What is the significance of the electoral roll with regard to getting a loan?

The Electoral Commission estimates that at least 6m people were not registered to vote in Britain in December 2010.

Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, said: “The revelation that nearly six million eligible electors are missing from the voter register and excluded from the rights and duties that flow from it is a disaster for British democracy.” But not only is is a disaster for British democracy it also poses big problems for the individuals not registered when they attempt to apply for credit such as a personal loan. Some banks and other financial institutions will refuse to grant you a loan if your credit report shows you are not registered to vote at your current address.

Lenders use the electoral roll to validate the name and address details you provide on the application form. If you apply for a loan and are not registered on the electoral roll at your current address, it is possible you could be turned down simply because of that, even if everything else is in order.

A lack of voter registration appears to be particularly prevalent amongst young adults. Government figures reveal that almost a half of 18- to 24-year-olds are not on the register, and in some regions only a third of 16- to 17-year-olds are listed ahead of their entitlement to vote for the first time. As a response, in August 2013, the government encouraged community groups and organisations across the UK to come up with innovative ways to encourage voter registration  in return for funding being awarded.

Previous generations have fought long and hard with huge loss of life among young adults during the two world wars to preserve and improve our democracy. It could be argued that we owe it to the people who suffered the ultimate sacrifice in preserving our freedoms that we should exercise our right to vote.

It really is straightforward to register and it is one simple measure you can take to increase your chances of being accepted for credit. Visit aboutmyvote.co.uk for details on how to register.