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What is a County Court Judgement (CCJ)?

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a type of court order in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that may be registered against you if you fail to repay money you owe. The Scottish equivalent to a CCJ is a Scottish Decree and it is issued through Scottish Sheriff’s Courts.

Unless you repay the full amount of the CCJ or Decree within one month, it stays on your credit file for up to six years from the original judgment date (unless it has been set aside by the court, in which case it is deemed unnecessary and removed). Over this time, your attempts to secure borrowing can be seriously hindered. It may be worth investigating other ways to help improve your score.

What is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)?

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is available to residents of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is an agreement between you and your lenders for you to consolidate your borrowing into a more manageable package. A Trust Deed is similar to an IVA and is available to residents in Scotland.

An IVA or Trust Deed can stay on your credit file for up to six years. Over this time, your attempts to secure borrowing can be seriously hindered. It may be worth investigating other ways to help improve your score.

How long does an Insolvency, Bankruptcy, or Judgment stay on my credit file?

An Insolvency, Bankruptcy, or Judgment is present on your credit file for typically 6 years from the date of order or Judgment with some exceptions:

  • Judgments paid and settled within 1 month of issue will be removed from the credit report entirely
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangements can stay on your credit report for longer than 6 years where criteria of the arrangement have not been met and/or a completion date hasn't been provided
  • A Bankruptcy Restriction Order or Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking can be on the credit file for longer than 6 years where the courts have ruled you are to blame for your debts or you were dishonest

Apart from settling a Judgment (such as a CCJ or a decree) within 1 month of the judgment date, there is little you can do to improve this once it has appeared on your credit report. You should make every effort possible to maintain repayments on active accounts, ensure that the rest of your credit report is in good order and your score is as optimised as it can be.