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Guide to Changing the Name on Your Credit Card

Guide to Changing the Name on Your Credit Card
Jason Steele
Jason SteeleUpdated August 15, 2022
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When you legally change your name, because you got married or divorced, for instance, you’ll need to change your name on your credit cards. While the process isn’t difficult, it may be more complicated than you might expect. Here’s how to change your name on credit cards.

Common Reasons People Need to Make a Credit Card Name Change

People change their name for a variety of reasons, including marriage, divorce, or the transition to a different gender. Others legally change their name to one they prefer more than the name that they were given at birth. Whatever the reason, once you change your legal name, you’ll want to change the name on your credit card as well, especially as you’re using your credit card responsibly, so that it matches your ID and other documents. Recommended: Joint Credit Cards: What to Know and How to Apply for One

Steps for Changing Your Name on a Credit Card

If you’re changing only your first name, some credit card issuers now offer services that allow you to quickly and easily change your first name to one you prefer, without having to produce documentation of a legal name change. For example, Citi currently offers this service.Otherwise, there are several steps you’ll need to take to get your new name on your credit cards. 

Legally change your name

Before you can change the name on credit cards, you’ll need to change your name legally. If you’re getting married or divorced, your marriage license or divorce decree will act as the proof of your new name. But if you’re changing your name for another reason, you will likely have to appear in court in order to do so. Once your request is granted, you’ll receive the official documentation of your new name. 

Update your driver’s license or state ID and your Social Security card

With the proper documentation in hand, you can visit your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) to get a new driver’s license or state ID with your new name. To change the name on your Social Security card, you’ll need to present the same documentation and fill out an application, which you can find online at ssa.gov. Your new driver’s license or state ID and new Social Security card will help you change the name on your credit card, since your issuer will likely want to see these new forms of legal ID. 

Request a card with your new name from your credit card issuer. 

Depending on the credit card issuer, these requests can be made online, over the phone, or in-person at a branch office. You can find the company’s contact information by reading your credit card statement. The card issuer will likely ask you for proof of your legal name change, which you can provide in the form of your new ID and Social Security card. Some may also want to see other documentation, such as a marriage license. Ask how they’d like you to submit all the documentation. Fortunately,a name change does not affect how credit cards work.

Receive and activate your new card. 

It can take 7 to 10 business days to receive a new credit card. Before you can use it, however, you must activate the card. There should be a sticker on the front of the card with instructions for activating it; typically you can activate it over the phone or online. Once activation is confirmed, you can start using your card. As you go through this process, you’ll find that there are many credit card terminologies it’s helpful to know. 

Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Changing Your Credit Card Name

First, be sure to gather together all the correct documentation before you make the request. For example, some card issuers might ask for an updated ID and they won’t accept other forms of proof. Check with the credit card company.When you change your name at the DMV and the Social Security office, triple check that your new name is properly spelled, including any spaces or hyphens that should be there.If you come across a service that claims it can handle the name-changing process for you and get it accomplished faster, it’s probably best to skip them. They will charge you a fee, but they may not save you any time.

How Long Will a Name Change Take to Be Updated on Credit Cards?

Once you have your ID with your new name, it shouldn’t take long to update the name on your credit card account and to get your new card. If you have to mail or fax in your request, this could add a bit to the processing time. But you should receive your new card in 7 to 10 days.

What to Expect After a Name Change

You’ll have a credit card with your new name on it, but all your other account information should be the same. That means that your balance and payment information won’t change, nor will any rewards that you’ve earned. 

Does Changing Your Name Affect Credit?

Changing your name does not affect your credit. Your account information remains the same, as does your identifying information. That gives the major consumer credit bureaus plenty to work with to link your new name with all of your previous credit history. If you use a credit monitoring service, then you’ll see the name change request go through. Learn how much credit card monitoring is to see if it’s is a good option for you.

The Takeaway

Changing your name on your credit card isn’t difficult, though it can take some time and effort. Fortunately, once you have the proper documentation, your name change should be a fairly straightforward process. Best of all, it won’t affect your credit in any way. If, as you’re changing your name, you’re looking for a new credit card as well, Lantern by SoFi can help. With our easy and convenient online tool, you can compare credit cards to choose the one that works best for you.
Photo credit: iStock/Hispanolistic
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put a different name on my credit card?
Can I change my name on my credit card online?
Does the name on the credit card matter?
Should I leave my credit cards in my old name?
Do you need to change your name on your credit report after a credit card name change?

About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards and award travel since 2008. One of the nation's leading experts in this field, he has contributed to dozens of personal finance and travel outlets and has been widely quoted in the mainstream media.
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