How to Increase Your Credit Limit

A credit limit, also known as a credit access line or credit line, is the maximum amount of money you can spend on your credit card before having to pay off some of the balance. Depending on the credit card and your financial stability, credit limits can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Being smart about how you use your credit card — and paying your bill on time and in full each billing cycle — can help increase your credit limit and may improve your credit score. However, it’s important to consider the potential risks of having a higher credit limit, such as overspending.

In this article, we will discuss how to request a credit limit increase, the eligibility criteria, things to consider before requesting an increase, and tips to improve your chances of being approved for more credit.

How to Request a Credit Limit Increase

Depending on your credit card issuer, you have a few options for requesting a higher credit limit.

  • Make a request online: Many credit issuers allow cardmembers to request a credit limit increase online through their website or user portal. Sign in to your account and submit a request. In some cases, you may have to update your information, such as your annual income.
  • Call your credit card company: The back of your card has a customer service number you can call to learn if you’re eligible for an increased limit. You may have to answer some questions regarding your request and financial situation. Once submitted, you may receive a decision immediately, or you may have to wait up to 30 days before receiving an answer.

Sometimes, your credit card issuer may automatically increase your credit limit based on factors such as having the card open for a long period of time and making payments on time. If this happens, they may send you communication that your limit has increased, so be sure to monitor for these notifications. With some issuers, this may happen even every 6 or 12 months.

How to Be Eligible for a Credit Limit Increase

Your credit card company will consider several factors when evaluating your eligibility for a credit limit increase. They will want to know if:

  • You make on-time payments.
  • You make more than the minimum monthly payments or pay off your balance in full.

Other factors that creditors may consider include recent changes to your income, your credit score, whether you’ve maxed out your credit card in the past, your credit utilization ratio, and how long you’ve had the card open for (some creditors have specific requirements, such as the card being open for six months or one year before you’re eligible for an increase).

What to Consider Before Requesting a Higher Credit Limit

Before requesting a higher credit limit, there are a few key things to consider:

  • A credit limit increase may result in a hard inquiry on your credit report if the lender obtains a copy of your credit score. However, in some cases, it may result in a soft inquiry, depending on your credit card issuer.
  • Consider whether you’ll still be able to make payments on time and pay off your card in full if you have a higher credit limit and spend more each month. If the answer is no, now may not be the best time for an increase.
  • Also, think about your credit utilization ratio. A higher credit limit and increased spending may lead to a higher utilization ratio, which could negatively affect your credit score.

Tips for Requesting a Credit Limit Increase

Card issuers are not obligated to approve your request, so here are a few tips to help the request process go smoothly:

  • Have the information you’ll need ready when you request a credit limit increase. Typically, you’ll need to provide your total annual income, current employment status, monthly mortgage or rent payment, and the amount of the credit limit increase you’re requesting.
  • Be prepared to defend your request for a higher limit. The representative may ask why you need a credit limit increase and why they should grant your request. You can defend your case with information such as your history of on-time payments, responsible use of the card, high credit score, increase in income, and more.
  • Request the credit limit increase at a good time. Wait until you get a raise or your annual income increases. Also, make sure you have good credit and a good track record of paying on time when applying.

How to Improve Your Chances of Being Approved for More Credit

If you’re looking to improve your chances of getting an increased credit limit, focus on the following things:

Maintain a Good Credit Score

Consumers with good credit scores (typically FICO scores of 690 and up) are more likely to get approved for more credit. To boost your credit score, make on-time payments each billing cycle, keep your credit utilization rate below 30%, and keep any older credit cards you have open to represent the length of your credit history.

Reduce Your Outstanding Debt

Even low statement balances count as debt when reported to credit bureaus. This may make a card issuer hesitant to approve you for additional credit. To minimize reported outstanding debt, pay off your balance before the end of the billing cycle. Know when your billing cycle ends and, if possible, pay the balance in advance. Consider using automatic payments to ensure your bill is paid on time each month.

Include All Sources of Income

If your income has recently increased, include all qualifying sources of income when applying for additional credit. Banks must allow you to include other eligible sources such as your spouse’s or partner’s income, alimony, child support, investment income, disability benefits, and retirement disbursements.

The Benefits of a Higher Credit Card Limit

Having a higher credit limit offers several key benefits:

Avoid the Need to Open a Second Card

With a higher credit limit, you can cover necessary expenses on a single credit card, eliminating the need to open a second card. This can make it easier to track purchases and manage only one credit card bill.

Earn More Rewards

If you have a rewards credit card, a higher credit line provides more opportunities to spend and earn rewards or cash back.

Maintain a Low Credit Utilization

A higher credit limit may result in a lower credit utilization ratio if your spending doesn’t increase accordingly. Maintaining a lower credit utilization ratio may even boost your credit score.


Before requesting a credit limit increase on your existing card, consider whether it’s the right time for you. If you decide to increase your limit, call the phone number on the back of your credit card. Remember to be responsible with your credit and make payments on time to build a positive credit history.