Am I On The Electoral Roll? How to Find Out

Posted by Tom Magor in Electoral Roll on 2 January 2018 - Tom is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

In addition to providing the ability to vote, being registered on the Electoral Roll is of vital importance when it comes to your credit rating and how you'll be judged. An Electoral Roll listing is often considered 'the hook on which all other data hangs' and therefore plays a key role in establishing a strong credit file.

How to check if you’re registered

One way to see if you’re on the electoral register is by contacting your local council. You can find contact details for your local authority at the Electoral Commission run site Your Vote Matters by entering your postcode.

Checking your credit file is a simple way to establish whether you are registered, but just as importantly, it shows you which Credit Reference Agencies are reporting your electoral roll status. When applying for finance, a lender won't go to your local council to check your electoral status, they will check to see how it is reported on your credit file. Checkmyfile's multi-agency credit report allows you monitor your Electoral Roll information reported by all of the Credit Reference Agencies, namely Callcredit, Equifax, Experian and Crediva.

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Can I check online?

At present the only way to check online whether you’re registered to vote is by checking your credit file. This has the added benefit of letting you see which credit reference agencies are reporting your voting status, which can have a big impact on your ability to apply for credit.

Why is it so important to be registered?

When lenders look at your credit file, they will see confirmation that you’re recorded on the Electoral Roll at your current address as a positive sign because it demonstrates stability. You may still be accepted for credit if you aren’t registered, but lenders are far more inclined to do so with the added help of this information.

You might also notice when you check your credit file that it’s one of the first pieces of info that appears, so for some applications (especially for larger amounts such as car finance or a mortgage) where your file has to be manually assessed, you’ll definitely want to start on a positive note rather than a negative.

Who can register to vote?

Provided you are a British, EU or qualifying Commonwealth Citizen and will be aged over 18 on polling day, you should be able to proceed without any obstacles. Once you have completed the registration process, you can vote in person at a polling station, by post or by proxy, which involves arranging someone to vote on your behalf.

How to register on the Electoral Roll

With the Electoral Roll being so important, just how do you register? You should remember that you aren’t automatically enrolled when you reside in a property; it’s something you have to re-register each time you change address. Unless registration forms are sent to you shortly after moving in, you will need to contact your local council to register - you have the choice of applying online, by post or over the phone.

How long does a listing take to show?

Registering to vote online is arguably the fastest way, but you may still find that it can take a while for the update to appear on your credit report.

Once the registration process has been completed with the local council, a common cause for concern is that the listing isn’t immediately reflected with the credit reference agencies. It typically takes up to 3 months for a listing to automatically be reflected in data held by the UK's credit reference agencies. However, this process can sometimes be helped along by using a written confirmation letter from your council.

The annual canvass

The exception to the above is the annual canvass. This process occurs once a year and involves local authorities making contact with each address to establish who resides there as well as providing the opportunity to register on the Electoral Roll. Once the data collection process is complete, the annual canvass is typically published on December 1st although there can be some slight variation between local authorities. Due to the sheer volume of information collated, it can take a further month or so for the results to be reflected with the agencies. At this time of year, the agencies don’t accept manual updates.

Importance of using a consistent address format

For those living at an address where there’s more opportunity for variation, (e.g. Flat 16, 24B, Barnaby Street might also be written 16/24B Barnaby Street) it’s important to consider the impact the chosen format could have on your credit file. It’s essential to use a uniform address format across the board where possible with regards to your credit agreements and Electoral Roll listing.

If you haven't already, you can try try checkmyfile free for 30 days and then for just £14.99 a month after. You'll be able to see your electoral roll listing as reported by 4 Credit Reference Agencies, not just 1.

The Current Status of This Year's Annual Canvass

Has your electoral roll information been included in the 2018 annual canvass?

Depending on where you live, you may have noticed that your most recent Electoral Roll status has taken a while to be reflected on your credit report. This is likely to be a result of the 2017/18 annual canvass process, which is due to finish soon.

Published on 20 Feb 2018 by Paul Anderson-Riley

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