Credit card companies try to give new card holders enough credit so they will spend money, but not too much credit so that they spend too much and default on their balance. If this is your first credit card or if you have a low credit score, chances are you were approved for a credit card with a very low credit limit. This means that you may only have a small amount of borrowing power to make purchases, transfer balances or obtain cash advances. If this low credit limit is restricting the kinds of purchases you want to make, you may want to request the credit card company to raise your credit limit. Here are some ways you can accomplish this goal.
Wait for Automatic Increase
Credit card issuers may periodically review a customer’s account to see if they are worthy of a credit limit increase or not. If so, a card holder may see an increase magically show up on their next billing statement. This typically happens on lower limit accounts. With the recent rash of un-collectable credit card debt running rampant, an automatic increase may not be as easy as it once was. So, we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for this to happen to you. You will probably need to take a little bit of control of the situation so keep reading.
Improve Your Credit Worthiness
You need to work on improving your perceived worthiness to borrow money from your bank. Your credit score shows lenders what kind of credit risk you are for them, and tells banks whether or not you are trustworthy and able to handle credit responsibly.
The easiest way to build your credit worthiness, and thus raise the amount of your line of credit, is to put everything you buy on your credit card. Don’t save your card for emergencies. Your credit card company wants to see that you have the ability to spend wisely and to pay back the amount you credit to your card. If you rarely use the card, the company will wonder why you would need a higher credit limit.
Make Timely Payments on the Balance Due
The second best way to improve your credit limit is to pay as much as possible on your outstanding balance every month and pay them on time. If you can, make every attempt to pay the entire amount; in any case, always pay more than the minimum required. By doing this, you will demonstrate to the credit card company that you are striving to improve your credit rating. You’ll be showing them that you do deserve a higher credit level.
Provide Proof of Income
Some credit cards may require proof of income before they will grant you a higher credit limit. With others, you may find their website has an online feature with which you can request a raise in credit limit. If you use this feature judiciously, not more often than every four or five months, you may be able to increase your line of credit. Other companies will automatically extend your credit limit if they see you are spending up to your current limit — and paying it back regularly. That last phrase is most important!
Benefits of an Increased Credit Limit
If your credit card company does raise the limit on your credit, it means that you have shown them they can trust you as a borrower of their money. You should realize, however, that a higher credit level may incur more fees, as well as increased interest charges. Be very careful as you begin to operate within a higher limit, to make sure interest rates don’t spiral out of your comfort zone.
There are plenty of websites on the Internet that offer tips on using your credit wisely and carefully. You may wish to look at some of these to increase your understanding of how credit works, and how you can protect your own credit rating. Keep in mind that granting you increased credit is the way your bank expresses its confidence in you as a borrower — and be sure you are worthy of that confidence.