How to Increase Your Credit Limit: A Guide to Maximizing Your Credit Potential

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Published January 18, 2024

To increase your credit card limit, there a few things to consider. Log in to your account to see if you already pre-qualify and apply. Or you can submit a formal request to increase your credit limit to your issuer, which could be done online or by phone. Before requesting, ensure your financial information is current. Also, be sure you pay your bills on time and keep your credit utilization low (ideally 30% or less). Additionally, your credit limit may automatically increase after a length of time of responsible credit card use.

Introduction

A higher credit limit can allow you to enjoy flexible spending with more access to credit. It’s the maximum spending limit on a credit card set by lenders based on the borrower's payment history, credit utilization, income, and current accounts open. Raising your credit limit can come as an offer from the lender, who will grant it automatically if you’re a loyal customer with a good credit history. You can also request a credit limit increase from your lender.

In this guide, learn how to increase your credit limit and how to get better credit to maximize your potential.

In this article:

Ensure your income is up to date
Speak with your credit card issuer
Switch to a new credit card provider
Pros and cons of credit limit increases
How to improve your chances of getting a higher credit limit
Lay the groundwork for a successful credit increase by monitoring your credit
Frequently asked questions

 

Ensure your income is up to date

Before requesting a credit limit increase, ensure that your income and other financial information is up to date. For example, if you’ve recently received a raise at work, you’ll want that reflected since a higher income could lead to a higher line of credit and an automatic increase.

You can find and review your income information within your account on the lender’s website, or call the lender’s customer service department to have them assist you.

 

Speak with your credit card issuer

If you haven’t received an automatic increase, speak with your credit card provider directly to learn how to increase your credit limit and where to find the request form. You can usually contact your lender over the phone, on their website or through their app. They may ask why you would like to request a credit limit increase and for details about your income and housing, so be prepared with that information in advance.

 

Switch to a new credit card provider

Alternatively, you can choose a new credit card provider that offers a higher credit limit. Beware of applying to too many lenders at once; this can result in multiple hard inquiries that can lower your credit score. Also, the average age of your accounts is a credit-scoring factor. Older credit accounts tend to yield higher credit scores. For example, canceling your current credit card account for a new one will reduce the average age of your account, may result in a lower credit score.

 

Pros and cons of credit limit increases

If you’re considering requesting a credit limit increase, here are some benefits and drawbacks to note:

Is it good to increase your credit card limit?

There are several benefits of increasing your credit card limit. This includes:

  • Improving your credit utilization ratio, which is a major factor in your credit score. For example, a higher credit limit allows you to spread your expenses across a larger credit line, which can result in a lower credit utilization ratio.
  • Enhances your purchasing power since you’ll have more credit to spend with and more flexibility. It can help you make larger purchases or handle unexpected expenses without maxing out your card.
  • Provides a temporary emergency buffer in case you need to come up with unexpected funds.

 

What are the drawbacks of increasing your credit limit?

There are some drawbacks to increasing your credit limit, including:

  • Temptation of overspending since you’ll have more spending power.
  • Risk of debt accumulation, which could look riskier to other lenders if you want to receive additional credit in the future.
  • Possible impact on your credit score through a hard inquiry since the lender may pull your credit report.
  • Potential interest rate increases in tandem with a higher credit limit.

 

How to improve your chances of getting a higher credit limit

Whether you're aiming to accommodate a major life expense, enhance your financial flexibility or strengthen your credit profile, understanding how to improve your likelihood of securing a higher credit limit is essential.

Here are some considerations to help increase your chances of getting a higher credit limit.

tips to improve credit limit increase odds

Regularly update your personal and financial information

Make sure your personal and financial details are current and correct. This information helps lenders determine how much credit limit to grant you. This information includes:

  • Employment status
  • Income
  • Mortgage payment amount
  • Monthly rent amount

Pro tip: Make it a habit to update this information on a regular cadence, like every year or more, to ensure you stay on top of updating it.

Maintain a positive and responsible payment history

Demonstrating responsible credit card usage can show that you’re responsible for your credit usage. Making positive changes to your financial situation, such as making timely payments and paying off your debt, can also show lenders that you’re responsible. Doing so can lead to a credit limit increase.

Pro tip: Consider monitoring your credit report and checking for errors or fraudulent activity could help prevent them from affecting your credit health, which impacts your credit limit approval chances. Dispute errors on your credit report to avoid this.

Pro tip: To stay on top of your credit profile, get a free weekly credit report at TransUnion® or annualcreditreport.com.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still curious about credit increases? Below are some frequently asked questions about increasing your credit limit:

How much of a credit increase should I ask for?

Many lenders will consider a credit increase of 10% to 25% of your current credit limit. However, this will depend on the lender. If you want to ask for more, you may receive a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score.

How often can I ask for a credit limit increase?

There’s no set amount of time and it varies from issuer to issuer. Many issuers recommend waiting six months after opening a credit account to request an increase. Additionally, some limit increase requests to every six months per card if you already hold multiple credit cards with them. You’ll likely be unable to ask for an increase on all cards at once.

Can a credit card company lower your credit limit?

Yes, a credit card company can potentially lower your credit limit, for instance if have very low usage or you haven’t paid bills on time. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lenders have the right to lower your credit limit at any time and will likely do so if you have missed due dates or have increased your debt amount.

What do I do if I’m denied a request for a higher credit limit?

If your lender denied your credit limit increase request, ask for the reason and work to resolve it.

If unsure, then work to decrease your credit risk:

  • Pay credit card and bills on time regularly
  • Make more than the minimum payments
  • Pay down existing balances as much as possible
  • Lower your credit utilization rate
  • Settle existing collections accounts (if any)

If you have little credit history, learn how to build your credit so you can increase your chances of approval.

 

Lay the groundwork for a successful credit increase by monitoring your credit

Credit card companies will weigh factors like your credit score, debt levels, payment history and credit utilization. If you plan to request a credit card limit increase, then you might want to consider monitoring your credit in advance. Credit monitoring itself won’t directly lead to a higher credit limit, but it can play a supporting role by helping you have a better sense for where you stand, keep tabs on your credit score and understand more about what affects it.

TransUnion Credit Monitoring gives you more:

More Monitoring More Protection More Empowerment

With TransUnion, you can stay informed about your credit profile.

When you login, you’ll see your VantageScore® 3.0 credit score from TransUnion. Plus, you get a credit score trend visualization to see how it is performing over time. And you can access your TransUnion credit report with refreshes available daily.

TransUnion Credit Monitoring helps keep you informed, so if you need to act fast, you can.

Pro tip: Check data contained on your credit report regularly. Monitoring your report allows you to catch any errors or potentially fraudulent activity. With TransUnion Credit Monitoring, you do get $1 Million ID theft insurance and fraud resolution support with your subscription.

You can point your score in the right direction with specific credit health recommendations with CreditCompass™. You can find out specific action steps you can start taking now to achieve it.

 

 

Disclaimer: The information posted to this blog was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in the TransUnion blog is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. This site is governed by the TransUnion Interactive privacy policy located here

 

 

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What You Need to Know:

The credit scores provided are based on the VantageScore® 3.0 model. Lenders use a variety of credit scores and are likely to use a credit score different from VantageScore® 3.0 to assess your creditworthiness.

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