Significance of my "Address" in credit reports

My credit reports list several addresses for me, but I’ve only ever lived at one of them. The others are associated with one of my children, presumably because I cosigned leases or mortgages. They’re just called “Address” and nothing says whether these are assumed residences or just addresses associated with me in any way.

Is it incorrect information that I should dispute, because I’ve never lived there? Or is it correct because I was associated with them in other ways?

If it matters, my child has not lived at any of the addresses for a few years now.


I don’t know the answer, but I hope someone here does. I have an “address” from 35 years ago still showing on my credit reports, and it is a mail drop in a city I never lived in, and it wasn’t my mail drop. It was a change of address put through by a credit card fraudster, back in the days when anyone could change anyone else’s address and no one checked.

The CC company found out when new charges to the card weren’t paid, and I totally got off the hook, but I wonder if it matters then or now.

If you apply for a loan, they’ll quiz you about your former addresses as part of an effort to ensure that you’re you. Most annoying for me, as I don’t tend to remember numbers well, no matter what they signify. (I have serious difficulty remembering my children’s birthdates…even my own birthdate.) So when they want to know the street address and motherfucking ZIP code of an apartment on Maple Street that I lived in for 6 months 17 years ago?! Yeah, good luck with that.

However much I get wrong, they seem satisfied that I’m me.

Credit reports are supposed to purge old credit data (cards no longer active, bad debts) after a certain number of years. Does this purging include old addresses? If so, I’d think that a mention to the reporting firms would be all it took to remove them.

I had a mysterious address on one of my credit reports: It said:
RR Arkfield
That was the whole address. I have no idea what or where “Arkfield” is. The “RR” makes it look like I was a hobo living in a boxcar. There is a little one-horse backwater town called Parkfield in the back woods in the next county over (from where I actually lived at the time), but I had no association whatever with that.

It stayed on my report for some number of years, then dropped off.

When I applied for an apartment a few years ago, they did a background check on me, which entailed the manager typing in the address where I claimed I was currently (then) living. It came back red-flagged that no such address existed. When she showed me that, I pointed out that she had misspelled the street name. Okay, that was easily cleared up between me and the apartment manager.

But that address with the misspelled street name then appeared on one or more of my credit reports for several years thereafter.

The credit bureaus try to connect the dots any way they can under the philosophy that there MIGHT be a connection between people, places and other stuff that COULD be useful to someone, sometime. There is no penalty for getting it wrong, and the only cross-check for validity is YOU. If you don’t know it, or don’t complain, it becomes part of the record.

One way they make connections is to see who lives or lived (because they pretty much ignore dates) at your address. If Joe Blow lived at your address once, he becomes related to you somehow in bureau-speak, even though he might have been only a tenant.

So I have misspelled name variations, wrong addresses, and even a wrong SSN associated with my report. All are a result of some flunky typing it in wrong.