What Credit Bureau Does Capital One Use? (2023)

Capital One will most likely pull your credit report from Experian with a likelihood of 34.3%.

However, looking at the pie chart below, the chances of pulling from either of the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, are quite equal.

What credit bureau does Capital One use?
What credit bureau does Capital One use?

This information is based on historical data gathered from creditboards.com between 2001 and 2022 and are a reflection of all hard inquiry credit pulls that Capital One has performed from all over the United States.

Therefore, it may be the case that Capital One prefers to pull from one particular bureau on a state by state basis.

The maps below show the areas in the United States where each credit bureau is primarily being pulled by Capital One.

US states where Capital One pulls primarily from Experian

US states where Capital One pulls primarily from TransUnion

US states where Capital One pulls primarily from Equifax

It is also important to note that the data gathered includes pulls:

  • associated with applications for credit cards, auto loans, etc
  • regardless of whether the application was successful or denied with an adverse action notice

Does Capital One pull from the same credit bureau for each state?

No, the credit bureau that Capital One uses to pull your credit report is not always the same between states.

Below is a table which breaks down the historical data for each state, providing the likelihood for Capital One to pull from each credit bureau.

The green percentage values indicate the credit bureau from which Capital One has traditionally pulled almost exclusively for that state.

New Hampshire45.45%18.18%36.36%
New Jersey22.22%52.78%25.00%
New Mexico57.14%28.57%14.29%
New York28.89%55.56%15.56%
North Carolina42.11%15.79%42.11%
Rhode Island33.33%66.67%0.00%
South Carolina33.33%22.22%44.44%
Credit bureaus from which Capital One pulls for each US state (source: creditboards.com)

If a particular state is not listed, this would mean that there was insufficient data for that state.

It is evident from the data presented in the table, that the majority of the states actually report almost an equal share of credit pulls from each credit bureau.

Note that the credit bureau from which Capital One pulls your credit report will vary depending on the state in which you reside and the credit card for which you are applying.

Will Capital One always prefer to use one credit bureau over another?

Historically, Capital One will only marginally will lean towards pulling your credit report from Experian, almost equally pulling from TransUnion and Equifax.

The reason behind what is essentially an even share between the three credit bureaus may stem from the fact that Capital One will typically assess an applicant’s credit report from multiple bureaus, not just one.

The data has been gathered from consumers who have applied for credit and have decided to share the information found in their credit report.

Unfortunately, Capital One does not disclose information regarding the credit bureau from which they pull for certain credit card applications.

Therefore, the information provided here should only be used as an indication of historical credit pulls, and should not be misconstrued as being true for all scenarios.

The heatmap below displays the states where Capital One has historically pulled from Experian. The darker colors indicate larger credit pull frequency.

US states where Capital One pulls from Experian the most

Compare this to credit reports pulled from Equifax and TransUnion below. What’s evident is that the areas covered by each map are quite similar, thereby reaffirming that Capital One pulls almost equally from each credit bureau.

US states where Capital One pulls from TransUnion the most

TransUnion and Equifax more-so have more of a striking resemblance.

US states where Capital One pulls from Equifax the most

Despite the equal distribution amongst the credit bureaus, the table earlier in the article indicated that there were around 10 states where Capital One mainly chose to pull from Experian.

In contrast, only 6 states in total preferred to pull from either TransUnion or Equifax.

It’s interesting to note that the trend with Capital One not having a clear dominant preference when pulling from a particular credit bureau extends all the way to 2001.

From 2001 to 2010, Capital One pulled quite evenly from all three credit bureaus.
From 2001 to 2010, Capital One pulled quite evenly from all three credit bureaus.

The pattern has remained unchanged for quite sometime.

Is there any benefit in knowing which credit bureau Capital One uses?

Having prior knowledge on the credit bureau that Capital One uses, will allow you to focus on improving your credit report for that particular credit bureau.

Perhaps your credit report from all credit bureaus is quite poor and contains derogatory remarks associated with collections, charge-offs, or other delinquencies.

Knowing which credit bureau Capital One has a high likelihood of pulling from in your situation, is potentially critical in getting a successful credit application.

This is not to say that you should ignore your credit reports from other bureaus entirely.

In fact, as this article has mentioned on numerous occasions, Capital One will prefer to pull from Experian only marginally, and will often perform a second or third pull from the other bureaus.

Regardless of whether you are applying for credit or not, careful and calculated steps should always be taken to constantly maintain a strong credit report with all bureaus and to use credit wisely.

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