How Identity Documents Can Cause Discrimination and Credit Difficulties

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How Identity Documents Can Cause Discrimination and Credit Difficulties

BLOGBillie Simmons

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Identity documents can cause a myriad of problems for trans and gender non-conforming individuals trying to access financial services. 

Requirements that identity documents must be obtained and referenced as part of the credit application process can result in discrimination against people based on gender identity or expression. Only an estimated 67 percent of transgender people have been able to update at least one identity document and one-third have no identity documentation consistent with their gender identity. (Source)

Why is this the case?

In the US, the lengthy and expensive undertaking of getting your name and gender marker updated on your IDs (which varies from state to state) can often cause trans people people to avoid or put off the process. Even after getting your updated documents, that’s not the end; you’ve then got to update all of your financial accounts, which can vary from faxing the court order (seriously, who faxes anymore?) to appearing in person at your bank or credit union. 


A typical name and gender marker updating process. Source: transequality.org

Similarly, if you’re gender non-conforming, it can be an emotional or unpleasant experience dealing with financial advisors who might not know any better than to gender you on the basis of your identity documents. 

The process of updating documents and accounts also isn’t wholesale, meaning you can end up with a partial or missing credit history, making you vulnerable to rejection for financial services in addition to discrimination.

Photo: The Gender Spectrum Collection

It can often feel like gambling; while a lot of banks might pay lip service to the LGBT community during pride month, how many of them are actually training their staff to account for people in our community? If it’s down to the individual employee to decide if you’re approved or rejected, how can you know that you’ll receive the same experience from employee to employee? 

A banking experience built for your needs 

At Daylight, all of our services are designed for the specific needs of the LGBT+ community. We understand your unique needs, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re being given the best advice and financial options available. 

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Billie Simmons

Co-Founder, Chief of Staff at Daylight