There are many factors that can positively impact your credit score. One of these factors includes being on the electoral roll. Registering on the electoral roll can boost your credit score and improve your chances of being accepted for loans, credit cards, and mortgages.
What is the electoral roll?
In the UK and Northern Ireland, the electoral roll (also referred to as the ‘electoral register’) lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections.
The point of the electoral roll is to ensure that those who are eligible to vote can do so. It can also be used to assist in criminal investigations, select people for jury duty, and used in credit applications.
There are eligibility requirements in order to register. You must be:
- aged 16 or over (or 14 or over in Scotland and Wales).
- a British citizen
- an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK
- a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
- a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
There is another version of the electoral roll called the open register. In Northern Ireland the ‘open register’ is called the edited register. Anyone can buy a copy of the open register. It is often used for marketing purposes. Unlike the full electoral register, you can opt out of the open register.
How does being on the electoral roll help my credit score?
Lenders like to see stability. One of the first things a lender will check is if you are on the electoral roll. This is because it allows them to verify your identity and confirm that the details provided on your application are correct. This helps prevent fraud and identity theft.
Credit Reference Agencies check the details on the register, comparing them with the information you provided on your application. If you are not on the electoral roll or the details provided on your application don’t match, you may be declined.
Additionally, you’ll have easier access to other services such as insurance, legal and accounting services. Furthermore, being registered to vote speeds up getting a passport and claiming benefits.
According to credit reference agency Experian, registering to vote can increase your credit score by an estimated 50 points.
Things to consider when registering on the electoral roll
A permanent address is best
It is sometimes possible to register at two addresses (although you can only vote in one election). However it is best to register at a permanent address if possible. If you are in temporary accommodation such as student halls, it is better to use a permanent address such as a parent or guardian. This not only protects you from fraud or identity theft, lenders prefer stability. Therefore multiple addresses over a short period of time could impact your credit score.
When you register is important
Once you register to vote, this won’t show immediately on your credit profile. It can take up to 30 days, however there may times it takes longer than 30 days. If you registered during the annual canvass (August – November), there will be a delay in your electoral details appealing on the register. This is because local councils do not update the electoral roll during the annual canvas. Your details will show from the 1 December.
Find out if you are on the electoral roll
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, and want to check if you are registered you can contact your local Electoral Registration Office. If you live in Northern Ireland, contact the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland.
By law, if you are eligible to vote, you must be registered on the electoral roll, even if you don’t plan on voting.
It is your responsibility to register. If you are asked to register but don’t you could be fined.
You can register to vote on the dedicated gov.uk website.