I am sharing here my personal experience and hopefully it will be helpful for quite a few people.
In the year 2010 I ended up in huge debt which was nearly £50K and I was nowhere close to being in a situation to pay it off but from bottom of my heart I wanted to pay and become debt free. After intensive research I come to know about IVA and then I researched a lot to find a good company until I found one that seemed to offer professional help along with a caring approach.
I am glad that I contacted them. The process was quite easy and I was rest assured once I entered into an agreement I wouldn’t’ receive any demand letter, penalties, fines and all that stuff. I will only pay what I can afford to pay every month and after 5 year all remaining debt will be waived. Also interest was frozen so the debt won't increase.
However any bonus/overtime you do you need to contribute certain percentage of it towards your debt.
It was bit hard to budget at the start but soon I adjusted to it and didn't worry as I knew I could afford the agreed payment. Even though I had to go without things I might have liked sometimes I accepted that some sacrifice was needed to get me out of the situation I was in. I got so used to making the payments that I didn’t even realize it had finished until I was told by the IVA Company (yes its true!).
Once it ended, I received a completion certificate of my IVA which I forwarded to all three credit reference agencies and my credit file was updated accordingly. I can proudly say that I am free from all of the debts now & I am planning a mortgage now. It wouldn't be possible without an IVA.