Some IVA companies may sound very persuasive that an IVA is not only the best solution for you, but it’s really the only solution! This is almost certainly not the case. It may after due consideration be the right solution – but it needs to be weighed against alternatives. There are a number of DIY solutions from selling an asset to asking for family help. It’s usually right to speak to creditors to see if they can help. A payment holiday or a consolidation loan may be an answer or shifting high interest cards to interest free deals may be enough to regain control. Maybe speaking to our own bank is sensible. But beware – a solution may be needed that sorts out all debts not just the 1 or 2. If we have exhausted DIY options, then it is probably time to seek advice on other debt solutions. Some recoil in horror from the thought of bankruptcy without realising that an IVA is comparable in the sense that the debtors name appears on an insolvency register and that an external professional (the Insolvency Practitioner) has a lot of control over your financial affairs. For some bankruptcy may be the right answer. At least questioning the benefits of the IVA over bankruptcy is worthwhile. Of course there are good reasons for avoiding bankruptcy at all costs – certainly for homeowners and for those whose job is at risk from bankruptcy (but not from an IVA). And if we rule out bankruptcy, another option to consider is a Debt Management Plan (DMP). This is more informal and usually more flexible than an IVA. Many people in debt want to repay their debt but simply can’t afford to meet all contractual repayments. Someone with £10,000 of debt may be making m monthly payments of £500. This is really unaffordable but because we feel duty bound to meet these expenses first, it leaves us short for the rest of the month, and more credit is required which leads to bigger debt problems. It becomes a slippery slope. A DMP allows us to repay the debt but at an affordable rate. Maybe £200/mth is available – saving £300/mth – and it may well be that all the debt could be cleared without the need for an IVA and potentially in less time than an IVA.