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Does An IVA Affect My Partner? – What You Need to Know

Although an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) has helped many people achieve financial independence, it’s not the right solution for everyone. You may be wondering “how does an IVA affect my partner?”

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement is a big decision with long-term effects, so it’s crucial to understand how it works and what will happen before you enter into one. In some cases, your partner’s debt and credit score could be impacted by your decision, so make sure to have that conversation first.

Did you know that your IVA could have an effect on your partner or spouse? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know.

In What Ways Does an IVA Affect My Partner?

Does an IVA affect credit rating of your partner? Firstly, your partner is not held responsible for your personal debts. However, this does not mean there is no way in which your actions may affect your partner or relationship outside of debt.

Details of your IVA will be entered onto the Insolvency Register which is a public record of personal insolvencies

Do You Have Any Joint Debts (e.g., Bank Account Overdraft)

A joint debt is an agreement in which both parties are 100% responsible for the debt, regardless of any other external factors. Examples of joint unsecured debts include a joint loan or joint accounts such as an overdraft facility. If one party dies or files for insolvency, the remaining party must still uphold their end of the bargain and pay off the entire debt.

Any joint debt also creates a financial link which means that if your partner wishes to obtain credit, the creditor may view any linked credit files which could have a slight impact on their credit rating.

If you and your partner have any debts in joint names, such as an unsecured loan, the IVA will only deal with your liability.

Remember that you are both responsible for repaying the entire debt; therefore, the lender will most likely contact your partner to demand repayment of the debt even if it is included in your IVA. The creditor will receive a dividend from the IVA. However, the joint party will still be liable to pay off any remaining balance in full.

In other words, if you and your partner have any joint debts, then going into an IVA will definitely affect them financially too. This is because they will probably still need to keep making the contractual monthly payment towards the joint debt until it has been completely repaid to avoid a direct negative impact on their credit file.

Joint IVA / Interlocking IVAs

IVAs are common when both partners are struggling financially. If you propose two single IVAs, your joint debts would be included in each and they would receive repayment from each up to the full amount.

Alternatively, you could propose an Interlocking IVA where both of your finances would be dealt with as one for the purposes of the IVA.

IVA Expectations

Even if you and your partner have no joint debts, an IVA could still financially impact them. A household income and expenditure assessment will be completed when arranging the IVA in order to figure out how much you can afford to pay as your IVA payments after essential living expenses are covered.

If your partner earns a lot more than you, they may be expected to put more money towards the fixed household bills to ensure that you are able to pay a reasonable amount towards your debts via your IVA.

This could put pressure on your partner, as they will have to pay more than their share of the household expenses and essential living costs.

If you have an IVA, you know that there are spending restrictions in place. Unfortunately, this often means that your partner has to make up for it by picking up the slack elsewhere. This might look like paying for family holidays or occasional luxuries, as well as unexpected bills and expenses reducing their own disposable income.


If you or your partner are struggling to make ends meet, it can put a lot of stress on your relationship. Money troubles are one of the leading causes of conflict in couples.

It’s important to be completely open with your partner about your finances if you are considering an IVA. If your partner suddenly has to take on more expenses, it could cause stress and strain in both of your lives. But they may be willing and able to help you through this difficult time.

Further Guidance on Dealing with Debts

For more information on dealing with debt, you can check out the “Dealing with Debt” section on the Money Advice Service website.

Alternatively, if you are looking to set up an IVA or would like some general debt advice with an alternative debt solution, please contact us here at Become Debt Free and we can assess your situation and discuss what options are available to your individual circumstances. We employ our own licensed Insolvency Practitioner. Call us today on 0113 237 9500 or complete the online web form and we will call you back at a time to suit you.

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Customers can get free debt advice from the Money Advice Service – an organisation set up by the Government to offer free and impartial advice to those in debt. For more information from the Money Advice Service visit MAS is part of the Money & Pensions Service. We are not affiliated with MAS in any way.

Become Debt Free is a trading style of Re10 (Finance) Limited Registered Number 04651137.  Data Protection Act Registration Number – Z8613095

Become Debt Free specialise in providing and administering Individual Voluntary Arrangement (“IVA”) solutions to individuals based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  We do not administer Debt Management Plans, Debt Relief Orders, or any other debt solutions.  We only provide advice after completing or receiving an initial fact find where the individual(s) concerned meets the criteria for an IVA, therefore, all advice is given in reasonable contemplation of an insolvency appointment.

* To qualify for debt write off in an IVA with us, you must have a minimum of £7,000 of qualifying unsecured debt owed to two or more creditors.  The amount of debt write off is based on your own personal circumstances – typically this could be up to 85% of what you owe; and this has been achieved by over 10% of our customers who have successfully completed their IVA’s in the last 12 months.  The amount of debt write off differs for each customer and is dependent upon their individual financial circumstances and subject to the approval of their creditors.

Andrew Bowers is authorised in the UK to act as Insolvency Practitioner by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.


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