Timely news, information and advice concentrating on FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgage lending.

Vimeo Channel YouTube Channel

Applying For An FHA Mortgage With A Changed Name

April 18, 2022

FHA Home Loan

It is illegal under the Fair Housing Act to discriminate against a person who seeks housing because of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, family status, and any number of other non-financial issues.

But in addition to the Fair Housing Act, there are certain Know Your Customer best practices required for both buying a home and renting that help establish the identity of the renter or buyer.

Your lender will require you to verify your identity with a photo ID, tax documents, Social Security Number, and/or other identifiers. But what happens if the name on these documents isn’t the same as the name you have now or will have in the future?

If you have a need for a legal name change these best practices can get a little complicated, and it’s very important to know state and federal guidelines that may be applicable when a legal name change is necessary.

In some cases, the legal name change may be due to marriage. In others, it may be due to divorce. In still other cases, it may be a question of someone who has completely changed names and identifies as non-binary or trans. 

The lender is caught in such cases between the need to provide fair access to housing and a need to ensure the applicant really is who they say they are. Fortunately, there are some things a buyer can do to help before applying for a mortgage.

Once upon a time in our society, there was far less awareness of these issues; in the 21st-century society has progressed to the stage where we understand the need to address systemic problems that leave people behind while they exercise their rights to fair housing.

What should those who need to legally change their name do to avoid complications when it’s time to apply for an FHA mortgage?

The first step is to legally establish your new name by updating your Social Security cards and account, state drivers’ license or state ID, passport, and birth certificate. 

Different states may have varying degrees of complexity when handling these issues, so it pays to give yourself far more time than you think you might need to get this done.

It’s possible that the laws of your state will require you to start this journey via your state court system. 

Once you have gotten these legal ID requirements settled, you will need to establish your new name with the credit bureaus. 

You will be asked to provide supporting documentation related to your name and/or identity change including the official ID documents listed above (one reason why you’ll need to change your identifying documents first) and be prepared to send more than one kind of supporting documentation with your update.

While it is true that a name change may “eventually” catch up to your credit reports, if you plan on buying a home you will want the credit report review process to be as uncomplicated as possible. It may be better to delay applying for the loan (depending on circumstances) if there is still confusion over your legal identity. Could the laws of your state help or hinder in such cases? Much may depend on where you live.

Applying too early could be a problem for some borrowers. If you aren’t sure of the best course of action try talking to a loan officer for some advice. Your lender may have experience dealing with such issues, or you can shop around for one that does.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

Connect with Joe:


Browse by Date:

About FHANewsBlog.com
FHANewsBlog.com was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

5850 San Felipe Suite #500, Houston, TX 77057 281-398-6111.
FHANewsBlog.com is privately funded and is not a government agency.

Share This