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Which Credit Bureau Will My Inquiry Go To for a New Credit Card?

The fact that there are three credit bureaus and that all of the data across all of them is not in sync is a huge benefit to us as consumers; if we know how to leverage it. When we apply for loans and lines of credit, the creditor we’re looking to establish a relationship with is going to pull our credit; the question that we want to know is what are they going to pull?

If you’re applying for a mortgage expect all three: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They will pull all three reports and scores ad as long as there are no derogatory remarks, they’re going to specifically care about your current balances (can you afford the new debt?) scores, and your recent inquiries — typically within the past 12 months and most definitely within the past 90 days. The high and low score will likely be tossed and the middle one is what they’ll use to determine where you fit in the interest rate bucket.

They will care about recent inquiries and will want to know about any fishing for credit you’ve been doing. If you’re going to be making a substantial 10, 20 or 30 year loan commitment, they want to make sure you’re not getting in over your head with either existing debt or the possibility that you might rack up new/additional debt.

A car loan or student loan might only go to a single credit bureau. Store charge and bank credit/charge cards are also likely to go to a single bureau. Capital One is one creditor known to pull all three bureaus when you apply for a new card account from them. Keep in mind, if Capital One is going to pull three and Chase, Citi, Bank of America, Discover, Barclay’s, American Express and US Bank are only going to pull one, you need to evaluate how important that line of credit from Capital One is to your credit portfolio.

If you’re new to the world of credit, the Capital One card will be a great addition as it will help build your credit file across all three bureaus; but with someone that has established credit and is simply looking for a new or different product, those extra two inquiries are an expensive “cost” to your report.

Moving past the applications that will pull all three credit bureaus, how can we find out which

credit bureaus report is likely to be pulled when we apply for that new credit card? Here are a few ways to see where the inquiry is going to go:

  • Check the Application – The creditor may explicitly state they’re going to pull an Experian credit report; if so, there is your answer.
  • Check your own credit report – If the creditor that is going to pull your report is one you currently have an account with and they have pulled your credit within the past 24 months, they’re likely to pull from the same bureau again. 24 months is the magic number as that is how long hard inquiries show on your credit report and are visible to those pulling your credit report.  Here’s a snip from Sara’s (and my) three bureau report from You can see creditors are consistent where they go and that our TransUnion reports rarely get touched.
  • Check the credit report of people you live with / family / friends in the area – Stay within the same state. While creditors have pulled from the same bureaus for me as I moved from Massachusetts, to New York and to Georgia, it isn’t always the case that the same bureau will be pulled. Your friends should be regularly checking their scores and reports.
  • CreditKarma. CreditSesame. Quizzle  and — If your friends aren’t regularly checking their scores and reports, this is a great way to educate them and also to gather a data point or two for any future applications you may be making.
  • Check out the credit pulls thread on Flyertalk – Rick started this thread. Feel free to contribute to it to help one another
  • Check out the credit pulls database  on

Knowing where your credit inquiry is going may dictate the creditor and cards you’re applying for. We want to make sure we have well balanced and diverse creditor portfolios across all three credit bureaus. Another nugget that will help us use our excess good credit to travel at prices we can afford.

Questions about this or other topics? Feel free to comment below or email us.

Howie Rappaport Once a geek, always a geek. Howie Rappaport has always had a knack for getting a good deal. His passions are technology and travel; two things he gets to play with every day. Traveling over 100,000 miles and.

Category: Credit

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