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By Ben Heinze
Keeping your contact information current on your accounts isn’t often top of mind. This is especially true considering a change in contact information can go hand-in-hand with a significant life change: marriage, moving, etc. However, keeping your contact information up-to-date is something you should prioritize, especially with your financial providers. Learn what contact information to keep updated, how it’s used and how updating it will benefit you.
The contact information financial providers ask for is generally straightforward, basic information. This includes your first and last name, home address, email address and phone number. If you have a joint account, remember to update information for both people on the account. If you have beneficiaries listed on any accounts, make sure you’re updating their information, too.
If you need to fill out documentation or receive forms from your financial provider, they’ll send them your contact information on file. Some providers send these forms automatically, and you may not realize you’ll receive them until you do. For example, you can expect to receive tax forms to your physical address and monthly statements to your physical address or email address, unless you elect to go paperless. You’ll need your correct home address on file to receive a credit or debit card through the mail.
When a financial provider wants you to be aware of an important update, they’ll send a letter or email informing you of what’s happening. This may be information related to your specific account, such as an overdue payment, your credit card APR or credit limit changing, etc.
If suspicious activity is on your account, your financial provider will want you to know as soon as possible. This may be in the form of an automated text, call or email. Smaller financial institutions may reach out to you directly. Outdated contact information means a fraudulent transaction could slip through the cracks, and it may be too late to avoid consequences by the time you discover it. Or, your accounts could be locked, and you don’t find out until attempting to access your accounts.
If there is a wider security breach that goes beyond your account, financial providers are often required by law to notify those affected. Your accounts and personal information can be at risk if this occurs, so being aware of a breach is vital.
Outdated contact information can cause issues down the line when a financial provider needs to contact you. Financial providers don’t contact accountholders for no reason, so it’s likely regarding an important issue if they’re trying to reach out. When your contact information is outdated, you might not be informed of that important information. Your financial provider may try to contact you in multiple ways, but this is not a given.
Unfortunately, scammers are also trying to get ahold of your personal information and trick people into willingly handing it over. If you receive a reminder to update your information, always double-check that you’re receiving that notification from a legitimate source. Avoid suspicious links, and if you receive a suspicious call, text or email from someone claiming to be your financial provider, contact that provider directly from a verified source.
If you haven’t updated your contact information in a while, or any of your information has recently changed, now is a great time to ensure it’s up-to-date.
Check out other articles on keeping your information up-to-date and secure:
Ben Heinze is a marketing content specialist with a passion for financial education. Instilled with a strong sense of frugality from a young age, he views money as a means to building the life you want, rather than an end in itself. From reading Money Mentor, he hopes you discover new ways money can be used to build your ideal life—whatever that may look like.
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