What Credit Bureau Does Discover Use? (2023)

Discover will most likely pull your credit report from Equifax with a likelihood of 48.2%, based on historical information data gathered from creditboards.com between 2003 and 2021.

Looking at the pie chart below, there is 29.6% chance that Discover will pull from TransUnion, as opposed to 22.1% from Experian.

What credit bureau does Discover use?
What credit bureau does Discover use?

These numbers are a reflection of all hard inquiry credit pulls that Discover has performed from all over the United States.

Therefore, it may be the case that Discover prefers to pull from one particular bureau that another 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 Discover.

US states where Discover pulls primarily from Equifax

US states where Discover pulls primarily from TransUnion

US states where Discover pulls primarily from Experian

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 Discover pull from the same credit bureau for each state?

No, the credit bureau from which Discover pulls 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 Discover to pull from each credit bureau.

New Hampshire20.00%30.00%50.00%
New Jersey18.42%23.68%57.89%
New Mexico45.45%36.36%18.18%
New York34.68%15.32%50.00%
North Carolina43.40%30.19%26.42%
North Dakota66.67%0.00%33.33%
Rhode Island0.00%0.00%100.00%
South Carolina26.67%16.67%56.67%
South Dakota0.00%0.00%100.00%
West Virginia40.00%0.00%60.00%
Credit bureaus from which Discover 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.

The green percentage values indicate the states where Discover primarily pulled from one particular credit bureau.

Around 62% of states pull primarily from Equifax, despite only 48.2% overall in the United States.

This indicates that there are some states where Experian and TransUnion dominate the rest of the credit pulls to account for the deficit.

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

Will Discover always prefer to use one credit bureau over another?

Yes, Discover will lean more towards Equifax just under half of the time, at 48.2%.

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, Discover 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 Discover has historically pulled from Equifax. The darker colors indicate larger numbers of credit pulls.

US states where Discover pulls from Equifax the most

Compare this to credit reports pulled from Experian and TransUnion below. What’s evident is that the areas covered by all the maps are quite similar, which indicates that Discover still pulls credit reports from Experian and TransUnion for all states, but at slightly smaller numbers.

US states where Discover pulls from TransUnion the most

US states where Discover pulls from Experian the most

On the other hand, North Carolina and Wisconsin, both of which have a sample set of around 30-50 consumers, have indicated that TransUnion is the clear favorite.

Again, the underlying motive for Discover to pull from TransUnion in this case as opposed to Equifax or Experian for these states, is unknown. Perhaps it may be more cost effective in those cases.

Is there any advantage in knowing which credit bureau Discover uses?

Having prior knowledge on the credit bureau that Discover 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 Discover has a high likelihood of pulling from in your situation, is potentially critical in getting a successful credit application.

In fact, as this article has mentioned on numerous occasions, Discover will prefer to pull from Equifax, and so focussing on improving your credit report with them, should be your priority.

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

From 2010 to 2018, Discover preferred to pull from Equifax
From 2010 to 2018, Discover preferred to pull from Equifax.

If we compare the years from 2010 to 2018 with 2018 to 2021, the primary credit bureau from which Discover would pull credit reports, transitioned from Equifax to Experian.

However, the total number of consumers who reported Equifax as the dominant credit bureau may still have been overwhelmingly higher to withstand any recent surge from Experian.

From 2018 to 2021, Discover preferred to pull from Experian
From 2018 to 2021, Discover preferred to pull from Experian.

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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