CCJs and Credit Cards
If you have had trouble with debt in the past that has adversely affected your credit rating, it can be difficult to obtain further credit. However, credit cards are one of the easier types of credit to acquire, even if your credit history is less than perfect.
A County Court Judgement may be made against you if you have failed to meet the payment owed to a creditor or lender. The creditor then applies to the County Court to secure the payment from you. If the judge agrees that you should pay the funds, they issue an order to that effect. If you fail to settle the payment within one month of the order, your CCJ will be kept on record for 6 years.
Any credit or borrowing that you apply for may be passed to a credit reference service by your potential lender. One of the things that the credit reference people check is the register on which a CCJ is recorded. In many cases this will mean that a lot of the lenders will simply refuse to give you borrowing, however credit cards are less likely to be refused on this basis.
If you have had bad credit in the past, this is always going to make a creditor see you as an increased risk. This does not necessarily mean that they won’t want to give you credit, but it may well mean that they won’t give you their best deals.
You may find that, even where a creditor is willing to give you a credit card, that you will only be able to get one with high rates of interest. When shopping around for those creditors who are willing to give you card despite a CCJ, resist the urge to simply choose the one with the best initial rate.
Even if you must put up with a less than appealing rate to start with, it will always be best to opt for the more reputable creditors if you possibly can, as they’re less likely to mislead you, and will generally be more responsible when it comes to obtaining the debts that you owe them.
If you do manage to obtain a credit card despite a CCJ, you can then use this to work towards improving your credit rating gradually. If you make a determined effort to use the card sensibly and to always make your payments, this will eventually have a beneficial effect on how future creditors will see you. This will naturally in turn have a positive effect on what credit or lending is available to you down the line.
You may also find that the rate of interest that you are paying on the card will gradually be reduced over time if you do indeed manage to continually meet the payments. The creditor will also continually review and adjust your total credit limit, again depending on how well you have been managing the debt up until that point. It can therefore be well worth putting up with a deal that is not attractive to begin with, if the creditor is a reputable one.