County court judgments and your credit rating - overview
You might have a county court judgment (CCJ) against you if you owe someone money and a court ruled that you have to pay it back.
Your credit rating could be affected if you have a CCJ against you. This means it might be difficult for you to borrow money or get credit, for example from a bank or a shop.
The CCJ will appear on your credit report - this is the information that a credit reference agency provides to the company you want to borrow money from. The company will then use the information to decide whether to lend you money.
Find out if a CCJ has been made against you
It’s easy to find out if a CCJ has been made against you. You can:
search the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
get a copy of your credit report
Search the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
You can search the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines online. You’ll have to pay a small fee. The Register will show any CCJs you have against you.
Get a copy of your credit report
You can get a free copy of your credit report from a credit reference agency to see if you have a CCJ against you.
It’s a good idea to check your credit report regularly to make sure your information is up to date.
You can get your credit report on:
Remove an entry in the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
If your CCJ is over 6 years old it will no longer appear on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines, even if it hasn’t been paid.
You might be able to apply to have your entry in the Register removed if you can prove to the court that you don’t owe the debt, or if you paid the debt off within a month of getting the CCJ.
If you don't owe the debt
If you don't owe the debt, you can ask the court to re-open the case against you - this is called ‘setting aside’ your CCJ. You can only do this if you can prove you have a genuine legal reason for not owing the money.
You can ask the court to set aside the CCJ by filling in form N244. You’ll probably have to pay a fee for your case to be looked at again.
If the court agrees that you don’t owe the money, your CCJ will be removed from the Register.
Removing the entry could take up to 4 weeks. It should be easier for you to get credit after the entry has been removed.
If you pay the debt within 1 month of the date of the CCJ
If you pay the debt in full within 1 month of the date of the CCJ, you can apply to the court have your entry in the Register removed. You'll need to get a certificate from the court to prove you've paid off the debt.
You’ll have to pay for the certificate but the fee can be waived or reduced if you’re on a low income.
If your entry is removed from the Register, the credit reference agencies will be told and details of your CCJ will be removed from your record.
You might be able to get credit again once the CCJ has been removed.
Change an entry in the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
You might be able to get your entry in the Register changed before the 6 years is up if you pay the debt off more than a month after the date of the CCJ.
You'll need to prove to the court that you’ve paid the debt and then get a certificate from them. You’ll have to pay for the certificate but the fee can be waived or reduced if you’re on a low income.
A note will be made against your entry on the Register to show that the debt has been ‘satisfied’, or paid.
If your entry on the Register is changed, the credit reference agencies will be told that you’ve paid your debt. The CCJ will still stay on your credit report until the 6 years is up but your record will show that you’ve paid the debt.
You might find it easier to get credit when your record has been changed.
Avoid credit repair companies
You should avoid credit repair companies who claim to clear debt records.
They charge high fees and sometimes get people to lie to try and clear their debt records - which probably won’t be possible anyway.
Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you need help with your CCJ.