Can Moving Hurt My Credit?

Whether it’s across town or across the country, moving is a part of life. The advantage of credit reporting is that when you move, your credit score goes with you so lenders in your new locale can give you the benefit of your responsible money management from the past. While changing your address won’t affect your credit score, other aspects of moving can.

Credit Factors
The number of different addresses appearing on your credit report doesn’t affect your credit score. Instead, there are five factors, each weighted differently, that affect your credit score. Your payment history is the biggest factor, closely followed by your credit usage. The age of your accounts counts next, and is then followed by your types of credit. The last factor is the number of inquiries from potential creditors.

Update Addresses
Even though changing your address doesn’t hurt your credit score directly, it could have an indirect effect if your bills are sent to your old address and you don’t pay them in time. For example, if your credit card monthly statement goes to your old address and you don’t pay it because you don’t know about it, your late payment hurts your credit score. To help prevent this, you can fill out a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service to ensure your mail is properly forwarded.

Moving Internationally
Your U.S. credit reports and scores won’t transfer internationally because the U.S., like many countries, has its own credit reporting system. You can order a copy of your credit score to share with  lenders or landlords in other countries, but there’s no guarantee they will take it into consideration. For example, if you bring a copy of your U.S. credit score to a landlord in Mexico when trying to get an apartment, it might help you get approved but there’s no guarantee. Once you arrive in your new home country, you may want to consider setting up accounts with financial institutions that report to that country’s credit bureaus to begin building your credit there.

Breaking Leases
If your move results in you breaking a lease and not paying what you agreed, your credit score may suffer as a result. First, your landlord might take you to court, which could eventually show up as a public record. Second, if the landlord sells your debt to a collections agency, your unpaid rent will show up as a collections account on your credit report, damaging your credit score.

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About the Author  
Mark Kennan is a freelance writer specializing in finance-related articles. Kennan holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and politics from Washington and Lee University.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc., an Experian company.   © 2014, Inc.  All rights reserved.