How to Increase Your Credit Limit

Last Updated on 06/22/2017 by GS Staff

Q:

How do you increase your credit limit?

A:

You are not able to charge using your credit card without restriction. Your credit card issuer places a credit limit on your account, which is the maximum amount you can charge. If you are first establishing your credit, your credit limit will likely be small. As you start to establish yourself financially and maintain good credit, your credit limit can increase to several thousands of dollars.

There are a couple of ways to increase your credit limit. Let’s take a look at how it is done:

The Waiting Game

Maybe you are not in a super hurry for a credit limit increase or don’t feel like dealing with your credit card company. The easiest way to potentially have your credit limit increased is to just let it happen.

Some creditors will raise your credit limit after you have established that you are worthy of the additional credit. If you make timely payments within the grace period and keep a low balance, your creditor may review your account and automatically increase your credit limit.

Online Request

Some credit card issuers allow you to request a credit limit increase when you log into your online account. If your creditor allows online credit increase requests, there will typically be an area in the your online account management section that allows you to input your request.

Creditors that currently allow credit limit increase requests online are American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Discover. They may ask you yo input the following information before reviewing your request: current income, employment status, monthly housing payment (mortgage or rent), and requested amount of the increase.

Phone Request

You may need to call your credit card company’s customer service line if you want a credit card limit increase. You can commonly find the phone number on the back of your credit card or by visiting the creditor’s website.

Once you get connected to a customer service agent that is authorized to make credit limit increases, you will be asked to identify yourself as being associated with your account. After this they may ask you the following questions to see if you qualify for the increase:

  • Total annual income
  • Current mortgage or rent payment
  • Employment status
  • Amount requested for the increase. Be realistic.

It’s Okay to state a few of your strengths here. Go ahead and highlight things like your excellent payment history, low overall debt level, your loyalty to the company (years using the card), and recent increases in your income. Begging for the increase isn’t going to work. Be confident and straight to the point about what you are seeking.

Ditch Your Existing Card

In some cases it may be worth the hassle of applying for a new card to obtain a credit limit increase. You likely will be allowed to move your existing balance to this new card but you should look into the fees associated with doing this. The transfer fees and the hassle you have to go through to apply for the new card may not be worth it.

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