If you have had a County Court Judgment (CCJ) or its Scottish equivalent, a Court Decree, made against you in the past five years, it seems you are not alone.
According to the Debt Advisory Centre, one in ten people in the UK have had a CCJ awarded against them in that time.
The figure comes from a OnePoll survey of 2,000 British adults, including 500 residents of Scotland, who were selected to be representative of the UK population as a whole.
Scaling this figure up to the entire population gives an estimated four million CCJs and Court Decrees since 2009.
Within this number, one in ten – around 400,000 people nationwide – were made the subject of their CCJ for debts of less than £250.
At the other end of the scale, the same number of people have more than £10,000 of debts listed in their CCJ.
For both groups, and the rest of the four million CCJ subjects, access to credit is likely to be extremely tight, if it is accessible at all.
The likelihood of being approved for new lending by any creditor is substantially reduced, and lending that is approved is likely to be at a much higher interest rate.
Once awarded, a CCJ can remain on file for six years; however, even when a court summons is received, there is a final chance to avoid this black mark on your credit history.
In order to do so, you must take prompt action to settle your debts – and while this may be impossible for some people, for others appeasing the creditors can be the best course of action in the long run.