If you’re moving house, or if you move house regularly, you might be worried that it will hurt your credit score. It’s not like moving house is stressful enough, right? Now you may be wondering if you have to worry about how it could affect your ability to get credit in the future, too!
There’s no denying your address is a really important part of your credit report. But it doesn’t affect your credit score directly. Confusing? Don’t worry! There’s lots of misunderstandings around how addresses and address changes impact your credit score. But Loqbox is here to put the record straight!
Why is my address on my credit report?
Your credit reports help lenders to establish how creditworthy you are. You have three reports, one from each of the UK’s three main credit reference agencies (CRAs): Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. And these are based on information that they hold on you about you and your financial history. You can read more about credit reference agencies: who are they, what’s the difference and who do lenders use here.
The reason your address is held on your credit report is because it forms part of your personal identity. Your name and your date of birth are also recorded. Your address is used to confirm your identity and to match all of your credit information to you. It’s really important to keep your address accurate on your credit report. One important way to do this is to make sure you’re registered on the electoral roll (if you’re eligible to vote in the UK that is. If you aren’t, you can add a notice of correction to your report to explain).
When a potential lender does a credit search on you, they will want to see that you have up-to-date and accurate personal information (among other things). They will also probably need you to have a permanent address to be accepted for credit at all. If this information is missing or showing as different on different credit reports, it is likely to cause a problem.
Does changing address or moving house affect my credit report?
Yes and no. You’ll likely see a dip in your credit score after a house move because lenders like to see stability. It isn’t the act of moving home that affects your credit report. It’s more the admin that goes with it
Moving home comes with logistical changes to things like new utility accounts being opened in your name (it’s not always possible to transfer to the same energy providers). Opening more than one account in a six month period, would likely cause your score to drop until you can prove that you pay off your bills responsibly and on schedule, before it starts to build up again.
If you are moving from a mortgaged property, it could be because you sold your previous house for less than the total value of your mortgage. You can read more about how selling your house affects your credit score here.
The most important thing to do is make sure that you have updated your address as soon as possible, registered onto the electoral roll and made sure that your new address is accurate across all three of your credit reports. This means checking in with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Does moving house often affect your credit score?
Changing your address regularly won’t change your credit score but it could affect your ability to get credit. The reason is because lenders like to see stability in your personal details. If you move house often that will show on your personal records as part of your credit report and could be a red flag.
Lenders could view your multiple address changes as a result of you not being able to keep up rent payments, or that you struggle to settle in one place. This could impact your ability to manage a loan or a credit card. These are generalised concerns and shouldn’t be too big a worry for you. But if you can show a stable and accurate address history it will always look better on your credit report!
If you want to build your credit history just by paying your rent, why not get started with Loqbox Rent? Whether you pay rent to a landlord, letting agency, local authority or your family – It’s a simple way to boost your history of credit use just by linking your monthly rent payments.
Is there an address blacklist for credit scores?
No. This is totally untrue! You may have heard that the area where you live or moving to a property with a history of bad credit will impact on your credit score. This isn’t the case. Your address just helps CRAs to identify you. Where you live isn’t factored into how your credit score is calculated.
Changing address checklist
If you’re moving house or changing your address and you’re worried about your credit report, here is a quick checklist:
- Register on the electoral roll. This is the best way to make sure that your address info is accurate and up-to-date on your credit report.
- Redirect your mail and set up automatic payments. Making sure your mail goes to your new address and getting your regular payments on direct debit will help you not miss anything important at an already busy and stressful time!
- Check your credit report. Make sure your address information is accurate and the same on all of your credit reports. You can check your credit score before and after you move house for free and without hurting it by using one of our recommended services:
* Little shout-out to say that if you sign up for ClearScore using this link we get a small commission
How to build your credit after moving house
If you find yourself feeling a little fed up looking at your credit reports after your move – Loqbox can help! Get started with a £2.50 a week membership, and gain access to our credit-building tools. If you’re renting (and this applies to paying rent to a landlord, local authority or even to a family member), Loqbox Rent can help you to build a steady history of credit using those monthly payments. Read more about it here.