How to Increase Your Credit Limit: 9 Tips

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 7, 2023

When you receive a credit card, you will get a credit limit. While you may start off with a low credit limit, it’s beneficial to improve your credit limit over time. A higher credit limit allows you to borrow more money and can improve your credit score. This guide will explain how credit limits work and some of the strategies you can use to raise your credit limit. 

What is a Credit Limit?

A credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow from a credit line. Credit cards and home equity lines of credit are some of the financial products that have credit limits. Installment loans do not have credit limits.

Should You Apply for a Credit Limit Increase?

A credit limit increase lets you borrow more money and can improve your credit utilization ratio, but it isn’t right for everyone. Requesting a credit limit increase can trigger a hard credit check which will temporarily reduce your credit score. Consumers also have to keep their expenses under control even if they get a credit limit increase. You shouldn’t view a higher credit limit as permission to spend more money and get into bad money habits.

A higher credit limit can help with large purchases. If you have a low credit limit already, such as $1,000, you have less room for expensive items. Also, a credit limit that low gives you a thin margin of error for maintaining a respectable credit utilization ratio. Credit utilization impacts 30% of your credit score, so it is something you should monitor.

Top Strategies to Increase Your Credit Limit

If you have decided it’s time to raise your credit limit, these top strategies will help. You don’t have to use every strategy at the same time, but it’s good to know some of your options.

1. Maintain a Good Credit History

Credit card issuers will look at your credit history when deciding how to adjust your credit score. If you make on-time payments and keep your credit utilization low by paying off your credit card balance, you can qualify for a higher credit limit.

You should have a credit utilization ratio below 30%. For instance, if you have a $10,000 credit limit, you should not have a credit card balance above $3,000. It’s optimal to have a credit utilization ratio below 10%.

2. Request a Credit Limit Increase

You can request a credit limit increase instead of waiting for your limit to automatically get updated. Contact your credit card issuer through an online portal or phone to make a request. You may have to provide information about your income, employment and other financial details. This information influences a credit card issuer’s decision.

3. Choose the Right Timing

The timing of your request can make a difference in getting a higher credit limit. Your credit card issuer may be suspicious if you have applied for several loans or lines of credit leading up to your request for a higher limit. A good payment history and a high credit score can increase your chances of getting approved for the higher limit.

4. Show Increased Income

Raising your income is the best approach for many financial strategies. If you want better loans, a higher income will help. If you want to grow your portfolio faster, raising your income by developing new skills and seeking career advancements is one of the best ways to do it.

A higher income also contributes to a higher credit limit. If you can show your credit card issuer that your income has increased since you got your credit card, you can qualify for a higher credit limit.

A higher income doesn’t solve every issue, as some people fall into lifestyle creep. But raising your income will present many opportunities, including a higher credit limit.

5. Use the Card Responsibly

Your credit card issuer can access your credit card usage and see whether you have a history of making on-time payments. Using your credit card responsibly can lead to more rewards and benefits, such as a higher credit limit. 

6. Consider a Different Card

Some credit card issuers have low credit limits and will not entertain your request for a higher limit. Under this scenario, it may make sense to shop around for a credit card with a higher credit limit. You should only shop around for a credit card if you are convinced your current issuer will not raise your limit. You should wait a bit to reapproach an issuer if you apply for new credit cards if you ever need to circle back.

You should be careful about how many cards you apply for because too many applications can hurt your credit score. You should also keep your old credit card open once you get a new one. The older credit card does more for your credit score because it shows you have an old credit account.

7. Automatic Increases

Some credit card issuers automatically increase your credit limit if you have a good history of making on-time payments and minimizing your debt. You should check with your issuer to see whether this option is available. An automatic increase eliminates the hassle of applying for a higher credit limit and enduring a hard credit check.

8. Be Patient

Credit card issuers will look at your credit score and changes to your income when assessing your request for a higher credit limit. It can take time to raise your credit score and build up your income so you can get a higher credit limit. Stay focused on what you can do each day to raise your credit limit and stick with effective money habits. If your request gets rejected, consider trying again in a few months after you have had the opportunity to strengthen your credit history. 

You Can Get a Higher Credit Limit

Obtaining a higher credit limit gives you more choices and can improve your credit score. Credit card issuers aren’t likely to grant you this request overnight. Strengthening your finances and staying on top of your expenses can lead to a higher credit limit in the future. Some credit card issuers may automatically raise your limit if you demonstrate effective money management.

Frequently Asked Questions


How often can I request a credit limit increase?


You can typically request a credit limit increase once every six months.


Will requesting a credit limit increase affect my credit score?


Requesting a credit limit increase can result in a hard credit check, which will temporarily reduce your credit score.


What other strategies can I use to increase my credit limit?


You can work on increasing your income, making on-time payments and paying off your credit card balance. Those strategies will go a long way toward helping you increase your credit limit.

About Marc Guberti

Marc Guberti is a personal finance writer passionate about helping people learn more about money management, investing and finance. He has more than 10 years of writing experience focused on finance and digital marketing. His work has been published in U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, InvestorPlace and other publications.