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Can I remove old addresses from my credit report?

Answer

If your credit report contains inaccurate addresses, you can use a dispute to remove them. You don’t have to remove old addresses simply because you no longer live there. Some applications will ask for your previous address as part of the identity verification process, if applying for insurance or renting an apartment where they require it.

In an effort to be more helpful, some people have posted information advising readers that they can use their credit report to remove old addresses, which they may no longer be associated with. However, this is a dangerous practice because it might result in somebody else – e.g., a criminal – using your Social Security number (SSN) and other personal information for nefarious purposes . It’s not wrong to want an accurate credit report, but we strongly advise against anyone using their report for this purpose. Instead, contact the data furnishers individually directly if you need to update or verify your address or other information on file.

This is especially important if you’re moving from one apartment complex to another within the same town. You don want to show up on a credit report as having moved from one location to another.

If you’ve recently moved, you can remove old addresses by contacting the data furnishers directly:

1) Obtain new account information for each of your credit accounts

(e.g., store cards, department store cards, installment loans, bank accounts). Get both the billing and mailing address if you don’t already have it.

2) Call or e-mail each card issuer/creditor individually to let them know that you’ve switched addresses since receiving your last statement .

They are required by law to keep your correct information on file so they should be able to change their records with little trouble.

3) Use an “identity theft report”

(i.e., a police report or official government document) to prove that you’ve moved within the last 60 days . In other words, if your mail is forwarded, this may not be an issue.

4) If you have renters insurance

would like to keep your old address on file as “emergency contact” information, now is a good time to call them too. Be sure you let them know that while their records should be updated with your new address before they run another policy under it, though.

5) After you’ve taken care of your financial accounts

contact the credit reporting agencies . This is where it gets tricky because they’re only allowed to remove information that’s related to an address on file. They may not be able to provide you with a new address since they don’t have one for you already. However, they should be able to remove your old address if you’re using this method.

6) If you can’t get any of this done yourself, consider hiring a credit repair service or contacting one on your own . There are many out there that will do the hard work for you in exchange for a fee. However, we don’t encourage people to use these services unless absolutely necessary because a lot of them are scams and end up hurting your credit instead.

7) Follow these steps as well:

a) File an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Call 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) from anywhere in the U.S., or file one online at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft if you’re not in the U.S.. The FTC will attach a file to your case and assign an ID number that you may use when working with creditors, credit bureaus, etc.

b) File an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Call 1-877-438-7419 from anywhere in the U.S., or submit one online at http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field if you’re not in the U.S.. The FBI will send you a copy for your records . You’ll also receive a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) report number which is used to aid law enforcement officials across the country who need to verify an identity theft victim’s report.

c) Report the crime to your local law enforcement office or police station as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so. If you know who is using your information, contact their local law enforcement agency instead of yours . For example, if someone is opening credit card accounts with counterfeit checks in Florida, call the Miami Police Department directly instead of your local police department (they won’t be able to do anything since it occurred outside of their jurisdiction). Save all paperwork and forms for this process. It helps show that you’ve taken action even though nothing may get resolved right away.

d) File a complaint with the FTC at https://complaint.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx to register your complaint with the FTC and help law enforcement agencies investigate identity theft cases across the country. This number is toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

8) Depending on how many accounts were opened in your name

you may also want to consider hiring an attorney . This does not mean that this person will be taking legal action against you for any debts incurred by the criminal but rather working on behalf of someone who has been harmed in order to recover their losses.

9) Consider contacting a credit bureau.

Even though removing information related to an address can only be done through them , despite having reported it as fraudulent activity using the above methods, they may be able to help you in other ways.

10) If the scammer used your SSN to get a job or illegally obtain government benefits

report it to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Social Security Administration at http://oig.ssa.gov/report . Your call will remain confidential and they can take action against any organization receiving fraudulent income on your behalf (or even issue a partial refund of benefits if they’ve already been paid out).

