays on your credit report and things to be aware of if you are in this unfortunate position. 

What Is An IVA?

What is an IVA

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a formal agreement in the UK between a debtor and their creditors. It allows the debtor to repay a portion of their debts over a fixed period, typically 5-6 years, while protecting them from legal action by creditors. It’s overseen by an insolvency practitioner.

An IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement is one of the solutions that can help you deal with an out-of-control debt situation.

Available in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland, this solution allows a debtor to enter into an arrangement with their creditors. This arrangement states how and when the borrowed money will be repaid.

The repayment process may involve paying a predetermined amount to the creditors each month to clear your debt. 

Generally, an IVA is used when a person owes around £5,000 or more to at least two creditors. But, like all debt solutions, an IVA can have a negative impact on your credit rating. 

Requirements For An IVA

Not everyone can utilise an IVA to manage their unsecured debts, so it is crucial to understand what such an arrangement requires. Firstly, an IVA requires that 75% of all debts be included in it, and the arrangement should be acceptable to all the concerned creditors. 

Additionally, certain types of loans are ineligible for such an arrangement, such as child support, fines, and student loans.

You will need the assistance of an accountant or lawyer, known as the insolvency practitioner, to set up the arrangement. Their fee will vary but this can sometimes be included in the arrangement as well. 

How Does An IVA Affect Your Credit Rating?   

Before the Individual Voluntary Arrangement can be implemented, your creditors will be informed about it and 75% of your creditors must agree to it in order for you to enter the IVA. 

As lenders and future creditors will be able to see you are in or have previously entered into an IVA, they will deem you to be higher risk and may be reluctant to lend to you in the future.

Some lenders can consider applications from applicants who have previously been in an IVA but each lenders criteria will vary so we would advise speaking to a mortgage advisor to assess your options. 

How Long Does An IVA Stay On Your Credit File

An IVA appears on the credit report of the person entering into such an arrangement with their creditors from the date it gets approved. It remains there for six years, irrespective of whether the debts are cleared completely before that period or not. 

If you complete the repayment process before that period, the IVA will be marked complete, but it will still appear on the credit report for the remaining period. 

Improving Your Credit Score After An IVA

Credit Score Range

Completing all repayments will result in the arrangement being marked complete, which can help improve the score.

The first thing to do after the arrangement is complete is to obtain an IVA Completion Certificate from the insolvency practitioner. This is a very important document that serves as evidence that the repayments have been made in full and no outstanding loans remain. 

Once that is done, you can proactively focus on improving your credit score. This can be done by checking the credit report from the three agencies providing such reports in the UK, which include Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.  

Once you have completed your IVA, you may be able to then take out further credit via certain creditors which if you are able to show your ability to make your repayments on time and use you credit efficiently, your score will improve over time.

This will include proper budgeting, reducing unnecessary expenditures, and long-term financial planning for the future.  

As your IVA becomes more historic on your credit file, the chances of obtaining a mortgage or further credit increases. 

Getting Credit With An IVA

Even with an IVA, getting certain types of credit may be possible, though doing so is not recommended. Applying for additional credit with an IVA may further damage your credit score, making it even more difficult to get loans in the future.

Also, very limited options will be available when you apply for credit with an IVA, and these will usually have high-interest rates and low limits. In addition, your legal practitioner’s written consent will be required for any further borrowing. 


1. How can you remove or update an IVA from your credit report?

An IVA is registered on your credit file and will remain there for 6 years from the date you entered into the agreement. Once the IVA has been paid in full, this will be registered with the credit reference agencies to show this has been completed.

You’re unable to remove the IVA from your credit file but after 6 years it will no longer be visible on your credit report. 

2. Should you get a loan from a specialised lender after your IVA is marked complete?

Some lenders do offer mortgages & loans for applicants that have recently completed an IVA but be aware that interest rates may be higher than standard mortgage products. 

3. How long does it take for the Individual Insolvency Register to be updated after IVA is complete?

It can take up to three months for the Individual Insolvency Register to be updated after your IVA is marked complete. 

4. Can you get a credit card with an active IVA?

While getting certain types of credit cards with an IVA in place is possible, the options are minimal and applying for more credit is not advisable. 

5. What happens if you fail to complete your IVA?

If loan repayments are not complete under an IVA, your IVA supervisor may need to file for your bankruptcy at the request of creditors.   


An IVA can be helpful in situations where you cannot repay unsecured loans and may not have enough financial resources to cover the cost of everyday living. It can protect you from creditors by preventing them from taking legal action. 

That said, such an arrangement can be bad for your credit rating, which may be problematic in the future. So, when thinking of applying for an IVA, it is a good idea to consult financial experts on the matter first. 

They can help you know whether an IVA is a suitable option or whether there are better alternatives available to deal with such debts.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

All content is written by qualified mortgage advisors to provide current, reliable and accurate mortgage information. The information on this website is not specific for each individual reader and therefore does not constitute financial advice.

Mortgage & Protection Advisor | 03337892035

I am CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice) qualified mortgage adviser with a strong background in Finance. I specialise in providing expert advice on a range of mortgage products, including first-time buyers, remortgages, buy-to-let mortgages and bad credit mortgages.

CeMAP & CERER Qualified Mortgage Adviser

I am CeMAP & CERER qualified mortgage adviser and have helped a number of clients realise their dreams when they thought it would not be possible. I’m skilled at getting mortgages sorted for people with a history of missed payments, CCJs, defaults, debt management programmes, IVAs and bankruptcies.

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