A higher credit limit carries many advantages, ranging from (obviously) the ability to spend more on your credit card to benefiting your credit score, which is partly calculated by your debt to limit ratio. Alternately, you might be seeking a credit limit increase because your lender just slashed your limit without any forewarning or apparent reason. In any case, your task is to convince your credit card company that you are a trustworthy borrower, which can be done using these methods:
Clean Record and Paying On Time
Of course, one of the first things a lender will look at is your credit history. Taking care to maintain a clean record and to pay bills dependably will undoubtedly help your cause. Even if your history isn’t quite spotless, do your best to pay off existing debt and avoid incurring large amounts of new debt or penalty fees.
Wait 6 Months
If you just received your credit card, you’ll likely have to wait for six months or longer until the lender will consider raising your limit. In the meantime, use your card wisely and somewhat consistently. Lenders base your credit limit on their assessment of how risky a borrower you are, and unpredictable or uncontrollable spending is not the mark of a trusty customer.
Once you’ve built a solid foundation with your credit card company, don’t be afraid to negotiate for what you want. If they don’t offer an online limit increase request form, call and make a persuasive case as to why you deserve a limit increase. Make sure to propose a reasonable increase amount, as the other person is not permitted to offer a number and might even flag your account as suspicious if you suggest too far-fetched of a number.
Ultimately, lenders will reward borrowers who use their credit cards responsibly. Whatever you do, don’t use an increased credit limit to rack up a soaring balance that you won’t be able to pay off.
If you’re not satisfied with your current credit card you can always use our quiz to help you find a better credit card.
Laura is a staff writer for MyBankTracker. She covers personal finances, millennials and consumer spending.