In the UK, one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve your credit score is to register to vote. In fact, if you don’t you could actually harm your chances of getting a loan, credit card or mortgage.
Loqbox ticks the boxes on voting and how it affects your credit score.
“I’m not into politics…”
Does not voting affect your credit score?
We’re not here to convince you to vote, or aimed at swaying your political values. If your preference is to not vote on polling day, that’s OK, but being registered on the electoral roll is what counts when it comes to your credit score.
You have to be 18 or over to register. But if you're 16, (or as young as 14 in Scotland or Wales), you can get your name and address onto the electoral roll. You'll need to be a British or Irish citizen, or a Commonwealth or EU citizen who resides in the UK.
The credit reference agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) all use the electoral roll to confirm your address history. If you’re unable to register to vote, keep reading and we’ll explain how to ensure your credit report reflects this.
What is the electoral register?
The electoral register is a list of everyone who is registered to vote in the UK. The information includes your name, where you live, and your electoral number.
It is used to check voters’ eligibility, but can also be used for jury duty selection, police investigations, and also when you apply for certain financial products like credit cards, loans and mortgages.
If you want to check if you are on the electoral register, and therefore if you are able to vote, you will need to contact your local Electoral Registration Office here. You can find out if you are registered and whether your information is accurate and up to date.
Does voting increase your credit score?
It’s important to separate out voting from being on the electoral register. Voting itself doesn’t actually have any impact on your credit score. But being listed on the electoral register, which you will have to be to be able to vote, does boost your credit score because your address history is a key contributor to the information in your credit report.
By being on the electoral register, lenders can check your identity and make sure you are who you say you are. They can also check that your personal details are correct. This helps them avoid fraud and identity theft, which will encourage them to offer you credit.
If I opt out of the Open Register, does it affect my credit score?
There are two versions of the electoral register:
1. The Electoral Roll
2. A second record called the Open Register (known as the Edited Register in Northern Ireland) which is a public version of your voting registration.
If you don’t want marketers to send you junk mail through the letterbox, you can opt out of the Open Register/Edited Register without it affecting your credit score.
How many points does the electoral roll add to your credit score?
Getting yourself on the electoral register — also known as the electoral roll — gives lenders more confidence that you are financially stable, and that you are who you say you are, which helps to prevent financial fraud.
According to Experian’s breakdown of how they calculate credit scores, you could benefit from up to 50 points on your credit score just by making sure that your name is on the register and your details are correct!
How do I get on the electoral register?
If you can, jump online to register to vote. It only takes a few minutes. Just make sure you’ve got your National Insurance number to hand as you’ll be asked for that (although it is possible to register without one).
Alternatively, you can register by post by filling out a form and sending it to your local Electoral Registration Office, or the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland (EONI) if that’s where you’re located.
I’m not eligible to register to vote, what should I do?
If you are unable to register to vote, you have the option of requesting Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to add a Notice of Correction to your credit reports.
In this notice, you can explain that:
- You cannot register on the electoral roll because you are ineligible to vote in UK elections
- And (if applicable) that you have other documentation to prove your address and address history
This notice allows lenders to see the reason why and take this into account when you apply for credit.
I’m all up to date, how else can I boost my credit score?
Once you’ve checked your credit score and given it a little boost by getting on the electoral register, you might still want to build it more.
Good news! Loqbox Grow could help you boost your credit score by 125 points in the first six months on average.
It’s just £2.50 a week, and that also gives you access to our other great credit-building tools, Loqbox Save and Loqbox Rent (Pro tip: using them altogether leads to the biggest score boost).