7 Effective Methods to Perform an Address History Search

address history lookup

Key Takeaways for an Effective Address History Search

  • Lenders, employers, and real estate agents typically demand address histories to verify identity.
  • You’ll likely need to use several methods to find all your previous addresses.
  • Checking your address history regularly can help protect you from identity theft.
  • Your previous addresses don’t directly affect your credit score, but activities and accounts linked to those addresses may.

Previous Address Histories: Common Uses

People who have all their previous address information to hand either haven’t lived in many places or are unusually organized! They know that having your previous addresses can help you in several scenarios and can congratulate themselves on being shining examples of human beings.

For everyone else, all is not lost. Getting hold of your previous addresses is easier than ever online.

There are several key reasons you may require a full previous address history in a hurry. Typically:

  • A business has asked for ID verification.
  • You need to correct a mistake.
  • You suspect identity theft.

A Business Wants to Verify Your ID

You may be in the middle of a loan application, responding to job offers, or you’re looking into buying or renting property; in all these cases, the checker wants to verify your identity.

The checker can cross-reference credit agencies, other institutions, and previous addresses to build up a picture of whether the person they’re dealing with exists.

Cross-checking the information they’ve received can help them ascertain its authenticity, protecting their clients as well as themselves from identity theft.

Credit checks also provide evidence β€” evidence, not proof β€” that you are capable of honoring a contract. Employers, lenders, and real estate agencies can use past addresses to see your payment histories and any past problems therein.

An address history search helps people get a rounded view of an individual. Knowing whether someone has moved every few months or has lived primarily in the same house or the same region affects the idea of their stability.

Your previous address history is one way that people can use to determine character. The places themselves β€” the buildings and the regions β€” will provide information that might guide a business’ decisions.

With this in mind, you’ll appreciate that an address history search going back decades can provide rich, rounded information.

Even if you’re not in one of these situations (yet), managing and securing your personal information is an important part of life in the 21st century. Information technology and digital transformation mean that there’s more personal information being sent, processed, and stored than ever, and there are consequences when that information is incorrect, accessed inappropriately, and misused.

Keeping track of your information can help keep you safe and keep your life running smoothly.

Don’t think of it as filing information in a dull, grey filing cabinet. Think of your information skills as a samurai’s blade that lets you slice through fields of red tape.

Correcting Mistakes

If you’re turned down for credit or your credit rating is not as good as expected, you can investigate your credit reports for mistakes.

For example, you might find that someone else at your address is affecting your credit status. Or you may be down as having lived at an incorrect address.

In such circumstances, you can write to the credit report agency or the creditor directly to have this corrected, which may improve your credit rating.

Writing to the creditor is likely quicker than going through the agency. However, if the creditor doesn’t cooperate, you can try the credit agency. Just be aware that a credit bureau will need your permission before amending any information (it’s an identity theft thing) and this can add to the wait.

An error on a credit report could be a genuine error, such as a typo or other administration mistake. Also note that having your address written differently several times does not mean it’s wrong. However, a completely incorrect address or addresses you don’t recognize are red flags signaling potential identity theft.

Identity Theft

It’s worth looking at your credit reports regularly to see if there are signs of identity theft, such as unknown addresses. If you see addresses that you have not lived at or false information about how long you lived at them, someone may have used your identity to commit fraud. 

Fraud in these circumstances would typically involve using another person’s identity to take out credit or to rent or buy property.

Query all instances of an incorrect address to protect yourself from the effects of identity theft. Contact the creditors directly and ask them to update the information they’ve given to the credit agency. If they don’t satisfy your request, get in touch with the agency.

Where Can I Find My Previous Addresses?

lookup address history

Fortunately, there are multiple sources for reliable information on your previous addresses. These include:

  1. Credit reports
  2. Tax documents
  3. Public records
  4. Online accounts
  5. Former landlords
  6. People search platforms like Nuwber
  7. Your old paperwork

Address Search Method 1: Credit Reports

A credit report is typically the first port of call for people looking for a reliable, comprehensive previous address history. Here are some things to know.

  • A credit report will tend to have your address history going back as much as 10 years.
  • Most people will need to use more than one credit agency to get all their addresses.
  • Not all creditors report to the big credit report agencies.
  • Minors tend not to have a credit history, so you’ll probably need to look elsewhere for childhood addresses.
  • You can request a free credit report once every 12 months from the big three: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Address Search Method 2: Tax Documents

Most people have an instinct for keeping their tax documents awhile. Hopefully, that’s you. Any taxation documentation can be useful for filling in gaps in your previous address history.

