Credit referencing and the electoral register
The full register of electors can legally be sold to registered credit rating agencies (CRAs) who use it to update information held on individuals' credit reference files. The full register is not the same as the open register, which can be bought by any person, company or organisation.
Your inclusion in/exclusion from the open register has no bearing on an agency's ability to see if you are registered at your address.
What to do if a credit reference agency has your wrong address
The register is updated on a monthly basis. However, credit agencies don't directly access the information held on our register of electors. They purchase the data and update their own systems. It can, therefore, take them some time to update their records. If you have had a credit application rejected because a credit reference agency says that you are not on the electoral register, then take the following action:
Step 1: Email us
Email email@example.com to see if you are on the current electoral register.
Step 2: Contact the credit reference agency
If you are on the electoral register, contact the appropriate credit reference agency. Read more about credit on the ICO's website.
If you're not registered, your quickest option is to register online.
Updating your information with a credit agency
If you have recently registered to vote at your address, or have changed your details at an address where you are already registered and would like to know when your name will be added to the electoral register (or amended), visit the Electoral Commission's website for a list of publication dates.
You may have to allow a few weeks or months before your registration is reflected in your credit score.
Disputes with credit reference agencies
If you find that your electoral roll information is inaccurate or missing from your credit file, the first thing you should do is raise this as a dispute with the CRA that you obtained your credit file from, by contacting them directly. They can, in the first instance, try and match you to the correct information.
There are 'easy' mistakes to identify such as an obvious mis-keying of a house number or misspelling of a name and in these cases, the correct information can be merged or separated as appropriate. The CRA should reply to let you know that they have resolved the issue or, if they are unable to, explaining why.
Visit the ICO's website for more information about credit referencing.