There is a fairly wide selection of Capital One credit cards, and the issuer’s line of cards covers various categories and income levels. Over time, a customer could switch from a basic Capital One credit card to the issuer’s premium products with their perks and bonuses.
A popular alternative is to get a higher credit limit, which takes time, diligence, and planning. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here is our guide to getting a Capital One credit increase.
Are you eligible for a Capital One credit increase?
To be eligible for a credit limit increase, a Capital One credit card account must meet the following criteria:
- Has not had an increase or decrease in credit limit in the past six months.
- Have more than three months (and possibly longer, anecdotal evidence suggests that Capital One often turns down requests for accounts less than six months old)
- Not be a secured credit card
Assuming you’ve cleared these hurdles, Capital One uses these factors to decide if you can get your credit limit increased:
- Whether or not you pay your credit card bills on time. (This includes all of your cards, not just Capital One products.)
- You consistently pay more than the minimum payment, which helps to continually reduce outstanding debt.
- Your personal information is up to date. This includes personal and family details, as well as income sources and amounts. Capital One recommends updating it at least once a year.
When to request a credit limit increase
Just because you can ask for an increase in your credit limit doesn’t mean you should. Before you apply, check if any of these situations apply to you, then make the best choice for you.
Reasons not to get a credit limit increase
Here are a few reasons why you may not want to request this increase just yet:
- Your credit rating is low. If your credit is poor to excellent, you may not want to apply for an increase in your credit limit just yet. The requests usually put a heavy strain on your credit report, which can further lower your score. Serious inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, but they only affect your credit score for one year. If you are in this situation, you could start by improving your credit and requesting an increase afterwards.
- You earn less money or are in between jobs. Your line of credit is partly based on your income. If you report lower income, the card issuer may deny your upper limit request.
Reasons you might want to increase your credit limit
If you qualify for a raise and regularly pay your credit card bills on time, increasing your credit limit could give you the peace of mind that you can handle an emergency expense even if you don’t. don’t have the savings to cover it.
Another big benefit of increasing your credit limit is that your credit score can go up. This is because a large part of your score is based on your credit usage rate or how much you are in balance over your limit. Say you have a credit card, the limit is $ 1,000 and your balance is $ 500. Your credit utilization rate is 50%. If you get approval for a credit limit increase and your limit goes up to $ 2,000, your usage drops to 25% (assuming you don’t add to your existing balance). Credit scores tend to increase as usage decreases, so don’t be surprised to see a significant improvement in credit scores in a situation like this. Usage is calculated for each card, and for all cards combined. So don’t max out one card even if you have others.
A great tool for digging deeper into the details of your credit score – and, most importantly, how to improve it – is Capital One’s CreditWise. CreditWise is an online tool that provides free credit scores not only to Capital One cardholders, but anyone who wants to monitor their credit scores. You will learn about the factors that affect your score and the steps you can take to increase your credit score.
Automatic increase in credit limit
An ideal situation as a credit card holder would be to receive a credit limit increase without doing anything. And it happens sometimes.
Some new Capital One cardholders have been pleasantly surprised to receive a credit boost within the first six months of owning their card. It appears that the issuer automatically raises the credit limit for some cards after the owner makes their first five payments on time, at least for some account holders. (Automatic increases are never guaranteed.)
In addition, some credit card issuers review their accounts every few months. They can grant automatic credit limit increases to cardholders who regularly pay off their statement balances on time and, ideally, in full.
That said, don’t rely exclusively on Capital One’s generosity to improve your credit limit. Work on paying your credit card bills on time (and in full if possible). These constant payments, combined with borrowing less than what you can afford, can help you qualify for an increase in your credit limit.
Request a credit limit increase
As with most credit cards, there are several ways to request a credit limit increase on your Capital One card. The easiest way is probably to call the sender directly or to apply online through your account’s web portal.
In all cases, Capital One will ask you for information, including your:
- Employment status
- Total annual income
- Monthly mortgage or rent payment
This data meets federal requirements for the information needed in a request for a credit limit increase.
Best practices when requesting a credit limit increase
Each card issuer has slightly different criteria when evaluating a request to increase a cardholder’s credit limit. But it’s a safe bet that your issuer will prioritize the same classic data points, weighing heavily on things like income, credit usage, and payment history.
Ultimately, credit is about trust and faith. Your creditor should sleep at night comfortable with the fact that you will repay the money you borrowed. Here are some tips to keep in mind when applying for a credit limit increase:
- Emphasize the consistency with which you paid on time.
- Indicate how often you pay your balance in full.
- If your income has increased, let the representative know.
- If your expenses have gone down (especially housing costs), be sure to write it down.
- Make your request reasonable – a general rule of thumb is to request a maximum lift of around 25% (although Capital One itself will determine the new limit if approved).