Five reasons to get on the electoral roll

With the next general election most likely little more than a year away, the leading names are jostling for position ahead of the expected 2015 date.  But many of us wonít even be able to vote in it, unless we get on to the electoral roll ñ and not doing so could also affect your credit rating.
Last week (5th February) saw National Voter Registration Day, marking the anniversary of the Great Reform Act in 1832 which first introduced voter registration. The aim for this day is to get 250,000 more young people on to the electoral register. 
Young people especially are under-represented at present – in the last general election in 2010, 96% of those 65 and above were registered to vote, with 76% actually voting, whereas only 56% of 18-24 year olds were registered and just 44% voted.
Experian CreditExpert have provided five simple reasons why making yourself a potential voter could also help you improve your credit rating:
1. Try to make sure that your credit report includes your electoral roll details because lenders use this information to help confirm your name, address and residential history.
2. If youíre not registered, it 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 your credit score, and some applications may even be refused.
3. Banks and building societies usually need to know that the information about you is up to date before they are willing to offer a mortgage, a loan or any other form of financial account. Maintaining your presence on the electoral roll is therefore particularly important.
4. Itís also actually against the law not to register to vote ñ and in theory you could be fined up to £1,000 for not registering.
5. If you are living at a temporary address, itís often better ñ if possible – to use your parentsí 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. You can actually register to vote in more than one place as long as you only vote once in each election ñ just ensure that whenever you apply for credit, you give the lender all the information they need to locate and examine your full credit history, including your electoral roll details.
Once youíve 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 ëannual canvassí, 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 is worth checking to make sure ñ and you can see your Experian credit report and score with a 30-day trial of CreditExpert[1].
If you are unsure whether you are registered or not, or would like to register for the first time, you could visit the About My Vote website, type in your home postcode and complete your local authorityís form.

Content / Article provided by Experian ñ links to Experian CreditExpert are placed for promotional purposes.

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