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One day left to register to vote: Politics aside, this is why it’s so important for your finances

One day left to register to vote: Politics aside, this is why it’s so important for your finances
Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

An estimated one million renters could miss out on casting their vote in the July general election if they don’t register by the end of today (18 June). But there are other reasons it’s vital to do so.

Renters are urged to “guarantee their voice” on the 4 July polling day by registering to vote online by 12:59 pm tonight (Tuesday 18 June 2024).

According to Generation Rent, 70% of private renters have moved home since 2019, with the latest British Election Study carried out in May 2023 finding that 6.7% of private renters had not registered at all. This amounted to 455,000 voters, while a further 8.1% – the equivalent of 548,000 – were registered at the wrong address.

In total, Generation Rent said over a million renters may not be able to vote on 4 July if they’re not correctly registered.

However, according to analysis from the Electoral Reform Society, more than seven million eligible voters in England and Wales are missing from the electoral roll.

The process takes just five minutes online, and you’ll be asked where you live, your nationality, date of birth, name, etc.

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy chief executive of Generation Rent, said: “With the housing crisis raging, the election is a huge opportunity for renters to use our democratic voice to call for better renting.

“But renters are at a disadvantage, compared with landlords, as frequent moves make it easier for us to fall off the register and miss out on voting.

“We have a few weeks left to decide who gets our vote, but we will miss this opportunity if we don’t have a ballot paper on 4 July.

“We urge anyone who has moved home since the last general election to make sure they’re registered to vote by Tuesday night.”

Politics and personal finance

As well as enabling you to take part in the democratic process, registering to vote also has an impact on your credit score. These numbers help lenders assess how likely they are to be repaid on time if they give you a loan or credit card.

Your individual credit score is based on your credit report, which is a record of your financial history; namely, how responsibly you’ve managed your finances. It includes details about any mortgages, credit cards and loans you have, as well as debts incurred.

If you’re new to borrowing or have had a few late payments, you could find yourself with a less-than-perfect credit score, which could mean you miss out on the best and cheapest deals.

Oddly enough, not being on the UK electoral register can damage your credit rating. It introduces hesitation to lenders’ assessment of your identity, casting doubt on whether you really are who you say you are – and you live where you say you live.

Being on the electoral roll not only supports credit applications, but improves your credit score overall by serving as a means of verifying your identity and personal details.

According to online mortgage adviser Mojo Mortgages, registering on the electoral roll could be the key to securing a better mortgage deal too.

It added that experts at credit reference agency Experian have previously stated that signing up for the electoral roll can add up to 50 points to an individual’s credit score.

This potential point boost could propel mortgage borrowers into a higher credit rating band, unlocking access to better mortgage deals and potentially saving them thousands of pounds in the long run, Mojo added.