If you haven’t done so already, this year’s Electoral Registration form, which dropped through your letter box in August, should be returned as soon as possible, even if late. Your local council conducts the ‘annual canvas’ – when it finds out details of all people in your area who are eligible to vote - in a fairly tight timescale, and will be sending out chasers to those households who have not returned the forms.
Besides its main function, the Electoral Roll is used for two other important purposes.
Firstly, it forms an integral part of your credit rating. Electoral Roll data is purchased from local authorities by the UK’s three credit reference agencies at the end of each year. This is then added to their records. As part of your credit file, lenders will check whether you are registered at your current address every time you make an application for credit.
Not being correctly listed on the Electoral Roll on your credit file could see the application being declined, as some lenders will take the view that if they haven’t found you listed on the Electoral Roll at the address you have given them, then they may not have found your full credit file.
This is so important that some of the credit reference agencies purchase monthly updates from the local authorities to try to ensure that the data they have is as up-to-date as is possible.
Secondly, depending on whether you give your consent to do so, your name is added to an edited version of the Electoral Roll. The edited version is sold by local authorities to third parties for use in marketing activity. You can choose whether you are included on the full version, or the edited version. Only the edited version is sold to third parties – but unless you choose to be removed from it, your personal details will be included within it.
If you tick where indicated, in red below, your details will not be sold by your local authority for marketing or other purposes. Last year, half of all people opted to keep their affairs more private by ticking the boxes.
The cheapest way to check that you have been correctly included in the next Electoral Roll update at each of the three credit reference agencies is by getting a Multi Agency Credit Report from checkmyfile.
Checking your credit report and keeping an eye on it will also guard against identity fraud and unexpected declines. Our Multi Agency Credit Report Monitoring Service costs only £9.99 per month after a FREE 30 day trial. Great value and peace of mind too.
Barry is a Chartered Banker and a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management. He has a degree in Statistics and Business Economics from the Open University. Barry writes mostly on news from the worlds of banking and mortgages.
Barry is a co-founder of checkmyfile.