During the process of applying for a mortgage you will have a credit check, usually called either an ‘agreement in principle’ (AIP) or ‘decision in principle’ (DIP). Most lenders will use a combination of the data entered on the agreement in principle form and the information they find on your credit file and give you an overall score.
This is not the same as your experian or equifax score
A popular misconception amongst potential borrowers is that if they have a high number on their credit report it means they will have no problem in obtaining a mortgage. Experian & Equifax are the two most popular credit referencing agencies in the UK and they hold all of your credit activity, voters roll information, financial associations and other useful information on you that the lenders can see when they carry out their checks.
Whilst it is true that you are more likely to be approved for credit than you would if your score was lower, lenders still use their own scoring mechanisms to arrive at a decision to lend or not and some factors are very important in terms of your overall score.
The importance of being on the voters roll
Due to data protection rules lenders won’t be able to ever tell you why you have been declined for credit and will most often ask you to obtain a copy of your credit file. It’s a standard response and unfortunately not a very helpful one when you are trying to find out why you have been declined. It is therefore important that you position yourself in the best way you can before applying for any type of credit.
For the purpose of this article we are just talking about being on the voters roll because we believe it can, at times, be the difference between a pass and a fail and is a quick and easy fix.
How do I register on the voters roll?
It’s as easy as filling out an online form, print it, sign and send to the stated address.
Go to aboutmyvote and look for the link ‘Register to vote’. You will then be taken through a simple process of 5 steps before being able to print off the data you have entered ready to send to your local office.
Make sure you tick the box in step 3 so that your name is not included on the edited register. There are two versions of the register – the full version which is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit and the edited version which is available for general sale and is used for commercial activities such as marketing.
Of course if you are one of the two people that does wish to make your information available to third parties then by all means leave it unticked.
Who can register to vote?
- over 17 years of age (but you must be 18 to actually vote)
- a UK, Republic of Ireland or qualifying Commonwealth citizen. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not require such leave.
- a citizen of a European Union country living in the UK
- a citizen of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK
So there you have it folks, if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of obtaining an agreement in principle get yourself registered.