Credit reference agencies

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 a CRA’s ability to see if you are registered at your address.

The Register is updated on a monthly basis (except in October and November). Any newly added electors or changes to an existing elector's details made in a particular month’s Register are then sent to the following CRAs: Experian, Equifax, Callcredit and Crediva.

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), publication dates are available here.

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.

Further information about Credit Referencing is available on the Information Commissioner’s website.