If I Pay My CCJ Will It Go Away?

Posted by Ben Ryland in Dealing with Debt on 23 May 2018 - Ben is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

2017 saw the highest number of County Court Judgments (CCJs) issued in England and Wales since records began in 2005, according to official figures by Registry Trust. That means it’s more important than ever to make sure you know what to do if you get issued with one, and how to prevent one appearing on your Credit File in the first place.

On a near daily basis we’re asked: "if I pay a CCJ, will it be removed from my Credit Report?" The answer is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ unfortunately, as it also depends on when it was issued, when you pay it and how much you pay.

If you're unsure whether you have an active CCJ, you can find out more about checking for judgments, or you can check your Credit Report to see any and all judgments in your name. If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days and then for £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel online at any time. You’ll be able to see what each of the UK’s four Credit Reference Agencies are reporting about you and compare the court records they have.

Will paying a CCJ remove it from my Credit File?

If you can pay the full amount of a CCJ within one month of the judgment being issued, it will not appear on your Credit Report at all. That means it won’t impact your Credit Rating, but the arrears and default that lead to the lender initiating court action will still remain for six years from their date of issue. These markers will affect your Credit Score and ability to take out credit while they are active, but an active CCJ would have an even greater impact overall, which many lenders choosing not to take on customers with one showing in their credit history.

If the full amount for a CCJ is not paid within a month of the judgment being issued, the CCJ will be recorded to your Credit Report, where it will remain for six years from the date of issue. If you pay the remaining debt in full after your CCJ has been issued, it will still remain on your Credit Report, but will be marked as Satisfied, which is visible to lenders.

What if you can’t pay a CCJ within the first month?

If your financial circumstances mean you cannot pay the judgment balance in full within the first month, the CCJ will be issued and will be reported on your Credit Report to all four Credit Reference Agencies for 6 years from the original judgment date when the case was heard by the court.

You may be able to arrange paying in instalments with the lender if you cannot make the full payment, but assuming this payment plan lasts longer than the initial 30-day window to pay, the CCJ marker will still appear on your Credit Report. Once the full amount has been paid off it will be marked as ‘Satisfied’ by the Registry Trust for the remainder of the time it appears on your file.

Some lenders will look more favourably upon a satisfied CCJ than one that has not been paid, but others will not even consider an application where the applicant has a CCJ in any form on their report. Paying the amount owed will however prevent the courts issuing any further proceedings to reclaim the money.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, visit our Debt Advice Centre for more information.

What if the CCJ isn’t mine?

You shouldn’t have to pay a CCJ that isn’t yours just to make it go away. If you have any doubts about what to do if a judgment is incorrectly registered in your name, contact the lender that has issued it immediately. Any incorrect data on your Credit File can cause issues when it comes to applying for finance, and while incredibly rare, on occasions CCJs can be registered to the wrong person.

Regardless of whether you feel the judgment is accurate or not, acting swiftly makes the process go a lot smoother for everyone, so if you have any concerns do not hesitate to contact the lender.

If I ignore a CCJ will it go away?

The final option, which we would argue does not constitute an option, is to ignore a CCJ. By ignoring the claim, the court can proceed with a ‘Judgment in Default’. This type of judgment happens when the claim forms haven’t been returned, so the court can’t take your financial circumstances into consideration.

This will result in the full claim (plus any court fees or interest) being demanded to be paid in full and enforcement action through County Court Bailiffs can take place. On your Credit Report the CCJ will be reflected as ‘active’, remaining for 6 years on the report from the original judgment date.

Contrary to popular misconception, waiting 6 years for a debt to become Statute Barred does not mean that it has been written off. It merely means that the debt cannot be pursued through court action, so if you've already been issued a CCJ, a Statue Barred status will not help you.

To see how your CCJs will appear when checked by lenders, landlords and even prospective employers, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel online, by phone or by email. You'll get access to the UK's most detailed Credit Report, along with helpful support from our professionally-qualified Credit Analysts.

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