This post originally appeared March 8, 2018 on CreditCards.com as “Should I avoid applying for a card that pulls all three bureaus?“
By Barry Paperno
Dear Speaking of Credit,
I read recently in a Million Mile Secrets story that says some folks avoid Capital One cards because they pull three main credit bureaus when they process your application.
Is that true? If so, does that mean that the credit ding from applying for a Capital One card or loan would lower my credit score more than it does when I apply for cards through other issuers? Thanks! – Jeff
It’s true. I was able to confirm with Capital One that it does indeed pull credit scores from all three big credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – before approving a credit card application.
What makes this rather extensive credit checking process unusual is that card companies traditionally rely on just a single bureau’s information when making a card-issuing decision.
Why does the number of bureau pulls matter? As you’ve pointed out, scores can be impacted by whether the bank pulls one, two or three inquiry-generating credit pulls for the same applicant.
Thus it is the savvy consumer in you that questions whether pulling three scores for a credit card application is a good idea.