- Make debt repayments on time. Your credit score increases whenever you show evidence of reliable borrowing, for example by making timely repayments. A credit card is a useful tool for regularly making timely repayments and building your credit score. If you pay off the debt in full every month, it won’t cost you a penny in interest. Consider applying for a credit card that’s specifically for people with bad credit.
- Pay utility and telecoms bills by direct debit. Making timely repayments on these bills via direct debit will also help to boost your credit score. Watch out though! As with a credit card, a missed payment could harm your credit score even further.
- Don’t apply for too many financial products. Every time you apply for a financial product, the company will run a credit check on you. This produces a short-term hit on your credit score, so it’s best to refrain from applying for them in the months leading up to a mortgage application.
Will CCJs affect my mortgage application?
CCJs are seen as huge red flags by lenders, but it might still be possible to be approved for a mortgage. It is likely you will need to speak to a specialist lender.
A county court judgement (CCJ) is perceived as a huge red flag by mortgage lenders, and it will destroy your chances of being approved for the best mortgage deals.
CCJs are issued when a creditor takes legal action in order to retrieve debt from a customer, and the creditor typically has to issue multiple warnings before taking this step. As such, lenders regard a CCJ as a clear sign that the applicant is irresponsible with money.
CCJs remain on your credit report for up to seven years, and many lenders will not even consider your application if you were issued a CCJ in the last three years.
However, that doesn’t mean your chances of being approved for a mortgage are dead and buried.
How does a CCJ affect your mortgage application?
Mortgage lenders will always check your credit report in order to assess your reliability for repaying debt, and many lenders will flat-out reject applicants with a recent CCJ on their file, regardless of their income, outgoings or overall credit history.
If you’ve been issued a CCJ, it’s always worth checking a lender’s minimum eligibility criteria before applying for a mortgage. This will nearly always detail its policy on applicants with CCJs.
Using a bad credit mortgage lender
In all likelihood, mortgage applicants with recent CCJs will have no choice but to approach a lender who specialises in offering bad credit mortgages.
These lenders will offer far higher rates than traditional providers, potentially costing you thousands of pounds more over the course of a 25-year mortgage.
If you’re looking to apply for a mortgage with a CCJ, it’s recommended that you discuss your options with a mortgage adviser. These professionals will be able to recommended the best options for your financial circumstances. You might be better off building your credit score and applying for a traditional mortgage later.
How to get a mortgage if you have a CCJ
- Search for lenders that specialise in offering mortgages to people with bad credit.
- Read minimum eligibility criteria before applying for a loan. Many mortgage lenders will reject your application if you have a CCJ.
- Get professional advice on the best deal likely to be available to you.
- Take continuous action to rebuild your credit score.
- Apply for the best-rate mortgages. It’s nigh-on impossible to be approved for these with a CCJ.
- Make multiple mortgage applications in a short amount of time. This will harm your credit score even further.
- Panic. It is still possible to be approved for a mortgage, albeit with less favourable terms.
How to improve your credit score
Whether you choose to apply for a bad credit mortgage or wait until you’re likely to be approved for a traditional mortgage, you should take positive steps to improve your credit score. This will put you in a good position to be approved for a better mortgage deal in the future. Here are some steps to take.
- Fix your credit report. It’s possible that there are mistakes on your credit record. These can have a detrimental effect on your credit score, so it’s worth checking for errors and amending them. You can do this for free by getting in contact with any of the three major UK credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax or Callcredit.
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