Friday 5 May 2017

Finance Fridays – The financial benefits of being on the Electoral Register

We were looking at the pros and cons of buying and renting property for last week's Finance Fridays. With the General Election looming on Thursday 8th June we're talking about the Electoral Register this week. This is nothing to do with politics or even going to vote but the financial benefits of being on the Electoral Register.

Who can register to vote in the UK? - These are current qualifying conditions. Obviously once the UK leaves the EU completely these rules are likely to change.

- You need to be living in the UK legally.

- In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you can register to vote from the age of 17 but will only to able to vote once you become 18. In Scotland the age is 15 to register to vote and then from the age of 16 you would be able to vote in local elections (council) and elections for the Scottish Parliament. For elections to the UK (General Election) and European Parliaments you will need to be 18 in order to vote.

- You are either

a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen – this means Commonwealth citizens who have leave to remain in the UK or do not require such leave.


a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member states.

How do I register? - Usually your local council will send you a paper form each year for you and your household to complete. It needs to be done each year to keep your details up to date and correct. If you don't recall filling one in then for people living in England, Scotland and Wales you can complete one here. For people living in Northern Ireland the details are here. You may need your National Insurance (NI) number or UK passport number to complete your details.

I'm not eligible – If you don't meet the eligibility criteria you can add a Notice of Correction to your credit report. This will then explain to companies and potential lenders or credit providers exactly why you cannot be on the Electoral Register.

What is the deadline? - In order to be eligible to vote in the General Election on Thursday 8th June 2017 you will need to have registered by Monday 22nd May 2017.

What happens if I refuse to register? - You don't have to register if you are not asked to. However, if you are eligible to vote and you refuse to do so if asked your local Electoral Registration Office could fine you £80. If you have a valid reason for not registering such as a long term hospital stay or have an impediment you may not be fined.

How companies use it – The Electoral Register is an official and legal document stating where a person lives. Companies use this information to decide whether they will be willing to provide you with goods and services. This includes essential services such as bank accounts, gas, electric and phone contracts plus also credit agreements such as credit cards and other types of loans. If you are not registered you may find that you are refused car and home insurance or be quoted higher premiums.

Being on the Electoral Register forms part of your credit score. Therefore it is important not only to be registered but also to be registered at the right address. Red flags will start showing if you apply for credit and give one address but you are registered at another. A low credit score could mean that even if you are offered credit or a loan the interest rate offered could be much higher – this also applies to mortgage rates. If you are wanting to rent a property a potential landlord may turn you down when they do background checks and find you're not on the electoral register. 

Are you registered to vote? Do you make sure your details are kept up to date?

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 9th May 2017 to join in. 
Finance Fridays

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  1. I just updated our details not long ago - I think voting is so important

  2. Your right its so important we got turned down a few times for a credit card and then realized the details weren't sorted on the electoral roll x

  3. That's not something I'd actually thought of, thanks for highlighting.


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