How to Earn a Credit Limit Increase

How to get a credit limit increase without asking

  • Always pay your bill on time
  • Try to pay your bill in full if possible
  • Use only a portion of your credit limit
  • Update your income with the credit card company
  • Keep your credit card account open for a minimum of six months
  • Pay down the debt you owe

This guide and its editorial content explain how to apply for a credit limit increase, provide tips for getting that increase and offer insight on ways to raise your credit score.

Getting a credit limit increase is amazing. It’s the kind of experience that feels like getting a promotion at work or better yet, a raise. 

An increase to your available credit is a watershed moment in your credit history, more so if you’re rebuilding a bad credit score or you are brand new to having a credit card. 

An increase to your credit limit is both a warm, fuzzy feeling and a key indicator that you are responsible with your credit spending.

A bigger credit limit vastly improves your purchasing power. But that’s just one of the advantages obtained when you increase your limit. A higher limit can have a positive impact on your credit score, as well — as long as you maintain a healthy credit utilization rate

Something important to know about your credit card is that thirty percent of your credit score from the three major credit bureaus gets calculated based on your level of debt. 

What that means is your credit utilization or the amount of available credit you’re using, is one of the biggest parts of your credit score. And a credit limit increase will instantly lower your credit utilization ratio because of how it affects the math.

how to earn a credit limit increase

That means if you raise your credit limit and keep your debt the same or pay some of it down, you automatically get a higher credit score.

Getting an Automatic Credit Limit Increase

Some credit card issuers make it easy and automatically raise your credit limit. They do automatic increases when you hit benchmarks that tell them you handle credit responsibly. 

Those benchmarks include maintaining a manageable credit utilization rate and consistently making your monthly payments.

A lot of credit card issuers review their customers’ accounts periodically and will automatically raise the credit limit for some of their cardholders.

Their goal is to help you build credit and help you qualify for better options. The stronger your credit, the better it is for both the credit card issuer and for you, the customer. 

So, in some cases, the best time to ask for a credit card increase is never. Instead, wait for an automatic review — whether it’s your Reflex Mastercard® or your Hilton Honors American Express.

ask the credit issuer directly for a credit limit increase

Ask the Credit Card Issuer Directly

Some credit card issuers will only raise your credit limit if you ask. There are usually two ways to initiate the inquiry process: 

Call Your Credit Card Issuer

The easiest and most direct way to start the inquiry process is to call the toll-free number your credit card issuer provides. Once you call, listen to the system prompts. 

Usually, there are instructions provided for requesting a credit limit increase. If no prompt is available, wait for the chance to speak to a live customer service representative. Once you’ve got a human, ask them about increasing your credit limit.

Do it Online

These days, a lot of credit card issuers let you request a credit limit increase online. To do it that way, log in to your account and look for the button or menu option related to credit limit increases.

Be prepared to provide additional information including monthly income, the amount of credit limit increase you want, and the reason you want the increase.

does the request for a credit limit increase hurt your score?

Does Requesting a Credit Limit Increase Hurt Score?

Yes, in some instances requesting a credit limit increase can hurt your credit score.

Just like when you apply for a credit card, the act of asking for an increase to your credit lines will initiate a look into your credit history.

Depending on the type of inquiry, this can affect your credit score.

There are two kinds of credit pulls, but your credit score is only affected by one of them.

This happens during a hard pull on your credit report. Depending on the card issuer, a limit increase request will sometimes trigger a hard pull on your credit report. This hard pull can hurt your credit, especially if you have a short credit history.

If you call your credit card issuer, you can ask whether a hard inquiry will be initiated. 

Difference Between a Soft Inquiry and a Hard Inquiry

It’s important to note that when you request an increase in your credit limit, a soft inquiry will not affect your credit score.

  • A soft pull is an inquiry that appears only on the version of your credit report you can see. 
  • A hard pull is a different story entirely. A hard inquiry will affect your score depending on the specific information in your credit report.

Hard pull can appear on all versions of your credit report for up to two years.

That means if you have a lot of debt in your payment history from other sources like student loans or home mortgages, you should consider waiting to ask for a credit limit increase.

Try to pay off your debts and get yourself in a better position overall.

Remember you can always check your credit history to see what kind of pull the credit card issuer does. So don’t hesitate to ask your credit card issuer what whether they’ll do a soft or hard credit check beforehand.

increase your security deposit

Extra Tip: Increase Your Security Deposit

Some credit cards are called secured. A secured credit card requires a cash security deposit and this, in turn, reduces the risk to the issuer. 

