Campus Pride signs on to Consumer Data Industry Association letter advocating for trans and nonbinary consumers

LGBTQ coalition letter to Big Three credit bureaus and CDIA

On February 28, 2022, Campus Pride signed on as a member of a coalition of 145 organizations that sent a letter to Equifax, Experian, Transunion and the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA). The letter called on these organizations to take needed actions to correct credit report problems for transgender and nonbinary consumers.

The other signatory organizations include LGBTQ advocacy organizations, community centers, chambers of commerce, businesses, and community groups, as well as consumer, employment, housing and anti-poverty organizations.

The letter responds to the CDIA’s announcement on February 2, 2022, “Helping Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals Prevent Potential Disruptions to Their Credit,” which describes new policies at credit bureaus to allow transgender and nonbinary consumers to submit name-change documentation to update the name on the credit reports.

Source: Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia, PA

The letter acknowledges the credit bureaus’ new policies as an important first step and recommends additional action to correct persisting problems for trans and nonbinary consumers. After a legal name change, many transgender and nonbinary consumers end up with multiple credit files in different names and suffer a loss of credit history and score as a result. Additionally, credit reports out trans and nonbinary people to landlords, employers, and lenders when they apply for loans, jobs, and housing because the report still includes their deadname.

Call for additional steps from credit bureaus

Campus Pride joins these organizations in calling on credit bureaus to address ongoing problems by taking additional steps to protect trans and nonbinary consumers. The full letter and list of signatories can be downloaded and read as a PDF here. Read more about the demands:

  • Using consumers’ full 9-digit Social Security numbers in matching algorithms to ensure credit information is associated with the correct credit file.
  • Facilitating name changes by having clear procedures to update a consumer’s name on their credit report when presented with a legal name change order, and ensuring that staff are sufficiently trained in those procedures and are able to provide culturally competent service to transgender and nonbinary consumers.
  • Reducing the burden on transgender and nonbinary consumers to submit name-change documentation to each credit reporting agency by instituting a “one-stop” system that allows a consumer to submit a single request to have the legal name on their report updated, and ensures the request is communicated to all consumer reporting agencies.
  • Preventing the occurrence and recurrence of fragmented credit files by creating procedures to detect when a consumer changes their legal name with a creditor, to associate the new name with their credit file, and to consolidate a consumer’s credit information in their current and previous names in a single credit file — as the industry presently does when cisgender women and other consumers change their last names.
  • Preventing the disclosure of transgender and nonbinary consumers’ deadnames to landlords, employers, and underwriters by disclosing only a consumer’s current legal name in reports provided to credit report users.

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Celebrating its 20th anniversary year in 2021, Campus Pride is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to building future leaders and creating safer, more inclusive communities for LGBTQ people and allies at colleges and universities. Founded in 2001 by nationally-recognized LGBTQ civil rights leader and campus pioneer Shane L. Windmeyer, Campus Pride offers a wide variety of programs and resources for students and prospective students, including the Campus Pride Index, HBCU Clearinghouse, Trans Policy Clearinghouse, Lambda 10, Stop the Hate and Safe Space trainings, and the annual Camp Pride leadership camp.

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