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While Citi declined to comment on which consumer credit agency it primarily uses to pull credit reports when evaluating credit card applicant creditworthiness, crowdsourced data has previously indicated the bank relies primarily on Experian for its credit reports but has been known to pull from other credit bureaus, too. Citi, a Forbes partner, does report credit card account activity to all of the three major consumer credit agencies.
Citi Credit Cards Overview
Citi offers several credit cards for both consumers and businesses. Though not known for its luxury cards, Citi does issue cards worth looking at. For example, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi* offers great gas rewards for those who have Costco membership and the Citi® Double Cash Card may no longer be the only flat-rate 2% cash-back card on the market, but it was certainly one of the first. The card earns 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when purchases are made and another 1% when they’re paid off. With great balance transfer options and rewards cards alike, Citi has many credit card options to choose from.
Which Credit Bureau Does Citi Use?
Though the bank did not answer Forbes Advisor’s questions regarding which consumer credit agencies it draws its reports from, self-reported consumer data indicates Citi primarily draws reports from Experian. The bank also appears to lean on Equifax and more less commonly from TransUnion for reports, as well.
Credit Bureau Used as Per State
Data suggests Citi uses the three major credit bureaus. In a number of states, Experian appears to be used primarily, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Equifax seemed to be Citi’s primary consumer reporting agency source in a number of other states: Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota and West Virginia. According to our data, TransUnion is the primary credit bureau used in Utah and South Dakota.
When Does Citi Report to Credit Bureaus?
Citi reports to all major credit reporting bureaus. Credit card issuers usually report to agencies at the same time your monthly billing statement is issued or soon after. In some cases, changes may be reflected right away in your credit report but in others, it may take more than a month to update.
Which Credit Bureau Is Most Accurate?
Three major credit bureaus manage the bulk of consumer credit reporting in the United States: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These companies shoulder responsibility for providing consumer credit reports to lenders, who then use the information to evaluate risk. The credit business turns a large profit each year by selling credit information, which has been voluntarily provided to them by banks, lenders and other data furnishers, Citi included.
Information on each individual consumer varies by agency; no credit bureau collects the same information. A report from one credit bureau may, for several reasons, have different information from the next. Because each agency’s information is different, it’s impossible to determine which credit bureau is the most accurate. Most credit bureaus rate credit based on a system referred to as a FICO credit score. Major US lenders are most likely to check this score when assessing your credit then base decisions on your rating.
Credit bureaus may each offer a slightly different FICO credit score. This shouldn’t matter too much, since each score falls within a range (for example, a score between 670 and 739 is considered “good credit”), extreme differences between FICO scores issued by credit bureaus are unlikely unless an error has occurred.
How To Get A Credit Report
You may request your credit report several ways, but if you’re looking for a free and easy method, use AnnualCreditReport.com — the one website authorized to generate free reports. You can also call AnnualCreditReport.com at 1-877-322-8228.
Each consumer is, by law, entitled to at least one free credit report per year from each of the three major agencies, although through the end of 2022, you’re entitled to one per week. You can ask for these reports any time during the year and you are not obligated to request them together — meaning you can ask for your Equifax report in January and your Experian report in July.
Credit bureaus offer options to generate more regular credit reports or provide advanced features to help you improve your score if you sign up through their websites, but keep in mind this service usually requires fees of various sorts and will not necessarily provide you access to reports from any other bureau.
How To Dispute Information on Your Credit Report
If you find information that you know to be incorrect, you can dispute your credit report. You will need to prepare your personal information and sufficient documentation of the error before you’ll be ready to submit a dispute. You can dispute errors directly with each credit bureau any of three ways: online, by mail or by phone. When you file a dispute, the bureau or agency will investigate your claim and release results usually within 30 to 45 days.
If the results lead to a change in your credit report, you will receive a free, updated copy of your report — but this may take another 45 days. If you are not happy with the results of the dispute, you can resubmit with any additional supporting information to help improve your case.
If you are concerned about your overall credit standing and you want to apply for a Citi credit card, check your credit reports first to see what data the bank will be most likely to base its final decision on. Experian is the most commonly used source that Citi will draw a report from, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t decide to pull a different or additional report from another reporting agency.
If you’re not certain your score is good enough to be approved, you can work on improving your credit. If you have a strong reason for concern, it may be a better option in the long run to focus on re-building and strengthening your credit score across all bureaus — it’s never guaranteed Citi will pull from any specific credit bureau, so you’ll want to ensure your credit scores are in good shape with every major reporting agency.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Citi report authorized users to credit bureaus?
Yes, Citi reports authorized users to all major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion more than likely among them).
Which credit bureau is used the most?
There is not necessarily one credit bureau lenders use the most. Instead, lenders will typically look at a consumer’s FICO credit score — which all major credit bureaus provide. Individual lenders — like Citi — will evaluate the reports generated by each bureau differently. If you are concerned about your credit standing, it may help to review your reports to determine which credit weaknesses you can strengthen.
How To Improve Payment History on Your Credit Report
If you want to improve your payment history on your credit report, the answer is straightforward: pay your bills in full, on time. Late or underpaid payments have an impact on your credit score, so the fewer late payments you have, the better your score will be. You should also check your free credit reports throughout the year in order to catch and dispute any misreported payments or errors negatively impacting your credit score.
Does Citi make a hard inquiry?
Citi more than likely will make a hard inquiry upon your credit report when evaluating your application for a credit account. If you remain in good standing with Citi, it will likely help your chances of getting approved for an additional card, but this doesn’t guarantee you won’t see another hard inquiry.