Whether you’re buying your first home or looking to move, finding the right mortgage isn’t always easy.
And if you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) finding a mortgage provider can seem even more difficult.
However, the good news is there is support available when applying for a mortgage with a CCJ.
Here we look at what a CCJ is, whether you can get a mortgage with a CCJ and where you can find mortgage advice if you have a CCJ.
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What is a County Court Judgement (CCJ)?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ), sometimes known as a County Court Summons, is a type of court order in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A CCJ may be registered against you if you fail to repay money you owe and have ignored late payment notices. If you receive a judgement it means that the court has decided that you owe the money and that it must be repaid.
You typically have 14 days to respond to a CCJ claim form so it’s important you don’t ignore it.
It’s important to remember, however, that lenders can’t just apply for a CCJ out of the blue. Companies you owe money to must make an effort to come to an agreement with you first in what’s known as a pre-action protocol for debt claims. This outlines the way you and the company are expected to behave and the actions that should be taken before a court claim is started.
How do I know if I have a County Court Judgement?
A County Court Judgement is typically delivered by post. The letter should highlight the fact you’ve had a CCJ taken against you with information of how you can respond to the order and what actions can be taken against you if you fail to respond.
You can also check if you have a CCJ against you by checking the Public Register of Judgements, Orders and Fines. This will provide details such as:
- The date of judgement
- Amount of money owed
- Name of the court who issued the CCJ
How long will a CCJ stay on my credit report?
The court order will appear on your credit report and will impact your credit rating. As a result it can negatively affect your ability to get credit, including a secured loan like a mortgage, for up to six years.
It can also make it more difficult to apply for an unsecured loan such as a credit card or even a mobile phone contract.
Can I get a mortgage with a CCJ?
However, while a CCJ can have a negative impact on your credit rating there are some specialist lenders who can help you apply for a mortgage with a CCJ.
While it’s unlikely you’ll get mortgage approval from a mainstream lender there are there are lenders who specialise in CCJ mortgages or bad credit mortgages.
If you have a CCJ mortgage providers assess the following:
- CCJ registered date
- Whether it’s a satisfied CCJ or unsatisfied CCJ
- The amount owed in the CCJ
- How many CCJs are registered against you
- Amount of mortgage deposit
- Mortgage type (residential or buy to let)
- Other potential issues on your credit report (such as late payments)
While the mortgage application process may seem complicated it is possible. CCJ lenders or specialist mortgage brokers can make getting a mortgage with bad credit a little easer and may have abetter chance of having your mortgage application approved.
What mortgage provider will give advice to someone with a CCJ?
If you’re looking for a mortgage with a CCJ you should consider speaking to specialist lenders with experience in bad credit mortgages.
You may find it difficult to access the best mortgage rates if you are known to have missed payments, such as credit cards or missed mortgage payments in the past, and have a bad credit rating.
However, if you choose to apply with the help of CCJ mortgage lenders or a specialist mortgage broker the better your chances of accessing competitive rates.
What criteria will I need to meet to get a mortgage with a CCJ?
When it comes to getting a mortgage you’ll need to meet the mortgage provider’s affordability criteria.
However, providers won’t just look at your credit file when making their decision. Your CCJ will also need to meet certain criteria to be considered for a mortgage.
When your CCJ was registered is one of the key factors in your application and will influence how easy it could be to approach lenders for a mortgage.
Put simply it’s easier to get a mortgage if your CCJ is more than three years old rather than a CCJ that was registered within the last year.
Whether your CCJ is satisfied or not will also have an impact. Some mortgage providers offer unsatisfied CCJ mortgages while others requite it to have been satisfied, or settled, for at least a year.
Lenders will also take the size of the CCJ into consideration. Most specialist lenders restrict it to a certain level – particularly if it was registered recently.
If you’re applying for a mortgage with a CCJ registered more than years ago, the size could likely be limited to £2,500 if you’re borrowing up to 85% loan value, according to the Online Mortgage Advisor.
