Getting a bigger credit limit sometimes just as easy as calling up your credit card issuer and asking. Your card issuer will review your credit history and income, just like if you were applying for a credit card, to decide whether you qualify for a credit limit increase. Timing your credit limit increase request can improve the chances that your request is approved.
When you’ve had your credit card for at least six months. You’re less likely to get a credit limit increase on a brand new account. Use your credit card responsibly for a few months before asking your credit card issuer to raise your credit limit. Six months gives your credit card issuer time to gauge how well you handle your credit card. If you make a request and your credit card issuer denies it, wait a few months then try again.
At least six months after your last credit limit increase request. Don’t expect your credit card issuer to raise your credit limit back to back. Whether your last credit limit increase request was approved or not, it’s best to wait a few months before you ask your credit card issuer to raise your limit again. Some credit card issuers do a hard pull to approve your credit limit increase. These hard pulls can hurt your credit score if you make too many within a short period of time.
Only if you’ve made your credit card payments on time. Late payments hurt your chances of having your credit limit increase request approved. It’s not just late payments on that credit card that will hurt – any late payments that show up on your credit report can keep you from getting the credit limit increase you asked for. Aim to have at least 12 months of on time payments before making a request for a bigger credit limit.
After you’ve paid down your balance. The risk that you’ll default on your credit card payments increases as your credit card balance does. Your credit card issuer is less likely to approve your credit limit increase request while you’re carrying a large balance (relative to your current credit limit). Pay down your current balance before asking your credit card issuer to raise your limit.
When your credit score increases. Monitor your credit periodically to keep an idea of where your credit stands. An increase in your credit score often means you can qualify for better credit cards with bigger limits. If it’s been awhile since your last credit limit increase, a jump in your credit score is a good time to ask your credit card issuer to boost your limit.
If you’ve had a recent salary increase. Your credit limit is based partly on your income; a bigger income means you can afford a bigger credit limit. A raise is a good time to request a credit limit increase and increases the likelihood that you’ll get approved.
When you’re not applying for any major loans soon. Some credit card issuers do a hard credit inquiry to approve your credit limit increase. This means, they do a credit check that will show up on your credit report and could affect your credit score. Request a credit limit increase well before or shortly after you’ve made a major loan application (like a mortgage or car loan) so the inquiry into your credit history won’t affect your chances of having your loan application approved.
Requesting a credit limit increase is pretty simple. You only have to call your credit card issuer and ask. You may even be able to request a credit limit increase by logging into your online account. If your request is approved, you’ll often find out right away and be able to use your additional credit immediately. Or if your request is denied, expect a letter explaining why and giving you access to a free credit report if your credit report was used in the decision. Use this letter to time your next credit limit increase request.