Above all else, lenders need to be able to check your address history.
When considering you for a loan, lenders will look through your credit report (more information on that here). They’ll look at your borrowing and repayment history.
But before they can get that far, they simply need to understand who you are and where you live. They’ll also want to know other addresses where you have lived or taken out credit in the past. You may fall at the first hurdle if the picture is unclear, or if they can’t piece that information together.
Because of that, one of the most important aspects of building good credit is to use the same address consistently. You also need to keep lenders and your bank updated each time you move. It also makes a big difference to Register to Vote, which takes around five minutes. Registering will put your name and address on the Electoral Roll. This makes it much easier for credit agencies to look you up.
Challenges of life in the Forces
Of course, life in the Forces creates particular challenges on this front. Chances are, you (and often your family) will be moving address fairly regularly. If you happen to be in the middle of the South Atlantic or in the Belize rainforest, your current address might not exactly be conventional either.
In recent years, the Ministry of Defence has updated the BFPO address format. This means that no matter where you are, you will have a postcode in a format that lenders can understand. These new BFPO postcodes follow the same address format as a normal UK postcode. They are different from the system of BFPO numbers from the previous system.
You should always give your address in the correct BFPO address format and postcode and keep lenders informed every time you move.
The Royal Mail has issued special UK postcodes for BFPO numbers that you should use when interacting with UK based websites. These postcodes should help to ensure your Amazon delivery gets through, as well as maintaining your credit file.
How we use BFPO addresses
As you would expect, we are geared up to use BFPO addresses when you join or apply for a loan. All the main credit rating agencies accept postcodes in this format. So as long as you keep us (and everyone else) updated on your current address, there shouldn’t be any problems.
If you have problems with another lender denying you credit simply on account of you having a BFPO address, you may need to tell them to use the BFPO postcode (not the BFPO number from the previous addressing system) when running credit searches on you.