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How Can I Change My Credit Limit?

Aug 29, 2007
Many people ask this question and for different reasons. Some of the reasons for wanting a higher credit limit are good and sensible reasons. Others are not. Let's look at some of the issues involved with changing your credit limit.

Your credit limit is the maximum total amount that you may use on your credit card. This total amount includes everything including purchases, balance transfers, cash advances, fees, and finance charges. This is a pre-set limit and if you go over this amount you may have to pay a penalty fee. When you increase your credit limit you are able to purchase more without incurring penalties. It is that simple.

Here are some tips to help you get a higher credit limit on your credit card.

First, you should ask your card issuer to send you any literature that they may have concerning their policy on requesting a higher limit. Some companies do not have this in writing, but many do. When you read the literature you can assess whether or not you can meet the added requirements.

Second, you should understand that much of the decision on whether or not you will get the higher limit will be based on how well you have paid your bills so far. If you have not been prompt on your past bills, the card company may assume that you will not be prompt with the higher level.

Another issue that you should examine is timing. If you only received the card a few months ago and have already maxed it out chances are the bank or card issuer will want to wait before allowing you greater limits on your credit line.

When you have a card that is already maxed out, it is a good idea to make sure that you make prompt payments for at least six months (or longer) before asking for more credit on the same card.

If you know in advance that you will want to increase the credit limit on a particular card, use that card regularly and make your payments on time. This shows the company that you are using the card and that you are credit worthy.

The size of your payments will make a difference as well. Whenever possible, pay the outstanding balance on your card a few times. This shows the bank or issuer that you are on top of your finances. Try to avoid only making the minimum payments as this may cause the company to wonder if you can make higher payments with a higher limit.

Try to never have to make late payments. The card issuer will certainly look at how often you make late payments and this will not help your case when asking for a higher credit limit.

Perhaps the best way to get a higher limit is to simply use your current card wisely and to make your payments on time. This means more to the issuer than you can imagine.

Keep in mind that if you are already struggling with credit card debt, having more access to credit may be very harmful to your financial future. Many people believe that if they can only borrow more, they can get out of debt trouble. For the most part, this does not work. If you truly need and can afford a higher credit limit, then ask for it. With a good history of past payments you will probably get it.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at bank charge refund and 0% balance transfers
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