Clive had been stuggling with debt for many years. What started as a manageable credit card debt somehow escalated over time, with loss of earnings for a period and increased expenditure when child number 1 came along. After a while, with further debts incurred, the total debt had increased to over £25,000. Minimum payments meant that only the interest was being covered and once a couple of payments were missed the debt quickly increased even more. 

Knowing his position was unsustainable, Clive began reearching options and homed in on Debt Management Plans. Making one payment to cover all debts, and with the possibility that interest could be frozen was attractive, he looked seriously at what he could realistically afford. Alas, without access to further credit, he realised that £100/mth was his maximum available payment level if all priority expenses and living costs were to be met. Clive looked on the bright side - one affordable payment to cover all debts had to be so mmuch better than the position he was in. 

It was a friend who metioned IVA's. They had initially sounded scary, but his friend assured him that his own IVA had been highly successful and was regarded as the best thing he had ever done! The DMP was going to take over 20 years to clear the debt, blowing any hopes Clive had of a mortgage in the long term future. Instead he opted for an IVA. He had no property assets, and a car that was imoortant but not of high monetary value. And crucially the IVA was for 5 years only. He knew the payment level could be reset if his financial circumstances changed, but his job was relatively stable and expenses were likely to oincrease with increased income - so the £100/mth may well be all he paid. 

Having a definite end point in 5 years mafe a huge difference to Clive's decision.