You might be at the point where you need to make an expensive purchase, but you don’t have the cash and your credit card has reached its limit. If that’s the case, then the only option you might have is to increase your credit limit.
One problem: You don’t know how to get a credit limit increase.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard.
If you really want your credit card company to increase your limit, why not simply ask for an increase?
Is that too easy? Not really. Even if it is, it’s still your best option.
There are two simple ways that you can ask for a credit increase:
- Pick up the phone and call customer service. If you’ve got a long track record of making your payments on time and you’ve demonstrated that you know how to manage money, the easiest way to get a limit increase is to simply give the credit card company a call and request a limit increase. You’ll find that the customer service representatives are more than happy to talk to you about the possibility of a limit increase and even have the authority to give you one on the spot.
- Ask online. Your credit card company almost certainly has a website that allows you to log on and check your balance, your payment history and your purchase history. You can also use that online platform to request a limit increase. Sometimes, you’ll see a link or a button that you click to request the increase. On other sites, you might have to talk to somebody chat style online. Still other sites might ask that you send an email.
It’s possible that you will have to play a little hardball when you ask for a credit limit increase. Sometimes, the company will initially say you don’t qualify for an increase. When that happens, you’re going to have to go into negotiation mode.
Explain your history of making payments on time – unless you haven’t. Let the customer service rep know you’re in a financial position to make the increased payments.
If that doesn’t work, then you might have to threaten to cancel. Sometimes, that’s the impetus that the company needs to give in to your demands.
If It’s Still Not Happening
If, even after threatening to cancel the card, you still don’t get a credit limit increase, don’t despair. You’ll simply have to fall back on the wait option – see below. Also, be sure to continue paying down your debt and managing your money responsibly, and you might find that your mailbox will one day present you with a preapproved credit card offer that you can use instead of a limit increase on one of your existing credit cards.
Another option you have for getting your credit limit increased is one that requires no effort at all. You simply wait.
If you continue to pay your bills on time and avoid damaging your credit report in any way, you might find that the credit card company increases your credit limit without you even asking. That’s how credit card companies reward people for good behavior.
Of course, this isn’t an option if you need the increase in credit immediately. However, if you’re forward looking and think there might be an opportunity at some point in the future when you’ll need that limit increased, you now know what to do. Keep your financial house in order and pay your bills on time.
More Credit Means a Better Score
You might think that an increase in your credit will mean a reduction in your score. It’s true that if the credit card company performs a hard check on your credit report to determine if you’re a good borrower, your credit score might take a temporary dip.
However, the long-term prospect is much brighter. The credit bureaus actually look favorably on people who can manage an increase in debt. In other words, you might see your credit score improve over time if you maintain a great track record of paying down the increased debt and paying your bills on time.
Getting a credit limit increase isn’t impossible. Start by asking. If that doesn’t work, then opt for waiting. If you manage your finances responsibly, someone will eventually extend a lending hand.