How to improve my credit score after an IVA?

Last Modified 16th of August 2021

Successfully completing your IVA is a huge step towards financial freedom and a debt-free life. But an IVA stays on your credit file for 6 years, so if your IVA terms were 5 years then you have one more year of the IVA on your credit file. The next step is to improve your credit score, which can take time but it’s incredibly worth it in the long run.

IVA completion certificate

The Insolvency Practitioner (IP) will issue you with an IVA Completion Certificate. This is signed by the IP and can be used as proof that you’ve successfully completed your IVA. The Insolvency Service will note that your IVA is complete and you’re free to repair your credit rating. But even when your IVA is wiped from your credit file you’ll essentially start a clean slate and you won’t really have a credit rating. Now is the time to start building up some credit.

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Check your credit rating

Start off by checking your credit rating to ensure everything is in order. Make sure your IVA, along with any other notes, aren’t on your file. If you find anything on your credit file that shouldn’t be there, just get in touch with the credit reference agencies and get it wiped off. However, if you have a few issues after your IVA started then it’s a good idea to get them resolved as soon as possible before improving your credit rating.

What are the best ways to improve my credit score after an IVA?

The best thing about credit ratings is that you don’t necessarily have to borrow money to improve it. If you pay certain bills on time they can improve your credit rating. This includes:

  • Utilities such as gas and electric
  • Council tax
  • Mobile phone contract

Effectively, these aren’t loans, bar the mobile phone contract, so your chances of getting back into debt are much slimmer than if you take out a loan. For example, you need gas and electric for your everyday life so it’s less likely that you’ll skip payments. And if you’ve just come out of an IVA you’re more likely to have a sensible attitude towards money.

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An often overlooked aspect of your credit file is the correct electoral roll details. Make sure your name, address and dates moved in are all correct. This alone can be a quick boost to your credit rating – although it can take a few months for the correct details to be updated.

If you’re feeling confident enough then you could get a credit card for poor or no credit. If you use it once a month for a small purchase but pay it straight back then this will improve your credit rating over time. But if you feel this will get you back into debt then avoid credit cards altogether.

Overall, improving your credit rating after an IVA does take time. Don’t use ‘credit rating repair’ services as they’re not a quick-fix answer and they’re often illegal. Just make sure your creditors have marked your debt as satisfied and all CCJs are amended – you’ll be on the road to financial recovery before you know it!