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Registering to vote and four other ways to help your credit rating

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If you want to exercise your right to vote in future elections, you have to make sure your name is on the electoral roll.

But did you know that being included on the official list of people allowed to vote also helps strengthen your credit rating?

Every time you apply for credit such as a mortgage, insurance or credit card, the provider checks your credit record. If your rating isn’t up to scratch there’s a good chance you’ll get turned down, which in turn makes your rating worse still.

But there are things you can do to improve your rating. Here are five to get you started.

1. Register to vote

If you aren’t registered to vote, it makes it difficult for lenders to verify your identity. Getting on the electoral roll helps here. Make sure you re-register if you move house.

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2. Stop applying for credit

If you’re repeatedly getting turned down for credit, stop! Your best bet is to get your report fixed as every time you get rejected, it’s damaging your score.

 

3. Check for mistakes

You can get copies of your report from all three of the main credit agencies for a certain fee, though there are also ways to check them for free. It’s worth looking at them to see if there are any errors such as old addresses or a fraudulent application for credit in your name.

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4. Close down credit you don’t use

Lenders look to see what you have available. If there are cards you don’t – and won’t – use, close them down. That doesn’t mean just chop up the card, though you should do that too. Call the provider and tell them you want to cancel the card.

5. Pay on time

From credit card bills to mortgages, making payments on time is a way to avoid black marks. It tells the lender that you’re a safe and sensible borrower, and that makes you less of a risk.

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