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Registering to vote and four other ways to help your credit rating

If you want to exercise your right to vote in the upcoming General Election, you have to make sure your name is on the electoral roll.

But did you know that being included on the official list of people allowed to vote also helps strengthen your credit rating?

Every time you apply for credit such as a mortgage, insurance or credit card, the provider checks your credit record. If your rating isn’t up to scratch there’s a good chance you’ll get turned down, which in turn makes your rating worse still.

But there are things you can do to improve your rating. Here are five to get you started.

1.     Register to vote

If you aren’t registered to vote, it makes it difficult for lenders to verify your identity. Getting on the electoral roll helps here. Make sure you re-register if you move house.

This year the Bite the Ballot campaign is encouraging young people to register so they can exercise their right to vote. This age group in particular can benefit from the boost to their credit report as they often won’t have much history with lenders.

If you want to vote in the General Election, you must register before 20 April 2015. If you miss it you won’t be able to vote at this election, although it will still help your credit score.

 

2.     Stop applying for credit

If you’re repeatedly getting turned down for credit, stop! Your best bet is to get it fixed as every time you get rejected, it’s damaging your score.

3.     Check for mistakes

You can get copies of your report from all three of the main credit agencies for £2 each. It’s worth looking at them to see if there are any errors such as old addresses or a fraudulent application for credit in your name.

4.     Close down credit you don’t use

Lenders look to see what you have available. If there are cards you don’t – and won’t – use, close them down. That doesn’t mean just chop up the card, though you should do that too. Call the provider and tell them you want to cancel the card.

5.     Pay on time

From credit card bills to mortgages, making payments on time is a way to avoid black marks. It tells the lender that you’re a safe and sensible borrower, and that makes you less of a risk.

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  • Yogesh Vedd / 25 June 2015

    Very good tips and advice that you offer. However, I failed to notice why frauds or identity thefts are not reported by creditors on credit files. I fought with creditors to report of scams and identity theft including one that affected me personally that has not been reported onto my credit files. I followed the guidelines as report by Credit Experian and worked with one officer from the company to report of identity theft. Failed to see any mention of this as an online fraud activity on my credit report. What advice can you give and who is responsible for correct entry as I reported matter properly to the correct parties who failed to check their accounts and files. Who is responsible for making entries when fraud or identity theft is reported to the banks and creditors?

  • ellen shide / 5 February 2015

    Totally agree