CCJs and Banking: Can You Still Open a Bank Account?

May 12, 2024

1. Understanding CCJs (County Court Judgments)

Before looking at whether you can open a bank account if you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ), it is important to understand what exactly a CCJ is. A CCJ is a court order issued by a county court in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that confirms a person’s debt and outlines the terms of repayment. It is usually issued when an individual fails to pay their debts and a creditor takes legal action against them.

CCJs are recorded on an individual’s credit file and can adversely affect their credit rating. They can remain on a credit file for six years from the date of issue, making it difficult for individuals to access credit or financial services during this period.

2. Impact of CCJs on opening a bank account

Having a CCJ can indeed make it more difficult to open a bank account as it directly affects an individual’s credit rating. When applying for a bank account, financial institutions typically assess an individual’s credit history and use this information to determine the level of risk involved in providing banking services.
Most banks and financial institutions conduct a credit check during the account opening process. This involves checking an individual’s credit history, including any CCJs. The presence of a CCJ on a credit file can raise concerns among banks as it indicates a history of financial difficulties and unpaid debts. As a result, many banks may be reluctant to offer their services to individuals with CCJs.

3. Basic bank accounts and CCJs

While opening a standard bank account with a CCJ can be challenging, there are options available to individuals in this situation. One such option is a basic bank account. Basic bank accounts are designed for individuals with poor credit or financial difficulties, making them more accessible to those with CCJs.

Basic bank accounts typically offer basic banking services such as a debit card, direct debits and the ability to receive payments. However, they may not include features such as overdrafts or checkbooks. These accounts are designed to provide a basic banking solution for individuals who may have difficulty accessing traditional banking products due to their credit history, including CCJs.

4. Steps to open a bank account with a CCJ

If you have a CCJ and want to open a bank account, here are some steps you can take:

1. Research basic bank accounts: Look for banks that offer basic bank accounts. Research their eligibility criteria and find out if they consider applicants with CCJs.

2. Gather Relevant Documents: Prepare the necessary identification, proof of address, and any additional documents required by the bank. This may include proof of income or employment.

3. Apply for a Basic Bank Account: Complete the application process for a basic bank account with your chosen bank. Provide accurate information and disclose any CCJs you may have. It is important to be transparent about your financial history.

4. Demonstrate financial responsibility: If possible, provide evidence of improved financial management. This could include regular savings, a steady income and prompt payment of any outstanding debts.
5. Consider credit unions: In addition to basic bank accounts, credit unions may be an alternative for people with CCJs. Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that provide financial services to their members. They may have more flexible eligibility criteria and a willingness to work with people with CCJs.

5. Rebuilding credit after a CCJ

While it is possible to open a bank account with a CCJ, it is also important to focus on rebuilding your credit. Taking steps to improve your credit score can expand your financial options in the long run. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Pay off CCJs and debts: Make sure you pay off any outstanding CCJs and debts as soon as possible. This demonstrates responsible financial behavior and can have a positive impact on your credit profile.

2. Establish a positive payment history: Pay your bills and financial obligations on time to establish a positive payment history. This includes credit card bills, utility bills, and loan payments.

3. Use credit responsibly: If you have access to credit, use it responsibly. Keep your credit utilization low, avoid maxing out credit cards, and make payments on time.
4. Register to vote: Make sure you are registered to vote at your current address. This helps verify your identity and can improve your credit rating.

5. Establish a savings account: Establishing a savings account and saving regularly demonstrates financial stability and responsibility.

6. Monitor your credit report: Review your credit report regularly to ensure accuracy and identify potential problems. Promptly dispute any inaccuracies.

By following these steps and practicing responsible financial habits, you can gradually rebuild your credit after a CCJ. This, in turn, will improve your chances of accessing a wider range of financial services and products in the future.


While having a CCJ can present challenges when opening a bank account, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. Basic bank accounts and credit unions are viable options for individuals with CCJs, providing access to basic banking services. By taking steps to rebuild credit and demonstrate financial responsibility, individuals can improve their credit scores over time. It is important to research and explore available options, be transparent about your financial history, and work to rebuild your credit to expand your financial opportunities.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. It is always recommended that you consult with a qualified professional regarding your specific situation.


Can you open a bank account if you have a CCJ?

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account even if you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ). However, having a CCJ may make it more challenging to find a bank that is willing to offer you an account.

Do all banks refuse to open accounts for individuals with CCJs?

No, not all banks refuse to open accounts for individuals with CCJs. Some banks may be more lenient and willing to provide basic bank accounts, which offer limited features but can still be used for everyday banking needs.

What is a basic bank account?

A basic bank account is a type of account that is designed for individuals who may have difficulties opening a standard bank account due to factors such as a CCJ or poor credit history. Basic bank accounts typically allow you to receive money, pay bills, and make withdrawals, but they may not offer features like overdrafts or checkbooks.

Can a CCJ affect my chances of getting a standard bank account?

Yes, having a CCJ can significantly impact your chances of getting a standard bank account. Banks often perform credit checks before opening accounts, and a CCJ is seen as a negative factor. It may lead to your application being rejected by many banks or limit your options to specialized accounts.

What steps can I take to open a bank account with a CCJ?

If you have a CCJ and want to open a bank account, you can try the following steps:

Research banks that offer basic bank accounts to individuals with CCJs.

Gather all necessary documents, such as identification and proof of address.

Schedule an appointment or visit a bank branch to discuss your situation with a representative.

Be honest about your CCJ and provide any additional information that may help your case.

Consider improving your credit score over time to increase your chances of qualifying for a standard bank account in the future.

Can a bank close my account if I receive a CCJ while being their customer?

Yes, it is possible for a bank to close your account if you receive a CCJ while being their customer. Banks have the right to terminate their relationship with customers based on their own policies and risk assessments. Receiving a CCJ may be viewed as an increased risk by the bank, and they may choose to close your account as a result.