Graduation is a time of transition, where you move on from the old concerns of classes and tests to your new responsibilities in the workplace. And for many graduates that involves moving to a new home or city. Many students also move frequently during school.
While lots of graduates and future graduates are concerned with losing track of possessions or finding the right roommates, there is another pitfall they should look out for: forgetting to update their address with creditors and other bills. While this seems like a minor misstep, it can actually have big consequences for young people in this stage of life.
Why It Matters
Many of your most important accounts and bills are tied to your address. Although lots of companies are turning toward email, many older industries still communicate through snail mail. This means that if you don’t update your address, you could miss important bills or notices. Since the company doesn’t know you moved, it may appear to them that you’re ignoring their notices or even refusing to pay your bill.
For example, perhaps you cancelled your internet provider at your old address. The final bill often comes a few days or weeks later. If you haven’t updated your address, this final bill will go to somewhere you no longer live. While a $40 bill might not be a big deal, your account can quickly accumulate late fees. In that way, not updating your address can cost you money. And if the company never receives a response, your small bill could even end up in collections.
What to Do
The good news is that there are a couple of simple steps you can take to make sure you stay in touch with your accounts and on top of your finances. Start by changing your address with the US Postal Service (USPS). Most people can use the USPS website to enter a new address and request that their mail be forwarded. So, if you forget to update your address with a particular company or service, your mail will be directed to the new address you have on file with the Postal Service.
You should also make a list of your regular bills and services linked to your address.
These may include…
- Phone and internet access
- Bank accounts and credit cards
- Gym memberships and other recreational clubs
As you update each provider with your new address, cross them of your list. With many companies, you can update your address online in just a couple of minutes.
In the month before and after your move, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your paper mail and email. Every time you check your inbox, ask if any of these contacts need your new address. You will probably encounter a couple of accounts you hadn’t thought of.
When you’re moving on after graduation, it’s a time for new beginnings, but you also need to tie up loose ends from the past. Better to take action now than be surprised by unpaid bills or lapsed accounts later on. If you recently moved or are planning to in the near future, check to make sure you’ve updated your address. If you’re unsure, check any online accounts you have. Websites like MCMpay make it easy to update your information and take care of bills. Log in now to review your account.
*Although we hope these tips are helpful to you, Midland Credit Management does not offer financial advice. If you have questions or concerns about your personal finances, please speak to a financial advisor.