Simon Says: The Best Time to Ask for a Credit Limit Increase

Simon Zhen

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Tue Nov 12, 2013, Last Updated on Tue Jul 15, 2014

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Simon Says: The Best Time to Ask for a Credit Limit Increase

Prior to the financial crisis, credit card issuers allowed customers to request a credit limit increase through their online accounts. Many credit limit increases were given automatically. Today, issuers are more cautious and require more information before raising credit lines. Borrowers may be wondering when is the best time to ask for a credit limit increase.Q: Hello, I recently moved from Canada to the U.S. for a well-paid position. I applied and qualified for a Capital One card with a $500 limit in March 2012. I have been using it regularly and immediately paying off the full amount instead of the minimum payments. I’m thinking of requesting an increase in my limit but I know that I might not get it. When is the best time to do it? Or should I just apply for another credit card?

- Rita M.

A: Rita, given your great track record with the card, you should not have a major problem with a simple call to Capital One to request a credit line increase. You may have to provide financial information, including your annual income and your monthly mortgage or rent payment amount. Your credit card issuer may also perform a hard pull on your credit report, which will lead to a temporary drop in your credit score.

Generally, credit card users are advised against requesting a credit limit increase during the first six months after obtaining a new credit card. Additionally, since issuers are more likely to check your credit reports, it’ll also improve your chances of getting a credit limit increase if you haven’t applied for any new lines of credit in the past six months.

Because you’ve had your card for 18 months with a solid repayment history, you might even get a credit limit increase with little to no hassle. If you want to be more diligent, you can pull one of your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com to ensure that your credit profile is pristine.

However, when asked for your desired credit limit, do not give an astronomical amount. For instance, you’re likely to be rejected if you say that you’d like a $15,000 credit limit, which is an extremely large increase from $500.

I cannot tell you the correct amount to ask for because there are so many factors that matter and every issuer reviews each case independently.

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  • L. A.

    Rita M. Find yourself a GOOD card(s) asap, and trash the Capitol One card before it crashes you! Those crooks WILL find a way to get their hand into your pocket (or purse), and will rob you BLIND !!!!! For all you Wells Fargo customers, the outlook is not MUCH better…..go to most ANY other bank; their fees, terms, and interest are ludicrous.

    • joel

      @ L.A what you said is only about 1000% true LOL

  • sadie

    Ya… Sound advice! Cancel your credit card and ruin your credit! Good job L.A

  • Chad

    Capital One is the best card for Cash Rewards and for users who pay off in full each month. Never once had an issue because I use it correctly. L.A. needs to understand to each his own. He probably just doesn’t know much about credit

    • Michaelxrt

      Actually it’s a well known fact that crap one sucks donkey dick. They offer the LOWEST credit limits and the CS team is out of India! Have fun arguing in Hindi lmao

  • tltx123

    Let the account age. Capitol one is not a bad tradeline. However, the are much better. My favorite currently is AMEX for these reasons, I don’t ever carry a balance, AMEX charges post faster, they allow me to pay faster, too many other perks to mention here. I have found them to provide sterling protection on purchases and fraud. Best wishes to your experiences in consumer credit. Take care of it, and it will take care of you when you truly need it ;-)