The Effects of a CCJ on your credit score in the UK

What is a credit score?

By definition a credit score is usually a three digit number that gauges a person’s credit worthiness, analysing your borrowing (e.g.: personal loans, credit cards) and whether you pay the repayments within a stipulated time. The score typically ranges ‘very poor’ to ‘excellent’ status depending on how your settlements were carried out.

When you need to get any kind of loan or credit, the lender first looks at your credit score. This score is then used to decide whether or not to approve your application, what interest rate they will offer you, and the credit limit.

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) can negatively your creditworthiness.

In this article we will review what a CCJ is and what it means to your credit score.

What is a CCJ?

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a legal order issued by a county court in the UK when a person fails to repay a debt. Once a CCJ is issued, it becomes a part of the public record for a period of six years which can significantly impact your creditworthiness.

What happens if you have a CCJ?

You experience a drop in your credit score

Your credit score is calculated on factors such as your payment history, credit utilisation ratio, and public records. The points gained by each of these factors contribute to your total credit score.A good credit score would usually be in the region of 670 or more. In the case of a CCJ, you could lose up to 250 points. This is a significant loss considering that you need to have at least a minimum score of 670 to have a ‘good’ credit score.

Difficulty in obtaining credit

A low credit score in the UK means that lenders will not be comfortable loaning you the amount you need. This could limit you from obtaining mortgages, credit cards, auto finances and from buying property.

Limited credit options

If you do obtain credit while having a CCJ the options presented to you may not be favourable. This includes having to pay higher interest rates and receiving lower credit limits.

Impact on Rental Agreements

CCJs aren’t limited to affecting just your ability to secure credit. They can also impact your ability to rent a property, as landlords may run credit checks on prospective tenants. A CCJ could lead to rejection or require a larger security deposit.

Difficulty Opening New Accounts

Opening new bank accounts or utility accounts could become more challenging. Some providers may check your credit history before approving your application, and a CCJ might lead to rejections.

What to do if you have a CCJ?

Pay off your debts as soon as possible

One month is the ideal time for you to pay off your debts as your CCJ will be removed from the register and will not be visible on your record.

If you pay after one month however, your record cannot be cancelled and your CCJ will be visible for the period of six years. But on the positive side when you do make the payment after one month your record will be marked as satisfied in the register which means that anyone looking up your credit history will see that you have paid.

A good way for you to regain creditworthiness after making the payments would be to get proof of your payments. You can obtain a certification of cancellation or satisfaction by writing to or sending the form N443 to the court that is dealing with your case.

Seek Legal Advice

If you believe the CCJ was issued in error or you need assistance navigating the situation, consider seeking legal advice. Legal professionals can help you understand your rights and options.

Negotiate and Settle

If you’re unable to pay the full amount owed, you might be able to negotiate a repayment plan with the creditor.

How to rebuild your credit

Stop applying for credit

If you have applied for many new lines of credit in a short period of time this reflects badly on your credit score. Application for new credit indicates financial instability as you take on more debt. Try to minimise the number of credit applications you make per year.

Make Timely Payments

Whether it’s credit cards, loans, or utility bills, make sure to pay your bills on time. Timely payments show responsible financial behaviour and can improve your creditworthiness over time.

Maintain a low credit utilisation ratio

A credit utilisation ratio is a percentage that reflects the amount of credit you are using in contrast to the credit limit you are offered. For example, if your credit limit is £5,000 and your balance is £1,000 your credit utilisation is 20%.

When looking at your credit score your lenders prefer to see a credit utilisation ratio of 30% or less. This means that the lesser your balance the higher your credit score will be.

Check Your Credit Report

Regularly monitor your credit report from the three major agencies: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Check for accuracy and if you have any pending payments that need your attention.


A County Court Judgment (CCJ) can have far-reaching effects on your credit score and financial life. It’s crucial to respond promptly, seek legal advice if necessary, and take steps to rebuild your credit over time. Remember that while the impact of a CCJ might be challenging, it’s not insurmountable. With dedication and responsible financial behaviour, you can work towards improving your creditworthiness and securing a better financial future.


* Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 20 September 2023

*This article is for guidance purposes and does not constitute advice. BVS Mortgages and The Openwork Partnership Limited are not affiliated with any of the credit reference agencies referenced.