Living with credit

If your ZIP code changes, update all your card info

Mike Cetera

I’m not moving, but in the eyes of my credit card and utility companies, I may as well be.

My neighbors and I all recently received notification that our ZIP code will change effective July 1. The 4 x 6 postcard informed me: “Due to growth in this area, it has become necessary to add another ZIP code to properly serve you.”

I live in a Dallas suburb, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. I guess I should have seen this coming, but it’s just not something one really thinks about.

Growth leads to new ZIP codes

It is something the U.S. Postal Service deals with regularly. Its rule of thumb is that every time 25,000 new delivery addresses or 50 carrier routes are created the USPS will review whether it’s time to add a new ZIP code.

Needless to say, this switch is going to cause some headaches. And, for me at least, there are no simple solutions.

Although my address will remain unchanged, I’m going to have to update the ZIP code on all of my credit card, bank, government and subscription accounts. I haven’t tallied the count yet, but I own more than half a dozen credit card accounts alone.

Help to organize your move

If you’re moving soon, however, you may be able to find some help so you don’t have to manually fill out a change-of-address form for everyone who needs it.

If there’s any silver lining for me, it’s that I’ve discovered this service now in case I do move in the future.

It’s called Updater, and the app/service purports to be your one-stop-shop for moving-related tasks, from finding a mover to alerting you to your cable choices at your new home.

Here’s how the service works, according to Digital Trends:

“The app knows all the utilities in your area, as well as all the credit card companies, subscription-based services, and just about anyone else you’d ever need to notify of an address change.

“Once you’ve entered in all the accounts you wish to notify, Updater acts like an authorized agent and will submit change-of-address notifications on your behalf to any businesses you select.”

The reason why this won’t help me is that Updater operates an invitation-only business model. It’s partnered with real estate businesses to offer the service. You also can request an invite.

Who you need to reach out to when moving

In the meantime, consider this back-of-the-envelope list of places you’ll need to contact when you have a change of address:

Your employer
This should be easy. Go to your employer’s website and update your forms. You should also update your contact information with your employer’s 401(k) manager.

Financial institutions
Credit card companies, banks, lenders and insurance companies should all be on your list. One reason you (and I) need to let my card issuers know of my ZIP code change: Gas stations use your credit card and ZIP code to prevent pay-at-the-pump fraud.

Government agencies
You’ll need to contact schools (if you have school-age children), your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the U.S. Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration (if you’re collecting benefits).

Utility companies
You should notify your existing cable or satellite, electricity, garbage, gas, internet and water and sewer providers to discontinue service and inform those services that operate in your new home’s community you need to establish service.

Think about all of the companies you do business with, like Amazon, magazines and newspapers, health care providers and tax preparers. You’re going to have to tell them you’re moving, too.

That may seem like too much to keep straight. If so, you can find any number of websites that offer a handy printable change-of-address checklist. I know I’ll be using something like this when I complete my not-move.

See related: Moving out? Don’t forget the credit cards

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