Does being on the electoral roll improve your credit score?

Being on the electoral roll can help confirm your identity, reduce the risk of fraud, and boost your credit score. You can increase your chances of being accepted for credit if you are on the electoral roll. 

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Registering to vote is one of the quickest ways to improve your credit score 

The electoral register is used by credit reference agencies and lenders to check your identity when you apply for credit. If you are on the electoral roll, you may be given a higher credit score. This will make it easier to be approved for a mortgage, loan, credit card, or mobile phone contract.  

If your name is not on the register, it may be more difficult to get credit at competitive rates. 

What is the electoral roll? 

The electoral roll (or ‘electoral register’) lists the names and addresses of everyone in the UK who’s registered to vote. 

If you are not on the electoral roll, you won’t be able to vote in general, local, or council elections. 

The electoral register is also used for: 

  • crime prevention and law enforcement 

  • calling people for jury service 

  • background checks by government departments 

  • identity checks by credit reference agencies. 

What is the ‘open register’? 

There are two versions of the electoral register: 

  • the full version 

  • the open register (called the ‘edited register’ in Northern Ireland) 

Everyone’s name and address go on the full version of the electoral register. You cannot opt out. This is the version of the register that’s used for elections and referendums. The full register is not available to the public. 

Credit reference agencies (CRAs) are independent bodies that collate credit information. CRAs use information from the full electoral register to update credit reports. 

The open register is sold to companies for marketing purposes. It only contains basic information about you. You can opt out of the open register if you want to. 

Being on the open register will not increase your credit score; opting out of the open register will not affect your credit rating either. 

Why does being on the electoral register affect my credit score? 

Being on the electoral register shows CRAs and lenders that you’re a real person who lives at a specific address. This helps various organisations verify your identity and credit history. This, in turn, boosts your credit score.  

‍It’s important to be on the electoral roll at your current address and to use this address when you apply for credit. Lenders like to see stability, so the longer you can stay at one address, the better. 

Alternatively, an address history that’s backed up by evidence of being on the electoral roll at each address will also work in your favour. 

Does voting increase my credit score? 

It’s important to understand that it’s being on the electoral roll that is important for your credit score. Whether you vote in elections doesn’t make any difference. 

Am I eligible to vote? 

To register on the electoral roll, you need to be aged 16 or over (14 or over in Scotland and Wales) and be one of the following: 

  • a British citizen 

  • an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK 

  • a Commonwealth citizen with permission to be resident in the UK 

  • a citizen of another country legally living in Scotland or Wales 

However, you can’t vote until you are aged 18. 

Do I have to be on the electoral roll? 

Legally, if you’re eligible to vote, you must be on the electoral roll.  

It’s your responsibility to register, even if you don’t intend to vote.  

If you’re asked to register and you don’t, you could be fined up to £1,000. But don’t worry – registering to vote is quick, easy, and free. 

How do I get on the electoral roll? 

You can register to vote online at You can also update your details online; for example, if you move house. 

When you register, you’ll be asked for your National Insurance number, although you can still register if you don’t have it.  

It’s best to register at a permanent address if possible. If you’re living in temporary accommodation – such as student halls – you could register at your parents’ home. 

This can reduce the risk of identity theft. It can also help protect your credit score, as lenders like to see stability, such as remaining at the same address.  

How much does the electoral roll affect credit? 

The longer you are on the electoral roll at your current address, the more positive the impact this will have on your score. 

It’s tricky to say exactly how many points your credit score will go up by when you join the electoral roll. If you have a limited credit history, you may see a bigger improvement in your score than somebody with an established one. 

If you don’t register to vote, lenders will ask for other forms of identity and proof of address when you apply for credit. Your applications for credit may take longer to process, and you could be rejected. Your credit score is likely to be lower too. 

If you can’t register to vote for some reason (e.g. because you’re not eligible), you can add a note to your credit report explaining why you’re not on the electoral roll. You’ll need to do this with all three credit reference agencies (CRAs): Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.  

The note should reassure lenders that you can provide documents proving where you live and how long you’ve lived there.  

How long does it take for electoral roll information to show on my credit file? 

Electoral roll registrations are accepted by local authorities at any time. There is then a monthly update to the register. 

Each local authority will operate a monthly cut-off for supplying new or updated registrations. The date will vary between local authorities. Your registration must be completed by the cut-off date to be included in the next month’s update. 

If you register before your local authority's cut-off date, it will typically take between four and six weeks for your registration to appear on your credit report. 

If you register after your local authority's cut-off point, your registration details will not be supplied to the CRAs until the following month. This means it could take up to six to eight weeks to appear on your credit report. 

What should I do if my credit report says I am not on the electoral roll? 

If your registration has been confirmed by your local authority but this does not show on your credit report, you can raise a query with the CRA. You should also double-check that your credit report shows your correct and current address.  

If your voting registration isn’t showing on your credit report after a few months, contact your local electoral team. They should be able to double check your registration or send you a confirmation to show to the credit reference agency. The confirmation is called a ‘Certificate of Inclusion’. 

How to check the electoral roll 

If you live in England, Scotland, or Wales and you’re not sure if you’re already on the electoral register, you should contact your local Electoral Registration Office.  

To find your local electoral registration office, go to and enter your postcode. 

If you live in Northern Ireland, you’ll need to contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland 

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Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

Emma Lunn, Personal Finance Writer

Emma Lunn

Personal Finance Writer

Emma has been writing about personal finance for 20 years. She's passionate about helping people make better money decisions so they have the time and money to focus on the things they love. For her, that's racket sports, hiking, and travel.