The credit reporting industry has a long history of supporting consumers impacted by life’s circumstances – for example, what to do in the case of marriage, divorce, natural disaster, and identity theft, among others. In keeping with our work to assist and empower consumers, the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) is offering guidance for transgender and nonbinary consumers seeking to preserve their credit history following the legal changing of first and middle names.
In recent years, the credit bureaus have found that sometimes following a legal name change, the credit report attached to the person’s new name does not contain the credit history associated with their birth name.
The most effective action a transgender or nonbinary person can take is to directly inform each of the three nationwide credit bureaus of new identifying information after completing a legal name change. This small but important step provides the critical link to maintaining the integrity of their credit report during transition and potentially avoiding any misunderstanding with creditors or lenders.
In cases that involve changing more than just the last name, CDIA recommends informing each of the three credit bureaus of changes to a first or middle name. Learn more about how to do this below.
Prevent Potential Disruptions to Your Credit
The three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) have committed to assist transgender and nonbinary consumers in protecting their creditworthiness.
Informing each of the three nationwide credit bureaus of a first or middle name change can be done using their online customer support systems or by calling the credit bureaus directly. Either way, documentation of the new legal name may be required. Necessary documentation can include a court order, an updated Social Security card, or the updated Driver’s License or state issued ID card with the new identifying information.
Consumers can find information on the name change process on each agency’s website:
- Credit Reporting Industry: Helping Transgender and Non-binary Individuals Prevent Potential Disruptions to Their Credit (February 2, 2022)
- HR Dive: Why credit checks for trans talent require care (August 24, 2021)
- Consumer Data Industry Association: Raising Awareness Of LGBTQ+ Name Changes And Helping the Community Navigate the Credit Economy (June 30, 2021)