At a Glance
Moving may be a significant life event and change; however, when it comes to your credit score, it does not often have much of an effect. Moving to a new address requires you to update various pieces of personal information, including your address. This will require you to update these changes with your creditors and banks associated with your credit report.
While this action does not directly subtract or add points to your credit score, one wrong move can cause severe damage. You must inform the relevant lender or bank of the address change as soon as possible, as falling behind on payments or missing entirely could cause issues with missed paperwork being sent out. Failing to inform creditors promptly can thus damage your score, so keep track of any potential mail delays and contact them as soon as possible to avoid any complications.
In this article, you’ll learn:
How does your address appear on your credit report?
Your address will appear on your credit report as it is reported to the credit reporting agencies by the financial institutions or other entities that have extended credit to you. This may include your current address and any previous addresses you have used in the past. It is crucial to ensure that the address information on your credit report is accurate, as inaccuracies can negatively affect your credit score.
Why do credit reports contain your address?
Credit reports contain your address to help identify you as the person associated with the credit report and to assist in verifying your identity. Lenders and other financial institutions can also use address information to determine whether you are a reasonable credit risk and help prevent fraud. Additionally, credit reporting agencies may use address information to match your credit report with other publicly available information, such as your employment or income information, to provide a more complete picture of your creditworthiness.
How to update the address on your credit report?
To update your address on your credit report, you can contact each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) individually and request that they update your information. You will likely need to provide proof of your new address, such as a utility bill or lease agreement. You can also update your address with creditors and financial institutions, as they may report this information to the credit bureaus. You could also try the credit bureau’s online self-service portals to update your address.
Will changing your address affect your credit?
Changing your address should not have a direct impact on your credit score. However, it’s important to ensure that all your credit accounts have your updated address on file, as your creditors will use it to mail you important information and bills. If you miss a bill or other necessary correspondence because your address is not current, it could lead to late payments or additional negative information being reported to the credit bureaus, which could negatively impact your credit score.
Also, if you move from one area to another, your credit score could be affected by changes in your credit mix, as the credit bureaus may not have updated information about your new address and credit history. So, updating your address with credit bureaus and creditors as soon as you move is essential.
Will removing old addresses impact your credit?
Removing old addresses from your credit report should not directly impact your credit score. However, it’s important to ensure that any information removed from your credit report is accurate and up-to-date. Removing an old address from your credit report that a creditor or financial institution still uses could confuse and lead to mistakes on your credit report.
Additionally, removing an old address from your credit report may also remove the credit history associated with that address. This can be a concern if you have a positive credit history associated with that address, as it will no longer be factored into your credit score.
It’s always a good idea to review your credit report regularly to ensure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. In case of any discrepancy, you can contact the credit bureau to correct it.
What actually impacts your credit?
Several factors can impact your credit, including:
- Payment history: Your credit score is heavily influenced by your payment history. Late or missed payments can harm your credit score, while a history of on-time payments can help improve it.
- Credit utilization: This is the amount of credit you currently use compared to your credit limit. A high credit utilization ratio can indicate a higher level of debt and can hurt your credit score.
- Length of credit history: A longer credit history can help improve your credit score as it shows that you have a track record of managing credit responsibly over time.
- Credit mix: A diverse mix of credit types, such as a mortgage, car loans, and credit cards, can help improve your credit score.
- New credit inquiries: Each time you apply for credit, it results in a hard inquiry on your credit report. These inquiries can harm your credit score, especially if you have many in a short period.
Credit scores are not permanent–they can change over time as your credit history and other factors change. So, it’s a good idea to monitor your credit score and stay on top of any changes by reviewing your credit reports regularly.
Learn more: How is your credit score calculated?
Addresses generally stay on your credit report for seven years from the date you move out or the last activity on that account. However, the specific time frame can vary depending on the credit bureau and the type of address.
If an address is associated with a credit account, such as a credit card or loan, it will typically remain on your credit report for seven years from the date you close the account or the last activity on the account.
An address not associated with a credit account, such as a rental address, may remain on your credit report for a shorter period, typically two years or less.
It’s also worth noting that negative information, such as a late payment or collection account, will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of the negative event, regardless of the address associated with it.
It’s important to review your credit report regularly to ensure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. If you find an address no longer accurate, you can contact the credit bureau to request that it be removed from your credit report.
Creditors can find your new address if they have your updated contact information. It is important to update your contact information with your creditors when you move, as they may need to contact you regarding your account. If you don’t update your contact information, your creditors may continue sending mail to your old address, making it difficult for you to stay on top of your account and make timely payments.
There are a few ways creditors can find your new address:
- Change of address form: You can file a change of address form with the post office, which will forward your mail to your new address for a certain period. Some creditors may be able to access this information and update your address accordingly.
- Online account: Many creditors have online account management portals where you can update your contact information.
- A phone call or letter: You can also contact your creditors directly by phone or mail to update your contact information.
It’s always a good idea to update your contact information with all of your creditors as soon as you move to ensure that you stay on top of your accounts and avoid any potential issues with missed payments or late fees.
It can take a few days to a few weeks for a credit bureau to process and update your address on your credit report, depending on how you submit the change and how busy the bureau is.
If you submit your request online through the credit bureau’s self-service portal, the process may be faster as the information can be entered and processed electronically. If you submit your request by mail, it may take longer as the bureau will need to process your request manually.
Remember that updating your address with one credit bureau does not automatically update it with the other bureaus, so you will need to contact each bureau individually. It’s also a good idea to check your credit report a few weeks after you requested the change of address to ensure that the update has been made and everything is accurate.
Overall, it’s important to update your address with the credit bureaus and creditors as soon as you move to avoid any potential issues with missed payments or late fees and ensure that your credit history is accurate.
There could be several reasons your credit score may have decreased after moving. Some possible reasons include the following:
- Late payments: If you miss a payment or have a late payment on one of your credit accounts because you didn’t update your address, it could harm your credit score.
- Credit mix: Moving to a new area can change the types of credit available to you and your credit mix. This can temporarily impact your credit score.
- Hard inquiries: If you apply for new credit, such as a loan or credit card, in your new location, it can result in a hard inquiry on your credit report. These inquiries can hurt your credit score, especially if you have many in a short period.
- Outdated credit reports: If credit bureaus don’t have your updated address, they may not have the most recent information about your credit history, which could lead to a lower credit score.
- Negative information: Sometimes, you may have negative information or outstanding debts on your credit history that you were unaware of that are associated with your previous address. As a result, the credit bureau may not have updated information on your current address, which could negatively impact your score.
Remember to regularly check your credit score and credit report and address any discrepancies or errors as soon as possible. If you believe there is an error in your credit report, you can contact the credit bureau to dispute it.