A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a court order that can have a serious impact on your credit score.
If you have one, it’s important to know how to remove a CCJ from your credit report.
In this guide, we’ll explain what County Court Judgements are, why obtaining credit becomes more difficult for people with a CCJ, and the most common ways to remove a CCJ from your credit file.
What is a County Court Judgment (CCJ)?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is an official court order that is issued in the County Court in England and Wales.
It signifies that a person has been legally ordered to repay a debt within the Court’s specified timeframe, whether that’s an unpaid credit card bill, utility bill, or other credit agreements.
When an individual receives a County Court Judgment, it becomes part of their credit history and will stay on their record for six years, making it difficult to secure credit or take out loans during that time period.
Thankfully, there are several strategies available to help individuals remove CCJs from their credit files over time.
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How do I know if I have a CCJ against me?
It’s possible for someone to have a CCJ against them and not even know it.
There are two quick and easy ways to confirm whether you have a CCJ against your name.
Check the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines
The first way to check if you have a CCJ on record is by looking at the Register of Judgments Orders and Fines.
This free register is managed by the Registry Trust, which keeps an active record of all judgements and orders handed down by the High Courts and County Courts in England and Wales.
If you visit the Registry Trust website and search your name, you should be able to check all the judgments, orders, and fines that were given out against you.
Ask credit reference agencies for a copy of your credit file
The next way to find out whether you have a CCJ against you is to check your credit file via credit reference agencies like Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax.
A credit reference agency is an independent organisation that keeps credit records.
You can request free access to your credit file, which will give you a snapshot of your overall financial history and should contain details of any active CCJ against you.
Remove CCJ from your credit report
If you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) on your credit report, it can make it difficult to obtain new credit, so removal of the CCJ is essential.
There are three main ways to remove a CCJ from your credit report.
Which route you take will depend on whether you owe the debt, or are looking to dispute the County Court Judgment.
If you don’t owe the debt
Ask for the CCJ to be set aside
If you feel strongly that you don’t owe the debt in question, there is a process by which you ask for the judgement to be ‘set aside’.
As part of this process, you will fill in a N244 claim form where you will lay out the legal reasons why you do not owe the money in question.
You may also have to pay a small court fee in order for your case to be reviewed.
After carefully looking into all of the circumstances surrounding the matter, the court will decide whether or not they will set aside the CCJ.
If the Court agrees with you, the CCJ will be removed from the public Register.
If you do owe the debt
Repay the debt within 30 days
If you do owe the debt related to your CCJ, it’s possible to have it removed from your credit record by repaying the amount in full within 30 days.
Provided you repay the debt in full within one month of the CCJ date of receipt, you can apply to the Court to have your entry in the Register removed.
Once it’s removed from the register, the credit reference should be passed those details and the CCJ will also be removed from your credit record.
WAIT FOR SIX YEARS
If you owe the debt in question and you can’t afford to repay what you owe within one month, you will need to wait six years for the CCJ to be removed from your credit file.
Once six years have passed since the date of issue, details of your CCJ should automatically be removed from both the Register and your credit report, although it may take some time for the credit reference agencies to update your account.
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What happens if I ignore a CCJ?
Defaulting on a County Court Judgment (CCJ) can have serious consequences.
First off, it will result in you having a poor credit rating and can hurt your ability to obtain credit in the future. It can also lead to further legal action.
If ignored, lenders can go to court to obtain what’s known as a ‘default judgment’.
This is when the court grants a CCJ against you in your absence, meaning it will be added to your credit file and can affect your ability to get credit in the future.
You may also incur further financial repercussions as debts remain unpaid, leading creditors to take additional measures – up to and including sending bailiffs to your home, or applying for the right to take funds from your bank account.
How can I improve my credit record after a CCJ?
Trying to improve your credit rating after a CCJ can be daunting, but it is possible.
Paying off any outstanding credit agreements on time, whether it’s your mobile phone contract or a credit card bill, is a great way to build up positive credit behaviour.
You can also contact credit reference and ask for help to correct any mistakes recorded on your credit file.
Incorrect formation – like the wrong address – can lower your credit score, so righting those wrongs is a step in the right direction.
One important note is to make sure you avoid seeking help from ‘credit repair companies’. These companies tend to target people with bad credit by making promises of improving their credit profile, however many of these services require payment upfront and come with no guarantees.
While it may take some time, repaying your credit gradually is the safest route towards a better financial future.
Where can I get help protecting myself from County court judgments?
If you’re facing a County Court Judgment over an unpaid debt, you may be worried about what this could mean for your personal finances, your credit profile, or your future.
We can help. At Your Debt Expert, we specialise in debt advice and debt solutions that help protect people from their creditors and the courts.
For more information on how we can help you deal with unpaid debt or CCJs, get in touch with one of our friendly advisors today.
Where can I get more advice on How to remove a CCJ from credit report: Everything you need to know and other debt solutions?
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