Getting a credit limit increase on your Bank of America card can be helpful whether you need to make a big purchase or build up a bigger financial cushion. Sometimes Bank of America offers a limit increase without a request.
“Credit limit increases are typically offered to consumers who have demonstrated very good credit habits, tend to have lower limits to begin with, and the creditor wants to continue to be the preferred card,” said Jeff Richardson, gatekeeper. -word of VantageScore. “So they are proactively offering a credit limit increase.”
If you want a credit limit increase on your Bank of America card, here’s how to do it and if this decision could affect your financial health.
Who is eligible for a credit limit increase with Bank of America?
Bank of America does not state specific eligibility criteria for receiving a credit limit increase.
If you’ve used your Bank of America card responsibly, you have a good chance of getting your credit limit increased. The company sees the extra credit as a reward, according to Jason Gaughan, head of credit cards at Bank of America.
“At Bank of America, a request for a credit limit increase is assessed largely on a customer’s credit history and how they manage their accounts,” he says. “To make sure you’re in good standing, practice sound financial habits, including planning your card use, spending within your means, and paying on time.”
What should you do before applying for a credit enhancement?
Consider checking your credit report and, separately, your credit score to see if it’s bad, fair, good, or exceptional before applying for a line of credit increase.
You can access a free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus each week until April 20, 2022, at AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit card issuer may offer you a free preview of your credit score, or you can use Experian Boost or Discover Credit Scorecard for free FICO scores.
Your credit report will show the balance on your Bank of America card and other accounts. High balances and missed payments can prevent you from getting a credit boost, says Richardson.
You’ll want to demonstrate at least 12 months of good credit habits before asking for a raise, he suggests. “And that includes keeping balances low,” Richardson said.
Also consider why you are requesting an increase in the line of credit. A larger credit limit could tempt you to overspend.
“The higher your credit limit, the greater your potential balance you’ll need to pay off,” says Richardson. “If you’re having trouble paying your balance now, think twice about getting a raise.”
How to request a credit limit increase with Bank of America
If you are eligible to request an increase online, you will be able to log in to online banking, select your card, and then choose the “request a line of credit increase” link under the card details in the account summary . You will need to call the number on the back of your Bank of America credit card if you cannot apply online.
You can request a line of credit increase at any time online or by phone. “Applications are individually assessed by our finance team based on financial history and income,” says Gaughan.
What to do if your application is denied
Your request for a credit limit increase may be denied for several reasons.
If your account is new or if you recently received a line of credit increase, you will likely be declined, according to the Experian credit bureau. “Usually credit card companies give a raise on an annual basis, although there’s no absolute,” Richardson says.
Your application could also be rejected if you have a low credit score, earn insufficient income, don’t use your card often, make mostly minimum payments, or have delinquent credit accounts.
Bank of America will provide a memo explaining why a raise was not approved. The idea is to help cardholders “understand where and how they can improve to qualify for a raise in the future,” Gaughan said.
How can a credit limit increase affect your credit score?
As long as you don’t increase your spending with your limit and continue to make payments on time, your credit score will not be affected by the change. In fact, a higher limit might help because it can lower your overall credit utilization rate, an important factor in calculating your credit score.
Bank of America also uses a gentle pull, which doesn’t hurt your score, to approve the raise.
However, you could hurt your score and create stress if a higher limit leads to overspending and difficulty paying off debt. A credit limit increase can only help if used responsibly.
Otherwise, says Richardson, “it can put a lot of strain on your financial health.”
At the same time, an increase in the credit limit has certain advantages. You can make larger card purchases that were once impossible and earn rewards for them.
The key is to make timely payments and only buy what you can afford. “You really have to be disciplined,” says Richardson.