UK Credit Rating – Did you know how important it is being on the electoral roll for your credit report?
If you’re in a hurry, the answer to that question is this: very important. Quite why this is takes a little more explanation. It might not seem terribly fair to those not inclined to vote, but remember that the electoral register is really just the most exhaustive list of UK names and addresses. For this reason, UK credit rating and reference agencies use them to ascertain the validity of a person. Any absentees will raise questions (and probably a few eyebrows) when it comes to compiling a credit report. The less box’s you need to tick the better it will be when it comes to look at finance in the future.
But there’s no need to feel hard done by. Being on the electoral roll in no way requires you to actually vote, and not voting doesn’t affect your credit score. You simply have to be registered to vote. It’s easy to do. Most people will receive the appropriate forms annually, usually during the Autumn months. Bear in mind that, even if you’re already registered, you’ll need to update the local authority with your details each year lest they lose you if you are forced to move homes occasionally.
It goes without saying that having a good UK credit rating is essential when you come to apply for a mortgage or loan.
If you don’t get the forms through the post, you can find them online. The Electoral Commission have set up a website to take you through the process, click here to fill in the form, print and sign. Then, simply pop the form in the post to your local registration office (details of which can be found at the same site by typing in your postcode). The forms are generally required to be returned around a month before the May voting season – though the dates will vary year on year.
You must be eligible to vote to be on the electoral register. And whilst you have to be 18 to actually vote, you can register from the age of 16, so if you’re lucky enough to be so young you’ll be well ahead of the curve by the time a UK credit rating report on you is compiled. I cant tell you how many times I have spoken to friends who have gotten a great head start by beginning a UK credit rating process early. If you’re over 18 and have never registered to vote or checked your credit rating, it’s time to think about doing both, especially if you are considering a need to obtain credit in the future (not to mention having a say in how the country is run!).
Checking your credit rating is the first step to finding out if there are any anomalies which may relate to your absence from the electoral roll. At websites like creditexpert.co.uk you can often obtain a free credit report online, as well as handy advice on improving your report.