Homebuyer Beware: Don’t Damage Your Credit after Moving

Anyone who has tried to buy a new home knows how important it is to have a good credit rating. Without good credit, it is very possible that you will unable to obtain a mortgage. That’s why it is crucial for you to make sure that your bills get paid on time and your credit rating remains solid.

A major problem faced by people looking to purchase a house is that they might be unaware of exactly where they stand when it comes to their credit rating. Many prospective homebuyers have been shocked to learn that their credit record isn’t as “pristine” as they thought due to unpaid bills they knew nothing about. This is especially true when a person has moved and outstanding bills didn’t follow them to their new address.

It is very easy to overlook a single bill, particularly if all of the subsequent late notices were sent to your old address. Unfortunately, your credit report won’t take your big move into account: the collection notices and unpaid bills will end up on your credit report and could make it extremely difficult for you to buy a home in the future.

If you have recently moved and are unsure about the status of certain bills, one step you can take to protect yourself is to periodically check your credit rating. A 2015 survey conducted by credit.com revealed that approximately 26 percent of Americans do not believe they need to verify their credit record because “they always paid their bills on time.” Even if you pay your bills on time, however, it is still possible that you might have overlooked something – especially in the aftermath of a move. After all, you can only pay the bills you know about.

The same credit.com survey found that nearly 20 percent of consumers had an outstanding bill or collection they were simply not aware of.

Although it is likely that you asked the post office to forward all mail to your new address, the reality is that certain items of mail can still get lost. When the letters that disappear include important bills and late notices, the effect on your credit can be devastating. Additionally, since the post office will eventually stop forwarding any mail from your old address, you may not learn about your damaged credit record until it’s too late.

Just to be safe, always check your credit record after you move to a new residence. And then check it again six months later.

For additional information about the importance of a potential homebuyer’s credit record, read the Tri-Town News article, “How Credit Can Get Damaged during a Move.”

 

If you are thinking about buying, or selling, a property, you are probably going to need the assistance of a qualified real estate lawyer. Joel R. Spivack, Esq. is an experienced real estate attorney who will look out for pitfalls as you move through the sales review process. He will also protect your rights until the deal is done. Contact Mr. Spivack today for a consultation about your real estate matter.

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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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