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A County Court Judgement (CCJ) is a court order that can be awarded against you if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The purpose of a CCJ is to get you to repay money that you owe.
Will a CCJ affect my credit rating?
Unfortunately, a CCJ will have a negative effect on your credit rating. Regardless of which credit reference agencies you use to check your credit score, it’ll stay on your credit file for a period of six years. As such, you may find it difficult to get credit or finance during this period.
There are things you can do about this, however. If you want to find out how you can rebuild your credit score, click here. You could also avoid this entirely if you’re able to get the judgment taken off your credit file.
How do I get a CCJ taken off my credit file?
If you can pay the full debt within 30 days of receiving a CCJ against you, then you may be able to get it removed from the Register. This will leave your credit report marked as satisfied and give you the chance to avoid your credit rating taking a hit.
When you do this, you must ensure that you get evidence proving that you paid the debt. The judgment may be removed from the register by the creditor anyway, but it’s always a good idea to check this.
Can a CCJ affect my job?
In the majority of cases, no. Most employers don’t perform credit checks on their employees, so the chances are that getting a CCJ won’t affect your job.
There are certain job sectors that do however, such as legal or financial services. Such employers might perform a credit check on you or require that you have a good credit rating to work in your role. If you’re already employed in these sectors and you get your CCJ after you’ve started work, there’s no way they’d find out about it unless you tell them. That is unless your employer performs another credit check on you.
How do I avoid getting a CCJ?
Simply put, you can avoid getting a CCJ by paying all of your debts in full when they’re due. Not only will this prevent your lenders from applying for a judgment against you in the first place, it’ll also mean that your credit score is kept healthy due to your payments being on time and up-to-date.
Can I still have a CCJ against me if I’m in a Debt Management Plan?
A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is an informal agreement between you and your creditors, and not a legally binding debt solution. As such, you can still have a CCJ against you whilst you’re in a DMP. If you are notified that a creditor plans to obtain a judgment against you, contact your Debt Management Company for advice.
Can I get a CCJ in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)?
With an IVA things are a little different. Because an IVA is legally binding, your the judgment will automatically be included in your IVA. As a result, the payments might be a bit more manageable. If you receive a CCJ after your IVA has started, then you’ll need to speak to your Insolvency Practitioner.
To find out more about this, take a look at our piece about adding new debts to an IVA.
Can I get a CCJ if I’ve gone bankrupt?
Bankruptcy gives you legal protection from unsecured creditors. This means you shouldn’t have a CCJ awarded against you after you’ve gone bankrupt, for debts included in your bankruptcy.
If you’ve already got a CCJ against you but then decide to go bankrupt, then unsecured debts against you will be included in the bankruptcy – this includes the CCJ. In Bankruptcy, you shouldn’t carry on making direct payments to creditors included in the bankruptcy. Therefore, you should stop making any monthly payments towards the CCJ.
What if I’m in a Debt Relief Order?
Similarly to Bankruptcy, a Debt Relief Order (DRO) gives you legal protection against unsecured creditors taking action against you. This means that you shouldn’t have a CCJ awarded against you while you’re in a DRO.
We’ve outlined some of the pros and cons here but before deciding to enter a debt solution, you should always seek professional advice. It’s important to think carefully about a range of options before picking one. By doing so, you can make sure you have the best chance to get free from debt.