Will your credit score be affected after changing your name?
You're about to embark on a major shift in your life—changing your name! Whether you're taking on a new last name due to a marriage, changing your name back after a divorce, a transition in your gender or wanting to change your name for any other personal reason, you may be wondering how doing so could affect your finances—particularly your credit score.
While changing your name can be a hassle that comes with lots of documentation and forms, you don't have to worry about it affecting your credit score. That's because multiple pieces of information are used to identify you for credit purposes, including your Social Security number (SSN). If you're curious about what your credit score is and the factors that affect it, consider enrolling in Chase Credit Journey®. You can get a free credit score and credit report provided by Experian™ as well as helpful resources to better understand what your score means and how you can improve it.
In this article, you will learn about:
- How to report your name change to the credit bureaus
- How to report your name change to bank and credit card accounts
- Other places where you need to report your name change
How to report your name change to the credit bureaus
Even though changing your name won't change your credit score, you should report the name change after it's been officially changed to your financial institutions, like your credit card issuer, student loan provider or mortgage lender. These financial institutions report your information to the three main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax® and TransUnion®. When you update your records through your credit card company and bank, the credit bureaus will be able to update your report to reflect this new information. It may also be wise to check and make sure your credit card company has furnished the bureaus with the information about your name change.
In order for credit bureaus to be aware of your name change, you will need to go through the process of changing your name using the proper documentation. Follow these steps to ensure your name gets changed properly:
- Fill out appropriate documentation with your state — contact your courthouse to see what it is you will need to provide specifically in order to change your name.
- Get an updated Social Security card — provide the Social Security Administration with the proper documents that authenticate your name change. These documents include things like marriage certificates, divorce paperwork, etc.
- Change your name on other identification documents — these include your driver's license, passports, passport cards and other forms of identification.
Once you have all these documents in place, you can contact your bank and credit card issuer(s) to make the change to your accounts, which will initiate the change on your credit report.
How to report your name change to your bank and credit card accounts
To help ensure your name gets changed on all your bank and credit card accounts, you'll want to take the following steps.
- Step 1: Contact your credit card issuer and bank — ask about their policy and process for changing your name and what documentation you will need.
- Step 2: Organize your documents — make sure you have all the proper paper work needed to make the change. This could be your updated Social Security card, driver's license and other forms of ID to help prove the name change.
- Step 3: Submit the documentation — depending on your issuer, you may be able to do this online or go in person.
Be prepared to wait some time for your new card with your new name toarrive. It could take a few weeks for the entire process to be completed.
Other places to report your name change
Updating your name change on your government documents and with your financial institutions is highly important. However, these are not the only two areas where you should be reporting your name.
Make sure that your employer, insurers (such as your health insurance and home insurance companies) and doctors should are notified about your name change. You may also want to make the companies that you regularly use or purchase from (such as e-commerce sites and streaming subscriptions) aware of the name change to avoid any potential issues that could arise. Finally, inform mail and package delivery services (such as the United States Postal Service(R)) so that you can continue to receive your mail properly.
Whatever your reason is for changing your name, know that your credit score will not be affected by this change alone. Still, it's important for financial institutions and credit bureaus to have the proper information on file and be aware of this major change.