How to Remove Old Addresses From Credit Report

  • Blog
  • How to Remove Old Addresses From Credit Report
22 Apr, 2024
Daniel Cohen
7 min
407
outdated information on credit report

Everything on your credit report needs to be up-to-date, including personal info. Here’s how to remove old addresses.

You’ve applied for a loan, mortgage, or credit card. You’re shocked when the lender denies that application. You’re even more stunned when the denial results from address confusion. Old addresses can be a real problem on your credit report. Read this article to learn about how this problem arises and how you can fix it to salvage your credit.

Lenders, employers, mortgage companies, landlords, property managers, automobile financiers, credit card companies, and anyone else who needs to assess your creditworthiness will pay a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) for your credit report. These lenders need to know your financial history, your relationship with credit, and your general financial wherewithal before they lend you money. You might think it doesn’t matter what your address is as long as your credit report accurately reflects your financial situation. You might also think that because these CRAs know so much about you - including how much your car payment is and what you spent at the department store last week - they should also know where you live.

Both of these assumptions are wrong. An accurate address on your credit report is critical, and while the CRAs might know what you spend on rent, they often need special updates concerning where you live.

It might seem like a small detail, but checking your credit reports for accuracy and removing old addresses are essential for financial health and avoiding financial disaster. Incorrect or outdated information on your credit report, including old addresses, can sometimes lead to confusion, indicate identity theft, or lead to other reporting errors.

As consumer lawyers, we see and hear the lost opportunities, financial damage, and injustice that can happen when a person’s credit report is inaccurate. This article explains why updating your address information is essential and offers instructions for removing old addresses from your credit report.

Steps to Remove Outdated Information on a Credit Report

The three leading CRAs are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They gather and maintain data and distribute your credit report. The credit report contains your personal information, credit accounts, inquiries, and public records. The CRAs sell your credit report to the lenders and other financial institutions that request it. These lenders and financial institutions use this report to assess your creditworthiness when applying for loans, credit cards, or rental agreements.

Contact Credit Reporting Agencies

The first step is to get a copy of your credit reports from the three major CRAs. There are dozens of potentially relevant CRAs and background check companies. Each and every one of these might have old and outdated information. Removing old addresses from every credit report company is likely too time-consuming to be beneficial. In your efforts to remove an old and outdated address from your credit report, you focus on the big three - Equifax, Experian, And TransUnion. 

One of the rights a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives consumers is the right to obtain a free credit report. Currently, consumers can get a free credit report every week from the three main CRAs. To request a copy of your credit report, visit the CRA website. Typically, you can request your credit report online, via mail, or by telephone.

When your credit report arrives, review it carefully. Identify any old or incorrect addresses associated with old lenders or outdated debt. Review everything. Identify all outdated information, more than seven years old, or altogether inaccurate. 

Even small and seemingly insignificant errors or outdated information can create significant issues. For example, an outdated address can result in someone else’s debt being attributed to you. When a lender sees this, they may deny your loan application based on your perceived credit report. Old information on credit reports has the same effect.

Talk to Lenders

Old student loans, old late payments, old charge-offs, old medical bills, old collections actions, old information of any kind, and outdated information of any sort can harm you.

While many types of inaccurate information can be wrongly reported on a credit report, an incredibly infuriating kind is obsolete (or old, no longer relevant) information. Under the FCRA, certain debts should not be listed on your report after seven years (or ten years, for some bankruptcy cases). Among those are accounts sent to collections or charged off, civil lawsuits and judgments, paid tax liens, Chapter 13 Bankruptcies, and other debts. For example, if you defaulted on your student loans and were sent to collections, the CRA should only report those defaults for about seven years.

The FCRA was enacted to protect consumers from harm caused by old or paid debts reported on their credit reports or background checks. That's why it specifies a timeline after which your credit report should not include certain delinquencies. This means that a statute of limitations is included in the FCRA that prohibits reporting old debts. Reporting certain debts beyond that statute of limitations is thus in violation of the FCRA. It is critical to note that while outdated information cannot be reported on your credit report, debt collectors may still be able to collect on that debt.

