Have you lived in a few different rental properties? Your old address could be impacting your credit rating. ®
About 29% of private renters have moved house three or more times in the last five years. In London, that figure rises to 37%.* That’s more house moves than we’ve had hot dinners!
Moving is sometimes a necessity. Whether the landlord is selling up, you’re not keen on your new neighbourhood, or you need more space to cook your own hot dinners, it happens.
But moving house isn’t as easy as just finding somewhere new to live, packing up and shifting all of your stuff. There are lots of other things you need to do, from changing over insurances, redirecting your mail and even protecting your credit rating.
My credit rating? What’s that got to do with moving house?
When you apply for credit, lenders will usually ask for your address history over the last three years.
They’ll then compare this information with the details held about you by the credit reference agencies (CRAs) to make sure it all matches up.
This means that the addresses on your credit application and your credit report need to be the same. Lenders may also check your address against the driving licence database, so that needs to be up to date too.
If they don’t all match, lenders may think you’re more of a risk to lend to. They don’t like instability, and if your addresses don’t match, they could think you’ve moved around a lot over the last few years. And this means that they could reject you when you apply.
Don’t worry though – there are things you can do to protect your credit rating
If you’ve moved recently, or think you’re going to move soon, follow our tips below, which should help limit the damage:
1. Update your bank
Your bank needs your new address so they can update both their own details and the CRAs – this means your credit report will be updated too.
2. Update any lenders you currently have credit with
Whether it’s a credit card, loan, store card or even if you have a something on finance, like a car, you need to let the lender know. Like your bank, they’ll update their own details and the CRAs.
3. Register to vote at your new address straight away
Lenders use the electoral register to confirm you are who you say you are and that the details you have given them are correct.
This helps them avoid problems with fraud and identity theft – and the more security the lenders have, the more likely they are to lend to you.
4. Update your driving licence with your new address
Lenders will also check the details that you put on your application form and the ones on your credit report against the driving licence databases to make sure they’re the same. This is another way the lenders can check you are who you say you are.