How do we get brand new house onto credit checks?

Dear James,

We have just built a new house, and applied for a new credit card. We have been refused as they cannot verify our address. How can we update our address with yours and other agencies?

Michael, Grantham

Dear Michael,

In the absence of a national register of addresses in the UK, credit reference agencies like Experian use two sources of information to guide credit checks. One is the Postcode Address File, which Royal Mail uses to organise the delivery of our post, and the other is the electoral roll (also called the electoral register or the register of electors), which is compiled by local councils primarily for voting purposes. So, to help with future credit checks, you need to make sure your address is registered at both of these sources. Most local councils have just published their new electoral registers actually, but don’t worry that you’ve missed out until next year. Councils now update the registers on a monthly basis, so simply contact yours to arrange to register for the next update. Your information should then pop up on your credit reports a few weeks later. You should also check your address on the Postcode Address File. If your address hasn’t yet been registered you can simply follow the on-screen guidance to put this right. Again, this information will then filter through to the credit reference agencies as well as a host of other organisations that use it. Be careful to make sure your address is formatted in the same way on both the PAF and the electoral roll. Any differences can also hinder future credit checks. And be sure to check out our fact sheet on the electoral register, which will help you better understand how this information is used in credit and identity checks. (April 2012)


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