Address Information Does Not Impact Credit Scores

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Addresses have no impact on your creditworthiness or your credit scores. Your current and previous home addresses, as well as the addresses of employers or places where you may have received mail, appear on your report purely as identifying information.

Here's what you need to know about personal information on your credit report and what information does and does not impact your credit score.

Address Information on Your Credit Report

Credit bureaus and creditors use your address information and other personal information to verify your identity and to help protect you from identity theft.

Your credit report may show any address, past or present, that you've listed on an account with your name on it, even if you didn't live there. This could include post office boxes, work addresses, home addresses or the address of someone you have a joint account with.

If you find an address you don't recognize in your credit report, you should dispute it through Experian's Dispute Center. Unusual or unfamiliar information on your credit report could be a sign of fraud.

You don't need to dispute old, legitimate addresses on your credit file as they're left there for identity protection purposes and have no impact on your score.

Additional Information That Doesn't Affect Your Credit Score

Creditors use your credit score to determine how risky it is to lend to you. Your credit score can impact your ability to qualify for credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, auto loans and other forms of credit. Only factors that directly pertain to your credit history factor into calculating your score.

Personally identifying information that appears on your credit report doesn't affect your score. That includes:

  • Your employer: You may have provided employer information to a lender when you applied for credit. The lender may have in turn provided the name of your employer to the credit bureaus, leading it to appear in your report. This information is for identifying purposes only and won't impact your score. Your employment status, compensation amount and bank account balances never appear on your report and can't affect your score.
  • Personal information: Names you've used and the year of your birth appear on your credit as personal identifying information but have no impact on your score. Other personal information, such as your gender, race, national origin and marital status, doesn't appear in your credit report at all.
  • Expired negative information: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates how long information is allowed to stay on your report. Negative information like collection accounts, delinquencies, late or missed payments and Chapter 13 bankruptcies expire from your credit report in seven years, while Chapter 7 bankruptcies are automatically removed from your report after 10 years.

What Information Affects Your Credit Score?

It's a myth that your address impacts your credit score. So what does? Take a look at these five factors that impact your credit score the most to learn how to improve your score:

  1. Payment history: Your payment history—how often you pay bills on time, make late payments or don't pay at all—has the single largest impact on your score, accounting for up to 35% of your FICO® Score . FICO® Scores are used by 90% of top lenders.
  2. Credit utilization and amount of debt: Your amount of debt is the total debt you carry across all the accounts on your credit file, and your credit utilization is how much revolving credit you're using in proportion to your total available revolving credit. Credit utilization above 30% can result in greater credit score harm, and the closer you are to 0%, the better. Credit utilization and the amount of debt you carry account for 30% of your FICO® Score.
  3. Length of credit history: The age of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO® Score and is based on the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account and the average age of all of your credit accounts.
  4. Credit mix: Your credit mix is an indicator for lenders and credit card issuers of how much experience you have managing a wide range of credit products. It takes into account how many different types of accounts you have, such as credit cards, personal loans, student loans, auto loans and mortgages. Credit mix determines 10% of your FICO® Score.
  5. Recent inquiries and new credit: New accounts or recent inquiries can lead to a dip in your score, so it's best to avoid multiple new credit applications in a short period of time. Recent inquiries and new credit make up 10% of your FICO® Score.

The Bottom Line

Even though address information doesn't impact your score, it's still important to monitor the identifying information on your credit report to look for unusual activity or unfamiliar information, as this could be a sign of fraud. You can request a free copy of your credit report from Experian, and you can also sign up for Experian's free credit monitoring tool to keep track of your credit score and look for ways to improve your score.

How Good Is Your Credit Score?

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