What Credit Bureau Does Home Depot Use? Lowe’s? Answered

The Home Depot and Lowe’s use all three major credit reporting bureaus to process store credit card applications. When you apply for a store credit card from The Home Depot or Lowe’s, their systems will randomly select Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion to check your credit. There is no way to know before applying which credit reporting bureau will be used. For more details, see below.

What Credit Bureau Does Home Depot Use? What Credit Bureau Does Lowe’s Use?

Both The Home Depot and Lowe’s perform a hard credit inquiry when you apply for one of their store credit cards. A hard inquiry is the type of credit check that can lower your credit score. There are three major credit reporting bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Both stores utilize all three bureaus to conduct credit inquiries when processing credit card applications, customer service representatives from the credit services departments of The Home Depot and Lowe’s said.

We spoke with multiple representatives from The Home Depot’s credit services department and all said that the application system chooses a credit bureau at random during the application process. That means there is no way to know before applying which of the three bureaus the system will use for your credit check. Approval for a Home Depot credit card is primarily determined by your credit score, the credit services representatives said, though they would not provide a minimum credit score required for approval. The Home Depot’s store credit cards are issued through Citigroup and can be used anywhere; Citigroup’s consumer credit cards department was unable to provide any additional information about the application and credit check process.

We also contacted Lowe’s credit center and multiple representatives confirmed that Lowe’s has a similar credit check process to The Home Depot. When processing Lowe’s credit card applications, a credit check is randomly pulled from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. However, Lowe’s credit center representatives said store credit card approval is based on your payment history, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio, in addition to your credit score. Lowe’s store credit cards are issued through Synchrony Bank; Synchrony Bank was unable to provide any additional information about the application and credit check process.

Keep in mind, representatives from The Home Depot and Lowe’s advised against placing a freeze or block on any of the credit bureaus. Sometimes people do this thinking that if there is a freeze in place, a credit check will default to one of the other bureaus, which may have a more favorable report. However, credit department representatives from both stores said that a freeze or block on your account can cause the system to deny your application altogether. If you have a block or freeze in place, you’ll want to remove it before applying for a store credit card.

You can apply for a Home Depot or Lowe’s credit card in-store or online. If you’re concerned that your credit score will keep you from getting approved, see our article about how to get a Lowe’s store credit card by using the “shopping cart trick.”

In Summary

The Home Depot and Lowe’s use all three major credit reporting bureaus when processing store credit card applications. There is no way to know prior to applying which credit bureau will be used to check your credit. Both retailers suggest you remove any blocks or freezes you may have with a credit reporting bureau prior to applying, as freezes may result in denial of your application.

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