how much of a credit line increase should i ask for
Many credit cardholders assume that getting a credit limit increase is akin to having a root canal — a difficult, drawn-out process, uncomfortable at best and, occasionally, excruciatingly painful. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let me preface the following discussion with this statement: if you don’t have a history of prompt payment, then don’t expect to easily get a higher limit. The issuer may turn you down outright, or you may have to trade something for the increase — such as rewards privileges, or a decent interest rate.
If you’ve ever defaulted on any credit card, have a lousy credit score, or you’ve already maxed out your card, then as they say in Jersey, fugeddaboudit. Credit card issuers are much more likely to increase your limit when you don’t actually need the money.
So why bother to increase your credit limit when times are good? Because you might need that higher limit somewhere down the road. Onto every parade some rain must fall, and a high credit limit can be a comfort when you find yourself in an emergency situation where a few thousand extra dollars makes a difference.
Arranging for a higher rate can also bump up your credit score. FICO scoring takes into account your utilization rate — i.e., the percentage of available credit vs. the amount you’re actually using. If you suddenly have more available credit while still owing the same amount, your credit score automatically goes up.
The easiest way to get a higher credit limit is simply to approach the card issuer and ask for it. If you’re a cardholder in good standing with more than six months of billing and payment history, and use your card regularly, they’ll look on you more favorably.
Some advisors suggest you apply for the credit limit increase online first, because you’re more likely to get it. Some issuers, like Citi and American Express, may even give you the increase automatically when you ask. Otherwise, you’ll need to call ’em on the phone and talk to customer service.
First of all, be patient. You’ve definitely got to be a model consumer during that first few months, always paying on time and never maxing out your card. Even if they say no when you ask for more credit, just wait a while and ask again. And if they offer you an increase that’s smaller than you expected, take it.
Then just wait a little more, be a good cardholder, and ask again. Keep it up, and you’ll eventually work your way up to the credit limit increase you were after in the first place.
Discover Credit Limit Recycling & How to Request an Increase to Maximize the Apple Pay Promo without a Hard Pull!
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We are nine days into December, which means we are only about 22 days away from the end of the Discover Apple Pay 10% back promotion. If you are like me and have been a bit lazy with it, then you no doubt have much of your $10,000 limit in tact to spend. Of course, your credit limit might not be that high, so what should you do?
Many banks allow you to cycle your credit limit more than once in a month. For example, if you have a $2,000 credit limit, you often can charge $2,000 and pay it off mid-month. When doing this your limit will return and you can purchase another $2,000. This isn’t generally an ideal behavior, but is normal enough that I haven’t had issues doing it from time to time.
I’ll have to admit that I have never cycled my credit limit with Discover, but have a lot of purchases coming up and may have to. I was talking with PDX Deals Guy about it and he confirmed with Discover it can take up to 8 days for your credit limit to return after a payment clears. It may be possible to get this cleared sooner by calling their “security department”, but that isn’t ideal. I would start forming a strategy now if you plan to cycle more than your limit before the end of the promotion.
If you have a low credit line on your Discover card, you may also want to request an increase. Thankfully Discover makes it very easy to do this and does not require a hard pull most of the time. Let me walk through the process and then we’ll revisit the hard pull issue a little later.
- To request a credit line increase, login to your Discover account and go to the “Account” drop down. Click “Credit Line Increase”.
- You are now on the credit line increase screen. On this page you will be asked to input your gross annual income, employer’s name and monthly housing payment. Notice the language on the bottom. Submitting this request will not cause a hard pull. If Discover feels they need more information, then they will prompt you before making the pull. When all of the information is complete, hit “Submit”.
- On the next screen you will see the amount of an increase that is being offered. If they need more information this is where they would ask for your consent to do a hard pull. In my case, a modest increase was offered. You can adjust the slider if you want less than the offered increase.
Coming up with a Discover Apple Pay strategy for the next few busy holiday weeks will probably be a good idea. Keep in mind that it takes some time for your credit limit to recycle, so don’t go into the last week thinking you will be able to spend 3X or 4X your limit. I am happy for my modest credit limit increase, even though it isn’t much. Since there wasn’t a hard pull I felt it was worth asking for. With a hard pull I wouldn’t have done it. Happy Apple Paying!
Amex: How Long Should I Wait Before Requesting A Credit Limit Increase?
- 61 days after the date the account was OPENED (not approved), is when you apply (prior to that results in automatic denial)
- Make sure your balance is paid in full those first 60 days
- Results in a soft pull
- Request 3x your current limit (more is usually declined)
- Don't go over 30% utilization in that first 60 days
- They may request supporting documentation for CLs above $25K
- If they decline the request to increase your CLI, you can try again after 181 days after account was opened