25 Feb 2015

A question about : Not on the electoral roll? You must register to get credit!

Updated 8 April 2008

What's this about?

To get credit, be it a loan, mortgage, credit card or even mobile phone contract, it's essential to be registered on the electoral roll before applying. Many people assume they're automatically registered, or don't bother doing it. Yet not being on the roll will have massive implications on your credit worthiness.

Plus, for anyone in England and Wales, it's vital to be registered before 16 April if you want to vote in the local elections on 1 May.

How do I register?

If you're not registered, or even if you're just not sure, visit the AboutMyVote website and type in your home postcode to find and download your local authority's registration form. Print it, complete it and then simply send to the address at the top of the form. It takes about 3 minutes and you're done!

Why does it affect my credit rating?

It's one of many factors that does. Credit reference agencies use electoral roll information to confirm your identity, which is then passed onto lenders when you apply for credit, to prevent fraud. Thus, if you're not on the roll when making an application it'll appear that you don't exist, or you're starting afresh with no credit record; both will have a negative impact.

To read more about the things that affect your credit history, and how you can go about checking and improving it, read Your Credit Rating guide

Who can register?

Although you can't vote or get credit before turning 18, anyone over the age of 16 can register provided they're a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.

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Best answers:

  • When I was a student I asked to be registered at both my mum and dad's address (my 'home') and my student address, which was in a different city.
    I've since finished uni and am still living away from 'home' but at a different address than before. I keep moving every year and so am reluctant to register at every address. If I stay registered at my mum's, is that going to affect my ability to get credit etc where I live now?
    Also, is there any way I can find out if the residents at my previous address have removed my name from the list of people registered at that address?
    Hope this makes sense!
  • Once you register in Northern Ireland you can apply for a photographic identity card - its free of charge and is accepted in lots of places as valid photo ID - opening accounts, getting into clubs and best of all on low cost airlines as the photo ID needed to get on board.
    If you want to register or apply for a card google the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland to get the website
  • Thanks Moggles, checked Equifax just yesterday in fact! They have my current address as my parents and as confirmed on the electoral roll for a few years there, with just one linked address. Experian has three linked addresses. Have three credit cards (combined limit Ј4000), a settled store card, and couple of mobile contracts; all payments were on time and my last application was Feb 2007. I clear in full each month and don't need credit, just wanting to take advantage of a cashback card, but given the tightening criteria, didn't want to risk a search/decline if my changing addresses made that likely!
  • Couple of things:
    You can be registered to vote at more than one address, but you can only vote once in each election.
    When you move and register to vote at your new address, your new council will usually tell your old council to close off the registration at your old address. This is important as it helps thwart ID fraudters who might otherwise find it quite easy to apply for credit in your name at your previous address.
    You can get a free fact sheet from Experian, that gives more advice and background on the electoral register and your credit report, from www.experian.co.uk/learningzone. It's one of the Credit Report Basics guides.
  • I can't remember when I was last on the electoral roll. This has not caused me any problems, including the last mortgage which I took out 7 years ago. Maybe I've just been lucky?
  • I've just moved and although I've applied to be on the ER at my new property, it's not showing on my credit files yet ... despite this, I have been approved for a new mobile contract and credit card in the last month (albeit not a 0% one) so it is possible ...
  • I've only ever been refused credit once due to not being on the electoral register. I think it's one of the things you score points for though, and it could tip the balance.
  • I am under the impression that there are two versions of the electoral role.
    Does it make a difference if you opt out of being on the electoral register that gets sold? I'd prefer to keep my details private, will this affect my credit rating adversly?
    Thanks for any info!
  • I have just been told I was unsuccessful when a mail order company did a credit check on me and used Equifax. I do not have any adverse credit history that i am aware of and i am on the electoral role. someone said you can get a FREE CREDIT RATING/CHECK FROM EQUIFAX but they do not know where they got theirs from. Can anyone help please as wish to sort this asap? :confused:
  • I bought my house in Cheshire since October 2006, however am not living in it as its being renovated. This is mortgaged.
    Since June 2006 - present I am actually living with my parents in Stoke on Trent.
    Where should I be registered? Really confused :confused: