Don’t forget your credit file when you move house

Credit reference agency Callcredit warns that people are at risk from identity fraud and being refused credit when they move home if they don't move their credit file.

Official figures show that quarters two and three are the most popular times for moving home in the UK with 51.8 per cent of house moves taking place between April and September over the last five years.

Homeowners who fail to check their credit file before they move and register themselves on the Electoral Roll once they have moved are at risk from:

Identity fraud - a fraudster could obtain enough financial information about you from your rubbish to run up debts at your old address without your knowledge. People who just cut up cards and don't tell their lender are particularly at risk from this type of fraud.
Credit refusal - a person's credit history has to add up to the lender when you apply for credit, if you don't appear on the Electoral Roll at your current address it will make it more difficult to get credit.

Callcredit director Alison Nicholson warns:

"Moving house is a stressful enough time as it is. People don't want to leave themselves open to identity fraud for the sake of some simple administration of their credit file. Nor do they want to find they're unable to buy the unexpected things they need for their new home because they haven't done something as simple as register at their new address."

How to prepare your credit file for a move
  • Check your credit file online.
  • Inform the lender of any unused credit facilities that can be closed.
  • Do not apply for credit you do not need just in case - ask your lender for an agreement in principle instead.
How to move your credit file
  • Register on the Electoral Roll at your new address immediately.
  • Inform all lenders of your change of address.
  • Contact the Royal Mail and have your mail re-directed to your new address.
  • Consider registering for free with the Mailing Preference Service. They will ensure your name is removed from direct marketing lists at your previous address.

Homemovers can check their credit file online with mycallcredit.com, the value for money online credit reference agency.