Council Tax / Electoral Roll / Credit Score Problem. Help?


I need some help here so I'll try and make my financial conundrum as succinct as possible.

I'm looking to boost my credit score..a lot, short/mid term. This is to secure more of a financially stable future for me and my partner (long term), and to be able to put down some loan/finance deal for my first car (short term).

I keep hearing placing yourself on the electoral roll really boosts your score & ability to get decent loans/finance. My partner has just seen an increase in her ability to gain credit from this method. I haven't ever been on the electoral roll I don't think.

To add ; The last time I have paid council tax 'in my own name' was around 2012 when I lived in a flat alone. This may shock some, but I'll give a brief timeline. Moved out of home in 2012. Paid council tax. Only lived here for around 8-10 months. Left without telling council where I was going, purely because I went to live with ex partner, and she feared it would scupper her whole benefits thing, so I opted out of informing council. During this time I was at college (2013-2014) so I would've been exempt (proof can be shown). From 2015 to now I have lived at another address with a relative, and they have told me the same 'don't inform the council you have lived here because I'd have to pay back £££ of benefit I've gotten etc'.

The twist is that in around 2013/2014 the council found out where I worked and did a wage deduction, and kept that going for around 5-6 months and then it stopped.. I still have no idea why it stopped since I thought I'd owe quite a bit.. and I have no idea how they figured out where I worked, possibly through HMRC. But surely they could've done that since then if it was a burning issue.

Now im here wondering if I should get in touch with my council, if bailiffs will turn up, has there been orders given to my old address that I've never seen since I moved out, do I pay these arrears off as much as I can to be able to bounce onto the roll and boost my credit for future options financially speaking.

A few close people to me state I shouldn't as this would open a can of worms and the council would retrospectively ask me where I've lived for the past years, thus resulting in said 'can of worms' being opened. But I surely couldn't say 'erm well I've been stopping on a pals couch for the last few years'.

I'm really stuck, stressed and worried. I know council tax arrears rarely affect credit score/rating but I wouldn't want this really inflicting any further worry.

*Please aim to convey some form of constructive instruction as to what I should really do, as opposed to the whole 'you know you've broke the law right/they're coming for you'.

What do I do?

Thank you.


  • moleratmolerat Forumite
    29.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Generally council tax debt does not appear on your credit files but it seems some councils have unusually gone through the civil courts route and the debtor has ended up with a CCJ. Are you currently in the same or a different council area ? If in the same area registering on the ER or for council tax may trigger something and recommence enforcement action but anything that happens is unlikely to affect your credit file.
  • R350R350 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Yeah I kind of guessed that council tax wouldn't affect my credit score.

    Would you recommend contacting my council personally and trying to sort this council tax debt out without trying to jump onto the ER first? I just hope it's still st the stage of some repayment plan and not me being an extra on Don't pay well take t away :money:
  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Council Tax enforcement is purely in the hands of the council after the magistrate's court have granted the liability order unless it is pursued to bankruptcy or a charging order via the county court or back to the magistrates for a committal hearing.

    You need to contact the council to discuss the matter they are the only ones who can tell you what the current state of play is.

    Those odd cases where a CCJ has been noted are in respect of charging orders and a reading of the civil procedure rules etc shows that it the CCJ should not be registered under Part 73 - for a charging order to be granted you need either a CCJ or a liability order - the charging order itself is a method of enforcement, not a CCJ, and therefore shouldn't be registered. Liability Orders aren't currently registered with the Registry Trust whereas CCJs are. (I did get a second opinion on that via a solicitor and they were of the same opinion - ideally someone needs to challenge the decision to get it noted by the court.)
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • R350R350 Forumite
    3 Posts

    I may have to set up some form of repayment plan with the council if I go in and speak to them, which I'd rather do now in 10 years time.

    However, I don't particularly know where to state I lived in the periods I wasn't paying council tax. Is this usually a necessity in knowing where I was during these periods as opposed to just paying what I owe? I guess I could maybe say I was at a mates for a few years with no fixed abode..
  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    To be honest I can't say more than tell then the truth - to do otherwise is continuing to be an accessory to benefit fraud.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • NasqueronNasqueron Forumite
    7.7K Posts
    There is no such thing as a credit score, it's something made up by the credit agencies who then try and sell you products to improve the score which they set themselves - a nice little earner. Note that people with bankruptcies on their record can get a score of 999 on Experian - hardly a glowing reference that the score means anything as it suggests your record is perfect!

    What matters is that you have a credit record. Being stable at an address by going on the register is very good for this yes but it is possible if the council still want to chase the debt that they will do so. You don't need to declare your previous addresses but the credit record won't improve dramatically. Get a credit card, pay for stuff on it, pay it off in full. Get a mobile phone contract or sim only deal, pay it off every month. These are things that will improve your credit record.

    If you need finance for a car, it indicates you can't afford the car. Buy a bike, use public transport or get a dirt cheap runaround that has 12 months MOT and use it until it becomes uneconomical to repair. Don't get more debt especially when confronted with a pushy car salesman who makes you think paying £200 a month for 5 years at 30% APR is affordable. If you can't get good rates from someone like your bank who know your spending patterns, income etc then finance for a car will be astronomical.

    Credit records take time to improve.
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