What is a CCJ?
A county court judgment, otherwise known as a CCJ, is when a business, organisation, lender or anyone you owe money to applies to a court to help recover the balance you haven’t paid when you’ve not responded to earlier requests to repay the money.
A CCJ is usually issued as a last resort if you’ve ignored all other requests for repayment because there are costs involved for a creditor to apply to a court for a CCJ, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to receive one.
If you get a judgment, it means a court has decided you owe the money, and you’ll get notified by a letter sent to you in the post explaining how much you owe, how to pay, who to pay and the payment deadline.
Unless you can pay everything you owe within 30 days, your CCJ is kept on record and will appear on your credit report for six years. When this happens, future lenders can see the judgment, making it significantly more challenging for you to obtain credit in the future because lenders will consider you riskier to lend to.
If you’re unsure whether or not you have a CCJ on your credit report, you can check for free using services like ClearScore or Equifax.
How long does a CCJ last?
Country court judgments (CCJs) are recorded on a public register and your credit report for six years.
If you can pay what you owe within 30 days of receiving the CCJ, you can avoid having the CCJ appear on your credit report.
If you pay what you owe within those six years, your credit report will show that you’ve paid, but you might still find it difficult to obtain credit within that time.
A CCJ will be removed automatically from your credit report after six years, whether or not you’ve paid the total amount without needing to do anything.
Not paying your CCJ and hoping it will go away can have very severe consequences beyond your credit score. The people you owe money to may instruct bailiffs or enforcement officers to;
- Go to your house to remove items to pay your debts
- Register a claim against any property you own, which means your home could be repossessed
- Take money directly from your wages or benefits before they get paid to you
Having an unpaid CCJ on your credit report means you could find it very difficult to get any form of credit in the future - even for things like a mobile phone contract or if you apply to open a new bank account.
What happens if I ignore a CCJ?
The worst thing you can do when receiving a CCJ is bury your head in the sand and ignore it. It will likely make you feel stressed, panicked and anxious, but not responding to it could mean you face even more severe consequences.
Enforcement officers could be sent to your home and ask for the money you owe. If you do not have the money, they could look for goods in your home that could be taken away and sold to pay off your debt.
Enforcement officers and bailiffs cannot force entry into your home - they must ask your permission to come in, and you may refuse entry. It’s never a good idea to let it get to this stage though, because these encounters can be very stressful and lead you to not wanting to pick up the phone or answer your front door.
Can I get a loan with a CCJ?
Yes. It is possible, but it’s doubtful you’ll be able to get a loan from a bank on the high street because you’ll be considered too risky to lend to. But other types of lenders might consider your application for a loan.
If you apply for a loan with a CCJ, your loan is likely to be more expensive because your lender will charge you more interest as they would be taking more of a risk lending you money than someone who doesn’t have a CCJ.
A loan could help you rebuild your credit score if you make your repayments on time. The more time that has passed since your CCJ was registered, the higher your chances of being approved for a loan, but each lender will have its own eligibility criteria, and there are no guarantees you’ll be approved for a loan.
You might prefer to wait until the CCJ is taken off your credit report before applying for a loan because your chances of approval will be higher, and you’re more likely to be offered a loan with lower interest rates.
How much can I borrow with a CCJ?
How much you can borrow will depend on the type of loan you apply for and other things like how much you earn, your outgoings, whether or not you’re a homeowner and if you have a guarantor.
Some online lenders specialise in lending to people with bad credit and offer short-term loans of between £100 and £1,000, though some lenders may loan you more depending on your circumstances.
A guarantor loan means a friend or family member guarantees a loan on your behalf and promises to repay your debt if you cannot. The advantage of guarantor loans is that you can usually borrow larger sums and have longer to repay the loany, typically up to five years.
Guarantor loans tend to have higher interest rates than standard loans. If you’re unable to make the repayments on your loan, your guarantor will have to make them for you. If your guarantor cannot afford to repay, they could risk losing their home or face legal proceedings
Which loans can I get with a CCJ?
