If you’ve got a County Court Judgment against you, you’ll know that it can stop you from doing a multitude of things. Now that can be frustrating. Downright MADDENING at times, actually. The good news is, even if you’ve got a CCJ, you can still get the car finance you need, if you know where to look and who to ask…
First of all, something to be aware of though is what we at Albion Car Finance call the ‘old deposit trick’ – where some dealerships maintain that “If an applicant has a CCJ against them, they can forget all about getting the car finance they need unless they’re prepared to pay a hefty lump sum as a deposit.”
That’s simply not necessary. It’s also ridiculously unrealistic, isn’t it? If a potential borrower was rolling in cash – meaning that they could easily stump up a large deposit – wouldn’t they simply go out and pay in full for a car?
For those who don’t know what a CCJ is and what’s involved, here’s a quick summary:
A CCJ is a type of court order. If you fail to pay money you owe on an official debt within an agreed timeframe (i.e. money owed to a company, organisation or service provider – rather than a cash debt to a mate or family member, e.g.) and you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you could be issued with a CCJ, which will be registered against you by the authorities.
To remove a CCJ you need to ACT FAST
The problem most people have with a CCJ is that it remains on file for up to six years, meaning that credit can be a nightmare to secure over that time. You need to clear the debt within a month of the CCJ being issued (30 days, to be exact), if you can, to remove it from the register. A CCJ that stays registered for the full six-year term can also stop you from getting a mortgage on a house or flat, your application for a credit card will probably be refused, and you may even find it nigh on impossible to get a bank account. Aargh!
Fortunately, when it comes to securing car finance when you’ve got a CCJ on record, you could still be in luck.
Some lenders overlook CCJs
Six years sounds like an eternity, doesn’t it? Imagine being without a car for all that time. With the amount of cash you’ll shell out on taxis, train journeys and bus fares etc. over 72 months, you could just as well buy a Lamborghini, right?! Well, you get the point. The good news is that some lenders are prepared to approve finance when a CCJ is in its fourth registered year, rather than its sixth. Even better, some funders might approve finance immediately for an individual who has a CCJ against them, or is:
- In part-time work
- Surviving on State Benefits
- In arrears with their mortgage
- Has a poor credit rating due to having missed a credit card payment in the past
That’s why it’s always well-worth making a car finance application.
About Credit Repair Companies
Yes, you read that right. If your credit rating is poor, there are people out there claiming they can magically make it well again – Credit Repair Companies. But BEWARE of smiling and reassuring credit repairers bearing gifts. Many are all talk, meaning that they’re best avoided. A typical scenario is: someone badly needing a car (to get to work, to do the school run, to fulfil caring duties…) turns in desperation to a dealer who claims to “Guarantee all finance even where an applicant has a CCJ against them!” Hmm. Really? How could they possibly offer that?
Perjury pressure. AVOID IT.
If a credit repair company tells you that they can get the CCJ against you removed from the register, “legally, quickly and with ease”, they’ll probably then encourage you to make a less than truthful statement to the authorities – getting your to commit perjury, essentially, which is a serious crime that can even result in a custodial prison sentence being handed down in a court of law.
While it is possible to get a CCJ removed from the official register in very rare cases (and they can sometimes be ‘set aside’), for most of us a CCJ will remain on the register for the full six years. Better, therefore, to look for a unique car finance company using a panel of lenders that often overlook CCJs when assessing potential borrowers’ applications.