As one of the country's largest credit card issuers, it wouldn't be surprising that you're considering a credit card issued by Barclaycard. When you apply for a Barclaycard credit card, it’s nearly guaranteed that the company will request a copy of your credit report from TransUnion. In exceedingly rare cases, Barclaycard may check with a different credit agency.
Remember that the source of the information that each of the three U.S. credit bureaus is the same: your financial life. That means there usually won’t be a big difference between your reports at each company. Still, there are some cases where knowing which bureau is pulled is important.
We found that Barclaycard works almost exclusively with TransUnion by reviewing 125 consumer-reported credit inquiries between January 2016 and December 2017.
Where We Got the Data
It’s always stressful when you apply for a loan, whether that loan is something like a mortgage or personal loan, or a credit card. It’s rare that the application process will be transparent, and it’s hard to know what the result will be before you actually apply. All you can do is fill out the application and hope it goes well.
Given how opaque the process is, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that lenders don’t tell us which credit bureaus they work with. What that means is that we had to gather this information directly from people who applied for cards from Barclaycard.
Each time you apply for a loan, no matter what type of loan you apply for, the lender may pull a copy of your credit report from the credit bureau of its choice. Each time a copy of your report is requested, the credit agency takes note. It keeps records of these “hard pulls” on your credit for two years after the time of the inquiry.
Each hard pull that appears on your report will reduce your credit score by a few points. Because only the credit bureau that the lender used takes not of the inquiry, we can use that information to know which bureau is used by a specific lender.
We used the CreditBoards.com database to collect much of this data. People use the website to see how likely they are to qualify for a certain card. After applying for a card, they can provide info like their income, credit score, and which bureau was used, so future users can better gauge their chances.
We used just the last two years’ results so we can give you the most up-to-date info possible.
What Our Research Means for You
The goal is for the article to help you identify which credit report is most likely to affect your odds of getting approved from a card from Barclaycard. Barclaycard works almost exclusively with TransUnion, so that report is the one to focus on.
Ideally, anything you do to improve your credit score with one bureau will improve your score will every bureau. Still, focusing on one credit bureau can make things easier, especially if there are errors on your report.
How to Check Your Own Credit Reports
You can check your own credit report for free. You should be doing it regularly, just to make sure that your credit report is free from errors.
Our recommendation is that you use AnnualCreditReport.com to check your credit reports. It is the only website sanctioned by the U.S. government for checking credit report. The site also doesn’t force you to sign up for any type of subscription.
Using the site, you can request one copy of your report from each credit agency, once per year.
If you want to look at your credit report more than once per year, space out your requests between the agencies. In January, request a copy of your report from Experian. In May, ask Equifax to send you a copy of your credit report. In September, request a copy of your report from TransUnion. This strategy gives you three copies of your report each year, free of charge.
For example: In January, request a copy of your report from Experian. In May, ask Equifax to send you a copy of your credit report. In September, request a copy of your report from TransUnion. This strategy gives you three copies of your report each year, free of charge.
Another option is to get a free copy of your credit report from a credit card issuer you have an account with. Many issuers, like Citi, American Express, and Discover offer copies of your report and update them monthly, free of charge.
When you do want to pull a copy of your report from AnnualCreditReport.com, use these tips.
- Enter your information accurately and double check it. Mistakes might lock you out temporarily.
- You’ll be asked verification questions. Some of these are trick questions. Sometimes, “none of the above” is the correct answer.
- Save or print a copy of your report as soon as you get it, otherwise, you could lose it if you close the browser window.
You can also request a report by phone by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by mail, by sending a form to:
- Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA
Requests made by phone and mail will be mailed to you within 15 days.
How to Get Additional Credit Reports from TransUnion
If you want to get additional copies of your report from TransUnion, you may be able to get them for free or at a discount. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees your access to your credit report each year. It also specifies other situations in which you have the right to a free copy of your credit report.
You can get a free credit report in the following situations:
- You were denied or notified of an adverse action related to credit, employment, insurance, government license or other government-granted benefits, or another transaction initiated by you within the last 60 days and your credit report was the basis for the credit decision.
- You were denied a house or apartment rental or were required to pay a higher deposit than normally required within the last 60 days and your credit report was the basis for the credit decision.
- You are unemployed and intend to apply for employment within the next 60 days. (One credit report every 12 months.)
- You are a recipient of public welfare assistance. (One credit report every 12 months.)
- You have reason to believe that your credit report contains inaccurate information due to fraud.
Some lenders automatically provide your score when you are denied for a card, but just as many don’t. Don’t be afraid to exercise your right to a copy of your credit report and ask the lender to send it to you if you are denied for a loan. If you ask for a copy of the report used to deny your application, the lender must provide it.
Some states have stricter laws that may give you access to reports from TransUnion at a discount. The list of these states is included below:
TransUnion: Free or Reduced Fee Credit Reports
|State||1st request||Additional requests||Time frame|
|Puerto Rico||Free||$11.50||Calendar year|
|Virgin Islands||$1||$1||Any time|
How to Make Your Credit Report Look Better
Once you’ve seen your credit report, it’s time to work on improving it. Though the best way to improve your credit is to make on-time payments over a long period of time, there are a few short-term strategies to try.
Fix any errors
Having an error on your credit report is more common than you’d expect. If you have an error on your report, such as an account that you didn’t open, removing it can be an easy way to boost your score, especially if the account is in bad standing.
Each bureau has different instructions for disputing errors, so make sure to follow the process carefully.
Remove delinquent accounts
If you have defaulted on a loan in the past, it can cause a huge drop in your score. Contact the lender and negotiate, asking them to remove the delinquent account from your file in exchange for payment.
Pay off existing debt
Lenders want to know whether you’ll be able to make payments on a new loan. If you’re already deeply in debt, the odds of you making payments on a new loan are low. Pay down your debts to improve your chances.
Increase your credit limits
Lenders also care about what percentage of your credit you are using. If you’re maxing your credit cards, that doesn’t look good. Ask the issuers of your current credit cards to increase your credit limits to get a small boost to your score.
When is Your Credit Report Updated?
Usually, lenders will update the credit bureaus once per month, at the end of each statement period. What that means is that any changes to your accounts could take a couple months to show up on your report. If you’re expecting to apply for an important loan, start working on improving your credit as early as you can.
Your Income and Expenses Are Important Too
Your credit score isn’t the only thing that matters when you apply for a loan. Lenders will care about your income and expenses as well.
When you apply for a credit card Barclaycard may ask you to provide your annual income and monthly housing payment. If you make $12,000 per year and spend $750 a month on rent, Barclaycard will know you have little chance of making payments on your credit card. If you make $120,000 a year and spend $2,500 on rent per month, you have more space in your budget for payments.
Though you might be tempted to lie when asked these questions, don’t. Barclaycard may ask for verification in the form of rent bills, tax returns, or paystubs. If you provided incorrect information, your application will be denied, or if the account is already open, it will be closed.