Why Is My Old Address on my Credit Report?
It doesn’t strike anyone as odd to see an old loan, credit card or any other old credit accounts on their credit reports. But if you see an old address, one you hardly remember, it may cause you to wonder. How are these old addresses acquired by credit bureaus?
What Information Is on Your Credit Report?
Loan and credit information is not the only thing found on your credit report. It also contains personal information that verifies your identity. You will find all your previous and current addresses, previous and current employers, birthday and name.
Why Would an Old Address Be on a Credit Report?
All the addresses where you have received bills before will show up on the credit report—more so loan and credit card statements. When the information is updated by creditors, the address information is also updated. If, for instance, your billing address changes and you inform your credit card issuer, they will report to credit bureaus. Your new address then gets added to your report.
The credit bureaus have a record of all your addresses, previous and current. They don’t delete old addresses when you relocate. What they do is update the credit report so it shows what your current address is, based on the reports of your creditors.
Fortunately, your address has no effect on your credit score. It doesn’t determine whether or not creditors accept your applications. Old addresses may be on your report because they don’t hurt your score.
Most outdated information falls off your report after a while—but old addresses remain. So you may find all the addresses where you’ve received bills or lived on your credit report.
What If the Wrong Address Is Listed?
Sometimes, your credit report may contain an address that you never lived at or show that you lived somewhere longer than you did. This could be as a result of identity theft or credit card fraud. Go through your entire credit report slowly and thoroughly, checking for any accounts that don’t belong to you. Go an extra mile and assess your credit card statements. See if there are unauthorized charges. Check also the billing address.
If there is a case of identity theft, report to the credit bureaus and creditors immediately for the fraudulent accounts to be cleared. It is important to add a fraud alert so the case never repeats itself in the future.
This fraud alert ensures that potential creditors go an extra step to confirm your identity. There is also the option of placing a security freeze—it is free in the U.S. It locks your credit report and prevents new credit inquiries.
Additionally, you can have inaccurate addresses removed from your credit report by using a credit report dispute.
Note: don’t rush to remove your old addresses. Sometimes they are used to confirm your identity.
There’s no need for you to report your current address to credit bureaus. Lenders and creditors have your current billing address and they report to the bureaus.