How to redirect your mail – and avoid potential debt issues

Redirect your mail and protect yourself from all manner of mishaps. “Redirect and Protect” is the slogan that the Royal Mail use with their redirect service and it describes why it’s useful to have a catch net for your mail. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to continue to receive your mail when you move.

The service helps you pick up correspondence from companies that supply you services or look after your affairs which you may have forgotten to inform about your move

  • It can help you avoid missing important notifications and documents
  • It can help prevent someone stealing your identity by intercepting post going to your old address
  • And you’re more likely to get offers appropriate to home movers

You can redirect mail to any UK or overseas address for up to three, six or 12 months. There’s a charge for each different last name that you want to re-direct mail for – this may also apply if you’ve changed your name though marriage.

Customer feedback

Lots of our customers tell us that they are or have experienced issues with late payments, arrears and defaults because they didn’t know about them. Many didn’t have, or could afford, a redirect service which resulted in them unknowingly falling behind with correspondence and issues as mail had been sent to an old or wrong address. So we advise you to consider this to help you learn from others’ mistakes or misfortune. Defaults can affect your credit rating or, in a worst case scenario, lead to an unexpected visit from a bailiff.

If you’re in the process or considering a house move consider the costs and benefits of the redirect service and add it to your budget and to-do list where possible. Here are a few other useful points.

How do I re-direct my post?

You can do it online, by post or at your local post office. The easiest way we would recommend is by doing it online on the Royal Mail website – though the payment card will need to be registered with either your old or new address. You’ll need a proof of ID that contains the address such as a utility bill, bank or credit card statement if applying by post or at the Post Office.

How much does it cost to re-direct your mail?

It costs between £29.99 and £59.99 to re-direct your post in the UK depending on how long you need the re-direct to last. For overseas re-direction prices start from £99.99. (These costs are correct as of Jan 2016).

How long does post normally take through a mail re-direct?

Items are usually forwarded on first class. So post destined for your old address will arrive either one or two days later than normal. According to the Royal Mail it takes at least five days to set up a re-direct.

Why is getting your post re-directed a good idea?

Even if you manage to change your address companies may still use out-of-date data such as your address, when sending you statements, promotions or other correspondence. So you may continue to get mail at previous addresses. Making sure you are opening and reviewing your mail helps keep you up-to-date with your financial affairs.

Don’t rely on the resident of your old address to send mail back or update the supplier; anything you receive through the redirect service you should contact and inform them of your change of address.

Affects to your credit report

Not getting notifications about your finances can also leave you in the dark about your current financial position.

You may have a good credit score and pay your bills on time. But not knowing about an outstanding debt, and furthermore not paying it, could lead to a default if not addressed.

Any blemish on your credit report, through a late payment or default, may stop you getting access to better deals and rates on other financial products. .

It’s also worth remembering that a default or late payment will stay on your credit file for at least six years. This may affect your ability to get credit and related products during this period.

This would include loans, mortgages and credit cards – hence why it’s a good idea to get your mail re-directed when you move house.

Always ensure you change your address details with the following:

Bank and/or building society or credit union or other savings providers

Your workplace / employer

Social benefits (providers)

Driving licence

V5 logbook

Car insurance

Breakdown insurance

Home contents insurance

Life insurance

Mobile phone supplier

Gas/ Electric/ Water / Broadband

Pension

TV licence

Inland Revenue

The holder or keeper of your will, if you have one

Where can you re-direct your post?

You can set up a re-direct by post, in branch or at royalmail.com to UK and international addresses.

Source: royalmail.com – correct as of January 2016