Changing name: student loans, credit cards, and credit reporting [2007]

A reader notes:

I have my court order and I’m just about to head to the SSA in my area to get my social security info updated.  I have a question that I haven’t found answered on your site as far as I can tell: how do I get the name changed on my credit card?  Also, I have a lot of student loans.  Do you know how I get the loans transferred to my new name?

My reply:

Changing banking information and credit cards is easy once you have a court order for name change. If you got a few official copies (they are 3 to 10 dollars each depending on where you live), go to your bank and change your accounts there. If your credit card is through another bank, contact them by phone. You may need to provide a copy of your court order in many cases and will probably have to sign a form or two. This is often best done in person after you have done your Social Security and government ID.

The same is true for your student loans. Simply contact the lender(s) and inform them of your name change. They will instruct you on next steps.

All of these institutions do this frequently for people who change their names after marriage or divorce, so it’s not a big deal. Just make sure to get all of them.

While you are at it, you should also contact the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Two of them will purge your old name completely, which will be helpful down the road if you apply for a home or business loan.

It also appears that you may want to ask your school for a different email address. While you’re at it, make sure they will change your transcripts and diploma. It’s also a good idea to contact any professors who may be writing recommendations and confirm that you do not want them using your old name.

Related links:
* Legal name change project

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.

[note: this page was ported verbatim from and is presented for historical purposes. It may not reflect current views of the author or any people and organizations mentioned.]

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