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Established Contributor
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎01-01-2014

Buffering and Deduplication of Credit Card Inquiries Research Project

[ Edited ]

It is a little known fact that most credit card inquiries, taken in a short period of time, will be counted as 1 for FICO scoring purposes.

 

Most credit card inquiries are scored the same as mortgage inquiries by FICO. The inquiries are not be scored by FICO for 31 days. Then, any inquiries taken within a short period of time will be scored­ as one by FICO. Therefore, it is possible to take a large number of inquiries and only lose as few as 3 points. Theoretically, this will apply to any inquiries taken within 45 days for FICO 8. However, my research has only focused on inquiries taken within a period of 1 week. 

 

Inquiries from BofA, Barclays, Synchrony, Capital One, virtually all Credit Unions, probably Amex and others will be combined for scoring purposes.

 

This means that by strategically planning your app sprees, it is possible to lose only a few points. For example, an app spree consisting of BofA, Barclays, Synchrony and several Transunion pulling Credit Unions could only cost you 3 points.

 

There is no need for the shopping card trick. You can get better cards with little point loss.

 

The delayed scoring of inquiries is referred to as buffering by FICO.

The scoring of multiple inquiries as one is referred to as deduplication by FICO. The commonly used term is deduped.

 

Chase, Citi and FNBO pull Bankcard Enhanced inquiries. It is unlikely that those inquiries will be combined. 

 

I recently took 4 CLI hard pulls and on credit card app hard pull. There was no change in my scores for 31 days. At that time the hard pulls were scored as 1. The table below shows the results: 

 

 11/2/201611/16/206511/17/201611/18/201611/18/201611/19/201612/16/201612/17/2016
 Before SpreeBarclays CLIBarclays CLIBofA CLIBarclays CLISynchrony AppAfter SpreeDeduped HPs
Hard Pulls23456777
TU 04802*****802792
TU FICO 8850*****850085
Bankcard 8895*****895890

 

The following shows the deduplication (combined scoring) of 4 Credit Union inquiries: 

 

 2/17/20162/18/20162/19/20162/26/20163/21/2015
 PenfedAAFCU CLI JFCU  JFCU  CC AppDeduped HPs
EQ FICO 8815815815815812

 

The next table shows the combined scoring (deduplication) of 2 Hard Pulls from 2014:

 

 11/25/201412/1/201412/1/201412/28/20141/6/2014
 BeforeBofA CLIBarclays AppAfterDeduped HPs
TU  FICO 8809809809809806

 

The next table shows the delayed scoring (buffering) of a Capital One Application:

 

 6/11/20156/24/20157/8/20157/15/2015
 CapOne App Loan <10%Buffered HP
EQ FICO 8813813850846

 

The next table shows the buffering (delayed scoring) of a Penfed CLI:

 

 10/29/201511/27/201512/2/2015
 Penfed CLI Buffered HP
EQ FICO 8846846839

 

The last table shows the delayed scoring (buffering) of a BofA CLI:

 

 10/23/201511/22/201511/25/2015
 BofA CLI Buffered HP
TU FICO 8849849846

 

Feel free to add your comments, data or research.

Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,745
Registered: ‎05-24-2015

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!

Not trying to correct your tables here or anything, but wouldn't we need to know your utilization, and what each increase resulted in?  You had so many changes was there a measurement afterwards to show your scores when your reports reflected the increases?

 

Plus your scores were so close to perfect anyway, you probably have some really old accounts or micromange your utilization.  For me, no matter what my scores are kinda stuck but that is because of opening so many cards so often and having a 5 year old late payment error on a student loan.  

EQ 741, TU 744, EX 739. INQs EQ-2, TU-14, EX-12 AAOA 3yrs Util 5% Inspiration: Themanwhocan's Cash Back Charts
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,543
Registered: ‎08-03-2015
0

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!