11) Contact one of these agencies as well:

a) AARP Fraud Watch Network (AARP Foundation): 1-888-687-2277 / [email protected] – Investigates identity theft cases affecting consumers 50+ years old. They may be able to offer additional assistance and resources.

b) Federal Trade Commission (FTC): https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ – For identity theft or fraud complaints not specifically covered by other agencies . This agency does not get involved with individual disputes, but rather violations of federal laws governing trade and commerce such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, etc.. The FTC works closely with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), another government agency that gets involved in individual disputes against banks, credit card companies, student loan providers, mortgage lenders, debt collectors, Internet services providers and more. Both agencies are now accessible through a single complaint form when initially contacting either one.

c) Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 1-877-438-4338 / Contact the FTC immediately if you’re told that you need to pay money to collect a federal benefit or government grant . They also handle identity theft complaints related to health insurance. The agency works closely with the CFPB, another government agency.

d) Federal Communications Commission (FCC)/Telecommunications Act of 1996: 1-888-225-5322 – If your phone number was used for fraudulent purposes, you can request that this information be “blocked” by contacting the FCC . This includes wireless and landlines.

e) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx – For complaints about Internet-facilitated crimes or online fraud , including identity theft . You can also file a complaint directly with this agency by going to their website and completing the form.

f) Missouri Attorney General: 1-800-392-8222 / https://ago.mo.gov/forms/consumercomplaintform.php – If you want to submit a complaint against someone who has taken your information in order to commit identity theft, but the crime was committed on non-Missouri soil , then contact this office because they do get involved on such matters .

g) Local police station : Contact your local law enforcement if reporting an address change related incident (particularly when it involves multiple addresses and you have no way of knowing which one was used for fraud).

h) Student loan providers : If a scammer has acquired your personal information in order to apply for student loans in your name, contact the company providing the loan (then explain that they’re actually dealing with a fraudster) . This will not be considered a voluntary resignation and they should offer assistance on how to correct this matter.

12) Report it to the FTC’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3):

http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx – IC3 is an online resource that allows any individual to report cases of cybercrime without having to directly involve law enforcement or other government agencies. Their website offers detailed steps on how to report a cybercrime.

13) Contact one of these agencies for additional assistance and resources:

a) Office of Missouri Attorney General: 1-800-392-8222 / https://ago.mo.gov/forms/consumercomplaintform.php – If you want to submit a complaint against someone who has taken your information in order to commit identity theft, but the crime was committed on non-Missouri soil , then contact this office because they do get involved on such matters .

b) Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 1-877-438-4338 / http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft See website above for contact details if reporting an address change related incident (particularly when it involves multiple addresses and you have no way of knowing which one was used for fraud).

c) Federal Communications Commission (FCC)/Telecommunications Act of 1996: 1-888-225-5322 – If your phone number was used for fraudulent purposes, you can request that this information be “blocked” by contacting the FCC . This includes wireless and landlines.

d) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx – For complaints about Internet-facilitated crimes or online fraud , including identity theft . You can also file a complaint directly with this agency by going to their website and completing the form.

e) Missouri Attorney General: 1-800-392-8222 / https://ago.mo.gov/forms/consumercomplaintform.php – If you want to submit a complaint against someone who has taken your information in order to commit identity theft, but the crime was committed on non-Missouri soil , then contact this office because they do get involved on such matters .

f) Local police station : Contact your local law enforcement if reporting an address change related incident (particularly when it involves multiple addresses and you have no way of knowing which one was used for fraud).

g) Student loan providers : If a scammer has acquired your personal information in order to apply for student loans in your name, contact the company providing the loan (then explain that they’re actually dealing with a fraudster) . This will not be considered a voluntary resignation and they should offer assistance on how to correct this matter.

14) Contact your local DMV/license bureau and get a new driver’s license:

a) The issuing DMV typically does not require you to file police reports or other documentation in order to acquire a new license; however, it won’t hurt anything to contact them beforehand and ask what their policies are . If you need additional help locating your state’s DMV website, let me know in the comments section below.

b) When acquiring a replacement license , make sure you bring all of the following items with you: Your old, fraudulent license (and any documentation concerning the fraud that you have received from the issuing DMV). You will need to do this so that the new license can be properly flagged as “fraudulent” by your state’s DMV.

Documentation confirming your identity . The easiest way to do this is with a government-issued photo ID and an original birth certificate. If you don’t have either of these items, then try contacting your local social security office for assistance in getting a replacement social security card and contacting one of these organizations for help locating other documents.

Can I remove old addresses from my credit report?

If your credit report contains inaccurate addresses, you can use a dispute to remove them. You don’t have to remove old addresses simply because you no longer live there. Some applications will ask for your previous address as part of the identity verification process, if applying for insurance or renting an apartment where they require it.

How do I remove multiple addresses from my credit report?

You can dispute this address with Experian by mail, phone, or the internet. As long as the address is not associated with any of your accounts, Experian should be able to remove it at your request.

How long do previous addresses stay on my credit report?

An address link is a historical record that shows lenders have reported your address change to credit agencies. They will remain on your credit file forever, unless they are wrong and you can apply to remove them.

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