PO Boxes "THe Usual Suspect"?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by godaddyo, Jun 20, 2001.

  1. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    I was wondering if anyone has any experiences with credit reporting agencies providing negative info about PO boxes dragging down their credit score?. If so has it caused any problems with potential creditors? I read recently that they do drag down your scores. This is ridiculous if true. Any comments?
  2. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I don't know about the CRAs and PO Boxes dragging down the score, but lenders don't like it unless you live on a farm and can give a description to that farm or acreage.

    People don't like to send money to a P.O. box either unless it is for an installment payment of some sort.
  3. jonesing

    jonesing Well-Known Member

    My parents use a PO box ever since they had a break-in a few years back and the bad guy made off with some important documents and a credit card they hadn't yet activated--whew!

    The still get at least 5 pre approved Visa, Mastercard, Discover offers every month! Sent to the PO box even! Since a lot of merchants don't/won't use US mail (Amazon will) for shipments, my dad had to have their home address included on their Visa account for charge approvals. But other than that, they haven't had any problems using a PO box. In fact, they got my mom a 1998 Mercedes S420. The financing and insurance paperwork all go to their PO box.
  4. Tuit

    Tuit Well-Known Member

    Our mail boxes are out on a major highway quite some distance from the homes. Every now and then our mail is found scattered all over the place and on several occasions has been found scattered in the next town. Most of us who have not already done so are thinking of getting mail boxes. Can't see why creditors would object they all use them.
  5. Fat Jake

    Fat Jake Well-Known Member

    I use a Po Box for almost everything but I think I'm going to change everything to my home address and heres why. When applying for certain items that wont allow the PO BOX I'll use my Home address. That inturns make some creditors report my home address and some report my Po Box. This is biting me in the but now because I don't know which CRA has which address as the current one. I also have a problem with verifying my billing address on net purchases. Some companies require that I speak to them before they ship my purchase. Egghead is really good for this.

    Also Worthknowing wouldn't give me a report because the TU address was a PO BOX and they won't let people with PO BOX addresses use there service. But who cares since I live in GEOO-GA and we get two free a year.
  6. jonesing

    jonesing Well-Known Member

    I used to use a MBE type place and I noticed from some old CRA reports that they (especially Experian) flagged it as an alert for being a "commercial mailing center"
  7. J. Edgar

    J. Edgar Well-Known Member

    I've had a PO Box for well over 12 years. ALL of my mail goes to the PO Box, including all of the credit card bills. I get several pre-approved offers for credit cards every month and on none of them does it request a street address be provided on the form to be sent back. I recently got a Chase Platinum, USAA Platinum, and Cap 1 Platinum using only the PO Box address. The CRAs only have my PO Box address. I disputed old former addresses off my reports several years ago.

    All of the utility bills are in my partner's name, so there really is no record of where I actually live anywhere. I prefer it that way.

    Some credit card issuers (notably MBNA) have sent me "requests for updated information" asking specifically for a street address. I simply ignored them and they took no adverse action against me.

    A creditor (or anyone else) can get your street address (or at least the address that you put on your application) by serving the PO with the proper legal documents. Oops, I forgot to update mine when I moved in 1997. The Post Office recently changed their policy on giving out this information so that it must be subpoenaed in the case of non-governmental entities. Law enforcement can no longer just ask for it, they have to show at least probable cause.

    Personally I like the privacy and security a PO Box affords. I have noticed no adverse impact to my ability to get credit. Another benefit is that it precludes direct marketers from 'profiling' me and it cuts down on the junk mail a great deal. The mail, including the credit card statements, the convenience checks, the bank statements, and everything else that has personal information on it stays locked in it's little box until I'm ready to get it. It's not sitting in a box out by the street waiting for some boob to come along and steal it and write themselves out some checks.

    A PO Box is superior to a Mail Drop, like at Mail Boxes Etc. The street addresses for these facilities are sold as a data base product. The CRAs use this product and flag the credit file if someone is using one as their 'principal' residential address. They just assume that someone is trying to pull some funny business by using one. However, there are legitimate reasons why someone would. The most commonly cited example is a person who is being stalked or the victim of being a battered spouse/partner who needs to still run their life and have a street address, but doesn't not wish to let their abuser know exactly where they live.

    These facilities also accept deliveries from UPS, FedEx and anyone else. The Post Office will not. This is the primary reason why most merchants will not ship to a PO Box. They use UPS exclusively. They do not want to have to deal with the hassle of the Postal Service and UPS gives them better tracking capability.

