IVA Credit Cards Reviews & Analysis

Are you trying to sort out your finances during or after an IVA? You may be unsure about your credit card options.

You’re not alone. Every month, over 170,000 people visit our site for advice on debt solutions.

In this article, we’ll explain: 

  •  What to do with your credit card while in an IVA
  •  How to cut down some of your debt
  •  Different options instead of using your credit card during an IVA
  •  Managing your credit after an IVA
  •  What to do if you’re struggling with unaffordable debt

We have a group of experts who have faced these challenges. We’ll give you clear, easy-to-follow advice about credit cards and IVAs.

Let’s get started!

Can I Keep Using my Credit Card During an IVA?

During your IVA, you are not allowed to keep using your credit card and you are also not allowed to take out a new one. 

Over the course of your IVA, you are not allowed to take out a credit larger than £500. If you absolutely require a credit larger than £500, then you will have to speak to your insolvency practitioner (IP) and ask for their permission before you can seek credit. 

Please note that if you do not inform your IP before you seek credit then this will be in direct violation of the terms of your IVA. This could lead to the termination of your IVA in which case, you would still owe your debt to your creditors and youd have to devise a new repayment plan from scratch. Not to mention that legal action might be taken against you by your creditors as well. 

Like we mentioned before, if you encounter an unexpected expense for which you need to take out credit (e.g., a health emergency or a vehicle repair you need for your business), you can talk to your IP about it. If they feel that its a reasonable request, they will grant you permission to take out credit larger than £500.

Here are some of the factors that your IP will look at when considering whether or not they should grant you permission to take out a larger credit: 

  • Whether the credit is absolutely necessary or not.
  • In how much time will you be able to repay the credit.
  • Whether you will be able to make credit repayments on top of your current monthly IVA repayments or not. 

Even if your IP does grant you permission to take out credit, this credit may difficult for you to obtain since your ongoing IVA will be visible in the Individual Insolvency Register as well as your credit file. 

What are Some Alternatives to Using my Credit Card During an IVA?

Theres really no alternative when it comes to seeking credit during an IVA. You will have to live a very simple life over the course of your IVA; only making expenses that you absolutely need to and paying the rest in your monthly IVA payments. 

Like we mentioned before, you CAN seek credit during an IVA but you better have a good reason for it. If your IP or your creditors feel that the credit is unnecessary, they will not allow you to take it out. 

Many people believe that they are violating the terms of an IVA because they owe a debt to their utility provider for gas or electricity. This is not true, however. While these debts ARE a form of credit, they dont violate the terms of your IVA agreement. This is only true if youre maintaining your monthly IVA payments though. 

You may also be considering borrowing money from friends and relatives. While this may seem like a good idea, you would still have to pay this money back and in the end, it could affect your monthly IVA payments. Furthermore, your creditors may find out about it and ask you where this money came from. They could then even ask you to transfer it to them as a windfall sum. 

Thus, in most cases, if you require credit, your best bet is to contact your IP, discuss your situation with them and seek their advice. 

Credit After an IVA

Credit after an IVA can also be surprisingly difficult to obtain.

Your IVA remains visible on your credit file for six years after the start of your IVA. For a standard five-year IVA, this means that it will stay in your credit file for a further year after completion. The mention of an IVA will definitely make it very difficult for you to obtain credit from high-street lenders. 

Its a good idea to make a request for your IVA completion certificate as soon as you make your last monthly payment. Once you have your IVA completion certificate, you can present it to your lenders to ensure them that youre done with your IVA even though its appearing in your credit file.

This will develop goodwill between you and your potential lenders and might increase your chances of securing credit. Not to mention that it can also prevent creditors from contacting you constantly after you’re done paying the IVA.

In all cases though, its best if you wait till the mention of an IVA is completely erased from your credit file before you start seeking credit.

Once you do secure credit, its essential that you make your payments on time. This will be the pinnacle of you starting to rebuild your credit score which will ensure that you dont end up in debt again. 

If you require credit sooner, however, then you should definitely consider a credit union rather than a high-street lender. Youll have much better luck securing credit with them. Credit unions can also be a great source of credit when your IVA is ongoing. 

For more information on securing credit after an IVA, you can opt to contact an independent debt charity such as StepChange. They could make you privy to lenders that you may have not been aware of.

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