Methods You Can Use To Get A
Credit Line Increase

Earning a credit line increase on your credit card account can be rewarding. It can come in handy if you normally max out your current credit line and pay it in full every month, or even if you carry a balance on your account every month. Here you can learn some methods to use in order to get an increase on your credit card and some reasons you may be declined for an increase.

Requesting An Increase

The first method you can use to get an increase in your credit line on your credit card is simply contacting your credit card customer service center and requesting one. Many people are not aware that they can simply call and ask. When you do call your credit card company, it's possible that you may qualify for an automatic increase. An automatic increase does not require any additional information, or review, in order to grant your increase request. Unfortunately, automatic increases may not be an amount that satisfies you. Some people expect their credit line to double or even triple.

Many factors are taken into consideration by the credit card issuer when you request an increase. These factors include the following items.
  • Your annual household income.
  • Your payment history on the credit card.
  • Your current balance in relation to your current credit line.
  • Your recent payment amounts in relation to your balance.
  • The balances of all other debts that you have shown on your credit report.
  • The total amounts of available credit from all other credit accounts as shown on your credit report.
  • The number of recent inquiries on your credit bureau report.

When you call to request an increase in your credit line, if it does not qualify for an automatic increase or the automatic increase amount is not enough, you may be able to have an additional review completed. This additional review sometimes will require information such as pulling a copy of your credit bureau report and even sometimes bank references. The additional review process may be completed in about one business day, or in the case of an emergency, some credit card issuers can have it completed in four hours or less. You would be required to call customer service back after the appropriate timeframe in order to receive your answer. Otherwise, a letter is sent out to you with the answer either way.

The other method of obtaining a credit line increase is simple. If you pay your account off in full each month, do not have an exorbitant amount of debt shown on your credit report, and do not have any late payments or go over your credit line, your credit card issuer may give you an automatic credit line increase without you even asking. On my Orchard Bank Platinum MasterCard®, I have followed these exact procedures. My credit line started out at $500 and in approximately 8 months, it was automatically increased to $700, without me asking. Not a huge amount, but for only being discharged from bankruptcy for a year, it's a good start.

Reasons For Decline

There are many reasons your account may not be eligible for a credit line increase. One of the most prominent reasons for a declined credit line increase request is what's called a low payment to balance ratio. Basically this means that you are either just paying your minimum payment or slightly over your minimum due each month. A higher credit line would require higher minimum payments, if the full credit line is utilized. Just paying your current minimum due does not show the credit card issuer that you can support a higher credit line.

Some additional reasons you may be declined for a credit line increase include the following.
  • Your account is over the current credit line.
  • You've had late payments on your account in the last year.
  • Your account is currently past due.
  • You've had late payments on other credit accounts in the last year.
  • Your reported annual household income may not be enough to support the total amount of credit lines shown on your credit report.
  • You've had returned checks on your account in the past.
These are just a few of the reasons you may be declined for a credit line increase. There are still many other reasons that are less common.

Final Words

Here are some final words I have about requesting a credit line increase. It's in your best interest not to ask for a credit line increase except only every six months. Asking for an increase, especially if there is additional review involved, puts an inquiry on your credit report. This can impact your credit score and affect your ability to obtain new credit accounts and increases in the future.

Finally, now that you know what it takes to request an increase, work towards the goal of receiving automatic increases by your credit card issuer, without asking. Just pay off your account in full each month, don't pay late, and don't go over your credit line. These simple steps will help improve your credit and give you the credit that you may need in the future.

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