Credit Reports & Scores

A credit report is generated from a consumer’s file made at a consumer reporting agency (a “CRA”) that collects information about consumers’ history with credit. There are three big CRAs in the United States: Equifax, Experian, & Transunion. These three “credit bureaus” make credit reports by collecting data about consumers’ accounts furnished by creditors and gathered from public records. 

Credit bureaus sell credit reports to creditors, landlords, and employers to evaluate consumers prospectively for loans, rentals, or jobs. Credit bureaus and other companies also sell credit scores made with credit report data to (purportedly) estimate the risk of lending to a consumer. Consequently, a good credit history and score are very important in order to obtain credit, jobs, and housing.

Credit Scores for LGBTQ+ People

Recent surveys indicate that LGBTQ+ people are less likely to have high credit scores that would qualify them for the best offers for mortgages and loans. In CLEAR’s report on the Economic Well-being of LGBTQ Households in the U.S. in 2019, we found that LGBTQ+ adults were 2x more likely than non-LGBTQ+ adults to report Poor or Very Poor credit scores (16% vs. 8%), and over a third of LGBTQ+ people who had submitted applications for credit were turned down (35% vs. 21% of non-LGBTQ+). LGBTQ+ women and people of color were even more likely to say that they have a poor or very poor credit score, and were also more likely to say that they had been turned down for a loan or offered less credit than they wanted in the past year. 

Poor or Very Poor Credit Scores in 2019

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Credit Reporting Issues After a Legal Name Change

After a legal name change, trans and gender nonconforming people experience myriad problems with their credit reports, including losing their credit history, drops in their credit score, and unfair denials for loans, rentals, and jobs because reports continue to include their former name, also referred to as their deadname.

One Pagers

Check out our one pagers about credit reporting issues for trans and nonbinary people after a legal name change:

Fact Sheet

Read our fact sheet about the unexpected challenges for trans & gender non-conforming individuals experience with their credit reports after a legal name change.

Case Study

Read about the credit report issues one trans woman had with her credit reports and score after her legal name change.

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to our CLEAR Finance Chat podcast episode with Billie Simmons from Daylight about credit issues for trans and nonbinary people after a legal name change.

Credit Reports & Scores on the Blog