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How can I increase my credit card limit?

How can I increase my credit card limit?

Requesting an increased card limit has its advantages and disadvantages, and may be useful in some circumstances, such as when trying to build or improve your credit score.

However, you can also pull down your credit score by applying for too many credit cards, racking up a huge credit card debt, or requesting a credit card limit increase too often. You may want to check if your credit limit is healthy, before finding out how to increase your credit card limit.

How can I increase my credit card limit?

You can request a credit card limit increase over the phone, by accessing your credit card account online, or by visiting your bank branch. Similar to a loan application, the bank or credit card company will request a copy of your credit file with your express approval, and review whether you are eligible for an increase.

If your credit card issuer finds that you have had repayment issues with other credit cards or debts, they may decline your request for an increased limit. Alternatively, they may suggest that you clear some of your existing debt before applying for an increase.

Requesting a limit increase on one of your credit cards can be a way of consolidating credit card debt, but you may want to consider cancelling or requesting a limit decrease on your other cards before doing so. Again, consider checking your credit score or asking for a copy of your credit file before applying to extend your credit card limit.

How much can I increase my credit card limit by?

The amount by which you can increase your credit limit depends on your income, expenses, credit score and any existing debts. In Australia, financial regulations require credit card companies to gauge whether you can repay the increased credit limit within three years. The credit card company may verify your borrowing power before approving a limit increase.

You can check if your income is high enough to afford a higher level of credit card debt - and higher repayments. Estimating your borrowing power yourself may be useful, especially if you are juggling multiple debts. If you’re planning to apply for a home loan or car loan sometime soon, requesting a credit card limit increase can affect your loan application.

Since 1 January 2019, credit card companies can no longer offer you card limit increases or send you promotional emails with such offers. As a result, you have full discretion over applying for a limit increase request, although you won’t get a sense of how much you can extend your credit card limit. Again, the total increase will be decided by the credit card company, based on your current financial situation and creditworthiness. If you want to access more funds or feel that an increased credit card limit is most convenient, you can consult a financial adviser to confirm if that is the best option given your circumstances.

How long does a credit card limit increase take to reflect on your card?

Applying for a credit card limit increase may not take much time at all, but getting approval for the increase can take a few days. In this time, your credit card company will assess your financial situation, including your current income, outstanding debts, and employment status.

You may be asked to update or provide more information depending on the duration you’ve had a credit card. In most cases, your credit card limit will reflect the increase immediately after approval by the company. In case your request has been rejected, you should try to find out the reasons, and contact the company if no reason is provided.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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