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What Credit Bureau Does Capital One Use?

Hard inquiries on your credit report leave a dent in your credit score. So, it’s important you choose a card and a card company only after thorough deliberation. One thing that can make choosing a card company easier is knowing which bureau(s) the issuer uses to pull reports.

If you’ve been considering Capital One as your card company, you might get some insights into whether you’ll get approved or not by finding the answer to – what credit bureau does Capital One use. We actually did some digging for you and put together all the details you’ll need to decide whether this issuer is the right fit for you.

What Credit Bureau Does Capital One Use?

Capital One uses three credit bureaus to pull your credit information. They do it every time you apply for one of their cards. However, it appears that the choice of bureaus varies from state to state. Even then, you should expect a triple pull before you get the approval email.

A credit card, mobile phone and a laptop on a desk

Most issuers don’t request reports from bureaus. However, this bank has a unique process as it wants to be extra cautious about its selection of customers. Although Capital One won’t disclose its credit inquiry procedures, you will know after you apply for its cards. 

Brief Description of Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus are agencies that collect and keep records of the citizens’ financial data. They obtain information from public records, lenders, banks, credit unions, etc. They calculate your creditworthiness, aka your credit score, based on that information. 

The bureaus generate revenue by selling those details to banks and lenders for a fee. Credit card issuers depend on those particulars to determine the approval or rejection of a potential cardholder. Termed “The Big Three” in the finance market, there are three such agencies in the US.


This bureau has information on over 200 million US citizens and 25 million US businesses. It is considered to be the most used agency due to its annual income being consistently higher than the other bureaus. Their income in 2023 was estimated to be $6.62 billion.

This makes it more reliable, too, as card companies, lenders, and investors consider Experian reports to be the most accurate. It is also the biggest of the three bureaus.


This is a US-based agency that works similarly to the other credit bureaus. It also sells fraud protection and credit monitoring services directly to individuals. 

Individuals can request soft credit checks, which helps them get a better idea of their credit score, which in turn enables them to pick the right card.


It is the smallest of the three credit bureaus, recording data for approximately 200 million US cardholders. 

A woman sitting on a bed holding a credit card, engrossed in her laptop

Besides selling consumers’ monetary details to banks and card-issuing companies, it sells anti-fraud services to anyone who wants to buy them. Like the other two bureaus, TransUnion is also supposed to provide consumers with one free annual credit report.

Reasons for Pulling Credit History from Bureaus

Clients’ credit reports are important for banks, card issuers, and lenders of every type. A credit report is a document that contains a detailed account of your credit activities. It is your financial history.  

Determine Creditworthiness

Credit bureaus deliver insights about your payment behavior to your potential card companies. Most importantly, your credit score. These insights help card companies discover if you:

  • Missed or made late payments
  • Had a rocky patch where you defaulted
  • Have unpaid or ongoing loans on your account
  • Already have cards 
  • Have a habit of maxing out your cards

Everything is recorded, including the good and the bad payment attitudes. It helps issuers see you as a red or a green flag. The reports also play a role in setting your credit limit. You might get a low spending limit and a high-interest rate if you have a below-average credit score.

Additionally, these insights also help customers as they can spot their shortcomings through the free yearly report provided by the bureaus.

Predict Payment Patterns

Lenders can predict your ability to stay on a reasonable payment track based on your credit score and payoff wavelength. Through the bureau reports, they’ll be able to decide whether you will be able to pay:

  • Your car or home loan installments
  • Monthly utility bills
  • TV and streaming subscriptions
  • An insurance policy 
A family sitting on a couch with a laptop, enjoying quality time together at home

The Impact of a Credit Bureau Inquiry on your Credit Score

A hard inquiry is when a card company requests a full report from one of the bureaus, and this has the potential to damage your credit score. It is also worth noting that it stays on your credit for two years. However, if your credit score lies between good and excellent, a hard inquiry won’t have much of an impact on it.  

An inquiry generally means that you have applied for a credit card. Too many consecutive inquiries can alarm companies as they indicate that you are trying to get too many cards you cannot pay for. 

That said, creditors won’t view you negatively if you apply for a Capital One loan with multiple banks. Those inquiries are considered harmless. Still, it is recommended that individuals refrain from applying for a new card and a loan together because it may lower their trustworthiness.

Related Questions

Does Capital One do a Hard Pull on your Credit?

Yes, Capital One does a hard pull on your credit. It is renowned for its high-standard selection criteria for its cardholders, which mean they perform a triple-pull that involves verifying you from three credit bureaus before approving you. 

Which Credit Bureau do Most Lenders Use?

Most lenders use Experian to collect records of applicants’ ability to pay off their debt. The bureau is more popular due to the details they provide. Lenders get a more comprehensive picture of a client’s financial history, credit score, and predictions for how likely they are to default.

Why is my Capital One Credit Score Different from Experian?

Your Capital One score is different from Experian because of the difference in data access. Businesses report to credit bureaus frequently and calculate scores based on that information. That said, the difference is usually small and does not affect your loan prospects negatively.


Before approving card requests, Capital One does a triple-pull, which means it pulls financial reports from three credit bureaus. This triple-pull delivers a detailed image of a potential cardholder’s financial patterns, including future financial behavior predictions. Although your credit score may dip for a few months due to this hard inquiry, it benefits your financial history in the long run.