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How important is my Electoral Roll listing for my credit score

Posted in 'Electoral Roll' by Tom Blandford

23 February 2016

The right to vote in the United Kingdom extends not only to citizens in Great Britain, but also to those in Republic of Ireland, Commonwealth countries, and other nations in the European Union. Records of those eligible to vote are compiled for each polling district in the UK on Electoral Roll.

In Republic of Ireland, information is instead added to a central register before the complied information is sent to other organisations such as the credit reference agencies or marketing agencies. Although primarily a register to control voting, the Electoral Roll has other uses such as organisation of jury duty, fraud prevention and is included as an element of credit reporting.

When appearing on credit reference databases, the Electoral Roll is used to verify the presence of an individual at an address, and is a powerful tool for lenders in assessing the creditworthiness of a potential customer. Many lenders turn down applications solely based on the absence of an Electoral Roll entry for the applicant.

If an Electoral Roll entry cannot be located at the address provided, or the data is recorded incorrectly, this can also mean that a lender will have difficulties obtaining full credit files from the agencies. This can happen for numerous reasons, often due to discrepancies with the address or name format provided to the lender during the application or by the applicant’s local council when the information was purchased by the agencies.

On credit files, the Electoral Roll is visible not only to lenders, but also to landlords and Employers. As landlords and Employers do not have access to credit account information during credit checks, the Electoral Roll status is even more vital to the success of an application as it is one of the main elements included in a public file alongside court information.

Aside from the presence of the Electoral Roll entry itself, another factor that contributes to its value is the amount of time the listing has been active. Listings that remain active for greater amounts of time demonstrate stability which is then reflected in both the credit score of the applicant on consumer credit reports, and can also affect the lender’s own calculation of creditworthiness. As such, the Electoral Roll is a vital element of your credit file, even if you are not planning to vote – merely remaining present on the register can help to strengthen your credit file in the eyes of those who view it.

Tom Blandford

Tom has a BSc (Hons) degree in Mathematics from Plymouth University. He is trained as a teacher and has been involved in the Royal Marine Cadets since he was 14. His articles focus mainly on identity fraud and personal finance.

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