- You can increase the credit limit on your credit card by submitting a request to your bank, online or over the phone.
- No matter how or where you request a credit limit increase, you will need to provide your employment status, annual gross income, and monthly housing payment.
- Most banks will do a thorough investigation of your credit report before granting a credit limit increase so that they can take into account your payment history and other important credit factors.
- Approval processes vary by bank, but you may be able to access a larger line of credit within minutes of requesting a raise.
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I have three personal credit cards, and so far I’m happy with them. I can easily track my spending and pay off the total balance on each card each month – one of the most important factors in keeping my credit rating in good standing.
But when I recently added my partner as an authorized user on one of my credit cards, I decided to ask for a credit limit increase, knowing that our combined spending would push the monthly balance closer. of the card limit.
My credit usage rate (how much of my total available credit I’m using each month) is in good shape and I didn’t want to compromise it. VSUsing credit has a significant impact on your credit score and should ideally stay below 10%, which means you have less than $ 1,000 in debt for every $ 10,000 of available credit you have.
I figured my bank would ask me a bunch of questions and take a few days to process my request for a credit limit increase. I even spent some time figuring out the numbers and thinking about how much I would ask for.
Turns out it took me less than five minutes on the phone to request and get approval, and I didn’t even have to make a presentation. It was incredibly easy. The process for requesting a credit limit increase varies by bank, but here’s how it typically works:
How to increase your credit limit
1. Check your credit score
First and foremost, check your credit score. You can do it for free, anytime, on sites like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Credit.com.
Banks look at payment history and credit usage when determining a person’s credit limit. If these factors are not in order, your likelihood of being approved for more credit is low.
2. Wait for an automatic increase
If you’ve made payments on time and swipe your card frequently, your bank may periodically increase your credit limit. Usually, they’ll ask for your approval before granting you a larger line of credit. Since the increase was not requested, it will not require a thorough investigation of your credit report (they have already determined that you are a responsible borrower).
3. Consider applying for a new credit card
If you have no debt and can handle multiple credit cards, consider opening a new card and taking advantage of a Stellar introductory bonus. Be aware: This will require a thorough investigation of your credit report. Serious investigation will temporarily reduce your score by a few points, but it should recover quickly.
4. Decide how much you want to charge
If you are responsible for your credit cards and are asking for more credit to control your credit usage, you can start by asking $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 more than your current credit limit. If the bank declines the request, you may be able to make a counteroffer.
Depending on the bank, you may not even be able to request a specific amount. The bank can just look at your income and payment history and decide what is appropriate.
5. Check if your bank takes online requests
Some banks will allow you to complete a credit limit increase request through your online account. The easiest way to find it is through the site’s search bar. If the bank does not offer the online application, you will be prompted to call.
Keep in mind that some banks will not grant a credit limit increase unless you’ve had an account for more than six months.
6. Call the number on the back of your card
If you can’t apply for a credit limit increase online – or if you’d rather talk rather than type – call the number on the back of your card. Click on the automated directory until you are transferred to a customer service representative.
7. Verify your identity
At a minimum, the bank will ask you for your name and the answer to one (or all) of your security questions in order to verify your identity. They may also ask you for your address and social security number.
8. Agree to a thorough investigation of your credit report
After telling the customer service representative that you want to apply for a larger line of credit, they’ll usually ask you to agree to a full investigation of your credit report.
Although a thorough investigation affects your credit score, its impact is relatively small and outweighed by improving your use of credit. Some banks will only do an informal investigation at first, which won’t affect your credit score, but they should let you know before doing any kind of investigation.
9. Prepare your income and your monthly housing payment
No matter how or where you request a credit limit increase, be prepared to provide the following:
- Employment status
- Annual gross income (only from the primary cardholder)
- Monthly rent payment
In my case, the customer service person I spoke with did not verify this information (to my knowledge). She didn’t ask any follow-up questions or put me on hold to verify accuracy.
10. Wait for approval
If you are applying online, you may have to wait days to receive a response from the bank by post. A phone call will often be answered faster, but not always. The customer service representative may say that the bank needs more time to process the request and will contact you.
I was approved seconds after providing my income and monthly housing payment. In fact, I was still talking and the customer service rep interrupted me to say “. and told me that I had been approved for a raise of almost $ 6,000. She gave me no reason behind this seemingly arbitrary number.
Within minutes my account reflected my new line of credit and the next day an official letter was waiting in my inbox.