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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Comments

  • purplestar133
    purplestar133 Posts: 1,731 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    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!
  • 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?

    Yes, contact the local electoral registration office at the council for that area.
  • Moggles_2
    Moggles_2 Posts: 6,097 Forumite
    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?

    Why does this matter? You no longer live there. :confused:
    People who don't know their rights, don't actually have those rights.
  • Moggles_2
    Moggles_2 Posts: 6,097 Forumite
    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?

    Lenders like stability. You'll disrupt your credit rating every time you move house.

    Are you likely to move back to your parents at some point? Could you stay registered there and use your parent's address for credit applications? Many lenders provide good online services now, so it would not be necessary for your parents to forward paper statements to you.
    People who don't know their rights, don't actually have those rights.
  • irishjohn
    irishjohn Posts: 1,349 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    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
    John
  • purplestar133
    purplestar133 Posts: 1,731 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Moggles wrote: »
    Lenders like stability. You'll disrupt your credit rating every time you move house.

    Are you likely to move back to your parents at some point? Could you stay registered there and use your parent's address for credit applications? Many lenders provide good online services now, so it would not be necessary for your parents to forward paper statements to you.

    Thanks Moggles, I wasn't aware that moving would affect my credit rating. I'll probably stay registered at my parent's house.
  • zmzn
    zmzn Posts: 6 Forumite
    Moggles wrote: »
    Lenders like stability. You'll disrupt your credit rating every time you move house.

    Are you likely to move back to your parents at some point? Could you stay registered there and use your parent's address for credit applications? Many lenders provide good online services now, so it would not be necessary for your parents to forward paper statements to you.


    I'm in a similar situation to purplestar133, and was thinking of doing as you suggest Moggles. I've always been on the electoral register at my parents but had some credit taken out registered there, later changed it to my student addresses, then back to my parents, where I don't stay permanently. If I applied for new credit, on the application form when it asks how long you have lived at your address, should I put the time as since I started living there as a kid, or since I moved my exisiting credit back? I'm worried that if I put it down from when I was a kid, the linked addresses on the credit file might flag that up as suspicious/misleading. Thanks for any help.
  • Moggles_2
    Moggles_2 Posts: 6,097 Forumite
    zmzn wrote: »
    If I applied for new credit, on the application form when it asks how long you have lived at your address, should I put the time as since I started living there as a kid or since I moved my existing credit back? I'm worried that if I put it down from when I was a kid, the linked addresses on the credit file might flag that up as suspicious/misleading.

    Have you checked your credit reports lately? (For help, see the *How to obtain credit reports* sticky.) This is the information UK lenders see when you apply for a new credit card.

    Yours is a common situation and provided that your answers on credit applications are consistent with what's recorded on your credit files, you should be fine.
    People who don't know their rights, don't actually have those rights.
  • zmzn
    zmzn Posts: 6 Forumite
    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 £4000), 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!
  • Experian_company_representative
    Experian_company_representative Posts: 2,134 Organisation Representative
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    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.

    James
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of Experian. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"

    Posts by James Jones, Neil Stone, Stuart Storey & Joe Standen
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