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Credit reference agencies and the Electoral Register

By law, the Electoral Register can be purchased by credit reference agencies for fraud prevention.

The credit reference agencies use the Electoral Register to add to the credit history that they build up for a person. This will include things such as their current and previous addresses, along with other data such as whether the person has any current or outstanding credit arrangements.

Credit checks

Banks and other organisations can contact the credit reference agencies if they have, for example, someone wishing to apply for a credit card. They can ask the agency to check the persons credit report, which will show both their financial history and whether the person is registered at the address they have provided on their application form, before they supply them with the credit card. These checks are in place to try to stop people committing fraud by doing things like applying for a credit card at a false address.

For this reason, when you try to gain access to any sort of financial services, it is likely that a credit check will be made on you with one of the credit reference agencies. The sorts of services where a credit check will be made are:

  • Opening a bank account/savings account
  • Getting a loan
  • Applying for a credit card
  • Applying for a mortgageĀ 
  • Getting a mobile phone contract

It is important to remember that the credit reference agencies compile their own records using the Electoral Register data supplied to them; they do not come directly to the elections team to check whether or not someone is on the Register. For this reason, if you are told you are not on the Register following a credit check, it is worthwhile contacting the elections team direct so they can check the current Register for you.