The Electoral Roll

The Electoral Roll

When you apply for credit (including mobile phone, gas and electricity contracts), the lender will usually carry out a credit check - within your application you will give the lender permission to access your credit report. This includes information about where you are registered to vote, and lenders use this information to help confirm your name and address in order to combat fraud.

Why should you register to vote?

You can register to vote online with . Not registering to vote, being registered to vote at an old address, or adding the wrong details on the electoral roll (electoral register) can mean you may be refused credit. On top of this, you might also find it difficult to:

  • Get insurance
  • Access legal and accountancy services
  • Open savings accounts or other investments
  • Obtain some public services, like getting a passport
  • Apply for certain jobs, particularly in the financial services sector (where your credit report is often checked as part of the application process)

You can check your credit report whenever you want with , to make sure that your electoral roll information is up to date.

Who controls the electoral rolls?

In England, Scotland and Wales, local councils publish their electoral rolls on 1st December each year. These show who is registered to vote at each address.

The information comes from the annual canvass, when councils consult all local households about who is eligible to vote, usually between August and November. If you didn't register at this time (because, say, you moved house in the middle of the year), you can still using a 'rolling register' form. Councils then update their registers on a monthly basis – and your credit report will also be updated.

In Northern Ireland, councils do not carry out an annual canvass and simply update their registers every month, so the only updates come from the rolling register forms.

Actions to take when moving home

Ask your new council straight away to register to vote, and tell your old council that you've moved so they can take you off the register there. You can do this online with .

You'll need to wait until the next month for the council to update its roll and for your credit report to be updated. Until it is, you may need to provide extra information if you apply for credit (or any other service that uses the electoral roll to check your details).

What if your credit report says you're not on the electoral roll when you are?

Experian's Customer Support Centre. They hold copies of most local councils' electoral rolls, and will be able to investigate. Any necessary changes will be made to your credit report as quickly as possible.

What if you are not eligible to vote?

You can add a note called a to your credit report explaining that you cannot register on the electoral roll because you are not eligible to vote in UK or EU elections.

A good way to stay in control of your finances is to check your Experian Credit Report with .

Take control of your finances with CreditExpert

  • Your Experian Credit Report
  • Guidance on what's affecting your score and how you can improve it
  • Web monitoring and credit report alerts to help you spot fraud
  • Dedicated help if you're a victim of fraud
  • Support from our UK-based call centre team