So one sure-fire way to increase your limit, if you have a secured credit card, is to pay more towards your security deposit. To do so, the best bet is to contact customer service and have them provide the proper steps to do this. Each credit card issuer has a slightly different process.

how soon is the decision on a credit limit increase request made?

How Soon is a Credit Limit Increase Decision Made?

If your credit card account is in good standing and you can demonstrate that you have enough income to handle a higher credit limit, many times you’ll find out immediately if your request was approved. Sometimes, though, the process takes a bit longer and your credit card issuer will sometimes notify you a few days later via mail.

what to do when you get denied a credit limit increase

What to do When a Credit Limit Increase Gets Denied

A credit limit increase can be denied by a credit card issuer for a variety of reasons including: 

  • The credit card account may be too new
  • It may be too soon since a previous credit limit adjustment
  • You may not have enough income to qualify for an increase
  • Or, you might simply have an account that doesn’t receive any total credit limit increases

Beyond those common reasons, negative marks on a person’s credit history are often the reason a credit limit increase gets denied. 

If that is the case, you will receive an adverse action letter. This letter is required to explain in detail the factors that caused the adverse action. Common factors include missed payments or high balances. You’ll also get a free credit score report if your score was used in the decision to decline your request.

If your request was denied:

  • Pay attention to the reason(s) given in the letter
  • Take actions to improve your credit in those areas
  • Continue to make payments, even if only minimum payments, on time 
  • Wait a few months, and then try again

People Also Read

Continental Finance is one of America’s leading marketers and servicers of credit cards for people with less-than-perfect credit. Learn more by visiting ContinentalFinance.net

Credit Boost Guide: How to Improve A Credit Score

Rebuilding or repairing your credit score is a journey. It takes time, effort, and a dedication to making sound financial choices.

But fear not. If you are looking to rebuild or repair a poor or bad credit score there are some actions you can take that will give you a quick credit boost.

This article is going to delve into how to boost your credit score fast and will cover:

  • how to increase credit score
  • how quickly you can improve your credit score
  • tips on how to raise credit score in 30 days
  • best ways to boost your credit score

Nowhere to Go but Up

Trying to boost a poor credit rating may seem daunting at first. But take heart. 

The lower your score is when you first start to rebuild or repair it, the better chance you have to achieve a fast credit boost. 

Sometimes even the smallest change can result in a big increase in your score.

How Quickly Can You Improve Your Credit Score?

Credit repair is a journey. And that means it can take time to see the benefits of the actions you take and raise your credit score with the three major credit bureaus. 

But there are some specific actions you can take which will have fast results. We’ve broken our guide into tiers:

  • Short Term – Fast acting items that you can do for a quick credit boost.
  • Long Term – Actions you should take because even though they take time to see results, they are strong indicators to credit card issuers of good credit.
  • Ongoing – Things you should always be doing to maintain a healthy credit history and good credit score.
Woman points to a rocket, representing a credit boost.

Short Term: The Fastest Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

Sometimes your credit score is just on the line, just a few points shy of bigger and better credit options. If you had an option to boost your credit score fast you might qualify for auto loans, student loans, better interest rates or higher credit limits.

Well, there are two options that can give an instant boost or near-instant boost to your credit score.

Report Your Rent Payments

Free rent reporting is an effective tool to boost a credit score. And it is one of the fastest ways to improve credit.

Depending on the program chosen, a free rent reporting tool can boost your credit score either instantly or within 30 days.

A recent trial by Goldman Sachs found that using their rent payment reporting tool to add a person’s rent payments to their payment history boosted residents’ scores by an average of 42 points.

That’s a huge gain. And is in line with what the major credit bureaus want to see from people: A consistent history of on time payments

Experian Boost

Experian Boost is lauded by some as the best way to boost credit score overnight. They say it right on their site: “Only Experian can raise your FICO score instantly.”

This product does pretty much the same thing as the various free rent reporting tools, but with more than just your rent. Now you’re getting credit for making utility and cell phone payments on time. The technology of the app instantly helps you improve. 

Note: The most important point here is to pay your bills on time. To boost your credit score fast, signing up for an app can help. But those apps need to access your payment history. So you need to show that you make your payments consistently and on time.

The bottom line is to a credit issuer or lender a person’s past payment performance is a strong indicator of future performance.

Woman reads our how to improve a credit score guide on her tablet.

Check Your Credit Reports

The next fastest way to boost your credit score is to check your credit scores. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These bureaus update credit scores every month based on new data they collect. 

How to Raise Your Credit Score in 30 Days

Once you’ve checked your credit scores there are some actions you can take to boost your credit score within 30 days.

