Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past year you will be aware, if not a bit bored of hearing, about the EU Referendum – the single most important vote this country has had in decades. With an expected turnout of 80%+ set to vote, it has captured the imagination of the UK public like no general election could ever hope to achieve.
According to a recent study by leading prepaid account provider icount Money, a paltry 15% of 18-24 year olds think registering to vote will help to improve their credit score. Pretty scandalous when it is one of the biggest factor a lender uses to decide whether they will offer you credit or not.
UK getting more credit score savvy
A rush to register themselves to vote in the EU Referendum has inadvertently helped to improve the credit score of millions of people. Only last week the deadline had to be extended as the sheer number of people attempting to register on the official GOV.UK site caused it to crash, showing just how many people have registered for the first time.
In the UK we are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to improving our credit rating, with over a third of registering to vote specifically with improving our credit score in mind and a third of us believing being registered to vote will have a positive impact on our credit score.
More education needed
Regionally things differ quite considerably. Welsh residents are the biggest believers with 42% agreeing that being registered to vote has a positive effect on your credit score. Residents of the West Midlands are the next biggest, where over a third think the same.
But it is the North East where the stats start to get scary, just a fifth of Brits living in the North East believe that registering to vote has any impact on your credit score.
There has been an incredible push to get people to register to vote in time for the referendum, which is great. However, it does irk me slightly that the same urgency cannot be found when it comes to educating people of the benefit it has to you in a financial sense. The study does at least show that the majority of the people living in the UK are being proactive and taking action to improve their credit scores across the UK. But in 2016 surely we should expect all those figure to be 90% and above? Until we are given some form of financial education the trend is set to continue.
When did you first realise registering to vote affected your credit score?
This post was written in collaboration with icount Money, the award winning prepaid account provider.
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.