Myself and my wife started the IVA journey back in 2012 90k of debt and nothing to look forward to and absolutely no way of getting out of the mess.
So we made the decision to enter a IVA setup was straightforward and our IVA company treated us with respect.
7 long years and my god it felt it was never ending sometimes, No holidays driving old bangers sticking to strict budgets but we got our heads down and got on with it (after all no one was to blame but us)
I wont lie sometimes we struggled,we argued we just couldn't do what friends were doing (going out for meals cinema etc) but we kept positive and carried on.
My IVA company honestly never gave us any grief, we complied with the reviews and was just left alone.
So we completed back in march completion certificate was prompt and our credit files cleared( the feeling of it being over is unreal )
We have had our bank account upgraded(we are finally earning interest on our account) and was approved for a nationwide remortgage a week ago(this I thought we would struggle with) we can now get on with our lives.
Some tips I leant for anyone on there IVA journey
1 Budget!!! Take control of your finances make sure you know everything coming in and out of your account (we set ourselves weekly budgets and what ever we didn't spend we saved)
2 Box clever!!! look for the discount codes on the internet in the post, look for free places to visit in the holidays (I was surprised how many there was)
always use comparison sites for insurance etc
3 I became a great cook due to the IVA I just looked up family recipes and it worked out cheaper than buying ready meals plus i enjoyed the cooking part.
4 Visit this site often its full of info and the people are a massive help
Hopefully you will see there is light at the end of the tunnel it does get tough sometimes don't give up!!!
And if you are struggling try to talk to someone try not to bottle it up it just makes it worse.
One point I would mention --- insurance on comparison sites: A useful tool, yes, but I have found some of the larger insurers do not use comparison sites and, sometimes, the comparison site quote can be bettered if you go to the same company off the site (do not use click through links --- go direct to their own site via your browser). It does depend on how much work you want to put into it.
My opinions are merely that .. opinions based on experience. Always seek professional advice.
IVA Completed 23rd July 2013 .... C.C. 10th January 2014 http://foggy.blogs.iva.co.uk