  • If the tax documents you have to hand don’t go back far enough, you can pay the government to retrieve them.
  • You can look up your previous tax documents for free. The website hides most of the address information, leaving only a snippet. However, if the first few characters of your address line will be enough to jog your memory, this could be useful. Otherwise, using the paid service will save you time and frustration.

Address Search Method 3: Public Records

If credit agencies and tax records don’t have you covered, it’s time to look into public records. Again, you can do so for free, and online access makes things a lot easier.

Public records include:

  • Property records β€” These will detail when you moved into a property and whether you purchased or rented.
  • Car registrations β€” Whenever you buy a car, it needs to be registered to an address.
  • DMV driver’s license registrations β€” Look up your state’s DMV to get in touch and try a reverse address search through your driving license registrations
  • Voter records β€” Voting information is another reliable source that can help you with your address lookup needs.
  • Census Bureau records β€” Comprehensive information is bread and butter for the Census Bureau. It’s a great place to start for many research projects.
  • Criminal records β€” You can also search criminal records to find previous addresses. You can do this kind of address lookup through the county or state court system.
  • The US Social Security Administration β€” The SSA is another great online database where it may be possible to achieve a reverse address search.
  • The US Postal Service β€” if the US Postal Service knows anything, it’s addresses. It may be able to help you with your address lookup.

While companies advertise online that they’ll search public records for you, it’s worth doing your own property records search or address lookup research first. You may find what you need for free.

If you decide you need professional help from a reverse address lookup service, note that the quality and professionalism of such companies vary. Do your due diligence, check out reviews and testimonials and talk to the firm about how they perform each address search, to ascertain their reliability and trustworthiness.

Address Search Method 4: Your Online Accounts

search address history

Don’t forget places you’ve done online shopping, like Amazon or Temu. When people move to a new address, they don’t necessarily delete their previous address from the site. Therefore, any online retail store you use regularly is a good place to do an address search.

Similarly, online banking is worth checking, too. And try other online services where you may have included a correspondence address.

Address Search Method 5: Former Landlords

Sometimes the simplest way to find a previous address is to ask someone associated with it. In this case, the people who will know your previous addresses and how long you stayed at them are your landlords, if you had them.

Address Search Method 6: Nuwber

Because Nuwber has up-to-date information on US citizens, you can use the site to do an address search for yourself and see if it can fill in the gaps in your information. You can also use Nuwber to find the people who may have more information on your previous addresses.

The site will give you their name, location, current phone number, and social media accounts, if available, so you can verify that you’ve found the right person and get in touch about your previous street addresses.

All information about individuals is taken from public sources.

Address Search Method 7: Your Old Paperwork

If you have old files, it’s a good idea to have a look to see if any are addressed to a previous address rather than your current address. Even if you don’t have a filing system, just go where you put your old paperwork. Under the bed, in the closet, in the garage. Just have a non-judgemental look and you might get a pleasant surprise.

Hone in on the big legal documents, like weddings, property purchases, and employment contracts. Rental agreements, of course, will be useful, too. Utility bills are key items used to prove your address, and most people have these.

FAQ

What is an address history?

Your address history refers to your previous addresses. Employers, lenders, and other companies may request this information, in addition to your current address, to verify your identity and build up a picture of you. It often helps businesses make credit and lending decisions.

Why do I need to perform an address history search?

The information discovered helps establish credibility, confirm residency, and detect potential instances of identity theft or fraud.

How far back does an address history search go?

An address history search typically covers the previous 7-10 years, as this period is most relevant for background checks, credit assessments, and identity verification processes. However, the exact timeline can vary depending on the sources used and the requirements of the requesting entity.

How do I find my previous addresses for the last 10 years?

A credit report is a good place to look for past addresses, but they don’t always have all your addresses. Using several credit reports can help fill in gaps. You can also perform online people searches, use public records, or ask people related to your time at past addresses, such as landlords or property managers.

How do I perform an address history search for free?

While many companies charge for address history searches, you can do an address search for free using public records online, credit bureaus (once per year), and other helpful online databases.

Eugene Kirdzei
Eugene Kirdzei

Chief Technical Officer at Nuwber
With nearly two decades of experience in the IT industry, Eugene possesses comprehensive knowledge across his professional field, including in data management, data protection, and information search. Through his writing, he aims to provide valuable insights and practical advice on how to safely explore the online environment and leverage digital tools to enhance people’s lives.