There are a number of things that can affect your credit score. A missed or late payment, having access to a large amount of credit or even getting a County Court Judgement (CCJ) can have an impact.
While it can take longer to reduce the impact of a default payment on your credit history, there are a few quick things you can do to boost your credit score. One is signing up to the electoral roll – we explain how to do this and why it can help.
What is the electoral roll?
The electoral roll is a list of everyone who has registered to vote in public elections. You'll be able to vote in local, mayoral and national elections if you sign up to the electoral roll. This includes referendums like the one held on the European Union membership.
While the electoral roll is mostly to allow you to vote, the Government can use it to call you up for jury service and lenders use it to check credit applications.
How do I register?
The Government won’t automatically register you on the electoral roll – it's up to you to sign up. You can call up your local electoral registration office to check if you're already on it.
It won't take you long to register if you're not already. You just need to go to the Government's website if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. You'll need to type in your date of birth, your National Insurance number and potentially your passport number. If you're in Northern Ireland, go to the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland and download a registration form.
It can take a while for the information to appear on your credit report as councils usually update the electoral roll once a month and send it to credit reference agencies Experian, Equifax and CallCredit.
Why should I register to vote?
As part of a credit check, lenders will use the electoral roll to confirm your identity when you apply for credit. You give a lender permission to perform this check when you agree to their terms and conditions.
It's important to make sure your information is up-to-date as if you have registered to vote at an old address or add the wrong details to the electoral roll, it can mean a lender refuses you for credit. That's why you should update your address when you move house.
If you're not eligible to vote in the UK or EU elections, you can add a Notice of Correction to your credit report explaining this.
Is your credit history less than perfect? Find out how to rebuild your credit score with our blog.