Can you get a mortgage with a CCJ?
A county court judgment (CCJ) is issued if you’ve been unable to pay a debt back and while it can make it harder to take out loans in the future, it’s not impossible to get a mortgage with a CCJ.
Any negative mark on your credit history can affect your chances of getting credit, be it with a loan, a credit card or a mortgage.
If you’ve been issued with a county court judgment (CCJ) in the past, this will remain on your credit history for six years. Lenders decide how they treat CCJs, whether they will lend to someone who has had one and at what cost.
Here we look at what you need to know about mortgages with CCJs. This includes how a CCJ can affect a mortgage application, what kind of mortgage is available if you have one, and how to get a CCJ removed from your credit file.
How a CCJ affects a mortgage application
A CCJ is a court order instructing you to repay debt that you are struggling to repay. You have 30 days to respond and can usually settle the debt with a lump sum or with regular payments.
It is a warning sign to future lenders and can be used as a reason not to approve a new mortgage application. Unless you pay the CCJ within the required 30 days, it remains on your credit file for six years.
If you ignore the CCJ, and fail to respond to it, bailiffs may be permitted to come to your home to take your possessions to repay the debt.
Lenders vary in how they treat those with CCJs but most won’t lend to someone who has an outstanding CCJ. It is most likely the case that the CCJ needs to have been paid, and a certain amount of time has passed, before a mortgage application is even considered.
How to get a mortgage with a CCJ
If you aren’t able to pay your CCJ within 30 days, the chances of getting a mortgage whilst you are still paying the debt off are exceptionally slim. A CCJ also often accompanies other money problems and, if this is the case, your chances of applying for a new mortgage will diminish further.
The size of the CCJ also matters and some lenders will state the maximum size they will accept in their criteria.
How to get a mortgage after a CCJ
Once you’ve paid the CCJ and it’s been settled, you will improve your position for securing a new mortgage. However, the key here is time - as many lenders won’t approve a mortgage application until a number of years have passed since you cleared the CCJ.
If you’ve paid the CCJ and you can prove you have a regular income and you’re not getting into debt, this will boost your chances of taking out a mortgage.
Can you pay to have a CCJ removed?
It is possible to have a CCJ removed and you shouldn’t have to pay for this to happen. You can ask one of the main three credit reference agencies to do this but it can only be removed in certain situations. These include:
- If you have paid the full amount of money back as requested in the CCJ within one month of it being issued.
- If six years have passed since you received it and it hasn’t automatically been removed from your credit file.
- If you successfully disputed the CCJ.
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Rebecca Goodman is a freelance journalist who has spent the past 10 years working across personal finance publications. Regularly writing for The Guardian, The Sun, The Telegraph, and The Independent. Read more