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Last chance to register to vote: it will boost your credit score too

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Today is your last chance to register to vote in the 3 May elections. But it isn’t all about the politics…doing so also helps boost your credit score.

On Thursday 3 May, elections will take place in some parts of England, meaning residents may be able to vote in local government elections and mayoral elections.

But in order to vote, you need to register first and today, 17 April, is your last chance to do so if you plan to attend in person. You may need your National Insurance number and passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad.

Registering to vote is also important as it affects your credit score.

What is a credit score and credit file?

A credit score is a number lenders use to help them decide 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 history.

If you’re new to borrowing or have had a few late payments, you could find yourself with a less than perfect credit score.

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 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.

Five other ways to boost your score

  1. Pay ALL your bills on time – even being a couple of days late can make a big difference.
  2. Ensure there are no incorrect details on your credit record – check it regularly and if the details are wrong, correct them. People often move house and change jobs without updating their records.
  3. Look into specialist credit card providers which can help you build and improve your credit rating – this will help if you have had problems with credit in the past.
  4. Don’t apply for more than one credit product at a time as each application can have a negative impact on your credit rating. Waiting to hear a response from one provider might seem frustrating but applying for multiple cards could harm your score.
  5. Close old credit card accounts and cancel old direct debits – they will still show up on your record if you don’t get rid of them.