Registering to vote can make you better off
Signing up to vote in the General Election set for 12 December can improve your finances due to the effect it has on your credit record.
Credit reference agency Experian says if you are registered to vote, lenders are likely to see that as a positive sign when you apply for credit because they can more easily confirm your identity.
Being on the electoral role is seen as a sign of stability by lenders and can therefore help any applications you make for credit.
Typically, appearing on the electoral roll at your current address can add 50 points to your Experian credit score. However, just 45 per cent of people are aware that being registered on the electoral roll will have any impact. For some, this could mean the difference between a good and an excellent score.
James Jones, Experian’s head of consumer affairs, said: “As well as enabling you to have your say at the ballot box, registering to vote unlocks a number of additional benefits that many people might not be aware of. For example, a range of firms from financial services to online retailers can use the information to help confirm your name and address, so not being registered can scupper a wide range of applications.
“Furthermore, electoral roll registration is often a factor in credit scores because it is seen as a sign of reliability and stability. As a result, being registered to vote can help improve your credit score, potentially giving you access to cheaper interest rates on loans, credit cards and mortgages.”
People are individually responsible for adding their own name to the electoral register. To register to vote, you must be at least 16-years-old (although you’ll only be able to vote once you’ve reached 18) and living in the UK.
You can register online, in person or by post. When registering, you’ll usually be asked for your National Insurance number as well as other personal details.
To check if you’re already registered to vote, you’ll need to contact your local electoral registration office. You can find their details by going to aboutmyvote.co.uk and entering your postcode.
Reasons to sign up for the electoral roll include:
- Vote in elections
- Quickly and easily prove your identity online
- Increase your credit score
- Get lower interest rates on credit cards, loans and mortgages
- Improve access to certain services, such as legal and accounting support
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