The type of loan you might be able to get with a CCJ will depend on your circumstances. Most CCJ loans will require you to own your own home or provide a guarantor, which reduces the lender’s risk of loaning money to you.
If you have a CCJ, some specialist CCJ loan providers will lend you money even if you aren’t a homeowner, but these providers are far and few between, and you’re likely to pay high-interest rates on these types of loans compared to standard loans.
The amount you may be able to borrow with loans for people with a CCJ is likely to be low, and typically you’ll need to pay back what you’ve borrowed over a short period - usually 12 months.
Some lenders will provide payday loans if you have a CCJ, but interest rates are likely to be high, and lending criteria will be stricter too.
How to get a loan with a CCJ?
Applying for a loan when you have a CCJ is the same as applying for a standard loan. You’ll want to compare CCJ loans on a comparison website like ours, researching interest rates, APR and fees.
When you’re ready to apply, you’ll need to be 18 or over, a UK resident and prepared to answer the following;
- How much do you want to borrow
- How long do you need the loan for
- What do you need the money for
- Your name
- Your address
- Your employment status and income
- Whether or not you're a homeowner
It’s best to use an eligibility checker before you go ahead and apply for a loan. This will give you reliable information on the lenders most likely to approve you for a loan. An eligibility checker will only perform a soft credit check which is only visible to you. If you decide to go ahead and apply for a loan with a lender, they will perform a hard credit check, which will be visible to other lenders.
A soft credit check won’t affect your credit report, but too many hard credit checks can negatively impact your credit score in a short period.
Will a satisfied CCJ affect my credit?
When you’ve paid your CCJ, it will be marked as ‘satisfied’ on your credit report, but the CCJ will remain on your credit report for six years whether you pay it or not, making it more difficult for you to be approved for credit in that time.
The good news is, the longer you’ve had a CCJ on your report, your credit score should improve, providing you manage your finances reliably.
There are several things you can do to try and improve your credit rating, including;
- Registering to vote
- Meeting the repayment terms of your CCJ and any other creditors and talking to your lenders if you think you might not be able to repay on time
- Minimise the number of applications you make for credit, limiting it to one application every three months
- Check your credit report for any mistakes and unlink yourself to anyone you're financially linked to that you're no longer associated with
Can I get a CCJ removed from my credit report?
The only way you can get a CCJ removed from your credit report is by:
- If the CCJ hasn't been automatically removed after six years, you can make a request to the credit reference agencies for it to be removed.
- Disputing the CCJ, and requesting the court removes it
If you haven’t had a letter in the post notifying you of your CCJ, but you discover one on your credit report, you should contact the court where the judgment was made.
How can I get help for a CCJ?
For more information about CCJ’s and for help with debt you can contact one of the following organisations:Citizens AdviceStep ChangeMoney Helper
CCJ loans FAQs
That will depend on whether you’re financially linked to your partner.
If you’ve taken out any joint financial products with your partner, such as a mortgage, credit card, loan, bank account or even a supermarket loyalty card, you will be financially linked to them.
If your partner pays their CCJ, your chances of being approved for a loan shouldn’t be affected because lenders should only look at your credit score.
If your partner does not pay their CCJ, you could be affected if your partner's creditors choose to send bailiffs to your home or attempt to repossess your home to pay back what your partner owes. If you’ve used your home to guarantee a loan, your loan provider may request you pay your loan back in full.
Yes, you can get a CCJ loan without a guarantor, but most direct lenders will require you to be a homeowner so you can secure the loan against your property.
If you cannot repay your loan, your home is at risk of repossession.
If you borrow money or have any sort of credit agreement in place, it’s essential that you keep up with all of your repayments and pay back what you owe.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your repayments, the first thing you need to do is speak to the people you owe money to. Lenders don’t issue CCJs to punish you - it’s always a last resort to get the money back they’ve lent you.
Your creditors would prefer you talk to them about a payment plan to contribute towards your debts rather than spend money chasing you, so don’t bury your head in the sand and pick up the phone to avoid enforced action.