In this article:
Your credit report reflects important moments in your history: the loan for your first car; the payments for your education; every penny you put into your home loan.
It also reflects one more important thing: your name.
At Experian, we pride ourselves on bringing Financial Power to All™. It's important that we affirm your identity as a transgender or nonbinary person by providing a way to update your name on your credit report without losing any of your well-earned credit history. Additionally, Experian will suppress your birth name (also known as your deadname or previous name) so it does not appear on your Experian credit report.
Once you complete the name change process with Experian, anyone checking your credit report—including lenders, landlords, potential employers and others—will only see your name as it appears on your Experian credit report, protecting your privacy and affirming your identity.
Before requesting a name change on your Experian credit report, you'll need to complete your state's requirements for a legal name change. This typically requires filing a name change request (and providing required documentation) with your local court. While we understand not everyone chooses to go through a formal legal name change, updating your name on your credit report will require a court order document.
Experian will remove your deadname from your credit report so your credit history appears only under your new legal name. For this reason, it is essential that you update your legal name with all of the lenders, creditors and financial institutions that may report to Experian exactly as you wish it to appear on your accounts—ideally before you submit a name change request with Experian.
Differences as simple as a name appearing with or without a middle initial could cause delays in credit applications and other credit-related activities. So, it's best to be consistent with all your accounts. If creditors submit payment information containing your old information after we update your name, your credit profile may be inconsistently reported, potentially affecting your report and scores.
As long as you update your name with Experian and all of your creditors, your credit history will follow you intact moving forward.
Documentation Required for a Name Change
To update your records, we will need a few documents that prove your new identity and address:
- A copy of the court order reflecting your legal name change. The court order must include both your former and current legal names.
- A government-issued identification card with your old or new legal name. This could be a driver's license, state ID card, military ID or passport. We understand you may not have new forms of identification yet, so we can accept either an old or new government-issued ID.
- A dated copy of a utility, bank or insurance statement with your old or new legal name addressed to you at your current mailing address.
Once we receive a copy of these documents—either online or in the mail—it takes about 10 business days to update your information within our systems.
How to Submit a Request to Change Your Name With Experian
You can submit a name change request by following these steps:
- Request a name change online by uploading supporting documents or get instructions for beginning a name change by mail.
- When prompted in the online process, enter your identifying information as we currently have it on file so we can locate your credit information. You'll also need to include your Social Security number, date of birth and all the addresses you've lived at in the past two years.
- Make it known when filling out the online forms that this is a legal name change, not a dispute of the name appearing on your credit report. Include a note such as "My legal name is now _____; please see attached documents" in the explanation field.
- Upload the required documentation detailed above for quicker processing.
Name Change and Your Credit
To make sure your identity is consistent across all your credit reports, don't forget to update your name with the other credit reporting agencies—Equifax and TransUnion. If these are not updated, businesses that order your credit report from all three credit bureaus may receive documents with both your old and new names.
Credit reports and scores are dynamic in nature, so when you check your credit after completing your name change with Experian, your score may not be exactly the same as the last time you checked it under your deadname. But be assured that any changes you find are a result of new information on your credit report and not your name change. A name change cannot affect your credit report or scoring. Assuming that nothing has changed with your credit accounts—such as missing a payment for the first time or putting a large purchase on a credit card—your score should be very similar.
When you see your updated credit report, the only difference you will likely notice is your new name. Experian is committed to making sure your financial records are accurate and reflect your identity as it is.