For CCJs registered within the last 12 months a CCJ can be just £1,000. Some lenders may consider higher CCJ levels but they typically require a larger deposit.
As with any mortgage application, the higher your deposit the more likely it is to be approved. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you have a minimum deposit of 5% your CCJ will need to be at least three years old.
You may find that some mortgage lenders will allow a borrowing with a CCJ within the last 12 months if you have a deposit of 25% or more.
Your CCJ status can affect your ability to get a mortgage. However, there are CCJ lenders who are known to still lend to people with a poor credit history.
If you have an unsatisfied CCJ that was registered more than two years ago it’s unlikely a specialist CCJ lender would insist on payment before considering your mortgage application.
However, if your CCJ is satisfied many lenders will look more favourably on your application, however, some may insist it was satisfied at least 12 months before application.
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It was literally the best decision of my life, and it has actually changed my life, cheesy as that sounds, it has changed my life.
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What type of mortgage can I apply for with a County Court Judgement?
The type of mortgage you require will be taken into consideration during your mortgage assessment.
If you’re a first-time buyer or buying a new build you may find it more difficult to get a mortgage with a CCJ. Some lenders may not accept borrowers with CCJs over £1,000 while other mortgage providers may only accept borrowers with a satisfied CCJ for 12 months.
Obtaining a buy to let mortgage with a CCJ can also prove difficult. Many mainstream lenders will not process your application with an unsatisfied CCJ with some only lending if your CCJ is over two years old.
However, getting a mortgage can be a little easier if you’re already on the property ladder and looking to move or remortaging.
You should seek the support of qualified mortgage advisors in this instance who can help find the right mortgage for your situation. They’ll approach lenders known to help people with bad credit to improve your chances of mortgage approval.
How much can I borrow with a CCJ?
Your borrowing power will be impacted by the fact that you have a CCJ but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You can get a mortgage with a CCJ but the maximum loan to value (LTV) will be dictated by several factors such as your income, deposit amount as well as whether your CCJ has been satisfied or not.
The amount you can borrow will depend on your particular circumstances. If you CCJ is older than two years you may be able to borrow up to five times your annual income, while some lenders may restrict this to four times your annual income for a recent CCJ.
A mortgage broker or potential lenders will review your credit report and offer mortgage advice based on your current situation.
Can I get a mortgage if I have other credit problems?
A CCJ isn’t the only thing that can make getting a mortgage more difficult.
Any potential lenders, whether you’re getting a mortgage or any other kind of credit, will check your credit file before deciding to lend.
The extent of your credit problems will determine how lenders assess you. For example previous missed payments in other credit agreements, such as a missed credit card bill, may be seen as less severe than repossession.
However, even if you have credit issues your mortgage chances aren’t necessarily over. Many lenders specialise in bad credit mortgages or help people struggling with their finances find mortgages.
Even people in solutions such debt management plans or Individual Voluntary Arrangements can find lenders able to provide tailored advice to help them secure mortgages.
How can I check my credit report?
If you’re worried about the impact a CCJ or any kind of debt has had on your ability to borrow or apply for a mortgage advice, you should check your credit report.
You can check your credit score for free using sites such as Experian. However, you should be aware that there can sometimes be a cost to view your credit file in full.
What if I’m struggling with debt or credit issues?
If you’re worried about debt the most important thing to do is seek help as soon as possible.
Your Debt Expert can provide tailored advice to help you regain control of your finances.
The team can help you find a debt solution suited to your needs, such as a debt management plan or an IVA, that will allow you to avoid a CCJ.
Considering a debt solution may not be an obvious option when struggling to get a mortgage. However, if you find that your mortgage applications are unsuccessful due to your credit history it may be the best way to secure a clear credit history in the future.
While solutions like a debt management plan or a IVA can have a negative impact on your credit report at first, as your solution ages your score should gradually improve. This is because lenders typically may more attention to your most recent credit history.
For more support and information about how to increase your chances of mortgage approval with a CCJ or advice about how to deal with credit issues like missed payments, talk to Your Debt Expert today.