The research found 25% of 18 – 34 year olds have no idea that not being on the electoral roll affects their ability to buy a house, secure a phone contract, or a bank loan.
With the April 20th deadline for voter registration fast approaching up to half of 18-24 year-olds (around 3 million people) have not yet registered to vote.
This comes despite the fact that it is quick and easy to register to vote online with the whole process taking little under five minutes.
Not only are they missing out on important political rights, this could impact their finances as lenders use electoral register details to verify names and addresses of applicants, which in turn impacts their credit scores and eligibility for credit.
Young confused about how voter registration affects them
The research also shows widespread confusion about how credit reports affect everyday financial choices.
Over half (54%) don’t believe credit reports impact their ability to secure a mobile phone contract, while around a quarter (23%) don’t think it affects their ability to buy a house, and one in three don’t think it matters when applying for credit cards or loans.
Instead, nearly half believe age (45%), marital status (35%) and even Facebook profiles (26%) are key contributors to their credit report, when in fact these things have no impact.
Just under 1 million young people wiped off electoral roll
Recent changes to the electoral registration system has further compounded the problem for young people.
According to the Electoral Commission, 920,000 young people have been wiped off the electoral roll, mainly due to parents and universities not being able to register them on their behalf.
Not registering to vote is costing the young future choices
David Mann, money expert at uSwitch.com, says:
“Political apathy is crippling young people’s future financial choices.
“The fact is, you can never have an ‘excellent’ credit score without being registered to vote, as lenders use this information to verify the names and addresses of applicants.
“A poor credit rating can be the final nail in the coffin for young people who are already facing challenging conditions, with youth unemployment at an all-time high and many trapped in ‘generation rent’.
“More needs to be done to educate people about the significance of credit reports and how they affect everyday choices”
We have launched ‘It’s My Report’ to help young people to take charge of their financial CV and be able to not only better manage their money, but ensure they can secure their financial future.”
Join the it’s my report campaign
To help reform the credit scoring industry and make credit reports transparent with free access to to a full report at least once a year, you can sign the petition on the It’s My Report page, as well as learning more about why credit reports matter.