If the old address is tied to a specific account on your credit report, contact that creditor or lender directly to update your address in their records. This ensures that future reports to the credit bureaus reflect your current address and is an extra safeguard to making sure old dresses do not appear.

Filing Disputes When It Is Necessary

Just as importantly, if you find an old or incorrect address, you can file a dispute with the CRAs. If you determine that your credit report contains outdated information, you should first dispute the information with the CRA that produced the report. If all three major CRAs report it, send each agency a dispute letter. The credit reporting bureaus will notify the entity that reported that debt to them (the debt holder – the debt collector or loan servicer) of the issue. Under the FCRA, the credit reporting agencies have 30 days from receipt of your dispute to investigate and correct the issue. They are also required to inform you of the results of their investigation.

You might be wondering how to dispute credit reports successfully. The first step is for your dispute to be in writing. Do not dispute the reporting over the phone or on the credit reporting agencies’ websites, as that will be more difficult to prove in a potential lawsuit. You should send the dispute by certified U.S. mail. This way, while it may take longer, you can keep track of the dispute letter, know when the CRA received it, and preserve your rights to sue the CRA. As far as the content of the dispute, keep it brief. Refrain from any unnecessary details, but give the credit reporting agencies enough information to understand the problem and correct it. Of course, include your personal information and enough information about the account they are erroneously reporting so that the credit reporting agencies can find it in your file. Remember to always keep records of everything related to your dispute and any interaction you have with Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

You can contact a Fair Credit Reporting Act lawyer at Consumer Attorneys at any time. We know disputes with CRAs and help you write your dispute letter. We will also assess your case. In some circumstances, legal action against the CRA may be appropriate.

What Can Happen with Your Credit After Changing an Old Address?

Regularly updating your personal information, including your address, ensures that your credit report remains accurate, that you receive all financial communications, that lenders receive accurate information, and you avoid some of the potential consequences of outdated information on credit reports.

If you file a dispute with the CRAs, the FCRA requires that they investigate, fix the outdated information (whether it’s an old address or outdated information regarding late payments), and let you know the results. If a CRA does not do this, contact Consumer Attorneys.

Why Is It Important To Remove Old Personal Information From Your Credit Report?

  • Accuracy. Removing old personal information ensures that all personal information is accurate and up-to-date. This is a critical step in maintaining the integrity of your crest report.
  • Fraud prevention. Removing outdated information, including old addresses, can thwart fraud prevention. Criminals and bad actors may look for a more vulnerable target when they see you actively participating in your credit and financial health.
  • Obtaining credit. Lenders and creditors often cross-reference the address you provide on applications with the one on your credit report. Discrepancies might cause delays, issues with approval, or someone else’s debt misattributed to you.

When Can Incorrect Information Indicate Identity Theft?

Incorrect information on your credit report can indicate identity theft if you notice unexplained entries in the financial section of your credit report. These entries can include credit accounts you did not open, hard inquiries you did not make, or debts you do not recognize. These discrepancies suggest that someone has fraudulently used your personal information to obtain credit in your name. You should contact the three major CRAs and put a freeze on your accounts if you see this. Then contact us.

Contact Us for Further Assistance!

We have decades of experience helping consumers navigate issues and disputes with the CRAs. We are proud of the way we hold consumer reporting agencies accountable for treating consumers with the reasonable care that the FCRA requires. Contact us when you detect anything amiss with your credit report. One of our credit report attorneys will be happy to speak with you.

Call us at 1-877-615-1725. Email us at [email protected]. Visit our website and fill out a contact form or chat with a live representative online.

Share

Frequently Asked Questions

image
About the author
Daniel Cohen
See more post

Daniel Cohen is the Founder of Consumer Attorneys. Daniel manages the firm’s branding, marketing, client intake and business development efforts. Since 2017, he is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the National Consumer Law Center. Mr. Cohen is a nationally-recognized practitioner of consumer protection law. He has a wealth of proven legal experience in the US in: collective claims, representing visually impaired people who believe their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated in both the physical and digital environments, corporate governance and dispute resolution. Read more

Contact Us

Attorney Advertising, Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A Similar Outcome. This website is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

© 2024 Consumer Attorneys PLC. All Rights Reserved.