Why can’t I get a 0% interest credit card?

Are you trying to move your credit debt over to a 0% credit card with no luck? There could be one factor that you’ve not taken into consideration: whether you’re registered to vote.

 
You might assume that you are as it is compulsory, but after the government changed the rules to individual registration as opposed to household registration last year, 800,000 people have fallen off the electoral roll.*

 

But why does it matter?

 
Not being on the electoral register can cause you credit problems, as lenders use it to check your name and address. If they can’t do that, this then affects your credit score, as they cannot confirm your identity and you become more of a risk. 
 
A lower credit score means you won’t qualify for the best deals such as introductory offers and 0% balance transfers and it can mean you’re given a smaller credit limit or simply rejected.
 
It can be even worse if you are trying to get out of debt, a poor score could limit you to so-called “bad” credit cards or credit-building cards, which charge high interest rates ranging from 24% to 60% APR. The interest rate is higher to compensate the lender for the extra risk. 
 
Even if you see some good deals online, lenders don’t have to give you the interest rate they are advertising (the representative APR). You may find that whilst you are offered the loan or card, it’s not at the rate you applied for.
 
Registering to vote is actually very simple and quick, and very much worth the effort. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and you are over 18, you can register to vote online here. You will need to have a fixed address, unless you are a patient in a mental health facility, homeless or remanded in custody. 
 
Remember not to untick the box that adds you to the open register. If you untick this, you can still vote, but the credit referencing agencies will not be able to use the electoral register to confirm your address. 
 
Take a look at our page on checking your credit score
 
*Data from the Guardian newspaper