Address links: why and how

Posted by Neil Greenhill in Credit Reports on 18 January 2017 - Neil is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

It may surprise you to learn that the credit agencies don’t keep an official list of addresses where you have lived – in fact no such register is compiled in the UK. Credit agencies are only made aware of an address change when you change the address on one of your existing accounts or where you supply an address as a past address when making an application for credit.

Occasionally a delivery address may also be recorded, for instance where a mobile handset is delivered to an address other than your own. These addresses are recorded on the credit file as linked addresses. The address link itself cannot affect your credit score but any credit information held in your name at the address may be returned on your credit file and this would contribute to your credit score.

Linked addresses are important, as they mean your credit file follows you when you move property – without them you would have to build a new credit history each time you moved address and this would make it difficult to obtain credit for much needed purchases after you move address.

They also help ensure that lenders view your full credit history – the more information a lender can find, the more certain the lender can be that the credit file represents how you use credit. This certainty means that lenders are better able to rely on the information when deciding applications and are therefore more likely to grant the application in question.

Linked address records remain on the credit file indefinitely. However, so long as there is no negative past credit history in your name at the linked address, they will have no impact on your credit score, and if there is a wealth of positive credit history at the linked address then this information will boost your score. For this reason when checking your credit file you should not be overly concerned where there are old linked addresses which you are aware of. These entries generally can’t be removed.

The only time you need be concerned is where there is an address link which you don’t recognise. Often where an incorrect linked address has been recorded the entry will have been recorded in error. For instance, it may be as a result of a typing error or the address may be very similar to a genuine linked address. However in some instances they can be indicative of fraud. For this reason we would recommend checking linked addresses and where there are entries you don’t recognise contacting the lender who recorded it (if this information is available) to find out any further details they may have. Also check the accounts/searches section of the report to ensure you recognise all the entries, particularly any recorded at the suspect linked address.

Should you find an incorrect linked address recorded on your credit file then the entries are fairly easily removed. Just contact the lender which recorded the incorrect address link, or where this isn’t provided just contact us directly and we can help you to have the entry removed.

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