0 6 min 2 weeks
Graphic about voting.
Because if you’ve fallen off the electoral roll you’ll see none of the benefits (Picture: Getty / Metro)

We’re gradually finding out what each political party has planned for your money if they win the election on July 4.

You’ll have your say at the ballot box as to which you think will best help the finances of you and the country – as long as you’re registered to vote (and have valid voter ID, of course).

However, there’s another perk that comes with this: a boost to your credit score.

That same list of names and addresses that’s checked off when you vote is used by lenders when you apply for credit. That’s anything from a new mobile phonecontract through to a bank account, credit card or mortgage.

As part of the application, they’re checking you’re who you say you
are, and that you live where you say you live. Having those details makes it easier for them to confirm your identity, speeding up the process and reducing the chance of rejection.

It does mean you need all the information to match up, so it’s worth checking your credit reports to see whether you have any accounts registered to different addresses.

A poll card.
There are some forms to fill in first (Credits: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You’ll need to change them with the bank or lender, but
it’s important to do. If you have a couple of addresses, try to be consistent and use just one as your 
permanent address.

Getting on the roll doesn’t happen automatically, so you’ll need to fill in the forms.

The deadline for this election is June 18. Even if you’ve done it in the past, there may be a chance you’ve fallen off the list – especially if you’ve moved house. Check via your local council.

The electoral roll is updated every month for voting purposes, and the information is usually added to your credit file around the same time, so you’ll start benefiting really soon.

If you choose not to register now, and wait until between August and November, expect a wait because
the information is usually passed 
on to the credit reference agencies 
in December.

The electoral register and the ‘open register’

So, getting on the roll is good, though there are actually two options.

The open register is available to everyone and can be sold to businesses, which leads to spam. To avoid that, opt out of it.

Don’t worry – you’ll still get to vote and it will be available to lenders checking your credit report.

Prove you can borrow

Credit score improving
That means clearing your debt on time (Credits: Getty Images)

If you want to boost your credit score further, you’ll need to show you’re able to borrow money without getting into trouble.

That means clearing debts and paying bills on time. You’ll also
see improvements if you keep accounts open for a long time, meaning that when switching banks, it can pay to use a ‘dummy’ account rather than a long-held one, and that you shouldn’t close your oldest credit cards even if you don’t use them.

Don’t avoid credit

Sadly, avoiding credit completely won’t help your score. Though you might want to stay clear of credit cards and other debts, having nothing on your file will make it harder if you need to apply for something else, such as a current account.

So it’s worth looking at a basic credit card and using it for a small amount of everyday spending, then paying off the balance every month.

What to bring to the polling station

A notice seen displayed in London, serving as a reminder to bring photo ID.
You need photo ID (Picture: Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Don’t forget you’ll need photo ID to vote in person. If you’ve got a passport or driving licence, that’s all good. But if you don’t, applying for one can be expensive.

Fortunately, you can still use old, expired ones as long as the likeness is the same.

Many bus passes for the over-60s are valid, too, as are Pass proof-of-age cards.

If you’re still out of luck, you won’t have to pay – you can apply for a free voter authority certificate or register to vote by post.

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