If you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) or you’ve been threatened with one, it’s important to have all the facts – especially about how long it could stay on your credit report.
The quick answer is that a CCJ will stay on your credit report for six years from the date of issue.
However, there are some instances where a CCJ can be removed from your credit report much sooner than this.
In this guide, we’ll explain a little more about County Court Judgments, where they’re recorded, and the steps you can take to have a CCJ removed much earlier.
What is a County Court Judgement (CCJ)?
A County Court Judgment is an order from a court that tells you to repay debts to a creditor (a person or company that you owe money to).
A CCJ usually comes after that creditor has tried to recover the money from you themselves.
After missing payments, the company will usually get in touch asking you to catch up – but if you can’t or won’t, they will eventually seek this kind of court order – forcing you to repay what you owe.
If you have a CCJ issued against you, credit reference agencies will record it on your credit file, and it will significantly reduce your credit rating.
How long does a CCJ stay on your credit file?
Each credit reference agency will register a CCJ on your credit report with the date that it was issued. From this point, the CCJ will stay for a period of 6 years.
With a CCJ on your credit file, you’ll find it more difficult to get credit. This is because – rightly or wrongly – a potential lender will consider there a higher risk that you won’t pay back what you owe because of past financial issues.
Getting personal loans, credit cards, car finance, mortgages, other credit agreements, or even a bank account can be much harder or impossible if you have a CCJ.
However, the impact that a CCJ has on your credit rating will reduce over time – so you’ll usually find that your credit score starts to increase again as your CCJ gets older.
After six years, your CCJ will automatically be removed. At this stage, your credit score will have gradually improved, and it may improve again when it’s removed completely.
Every lender is different – so some may ask if you’ve had CCJs even after six years – but most won’t.
Is a CCJ recorded anywhere else?
As well as being recorded on your credit history, a CCJ is also recorded on an official database called the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.
Again, like your credit file, the CCJ will be removed from this register six years after the date it is issued.
Can you have a CCJ removed from your credit report?
It is possible to have a CCJ removed from your credit file – but it only happens in certain situations:
- If the debt the CCJ relates to is paid in full within a month
- If the CCJ is ‘set aside’
- If your insurance company is responsible for the debt
Repayment within one month
If you pay the full amount owed within one month of the CCJ being issued, you can apply to have the CCJ removed from your credit file and the public register it appears on.
When you’ve made your payment directly to your creditor, you can apply for a ‘Certificate of Cancellation’ from your local County Court hearing centre.
There’s a small fee to pay for this form to be issued, but it’s not payable if you’re on a low income and receiving certain benefits.
You’ll need to send a completed N443 form (known as an ‘Application for Certificate of Satisfaction or Cancellation’ form) and proof that you’ve paid what was owed.
The CCJ is set aside
Sometimes, problems or errors can lead to a CCJ being incorrectly issued. For example, a CCJ may be issued despite:
- The lender miscalculating what you owe
- You paying off the debt before the CCJ was issued
- You are unaware that a court order was going to be issued (often because the paperwork was sent to the wrong address or lost in the post)
- You believe that the claim doesn’t comply with the Consumer Credit Act
- The debt was taken out more than six years ago, and you’re therefore not liable for payment
If any of the above apply, you can complete an N244 form and ask that the CCJ is set aside. This doesn’t remove it completely – but instead rewinds the process to the ‘claim’ stage where you can make your argument to the court.
Can you have a CCJ removed if you pay it off after a month?
If you pay your CCJ off after the first month of having it, you cannot have it completely removed from your credit file.
Don’t panic though – you can deal with it in a different way. Instead of applying for a Certificate of Cancellation, you can use the same N443 form to instead apply for a ‘Certificate of Satisfaction’.
When issued, this Certificate is registered by Credit Reference Agencies and your credit file is update to let potential lenders know that you have paid off the debt. Although some lenders will still be cautious of lending to someone with a previous CCJ, your c
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If I don’t repay the debt, will it disappear when the CCJ is removed?
Since a CCJ will be removed from your credit report after six years, a lot of people wonder if that means any outstanding debt relating to the CCJ is also written off at this stage.
This is quite a common question – and for good reason. If you have not acknowledged or made a payment towards some debts in six years, the debt may become ‘statute barred’ – which means no legal action can be taken by a creditor to recover the money.
Some will still keep trying to get their money back – but it’s not uncommon for lenders to write old debts like this off.
Despite the ‘statute of limitations’ surrounding old debt, CCJs do not fall into this category. In fact, when a court order has been issued relating to the debt, it will never be written off.
It’s also extremely unlikely that you’d be allowed to avoid making repayments after being issued with a CCJ. If you don’t stick to an agreed repayment plan, the creditor can ask the court to send High Court Enforcement Officers to repossess the things you own to be sold to help repay the debt.
You may also find yourself with an ‘attachment of earnings order’ – which recovers money directly from your wages or benefits before they are sent to you.
Conclusion: How long does a CCJ stay on your credit history?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) remains on your credit report for six years from the date of issue, potentially making it more difficult to get credit.
However, a CCJ can be removed from your credit report sooner in certain situations, such as if the debt is paid in full within a month or if the CCJ is set aside due to errors.
If you have paid your CCJ off within the month or you think an error has occurred, it’s a good idea to get it cancelled or set aside as quickly as possible.