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Eur chance to boost your credit rating

Your credit rating can be the difference between success and rejection when you apply for anything from a mobile phone to a mortgage, so any chance you have to improve it should be jumped at. With the EU referendum just weeks away on 23 June, now’s your chance.

You might be weighing up whether to vote “in” or “out” of Europe. But to be able to have your say, you need to make sure you’re registered on the electoral roll. Registering to vote comes with an added bonus, as it will give your credit score a welcome boost – but you’ve less than a week left to do it in time to vote.

How registering to vote helps your credit score

Credit ratings exist for a few reasons. First, they allow banks and lenders to get a picture of your financial history. They’ll see if you’ve got debts, missed payments on credit cards or ever been declared bankrupt – all of which would bring your score down.

But they’re also used to confirm your identity and provide evidence of financial stability – and being registered on the electoral roll not only proves you are who you say you are, but helps to build up your address history.

How to get on the electoral roll

It’s a really simple process to register. You can either fill in a form online, or print one out to put in the post. You’ll need your National Insurance number. Credit agencies can access the full register, so it’s fine to opt out of the published one – handy if you want to avoid junk mail in the post.

To be eligible to vote in the EU referendum you need to have registered by Tuesday 7 June 2016. If you voted in the 2015 General Election and haven’t moved home, you’ll still be registered.

If you miss this date, it’s still worth registering to vote as it will still help your credit rating.

When your credit score is checked

It can be surprising how often your credit score comes into play - it’s not just opening a credit card or current account, or applying for a mortgage or loan.

Even if accepted for one of these financial products, you might not get the best interest rate or deal if your score is seen as too low.

You’ll also usually be credit checked if you apply for a mobile phone contract, new broadband or TV provider or switch your energy company. A poor score could potentially also stop you renting a new home.

Five ways to boost your credit rating

Getting on the electoral register isn’t the only way you can help improve your score. Try these too:

  • Stop applying for credit until you’ve improved your score
  • Check for any errors on your report and correct them
  • Cancel unused credit cards
  • Pay bills on time
  • Get a credit-building prepaid or credit card

 

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