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i The advice on this page applies to residents in England and Wales only.

County Court judgment (CCJ)

CCJs, your credit rating and the public register

Getting a County Court judgment (CCJ) will affect your credit rating and make it harder to borrow. 

But the effects don’t last forever, and if you can afford to pay the CCJ off straight away you may be able to get it removed from your credit file.

How will a CCJ affect my credit file?

In most cases, your credit file will already be affected by any missed payments or default notices issued before the CCJ.

  • Your CCJ will be added to a public database called the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. The register is operated by a company called Registry Trust and courts send them details of all new CCJs.
  • Your CCJ will remain on the register for six years from the date of the judgment, even if you pay it off. During this time, anyone can check the public register to find out if you have an outstanding CCJ, for a fee of £4.
  • Your CCJ will also appear on your credit file for six years from the date of the judgment. This isn’t visible to the general public, but if you try to take out further credit, lenders will be able to see that you have a CCJ.
  • After six years, details of the CCJ will be removed from the public register and from your credit file, even if you’ve not yet paid it all off.

Having a CCJ on your credit file will make it much harder to take out further credit. However, if you're struggling with debt the most important thing is that you get free debt advice to manage your payments. Once you're back in control, your credit file can be repaired.

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Can I remove a CCJ from my credit file?

If you pay the CCJ in full within a month of the judgment you can apply to have the CCJ removed from the public register and from your credit file. 

To do this, you need to apply for a ‘certificate of cancellation’ from the County Court hearing centre which issued the judgment, providing them with proof of payment. You do this using court form N443 Application for a certificate of satisfaction / cancellation (PDF). There’s a £15 court fee to do this, but if you’re on a low income you may be able to get this for free. You can check to see if you’re eligible and apply for help with the court fees online.

Once the court has evidence you’ve paid the CCJ within a month they’ll contact the Registry Trust to remove the judgment from the public register.

If you pay off the CCJ more than a month after the judgment, you can’t remove it from the register, so it’ll appear there for six years. During this time, if you do pay it off, you can apply to the court for a ‘certificate of satisfaction’ using the same process as above.

This won’t remove your CCJ from the public register but it’ll show anyone who checks the register that it’s been paid off or ‘satisfied’. This might make it easier to apply for credit before the CCJ drops off your credit file, six years from the date of the original court judgment.

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Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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