5 things to know about registering to vote

Are you registered to vote in the UK? Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May announced a General Election to take place on 8 June. To be eligible to vote, it’s likely you’ll need to register by midnight Monday 22 May. And did you know that being on the Electoral Roll could also help improve your credit score?

Here are five things you should know about registering to vote:

1.            How registering to vote could help improve your credit score. It’s important that your credit report includes your Electoral Roll details, as lenders use this information to help confirm your name, address and where you’ve lived before. This info usually has to be up to date before they are willing to offer a mortgage, a loan or any other form of financial account.

2.            How it could negatively affect you if you aren’t on the Electoral Roll.  Not being registered could cause a delay when you apply for credit, while the lenders confirm your details some other way. With some lenders it can even hurt the credit score they give you, and some applications may even be turned down.

3.            What to do if you move around a lot.  If you are living at a temporary address, it’s also possible to use your parents’ address for things like the Electoral Roll and as a base for your credit agreements. This might even be safer, in terms of the risk of identity fraud, especially if your temporary address has shared access.

4.            How long it takes. Once you’ve registered, it may take a little while for this information to appear on your credit report, as councils usually process updates to the Electoral Roll once a month and send the information to the credit reference agencies like Experian.  These updates can also be suspended for a few months if a council does an ‘annual canvass’, where they carry out an audit of all households. If you register to vote for the first time or at a new address, your credit report should automatically be updated within around a month, but it could be worth checking with your local authority to make sure.

5.            How to register to vote. You can register to vote, or update your name, address or other details on the electoral register at Gov.uk. If you would like to find out about elections in your area, visit Your Vote Matters and type in your home postcode.

12 thoughts on “5 things to know about registering to vote

  1. glen wright

    I have just changed my electoral address and ‘registered to vote’ in a different area. will i be able to vote in the area of my new address or, because it take 4-6 weeks, will I have to vote by post in my old area?

    1. CreditExpert Stuart

      Hi Glen,

      If you’ve registered to vote before the deadline to vote, then you should be able to vote as you would be registered in your local council area, then you should be able to vote just fine. If you’re still concerned, your local council should be able to confirm if you are on the register to vote.

      Kind regards,

  2. Jack Adams

    I’ve registered to vote at my current address but it is still not showing on my report and my partner and newly born are waiting for mortgage to get our moving process underway….vendors getting concerned at how long it’s taking….anyway to speed up the process?

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Jack, it can take 6-8 weeks from when you register for the information to appear on your credit report. If you get in touch with your details and confirmation of your registration (if you have this) then we can get this chased up for you. Kind regards Neil.

  3. Michelle

    I am registered with credit expert. 5 weeks ago I changed my address on the electoral register . I have confirmed with my local authority about a week ago I am now on the electoral register at my new address and it should be published on the 1st of July lists supplied to people such as yourself. When will this show on my credit file I want to apply for credit. Is there anything I can do to speed this up?

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Michelle, we update electoral roll information on credit report once the monthly registers are published. It can take 6-8 weeks from when you register for it to appear on your credit report.

      If you have confirmation of your registration contact us with the details and our electoral roll team will be able to check to see if we have the published register yet. Kind regards Neil.

  4. Adam Shaw

    My girlfriend is Thai but has permanent live to remain visa. She cannot vote but is worried this is affecting her credit. What can she do?

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Adam, if your girlfriend has a copy of her Experian credit report then she can add a notice of correction to the report to explain that she is a permanent resident but is not able to register to vote. Any lenders searching the report can then take this into account. Find out more about adding a notice of correction here.
      Kind regards Neil.

  5. Matt

    Hello! I have worked overseas for some time (5 years) and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I am registered as an overseas voter, but I do not seem to be on the electoral roll. I own a house in the UK, but it is let out. I do not live there. So, my question is, can I be on the electoral roll given these circumstances? Thank you, Matt

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Matt, thanks for your question. Your credit report will show if you are registered to vote at any of the UK addresses included in the report. If you are registered as an overseas voter this won’t show on the credit report as it won’t be recorded at any of your addresses. What you would be able to do is to add a notice of correction to your report to explain your situation. Any lenders searching the report would then be able to take this into account. Kind regards Neil.

  6. Ruth

    Hi Neil,

    I am a development worker and often work overseas for long periods of time, I have always kept my billing (bank) address as my parents address, as I tend to move around a lot due to my work situation however, I sometimes register on the electoral register in the town I’m based in as I stay for at 6 months/1 year, will that cause a problem? Also if I do have an application where they require my previous address (for the last 6 years etc) should I include my billing address or my electoral address or both even? As one of my credit reports shows my electoral address as my previous address (though I also put my billing address as my permanent address on any applications since that hasn’t changed…) will this affect my scores and credit report…. Thank you! RB

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Ruth, when you apply for credit lenders generally like to see all your current information at the address you have applied from. If they see active accounts at different addresses, or that you are on the electoral roll this may cause them concern over whether the application is genuine and if so which is your current address. However it will always be up to the lender themselves as to whether they will accept the application or not.
      By providing all your previous addresses on an application lenders will be sure that they have seen your full information. If you apply for a credit report we would certainly recommend providing all of your previous addresses for the last six years to make sure that you can see all the information that we hold for you on your credit report. This will also let you check if anything has been recorded in your name at an address since you left. Kind regards Neil


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