The judgment does not become public record until the winner requests an abstract of judgment. There are strategies that lawyers use to help their cients get things resolved before that happens. Without a lawyer, you can contact the other side and make arrangements to pay with a release that says if the judgment has not been signed by the judge, they will submit an agreed judgment dismissing the case or if the judgment has been signed agreeing not to abstract it. You still should get an attorney's help to make sure you are protected and get credit for anything you pay.
This is not legal advice. You should always discuss the specifics of your issue in person with an attorney. Be aware that there are time limits on all claims that depend on the kind of claim, so do not delay in seeking an attorney.
I agree with Attorney Arbuckle that while a judgment may be entered in the court's files it should not affect your credit if you go ahead a pay the judgment as soon as possible, maybe with the help of an attorney to expedite matters and to ensure that an abstract does not issue in the meantime.
This answer is for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
The credit bureaus check judgmehnts and post them on your credit report even without abstract. If you intend to pay, just be sure to get a release of judgment for the judgment creditor. You then file it in the property records with the county clerk. That will also be picked up by the bureaus and will clean up your credit score.
This comment is given for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.