    Using a Post Office Box, in my experience, does not adversely impact ones credit score.
  8. dogman

    dogman Well-Known Member

    well said - thought provoking - I agree. Unless its a high risk card like any we all can name.

    nice to see you here J Edgar :)
  9. Geo

    Geo Well-Known Member

    I also use PO Box all the time. The Cra's also report it as my address
    I was approved online in January for two citi 9k/each and BofA/6K using my PO Box
    address no question ask (Or telephone calls)!
  10. KristyW

    KristyW Well-Known Member

    You could also try getting rid of all that junk mail by getting off the mailing lists. I did this and it really worked. 6 letters and I stopped getting any preapproved credit card applications.


    The credit reporting agencies are the biggest culprits.
  11. cable666

    cable666 Well-Known Member

    I've used my PO Box exclusvely for over 15 years. I even have it on my California drivers licence, which raises some eyebrowes.

    The only problem I have ever had is with the DMV. They refuse to send the registration material to a PO Box. They claim they can only mail to a street address.

    That is pure baloney. They can mail to a PO box just like anyone else can. They just want to know where you live for their records and will hold your registration material hostage for it.

    So I end up standing in line at the DMV office once a year and arguing with the clerk that I don't have to give them a street address.

    Like an earlier poster, I too have moved multiple times since getting my box, and I forget to tell the postmaster what my new street address is.

    The PO box drives law enforcement crazy. The police hate it when I give them a PO box for my address. I wait until they are ready to arrest me for beat me up before I give them a street address. I feel it is none of their business. I am not a criminal, and they can contact me via email, cell phone, or mail to my PO box.

    From time to time I have checks refused. All my checks have minimal information. I refuse to give merchants my street address. Some get really upset. Usually it is the low level clerks that get bent out of shape because they were trained to refuse PO boxes and can't think of what else to do.

    There is a small town near where I live were the residence have to get their mail at a PO box. The reason is because there is no mail service in their town because the streets are too small and steep for the USPS to drive. People I know from there have problems all the time trying to convence merchants that they CAN NOT GET MAIL DELIVERED TO THEIR HOUSE! Some poeple just can't get it through their head that the USPS does not deliver to all buildings.

    When stuck with a particular stubborn clerk, I simply explain that I don't get mail service at my house because they can't get to my house. Not true, but they don't know that.

    It is a good idea to remember the street address of the police station or the post office incase you have to come up with a street address for some reason. Remember the scene in the film "The Blues Brothers" where they give out their address to the cops? The cops go there to find themselves in the parking lot of Wrigley Field.

    You can always use General Delivery. That is how the homeless get their mail.
  12. G. Fisher

    G. Fisher Banned

    What experiences has anybody had, specifically, regarding credit reporting agencies and using a PO Box?
  13. Saar

    Saar Banned

    Here's something interesting:

    "For several years credit bureaus have placed codes in the credit reports of anyone who has ever possessed private or public post office boxes. No time limits apply and boxes used in 1986 are still appearing on credit reports today. In 1994 VCR attended a banking seminar where bureau executives bragged that their system effectively caught this type of "fraud" just as it does for addresses used by inmates in prison or drug treatment facilities. Recent discussions confirm that this code is often the "kiss of death" for credit applications and can strongly influence credit scores."

    Source: http://members.aol.com/victcrdrpt/current.html
    Their home page is on http://members.aol.com/victcrdrpt/

  14. keltexx

    keltexx Well-Known Member

    I use Paymybills.com-which is a PO box. It has shown up on my reports as a former address (even though I am currently using it), but Experian Lists it as a "Bill Payment service"
  15. cable666

    cable666 Well-Known Member

    As far as I can tell, it has no impact on my credit. I was able to get a couple of mortgages and CC's.
  16. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    Thanks Saar, and everyone else. I read the same thing on the VCR site. It kind of makes you ill, doesnt it?
  17. Rob

    Rob Active Member

    I also want to add, my Wife got pre approved offers from providian and has all her credit under a PO Box. I had a problem with the CRA's merging our files, and put her credit under a PO box, and my credit under my home address. Seperate. It worked out well, I was able to dispute some her negatives using that as a reason. It worked a few times.

    * Rob *
  18. G. Fisher

    G. Fisher Banned

    Perhaps there are actually statistics that make one with a PO box a lower risk.
  19. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    I would think that pulling the credit files that creditors rave about would be all the proof that they need along with job time, salary and debt to income information. Who gives a flying hoot, if Joe Blow Consumer prefers to us a PO over a regular address. There are so many valid reasons to use one. Maybe Greg is right maybe there is potential statistical info that PO boxes make you an even SAFER risk?
  20. bbauer

    bbauer Banned


    It's best we don't ever find out for sure that such might be true or the Postal Service might be hit with a new "gold rush" of applicants for P.O. Boxes. (LOL)

    Of course, in the crazy world of credit bureaus and credit repair, we all have to dig for every bit of info we ever come up with. It all has to be done by trial and error rather than being able to get the desired info from the credit bureaus who created the mess in the first place.

    Even the courts and court room processes have to be learned the hard way too.

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