If you're filling out a job application or financial documents such as a mortgage or credit application, you may be asked to list addresses you had many years ago. Fortunately, there are several easy ways of finding your past addresses if you can't remember them. These range from pulling your credit reports and reviewing your tax records, to asking your network of service providers whether they have retained your old addresses on file.
Check Your Credit Report
Order your credit report from one or all three of the credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to get your free annual credit reports which you can access online or through the mail. The reports typically include any address where you received a bill or financial statement.
Review your Tax Records
Pull your tax returns and check your previous addresses. To request a free transcript of your tax returns for the current year and three previous years, visit the IRS website. Transcripts are available immediately online and will contain personal information including your addresses. Another option is to request a full copy of your tax records, which are available for the previous six years. Fill out form 4506 (available from the IRS website) and mail it to the local IRS office listed on the form. Copies are $50 each at the time of publication. Keep in mind that you may have to wait 75 days for delivery.
Speak to Your Network
Contact family members and friends you have known for a long time. They may have kept address books with your past addresses. Medical providers, health insurance companies, banks, schools, previous employers, volunteer organizations, credit card companies, utility companies, rental agencies, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles are also potential sources of information. You may need photo ID to access their records.
Run a Background Check
If these steps leave any gaps, try searching yourself on the internet. Free online sites such as Public Record Reviews offer people searches that will turn up your past addresses if they are on file. It's also worth reviewing your digital footprint – online stores such as Amazon save your shipping addresses until you delete them. Another option is to pay for a professional background check. Background searches can be expensive, but a good search agency might be able to find addresses that other searches have missed.
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits the use of or obtaining consumer credit information under false pretenses.
Jayne Thompson earned an LL.B. in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “Big Law” firms before launching a career as a commercial writer. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts.