I have lived in the UK for nine years now and work in the UK Armed Forces after moving from the Channel Islands. I have had problems getting credit for a car loan, apparently the issue the finance companies have is that my address is ‘untraceable’. This is because I live on a military establishment in barrack accommodation, and because I'm from the Channel Islands and information on my address there is difficult to obtain. However I have two credit cards registered to my military address as well as mobile phone contract, driving licence and my current car too. How do I get companies to take into account that my address in untraceable when considering me for credit?
While UK-based barracks addresses can be traceable on credit checks, they are often problematic because of the different ways these addresses can be formatted. Also, I understand that the majority of armed forces personnel use the Services voters’ facility for voting purposes, meaning that their electoral registrations usually appear at their family addresses. Because the credit reference agencies use the electoral roll to help banks and other lenders confirm people’s names and addresses when they apply for credit, a lack of electoral roll information on your credit report at your current address (on the credit application) will raise question marks. So, for most forces personnel, the easiest option for maintaining an accessible credit history is to use their family address for all their financial dealings. This is less straightforward for you though because you hail from the Channel Islands (CI). Although we do hold credit repayment records for the CI, we aren’t allowed to purchase local copies of the electoral roll. However, assuming your home island is Jersey, you can use a special Jersey Data Protection Commissioner form to arrange for all three UK credit reference agencies to manually add your electoral roll information to your credit reports. If you’re from a different island then I’m afraid your options will be limited to adding a short note to your credit report explaining why there is no electoral roll information on it. We got together with the Ministry of Defence a while ago to produce a guide to credit checking for service personnel, to help people in the armed forces navigate some of the difficulties they can encounter getting and managing credit. I hope my advice and the MOD guide are a help to you.