Article by Tom Magor - 11th August 2021

Am I On The Electoral Roll? How To Find Out

This year’s nationwide Electoral Register update – known as the Annual Canvass – is due to start soon, so it’s the perfect time to check your Credit Report to see how the various Credit Reference Agencies are holding your Electoral Roll information. Once your council sends you a Household Enquiry Form, which usually happens from July to September, you’ll be able to update your Electoral Roll information accordingly.

Find out if you're on the 2021 Electoral Roll

In addition to providing the ability to vote, being registered on the Electoral Roll (sometimes called the Electoral Register) is of vital importance when it comes to your Credit Rating and your chances of success with lenders. Your Electoral Roll listing is often considered an essential piece of information to lenders and therefore plays a key role in establishing a strong Credit Rating.

How to check if you’re registered to vote

At present, the only way to see whether you are registered to vote online is by checking your Credit Report. This is the quickest way to establish whether you have an active Electoral Roll listing and at which address, but importantly it also shows you how your Electoral Roll status is being reported by Credit Reference Agencies.

You can check your status on the Electoral Roll online by signing up to checkmyfile – you can try us free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month, which you can cancel online, by phone or by email.

Alternatively, you can check that you are on the Electoral Register by contacting your local council by phone or post. You can find contact details for your local authority at the Electoral Commission-run site Your Vote Matters by entering your postcode.

Why does my Electoral Roll listing appear on my Credit Report?

One of the main purposes of a credit check is to verify your identity and seeing your Electoral Roll listing is an effective way of doing this. Checking with individual councils that you’re registered to vote would make application checks take that much longer, so instead local councils pass their Electoral Register information on to Credit Reference Agencies, who in turn update the information as it appears on your Credit Report.

See how Electoral Roll information appears on your Credit Report

Why is it so important to be registered?

First and foremost, being registered on the Electoral Roll will allow you to vote in local and general elections in the United Kingdom. If you do not notify your local council when you change address you will not receive a polling card, which informs you of any upcoming elections and where you will need to go to vote in person.

Your Electoral Roll status is also a vital component of your Credit Report, which helps lenders authenticate your identity and current address. For that reason, it is seen as an important piece of information whenever you undergo a credit check, whether it be for finance, an employer background check or even a landlord check.

When lenders look at your Credit Report, they 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 if they see this information.

Not only is it important to be registered to vote, but it is essential to make sure that you are registered to vote at your current address, so if you have recently moved or are planning on moving, tell your local council as soon as possible. Without this information, lenders may struggle to retrieve your Credit File if you give them your new address.

Benefits of being on the electoral register

Aside from granting you the ability to vote in local and national elections, your Electoral Roll status may make it easier to:

  • Get a passport
  • Pass employer & landlord checks
  • Open credit accounts, such as credit cards and mortgages
  • Pass checks for insurance or utilities

Who can register to vote?

Provided you are a British, EU or qualifying Commonwealth Citizen and will be aged 18 or over 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

You can register to vote online, by phone or by post. Filling in the online form is arguably the fastest and most convenient way to register.

You should remember that you aren’t automatically enrolled when you move to 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 will also have to confirm your information as it appears on the Electoral Roll is still correct and up-to-date once a year. You will receive a Household Enquiry Form to remind you of this, usually around September or October.

When applying for credit, it is important to use the address as it appears on your Electoral Roll listing, as this is one of the key pieces of information used by lenders to verify you are who you say you are. That's why it's important to check your address carefully when registering to vote.

How long does a listing take to show on a Credit Report?

Once the registration process has been completed with the local council, the listing doesn’t immediately appear on your Credit Report. It typically takes between one and three months for a listing to automatically be reflected in data held by the UK's Credit Reference Agencies. In some circumstances, this process can be helped along if you can present a written confirmation letter from your council stating that you are registered at your current address.

The Annual Canvass

The exception to the above is the Annual Canvass. This process occurs once a year and involves local authorities distributing the Household Enquiry Forms mentioned earlier to establish whether everyone at the property that is eligible to vote is registered.

Once the data collection process is complete, the Annual Canvass is typically published on 1 December 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. When the Annual Canvass is in process agencies don’t accept manual updates.

Any changes you requested to the Electoral Roll towards the end of 2020 as part of last year’s Annual Canvass should be reflected on your Credit Report, but the best way to be certain is to check for yourself. We regularly update the status of the Annual Canvass so you can see if it is currently in effect.

Does being registered to vote improve my Credit Score?

It’s almost always beneficial to be able to show lenders that you’re registered to vote at your current address, so you might notice an increase to your overall score as opposed to if you weren’t registered to vote.

The exception to this is if you are registered to vote anonymously, in which case your Electoral Roll listing will not appear on your Credit Report and will not improve your score. In this situation you may also struggle to pass credit checks, as it makes it more difficult to verify your identity.

If you opt out of the Open Register it will not harm your Credit Score or chances of passing credit checks.

What else can my Credit Report tell me about my Electoral Roll listing?

In addition to showing whether you appear on the Electoral Roll, your Credit Report will show you how your name and address appears on a credit check, which is an important step to verifying you are who you say you are.

Your checkmyfile Credit Report shows you:

  • If you're registered to vote
  • How long you have been registered at your current address
  • If your address has been confirmed as valid
  • If you're opted in to the marketing version of the Electoral Roll (the open register)
  • Any linked addresses

What if I spot a mistake on my Electoral Roll listing?

If your Credit Report isn't showing your Electoral Roll listing or your name or address is appearing incorrectly, in most instances you should be able to fix this by contacting your local council notify them of the problem.

In some cases, a Credit Reference Agency may incorrectly be missing your Electoral Roll information, and you may be able to solve this by contacting them directly.

One of the benefits of checkmyfile's Multi Agency Credit Report is that it allows you to see how your Electoral Roll status is being reported by three Credit Reference Agencies, not just one, so if you're going unreported by anyone it will be quick and easy to spot.

If you haven't already, you can 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 all three Credit Reference Agencies in one easy-to-use format.

Updated 11 August 2021 by Sam Griffin

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

Launched 25 Years, 35 Million Credit Scores & 8 Million Credit Reports Ago

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

Article by Sam Griffin

4th November 2021

Closing A Credit Account — Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

It’s inevitable that you’ll close a credit account at some point — perhaps after finally clearing your mortgage or if you just want to change mobile phone provider. Because of this, we get loads of questions about closing accounts, and what that means for Credit Scores.

Read More

Article by Paul Anderson-Riley

18th August 2021

How To Download And Print Your Credit Report

There are several different reasons you might need to print or share a copy of your Credit Report, such as assisting a mortgage advisor during an application, showing a specific entry to a lender, or even just to keep a physical copy for your personal records.

Read More