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Richard Crow answers your questions on County Court Judgements.
What is a CCJ and what happens if I get one?
A CCJ is a County Court Judgement. It’s a type of court order in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that can be registered against you if you fail to repay money that you owe. It’s generally on financial commitments like loans, credit cards, car finance or even your council tax.
How do I know if I have a CCJ?
You will receive CCJ paperwork in the post. You have the opportunity to go to court and put across your side of the argument, but if you don’t, the judgement will most certainly be passed and you will be ordered to repay the debt either in full or in instalments. You must then stick to that agreement.
There’s also a chance that the first you know about a CCJ is when you go for a mortgage or apply for credit. You may have moved and the paperwork might have gone to your old address. You get declined and you’re not sure why. That’s why it’s highly advisable to routinely check your credit report.
Can you apply for a mortgage with a CCJ? How old does a CCJ have to be to get a mortgage?
You can still get a mortgage with a CCJ. A lot of people think that they can’t get a mortgage because they’ve got one – and are over the moon when we find them a deal.
So it’s not all doom and gloom if you have a CCJ. The longer ago it was, the easier it will be to get a mortgage. We have access to lenders that will look at your situation if you’ve had a CCJ more than twelve months ago, but many prefer it to be three years old or more. Most high street lenders don’t want to see any CCJs in the past six years.
Will a CCJ affect me remortgaging?
Yes, it definitely will affect you in the same way of fitting a lender’s criteria. If you already have a mortgage with a high street lender and find yourself with a CCJ, you might actually find that it is just best to stay with your current provider. You’re still going to get high street rates with them.
Everything is fine as long as you’re not looking to potentially take out any equity or port your mortgage. Your current lender may not do any further lending with you if you have a CCJ.
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What we really enjoy is being part of one of the most important purchases in people’s lives. It is incredibly special to witness the excitement and emotion when people receive their mortgage offer.
Whether it’s your first time, moving home, investing or just looking for a better rate we would love to hear from you.
Are there many lenders that will accept a CCJ?
We work with around 100 different lenders and not every single one is going to lend to you. But there are a group of select lenders that specialise in this type of situation. Their business model involves looking for people with bad credit.
The chances of you finding them on your own are pretty slim, but working with a broker that deals in this day in, day out can save you a lot of time, anxiety and stress.
What criteria do I need to meet?
The challenge to answer that definitively is that every lender has different criteria. Some might require CCJs to be paid off while others are happy that they are still active.
The total of all your CCJs added up is important, and so is the registration date. With some lenders the size of the mortgage loan you need is important. Then we move into the realms of affordability: the deposit or equity you may have.
If you are credit impaired a lot of lenders will want bigger security from you – that means larger deposits. I’d always recommend that prior to looking for a new house or a remortgage if you have bad credit is to get in touch. We can recommend what to do nice and early in the process.
What happens once I’ve paid the debt?
The CCJ will remain on your credit file for six years from the date of registration. Once you pay, it will change from ‘active’ to showing as ‘satisfied’. Lenders like to see people taking responsibility for their debts and even though it will still show on the credit file, you might secure a cheaper interest rate once you’ve paid the CCJ off.
What other advice do you have on CCJ mortgages?
This is an area that is actually more common than people think. You might be concerned that there’s a stigma to it and find it embarrassing. But we deal with this every day. In fact I personally used to be in a debt management plan and I’ve had a CCJ, so there’s absolutely no judgement from us.
We just want to help people solve their problems and fulfil their mortgage needs. We have direct access to lenders that are looking for people just like you. It’s far faster and less stressful for an expert to find you the most suitable lender for your situation.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.