Credit Building

How much does a CCJ affect your credit file?

Jan 19, 2024

At Loqbox, we know that facing a County Court Judgement (CCJ) can be a challenging experience. 

You might already know that having a CCJ affects your credit score, and you might have discovered the impact it can have on your creditworthiness. But we’re here to tell you that there is still hope if you have a CCJ on your credit report. 

Loqbox takes a look at exactly what CCJs are, what impact they have on your credit score, and how long CCJs stay on your credit report.

What is a CCJ on credit reports

A CCJ, or County Court Judgment, is a court order issued in the UK that can affect your creditworthiness. It’s typically given when you fail to repay a debt and the lender takes legal action to recover the money owed. When acknowledged by the court, that legal action is known as a CCJ. Once given, it’s recorded on your credit file.

CCJs and credit scores are connected because credit scores reflect your creditworthiness. Credit scores are calculated by the three main credit reference agencies (CRAs) in the UK: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you’re worried about a CCJ, you can check your reports using these free services (the check won’t impact your credit scores):

*Transparency is important to us, we choose our partners very carefully, and only present financial products we think will work for you. If you sign up to ClearScore using the above link, then they will pay us commission for this.

When you are issued with a CCJ, you’ll usually have an opportunity to pay back the debt straight away, or perhaps work out a repayment plan where you pay back the debt in instalments. It’s also possible to dispute the debt if it’s incorrect, or you can even make a claim against your creditor if you believe that they owe you money.

CCJs are serious and shouldn’t be ignored. The court can take action to cover the costs of your debt by repossessing your belongings. So it’s important not to bury your head in the sand.

Who can see a CCJ and my credit score?

CCJs are visible to various parties, including lenders, landlords, and anyone else conducting a credit check on you, when you apply for things like loans or mortgages. CCJs play a big part in your overall credit score and that impacts  whether lenders will allow you to borrow money, or if landlords will trust you to stick to your rental obligations.

However, you can usually avoid a CCJ being recorded on your credit report, and therefore avoid damaging your credit score, by paying off your debt or successfully disputing it within one calendar month of issue. However, you might still see a negative impact from any defaults that led towards your CCJ.

You can find out more about how missed payments affect your credit score here. 

CCJs do show that you have previously missed repayments and therefore do not shine a very favourable light on your credit report. But CCJs and credit scores are separate. It’s worth noting that while CCJs are visible on your credit reports, lenders don’t actually see your credit scores. They’re just for you, to summarise your creditworthiness.

Does a soft credit search show a CCJ?

Yes, even a soft credit search can reveal the presence of a CCJ on your credit file. This means that potential lenders conducting preliminary checks will be aware of your financial hiccup. You can find out more about hard vs soft credit searches here.

How much does a CCJ affect credit scores?

Unfortunately, the impact of a CCJ on your credit score, and on your credit report, is substantial. It can lead to a significant decrease in your score, making it harder to secure loans or credit in the future. 

If you’re wondering how many points a CCJ affects on your credit score, there isn’t a set number, but you can expect to lose around 250 points. This is additional to any point loss you’ve suffered for the defaults leading up to the CCJ. Defaults can have an even harsher impact with decreases of around 330 points.

How long does a CCJ stay on your credit file?

If you do have a CCJ you’ll probably be worrying about how long CCJs stay on your credit report and affect your credit score. Typically, you can expect the CCJ to stay on your credit file for as long as six years from the date of the original issue, creating a lasting imprint on your credit history.

At the end of the six year period, regardless of whether you have repaid your debt or not, the CCJ will be removed from your credit report and your credit score will usually improve. At this point, you will probably become a much more eligible candidate for new lines of credit, assuming you’ve looked after your credit history in the meantime.

Will a satisfied CCJ affect my credit?

Settling a CCJ shows responsibility, but it doesn't erase its impact. Records of the CCJ will still be visible on your credit file for six years, potentially influencing decisions that creditors make. However, as mentioned above, if you’re able to settle your CCJ within one month of it being issued, or successfully dispute it, it will be fully removed from your credit report. 

Will my credit score go up when my CCJ is removed?

Yes, the good news is that your credit score is likely to see a big improvement once the CCJ is removed from your credit file, or when six years have passed. If you’re wondering how much your credit score will increase after a CCJ is removed, there’s no standard rule. Rebuilding credit takes time and consistent financial responsibility.

Can you have a good credit score with a CCJ?

Maintaining a good credit score with a CCJ is challenging, but not impossible. If you demonstrate responsible financial behaviour and manage other aspects of your credit file positively, you can work towards a better score. Fortunately, Loqbox has a fast and proven way to build your credit score that can help if you’re struggling with a CCJ.

For £2.50 per week, get started with Loqbox. Full members have seen their credit scores grow by 300 points in just three months. No hidden fees, no credit check, no hassle! Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed.

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