Good post for new members, pretty sure all of our seasoned members know this. Got all on one pull: 2 chase cards (1 ex pull), 2 cap one cards (all bureaus, 1 pull), and 2 boa cards (1 tu pull)
.
Super Contributor
Posts: 8,299
Registered: ‎11-12-2014

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!


Monoglot wrote:
Good post for new members, pretty sure all of our seasoned members know this. Got all on one pull: 2 chase cards (1 ex pull), 2 cap one cards (all bureaus, 1 pull), and 2 boa cards (1 tu pull)

Can't do it with Capital One anymore - they will only approve one card every 6 months now. Just so new members know. So those 3 pulls from Capital One can only get you one card.

Established Contributor
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎01-01-2014
0

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!


jfriend33 wrote:

Not trying to correct your tables here or anything, but wouldn't we need to know your utilization, and what each increase resulted in?  You had so many changes was there a measurement afterwards to show your scores when your reports reflected the increases?

 

Plus your scores were so close to perfect anyway, you probably have some really old accounts or micromange your utilization.  For me, no matter what my scores are kinda stuck but that is because of opening so many cards so often and having a 5 year old late payment error on a student loan.  


Overall utilization and per card utilization is always under 1%. My scores are very stable. I was careful to make sure that the tables show when the score drops occured.

Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,796
Registered: ‎04-11-2016
0

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!

Good to know.  I always knew this to be true of inquiries related to installment loans, but didn't know it was also the case for revolvers.

 

In terms of scoring, this information could be a reason why someone should consider a "spree" over applying for the same amount of cards over several months.

Established Contributor
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎01-01-2014
0

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!


Monoglot wrote:
Good post for new members, pretty sure all of our seasoned members know this. Got all on one pull: 2 chase cards (1 ex pull), 2 cap one cards (all bureaus, 1 pull), and 2 boa cards (1 tu pull)

This isn't about getting multiple cards on one pull. This is about buffering and deduplication. What this refers to is the possibility of taking 10, 20 or 50 HPs, having them scored as 1, and only losing 3 points.

Established Contributor
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎01-01-2014
0

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

Good to know.  I always knew this to be true of inquiries related to installment loans, but didn't know it was also the case for revolvers.

 

In terms of scoring, this information could be a reason why someone should consider a "spree" over applying for the same amount of cards over several months.


Exactly.

Moderator
Posts: 12,976
Registered: ‎10-07-2014

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!

[ Edited ]

I'm curious on how you are determining that the inquiries are being scored as one.  Just because your scores didn't drop that much?  I'd really like know where you're getting your info from.  Certainly cant be just from your own personal experiences because everyone's credit file is vastly different.

 

Also it is very misleading to suggest to other posters, especially new ones that taking 50 inquiries is only to damage your score a few points.  Won't happen that way especially if new accounts are created and even if all inquiries resulted in declines I don't believe that anyone would see just a few point drop.

Established Contributor
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎01-01-2014
0

Re: FICO Will Combine Hard Pulls for Your Next App Spree!


Irish80 wrote:

I'm curious on how you are determining that the inquiries are being scored as one.  Just because your scores didn't drop that much?  I'd really like know where you're getting your info from.  Certainly cant be just from your own personal experiences because everyone's credit file is vastly different.

 

Also it is very misleading to suggest to other posters, especially new ones that taking 50 inquiries is only to damage your score a few points.  Won't happen that way especially if new accounts are created and even if all inquiries resulted in declines I don't believe that anyone would see just a few point drop.


5 HPs result in no score drop for 30 days. 31 days later there is a small score drop, reflecting only 1 HP. That is how buffering a deduplication works. I've presented multiple repeated examples.  If you read the charts it is very clear.

 

When HPs are deduplicated they are scored as 1. I've never heard of any limit to the number of inquiries that can be deduplicated. So certainly 50 HPs would likely be deduplicated. I used 50 as an example to explain that this is not about getting multiple cards for 1 HP. It is, however, accurate.

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