Credit Q&A: Can Moving Affect My Score?

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Q. Can moving affect my credit score?

A. Changing your address will have no effect on your credit score whatsoever, says Barry Paperno, manager of consumer operations for MyFICO.com.

However, those in the process of filling out mortgage or apartment applications may experience a small ding in their score thanks to the credit inquiries that these applications are likely to generate. But the emphasis here should be on the word “small” since credit inquiries only comprise about 10% of a person's total credit score.

Additionally, Paperno explains, when it comes to mortgages, FICO’s scoring model is smart enough to categorize multiple inquiries within a focused period of time - typically during a 45-day period – as a single inquiry.

“To put this in perspective, a single inquiry typically only accounts for five points,” he says.

Renting inquiries are handled similarly, though Paperno did point out that there is an off-chance renters might see more of a decrease in their credit score after a move. Unlike major lenders who can afford to solicit credit reports from the three major credit bureaus directly, landlords tend to get a prospective tenant’s report from third-party companies that contract with Experian, Trans Union or Equifax and multiple inquiries from different organizations may not be recognized as part of the same process.

Regardless, Paperno says most consumers can expect the effects of a move on their credit score to be minimal — unless they run up a bunch of related expenses on a credit card that they don’t pay off on time. But that is, perhaps, a different story.

Want to know what affects your credit score? Email your questions to editors@mainstreet.com.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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