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If you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against your name, you may be wondering if you can still get a mortgage with a CCJ.
The answer is yes – but it may not be as easy as it was before. In this guide, we’ll explore what a CCJ is, how long it stays on your credit file, and what you need to know about approaching mortgage lenders with a CCJ on your record.
A County Court Judgement (CCJ) is a court order from the County Court in England and Wales. It compels an individual to repay late or missed payments to creditors.
When someone has debts that they are unable to pay, their creditors can apply for an CCJ in the county court.
After receiving a CCJ, the individual must then pay the full amount over a timeframe set by the County Court.
If payment is not made then creditors may increase pressure with further legal action, add late payment fines, or even request the service of County Court Bailiffs to collect money owed.
If you owe money to creditors, it’s best to try and arrange a repayment plan as soon as possible after late or missed payments occur, before a CCJ becomes necessary.
Knowing whether you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) lodged against you is essential to protecting your credit score, financial health, and future.
A written notice will be sent to you by post if a CCJ has been recorded in your name.
It will also be registered on the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines, a public database updated daily with any new court judgments that have been issued in England and Wales.
It is possible to have more than one CCJ registered against you – you should be notified separately by written notice about each CCJ taken against you.
To check if there are any confirmed CCJs lodged against your name, it’s important to search the public database on the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines.
This can be accessed online via the Registry Trust website.
Receiving a County Court Judgement (CCJ) will have a major effect on your credit rating. It will be listed on your credit report, a financial record which is a snapshot of your credit history.
Having a CCJ on your credit report will lower your credit rating, which is a financial score that signifies your creditworthiness.
A lower credit score will limit your access to credit in the future.
With a CCJ as part of your credit report, it may be difficult to open up a new bank account, be accepted for credit cards or loans, or even be eligible for a mortgage.
One of the reasons a CCJ is so serious is that it can seriously damage your credit over an extended period of time, and an adverse credit history can make dealing with lenders like banks and mortgage brokers extremely difficult.
A CCJ will typically remain on your credit report for six years from the date of issue.
If you repay your CCJ in full it will be marked as ‘satisfied’ on your credit report, whereas an unpaid CCJ will be marked as ‘unsatisfied’.
While people with a ‘satisfied’ CCJ on their record are still likely to have some difficulties accessing credit, an ‘unsatisfied’ CCJ will cause even more damage from the lender’s perspective – not only have you failed to repay debts resulting in a court order, but you’ve also failed to repay that court order, making you even more of a lending risk.
Yes, but it will be more difficult.
When you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) listed on your credit file, it’s more challenging to qualify for a mortgage from a high-street mortgage lender.
Mainstream lenders like to minimise the risk of losing money, and a CCJ demonstrates that you have failed to honour credit agreements in the past.
While there are still mortgage options available if you have bad credit, you may be asked to minimise the risk to the lender, usually by paying a larger deposit upfront or accepting a mortgage rate with higher interest.
The best advice is to consult a mortgage advisor first, and be upfront and honest about any CCJs you have against you.
A good advisor will be able to tell you more about your eligibility and the give you information on providers who are more likely to accept applications with CCJs on the credit file.
If you have had issues with your credit rating which have resulted in you being rejected for a mortgage in the past, it’s possible you’re considering using a specialist mortgage broker to improve your chances.
Bad credit mortgage lenders are specialist lenders providing mortgages to those with a less-than-perfect credit history.
This type of lender will usually consider you even if you have been issued with a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and may accept your application even if you have several previous defaults and arrears.
Bad credit mortgages (or CCJ mortgages) usually come with higher interest rates than would normally be expected, and require applicants to put up a bigger deposit than normal due to the increased risk of foreclosure for the lender.
While specialist lenders may sound appealing for those with limited or bad credit options, paying over the odds on your deposit or interest can put you at a higher risk of defaulting, so it’s important that you consider all the implications before signing up to any arrangement.
If your CCJ occurred in the six years prior to your application, then lenders may not accept the application without proof that the legal action taken against you had been satisfied.
If six years have now passed, however, then the prospect of getting a mortgage becomes significantly more realistic.
The CCJ will already have been removed from your credit report, while you will have had at least some time to begin to repair the damage to your credit score.
It’s important to note that the offending CCJs could prove problematic should they reappear on your credit profile, so always ensure any disputes are finalised, or any financial obligations result in satisfactory settlements, before you make a mortgage application.
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If you have struggled with poor credit and want to become more attractive to mortgage providers, there are a few actions you can take to help alleviate your credit issues and demonstrate your financial responsibility.
Firstly, it is beneficial to make sure that any credit agreements or accounts you currently have in place are being paid regularly and on time.
This shows potential lenders that you can manage your finances effectively, giving them more confidence that you will make repayments on your mortgage on time.
Secondly, double-check your credit record so that any mistakes can be amended, as inaccurate information can result in a hit to your credit rating, as well as your chances of securing affordable mortgage deals.
If there are any mistakes, from misspelt names to listing an old address, contact one of the three credit reference agencies and ask to have them removed from your record.
Finally, register to vote at your current address.
Like all lenders, your mortgage provider wants to know that you live a stable and responsible life.
Joining the electoral roll indicates that you have a fixed abode and gives you a way to prove it.
This is a positive signal to send to lenders and should be reflected in an uptick in your credit score.
If you’re looking to improve your credit so that you have a better chance of being accepted for a mortgage, there are many organisations and services out there which provide tailored advice.
At IVA Plan, we offer free and impartial guidance to help people deal with their credit problems.
We can give you tips on helping your money go further, or even advise on a debt solution if you’re struggling to repay what you owe.
For debt advice and financial guidance from the experts, get in touch with IVA Plan today.
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