Article by Sam Griffin - 31st January 2022

How Do I Change My Address On The Electoral Roll?

A letter from your local council reminding you to register to vote and asking you to confirm that your details are correct for 2021/2022 should be delivered soon, if you haven’t received it already.

This isn’t a piece of post that should end up in a long-forgotten pile with old bank statements and pizza flyers - it’s something that you need to pay attention to every year, and if you don’t it can affect your ability to get approved for credit.

Lenders put a surprising amount of faith in the Electoral Roll, so it’s important to ensure that your listing is up-to-date and showing your most recent address, especially if you’re planning on applying for credit, such as a mortgage, any time in the future. If you’ve recently moved house and haven’t yet had a chance to update your Electoral Roll information, you might have trouble the next time you apply for finance.

See how your Electoral Roll information is held on your Credit Report before changing your address

Monitoring your Credit Report is important as it allows you to check for any changes to your Electoral Roll status and ensure that all three Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) are holding your information correctly. This becomes even more crucial when you are looking to change your address on the Electoral Roll or if you plan on applying for credit (like a mortgage or credit card) anytime soon.

The three Credit Reference Agencies all load new Electoral Roll entries separately, so just because one CRA has you listed correctly, that doesn’t necessarily mean all of them of do.

You can check how the three Credit Reference Agencies are holding your Electoral Roll information by claiming your free 30 day trial with checkmyfile, then just £14.99 per month, which you can cancel easily online at any time, or by freephone or email.

Our Multi Agency Credit Report is the only service in the UK that lets you easily compare the complete information from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion all on one easy-to-use format, so you can quickly spot any discrepancies.

Our professionally qualified, UK based team of Credit Analysts will be on hand to help if you need any guidance with correcting the Electoral Roll entries or any other aspect of your Credit Report.

How do I change my address on the Electoral Roll?

Updating the Electoral Register with your new address is a reasonably straightforward process; you can contact your local council by phone or online by heading to the Government website and following the on-screen instructions.

Alternatively, to amend the information held on your current Electoral Roll listing, you can contact your local council’s Electoral Roll office directly by email or telephone – contact details will be available on your local council’s website.

I have updated my information – what do I do now?

Once you have successfully updated your Electoral Roll details, it can take up to three months (depending on whether the Annual Canvass is under way) from your new listing’s publication date for your local council to pass the updated information to the Credit Reference Agencies, and then a further month for it to appear on your Credit Report.

Note that your Credit Report will only show Electoral Roll entries for listings that have been published. If your new information or new listing has yet to go live, you won’t see the entry on your Credit Report just yet. This is because Credit Reports will only hold Electoral Roll information that has been published and subsequently been shared with the Credit Reference Agencies, rather than any information scheduled to go live in the future.

Once a Credit Reference Agency receives the new information from your council, you should find that your information is updated automatically.

If you find that your Electoral Roll listing isn’t showing on your Credit Report, despite more than one month having passed from its publication date, you may be able to raise a dispute with the Credit Reference Agencies to have them manually update your information.

To do this, you can request an official letter of confirmation from your local council, detailing the exact name and address formats to which your listing is registered and the date your listing commenced. The provision of such a letter is standard procedure for most councils in the UK and should be free of charge. With this letter in hand, you can approach each Credit Reference Agency individually to request they each amend your status.

We can raise this type of dispute on behalf of active checkmyfile subscribers, as long as more than one month has passed from date of publication. With a scanned copy of this letter, we can forward it to the Credit Reference Agencies on your behalf.

Why should I keep my Electoral Roll entry up to date?

Prospective lenders take your Electoral Roll status very seriously. It forms part of the ‘public’ element of your Credit Report at each of the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies and is one of the first things that a lender will look at.

In much the same way that remaining with your current employer implies a degree of stability to lenders, so does regular inclusion on the latest version of the Electoral Roll.

As public information, it can also be seen by prospective landlords and employers that might run a credit check to verify that you are who you say you are, which is another good reason for making sure your report is as easy for them to find as possible, so the rest of your application can go smoothly.

It’s possible to be listed as present on the most recent update at your current address, on a former update at your current address, at a previous address, or to be not listed at all. Ideally, you want to be in the first category because this is seen as a far more reliable piece of information.

How does the update work each year?

Credit Reference Agencies obtain Electoral Roll information via local councils. Each council shares information independently, and each agency completes its own data upload. There is one big update each year – local councils will collect the data sometime around August, during their Annual Canvass and the CRAs will then update their own systems, which can be a few months or more later.

Because each of the three Credit Reference Agencies holds and shares information separately, it’s possible for mistakes to happen and some records to be missed. The key thing to understand here is that it’s not just a case of registering to vote with your local council and putting your feet up. You need to verify for yourself that all three agencies have updated their records correctly.

It’s important to keep in mind that this needs to be done each and every year – registering to vote once will not be automatically enrolled indefinitely. In addition, if any of your details change between updates, it’s important to make sure you contact the local Electoral Roll officer to notify them of this change, and not wait for the Annual Canvass to come around to notify them of the changes.

What if I move house between updates?

When you move house, one of the first things you should do once you’re settled is to make sure you’re on the Electoral Roll. Even if there’s not a local or general election due for a while or the council hasn’t written to you telling you register, it should be a priority.

The most common amendment to Electoral Roll information is a change of address, but the same concept applies for changes to other information recorded on your Electoral Roll listing, such as if you get married and change your surname. After all, if you were to apply for credit using your new married surname and the lender searches for an Electoral Roll listing which is still under your old name, it may miss your listing entirely.

Any outdated or incorrect information on your Credit Report has the potential to derail an application for finance, which is why it’s important to see what lenders will see before you apply. To make sure your Electoral Roll listing is being reported by the three Credit Reference Agencies and that your address appears in the right format, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 per month, which you can cancel online, by phone or by email.

Updated 31 January 2022

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