5 Ways to Increase Your Credit Limit in a Short Amount of Time
The most obvious benefit of a higher credit limit is increased spending power. With access to more credit, you can be more flexible in your spending and may even earn additional rewards like air miles or cashback from your credit card provider.
But having a higher credit limit also comes with another important benefit: a lower credit utilization ratio. While your credit limit represents the amount of credit available to you, your credit utilization ratio shows the amount you use. For example, if you have a credit limit of $3,000 and you currently owe $300, you have a credit utilization ratio of 10%. In terms of your credit score, the lower your utilization ratio the better – always aim to keep it below 30%.
Increasing your limit could also make any future borrowing less expensive – as your credit score increases, you may be offered lower interest rates on loans and credit cards. Read on to learn how to increase your credit limit in a short amount of time.
Request an Increase From Your Current Provider
This might sound obvious, but the quickest and easiest way to increase your credit limit is to make a request to your current lender. Surprisingly, just 28% of people ask their credit card provider for an increase. You may be surprised by just how simple it can be to obtain a line increase – if you’re a good customer, they’ll want to keep you. In fact, almost 8 out of 10 Americans who asked their card provider for an increase in credit were approved.
Log on to your bank or credit account and scroll through the menu until you find the option for credit limit increase or credit line increase. You’ll likely be asked to update details of your salary and monthly outgoings, as well as the amount you wish to increase your credit limit by.
Give Your Provider a Call
There may be a benefit to talking things through with your provider in that they can guide you through the process and point out options you weren’t aware of. Try the toll-free number printed on the back of your card or on the top of your statement.
Be aware that, whether you call or apply online, there’s a chance the lender may do a “hard pull” credit inquiry that may impact your credit score, but they’re obligated to let you know before they do this. Other providers won’t do a full search, meaning there won’t be an impact on your score.
Improve Your Credit Score and Boost Your Limit
Before offering you a higher credit line, lenders will often look at your credit score to ensure that you can be trusted not to default on payments. Despite the impact that having a decent credit score has on so many areas of life, almost 4 in 10 Americans don’t know how their credit score is determined.
Keeping track of your credit score doesn’t need to be complicated – it can actually even be fun. SmartCredit can help you control your future credit score using easy to navigate tools. If you need to know what is hurting your score, look to SmartCredit’s ScoreBuilder* tool for a 120 day action plan to take back control of your finances.
Transfer Your Credit Limit From Another Card
Sometimes, your lender may not be able to offer you an increased line of credit on your current card. This could be down to a number of factors, from too short an amount of time since your last increase to being on a secured credit card account that doesn’t allow increases.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get more credit though. One strategy you could try is applying for an additional card with the same provider and subsequently transferring over a portion of your credit line to your new card. This can be done over the phone, but bear in mind that it could take up to several weeks to be transferred.
Improve Your Chance of Being Offered an Automatic Increase
Plenty of credit card providers will offer you an increased credit line automatically after 6-12 months of responsible use. Don’t worry – these increases won’t damage your credit score because they require your explicit permission before processing the increase.
To be offered an increase to your credit limit, you need to be using the card regularly rather than tucking it away at the back of your wallet for emergencies. This is because the frequent use generates bank fees for the provider – the more you spend, the more they earn.
Prove that you’re a responsible borrower by ensuring that you make repayments on time in order to build a positive repayment history.
As you can see, there are multiple ways that you can increase your credit limit. It doesn’t need to be complicated or a hassle, and, providing you manage your repayments effectively, it could actually lead to a healthier credit score overall. To learn more about how you can take control of your future credit score and increase your credit limit, contact SmartCredit today.
*This feature unlocks if you have negative credit data.