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Independent Voluntary Arrangement

MoneySavingExpert.com has launched a new free guide to take on the myths surrounding Individual Voluntary Agreements.

The millions of TV pounds spent on advertising by IVA companies leave many believing it's an easy way to write off debts; sucking in those who are desperate for a seemingly easy get-out clause.

This isn't really surprising though as when an IVA is flogged it'll often make the companies five grand a time.

Often the key phrase is, ‘it's a little known government loophole that can write off 75% of your debt'. Yet IVAs are not an easy get out-of debt.

They are an alternative to bankruptcy and should only ever be considered in that light! This doesn't mean it's always wrong, in certain circumstances it's a great solution, but not for everyone.

To get hold of the free PDF guide visit: "IVAs: Are they worth it?”

The most important lesson if you think an IVA is right for you, is not to go direct to an IVA company which has a vested interest in flogging you its product. Instead visit one of the free non-profit debt counselling agencies such as Citizens Advice, National Debtline or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.

Martin Lewis, says: "I was inspired to put this guide together after a former colleague called with a 'quick question'. She'd seen the TV ads for IVAs and wanted to check there wasn't a problem using them.

As she was considering an IVA, I assumed she was in major debt crisis so I asked her how big her debts were, yet the answer was just £6,000 all on 0% rates; while not good certainly not a crisis for someone who had to be earning £40,000 plus a year.

It turned out she'd thought this was a simple loophole to write off debts and wanted to take advantage of it. A nightmare scenario. This proved to me that the ignorance is widespread and we have to ensure people know what they're getting into."