Building a Good Credit Record in the Army

Hi everyone,

I've never had any serious issues with credit or debt although I've finally reached the point where I'd like to prepare for applying for mortgages etc in the near future. I opened an account with Credit Expert to take a look at my credit file and it looks as though being in the Army (moving around a lot and lots of variations of the same addresses) has cocked that right up - the file was blank despite my having credit card accounts, mobile/internet contracts and having had bank loans in the past (all operated well with no missed payments etc). I spoke to Experian and they assure me that they will be able to sort out my file but things like not being registered to vote at any military address will probably cause me problems.

So, my question is, what is the best way to deal with building good credit while serving in the forces? I know I need to register to vote but is it best to do this as a normal voter or as a service voter? If you register as a service voter, does that still count favourably with lenders (do you get the tick in the box for being on the register?) and what address are you registered at? Do you just change the address each time you are posted and if so what's the difference from that and just being a normal voter? I know this information is probably online somewhere but I've read through everything I can find and it doesn't seem particularly clear to me. Was hoping someone else may have been through the same decision process.

Someone at work suggested that I register at my parents home and have all of my mail etc delivered there but I don't want to do that.

Thanks for any help you can provide!


  • Gonzo33Gonzo33 Forumite
    440 Posts
    I used to be a mortgage underwriter in the sub-prime sector, and am married to a serving soldier. As a family we have been out of the country for at least three years.

    As you have credit, assuming that it is UK based and you have paid every payment in full and on time without fail, I can say you won't have an issue there.

    With regards to the electoral register we personally registered at a relatives address and had all post sent there and accessed all our accounts and information online. However if you do not want to do that then you should register as a service voter at a relatives address (with a proxy to vote) at the very least and when making an application for the mortgage mention that you registered there due to your regular moves.
    Grab life by the balls before it grabs you by the neck.
  • I will wish you all the best. I was in for 10 years and out of the UK for about 7 of those. It effects me to this day. Just a few weeks ago I went on Experian (I think it was that one) and couldn't register because my last address was a BFPO address.

    I left in order to start a business dedicated to helping members of the services based overseas (things like providing a delivery service to Germany etc for items either too large for the BFPO system as well as delivering from companies that refuse deliver to BFPO addresses (Argos mainly). In setting up the business I had to pay a lot more than was necessary because I didn't have a UK postcode. It was by pure luck that the mortgage advisor that we had was ex-military and knew the BFPO system that we managed to get one.

    This in my mind is the side of military life that the civilian population never see and although I also used to run a campaign to make the public and business aware of it (I think the OBE still in the post ;) ) it is one of the main downfalls of serving overseas (apart from death of course). advise
    My advise is to find companies such as Next Directory that deliver and provide credit to BFPO address. In doing this your credit history with them will be part of your credit record. This will span any gaps that you have such as times when you are not on the Electoral register.

    Hope it helps,
    Ok, I do websites....well, mine; I study; do Betterware and all things being well I will be winning a few comps :)
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