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All Writing Guide How-To Transgender

Name Change Help: Credit Bureaus

Something people don’t tell you about changing your name is that it is not a one and done type of situation.

Congratulations, your name is changed legally…but we are not going to tell anyone else: Not Social Security, DMV, the health department (for an updated birth certificate), your job, insurance, etc, etc, etc.

One of the most painful ones of these are the credit bureaus. They take forever, it is almost impossible to actually talk to a person, and they do not make it easy to find how to update your record. Your creditors are SUPPOSED to update them, but the problem with that is they may do it that week, they may take 3-6 months. In addition, they may only report to 1 of the 3 main credit reporting agencies.

I am not going to get into my rant about them actually existing…but only in the US…because fuck you, that’s why.

The reason I am writing this article is because there are a LOT of trans people (and cis people who also change their names) that want to not continually get denied opening accounts with their correct name because creditors can’t get their thumbs out of their asses when it comes to actually helping the people that pay their paychecks. I had a friend ask how they would be able to get it updated, because they have no credit. Instead of just sharing it with them, I wrote this article, to help anyone else that may need a hand.

That’s right. If your info doesn’t match, you will literally have no credit…so, this is a pretty important thing to do. You would think that would make it easy…but nope.

Now to the meat of it. There are 3 major Credit Bureaus: Trans Union (lol), Equifax, and Experian. Each of them have a different process for updating, but they all come under their “Dispute,” process.

Experian

Experian was the hardest to find. I literally had to call them out on Twitter to find where to update your info, and out of the ~10 hours I spent trying to talk to a person, I couldn’t navigate their maze of menu options to actually do it.

So, this is the process for Equifax

  • First, you call 1-800-493-1058 (Monday-Friday from 8 AM-7 PM CST).
    • Options: 2, then 1, then 1 again.
      • This will allow you to speak to an actual person. Once they pick up, explain what you are trying to do, and they will open a case for you.
        • This is the GOLD. Once you have the case number, mark it down, and then go to this site.
          • Once you are on this site, you put in the old name. Then you go to the second step and upload your documents.
          • Bear in mind that all documents need to fit in the following criteria (which of course, they don’t give you all of this info on that site, or when you talk to the person):• Document is in a .tiff or .pdf format only. • Documents cannot exceed our system’s size limit (15 MB for all documents uploaded in a session). This means 15 MB TOTAL, not per document!!! • The document appears to contain a virus. • The documents need to be in black and white.
        • Once you have attached these documents, go to the review step. Bear in mind, this page times out quickly. If memory serves, it was around 5 minutes, so if you need to convert files and such, and make sure that the documents hit their very narrow parameters (Wamp Rats, anyone?)
          • Now You Wait. Eventually (mine took about 6 weeks), your Experian score will update.

Equifax

Equifax is the easiest…by far. 3 step process.

  1. Create an account on their website.
  2. Go to the Dispute Center, and file a dispute.
  3. Wait.

Trans Union

Trans Union is somewhere in the middle…Mostly because you cannot make a dispute about your name online. You have to mail them physical forms/documents. This is the process.

  • You need to go to this page. They give you basically no guidance, so my advice is to include all of the documentation you have (SS card, Name Change Order, License, Birth Certificate, etc.).
  • There is the address you need to send your documents to, and you can download a mailing label.

Note: I have not completed this one…mostly because of ADHD brain, so I am not sure how they notify you of the change or how long it takes.

Lovingly,

Your friendly neighborhood trans mom,

~ Justice F. Dazzle