Were you one of the 3.5m people who registered to vote in the upcoming EU referendum?
On June the 23rd, voters will have to answer the question: “Should the UK remain a member of the European Union or decide to leave”?
The sudden surge in the numbers of people registering to vote saw the government website crash shortly before the official cut- off. But is it the voting itself the main reason why so many people are now registering?
A new study, conducted on behalf of leading prepaid current account provider icount shows Brits are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to taking action to improve their credit rating, with over a third registering to vote with the aim of improving their credit score.
Why would registering to vote help my credit rating?
It seems slightly bizarre that you can improve your credit rating through something as simple as registering to vote. But there is a perfectly good reason for this; and this is all to do with the electoral register.
The electoral register is essentially a list of the names and addresses of everyone in the country who is allowed to vote in UK elections. Therefore, this register is important for credit reference agencies who use it for proof of who you are.
Appearing on the register reassures them of your existence, and if something doesn’t add up, questions will be asked. This means your credit rating could be affected in the process.
Being on the register doesn’t actually require you to vote and not voting doesn’t harm your credit rating. However, not being on the register certainly does.
Who is registering to vote?
Usually, younger people are far less likely to be registered to vote, because proof of residence is required and they are more likely to move home, particularly students who need to re-register at another address.
This is evident in our survey where over a third aged 45-54 think registering to vote will improve their credit score, compared to just 15% of 18-24 year olds.
However, for the younger generation who do decide to vote, they are more likely to remain in favour of staying in the EU, as many enjoy the freedom to work and travel within the union.
Nearly 30% of the 55+ age group also thought registering to vote would improve their credit rating. However, in comparison to the younger generation, they are overwhelmingly in favour to leave the EU.
When analysing 1000 people who have registered throughout the country; It appears that the Welsh residents are the biggest believers with 42% agreeing that registering to vote is a good way to improve credit scores.
David Taylor, a spokesperson for icount said: “Our study shows that the majority of people living in the UK are being proactive and taking action to improve their credit score, which is a great sign”.
All you need at hand to register is:
- your National Insurance number
- your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad.
If you’re asked to register and choose not to, your local Electoral Registration Office could fine you £80.
The time has now passed to register your vote for the referendum. However, you still have plenty of time to register your vote for the 2020 general election and improve your credit rating in the process.
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