  • Pay down revolving balances
  • Pay off debts that you can
  • Fix errors you find in your credit report
  • Remove any recent late payments
  • Remove a collection account if possible
  • Raise your credit limits
  • Charge small amounts to inactive credit cards
  • Get more credit

All reports on credit mix in a variety of factors, but the two most important are your credit utilization ratio and your payment history. Both of those factors will play major roles in what you can do to raise your credit score within a single month.

Pay off Debt

The first step you can take is the most obvious. If you have a debt that you can pay off, do so. Paying off your debts and keeping your balances low on credit cards is a major factor in improving your credit score. 

Similarly, Pay Down Revolving Balances

After paying off any debts you can in full, paying down balances is the next best thing you can do to boost your credit score quickly. Revolving balances are often your credit balances. And bringing those down will help your credit score rise.

This is because of the credit utilization rate that agencies look at. Credit utilization is calculated by adding all of your credit card balances and dividing that amount by your total credit limit. So if your credit limit is $500 and you have charged $100, your utilization ratio is 20 percent.

Credit bureaus score you higher if your utilization ratio is 30 percent or less.

Remember that the credit bureaus update your credit score every month. So if you took action today and were able to get your credit utilization rate below  30 percent by paying down a balance, your very next credit score will be higher.

One key feature of how to increase credit score is to pay off debt and pay down revolving balances

Fix any Errors in Your Credit Report

Take some time to thoroughly inspect the data on your credit report. Dispute any inaccuracies that you find. Incorrect information on your credit report can drag your score down. And errors in the reports are far more common than you might think.

Verify that the accounts on your report are correct. And that the information displayed is accurate according to your own records.

If you find an error, dispute it and get it corrected. Doing so will again improve your credit score within 30 to 45 days of resolving the dispute and correcting the information.

Remove Recent Late Payments

This will take some effort on your part, but be stubborn. Removing a late payment from your credit report can boost your score by anywhere from 50 to 100 points.

There are a couple of ways to request a removal of a late payment on your report. The most effective way is to call the original creditor and ask them for a goodwill adjustment. That means reaching out and talking with them to get them to do something about that for you.

They may resist such an effort. But keep at it. You could try negotiating with them by doing something such as agreeing to sign up for a service like auto payments.

The other method is to file a dispute against the late payment for inaccuracy.

Remove a Collection Account

The next way to improve your credit score is also an uphill climb. But removing any collection accounts you can from your report will have a positive credit score boost. 

If you have a collection account you need to get that account deleted. Just paying off the collection account will not remove it from your report. That’s why if you do agree to pay off the collection account you need to be specific and negotiate a “pay for delete” in writing with the debt collection agency. 

Get a Credit Limit Increase

If possible, raise your credit limits. If you’re wondering how to earn a credit limit increase, sometimes all it takes is a call to your credit card issuer. Ask them to do a soft pull of your credit history and see if you qualify for a limit raise. An increase to your credit lmiti automatically improves your credit utilization rate.

Charge Small Amounts to Inactive Cards

One tactic that is often overlooked is to start using inactive credit cards. Many people have a primary credit card and one or two other secondary cards. And often those secondary cards get neglected. So put that credit to use!

By charging small, easy to manage amounts to an inactive card, and then remembering to pay the balance off each month, you send a message to creditors. Card issuers see you making payments on time and you once again establish a consistent history of making payments on time. Even if it’s just $5 balances, it’s a start.

Get More Credit

The final way to improve your credit score in about 30 days is to add more credit. It’s a bit obvious, but if you don’t have any credit then your score will not be high. If you are looking to boost your credit score quickly, adding your first card, or a second card can help your score grow immediately.

Your available credit limit goes up and your credit utilization instantly goes down.

Woman looks at article about how to boost your credit score on her tablet.

Long Term Tactics to Improve Your Credit Score

We’ve gone over the ways to boost your score immediately. And we’ve covered the ways to boost your score within 30 days. It should come as no surprise that the most effective way to improve your credit score is taking long term actions on your credit history.

The advice here is to extend the basic best practices of the prior activities. In other words:

  • Pay your bills every month
  • Pay more than your minimum credit payment each month
  • Keep your credit utilization low
  • Increase your credit limit

That’s it really. The same basic tactics extended over time. But what makes this the most effective path to rebuilding your credit is the consistency. Most credit issuers if they see you have been paying your credit balance down for 6 months straight will reward you. The most common reward is a free, instant credit limit increase.

People Also Read

Continental Finance is one of America’s leading marketers and servicers of credit cards for people with less-than-perfect credit. Learn more by visiting ContinentalFinance.net