If you’re transgender or nonbinary in Illinois, you’re well aware of some of the unique challenges you face. One that may not be as apparent at first is potential credit issues stemming from legal name changes.
The “Big Three” credit bureaus have only recently begun trying to address credit issues caused by their handling of nonbinary and transgender individuals, and there are still plenty of work to be done. As things stand, transgender and nonbinary people who legally change their names can experience various problems with their credit.
Areas of concern
One of the major issues for the credit bureaus is updating their practices and training to make sure that they correctly identify and maintain continuity for credit files after a transgender or nonbinary consumer changes their name.
As things stand, some credit bureaus’ processes don’t use complete 9-digit social security number matching. This can lead to name conflicts causing problems within their record keeping. In addition, the credit bureaus don’t offer enough training to their staff to make sure they handle transgender and nonbinary consumers with sensitivity and knowledge.
Areas for improvement
A transgender or nonbinary person may need to submit multiple requests and notifications to credit bureaus informing them of a name change. It would be possible for the credit bureaus to collaborate to create a “one-stop” portal or system that would allow for a single notification to alert all relevant parties.
Another area where credit bureaus could make immediate improvements is updating their policies to avoid deadnaming transgender and nonbinary consumers in their credit reports. These reports, which go out to landlords, underwriters and employers, should only feature the person’s current legal name.
Dealing with credit issues as a transgender or nonbinary person can seem like one more unfair burden. Hopefully, the credit bureaus will continue to implement policies and practices to make their systems more accommodating for all people.