Consumers who want a better revolving credit limit have a number of options and may get the best results simply by asking. Before requesting an increase on a line of credit, however, it can help to take some steps to increase the probability of a positive response. It is also important to be aware that when consumers request increases, their financial institutions may make an inquiry on their credit history, which can have a negative impact on a credit report.
Usually people need to have an account open for at least a year before they can ask for a better revolving credit limit. During the time period when the account is open, customers should build up a good history with the financial institution. This includes paying bills in a prompt fashion, not carrying a high balance, and limiting the number of disputes associated with the account. If someone has a problem with a merchant, for example, it is advisable to attempt to resolve it with the merchant before appealing to the financial institution.
Building up good credit in general can also help for those wishing to increase a revolving credit limit. Credit scores tend to improve with timely payments on accounts. People carrying balances should pay them down to at least half of the total limit. It can also help to review a credit report to check for any items that do not belong. These can potentially create a problem with a credit score that could be easily resolved by asking for removal.
People with good histories may automatically be offered an increase on a revolving credit limit. Accepting increases doesn’t come with an obligation to use them, and people could take advantage of such offers to improve their access to funds. If they need extra money in the future, it will be available to them without having to apply and wait. In other cases, customers can directly ask for an increase. A representative can perform a quick credit check to determine eligibility and provide information about the size of the increase.
The impact of an inquiry on a credit score can be relatively minimal, especially if customers ask infrequently and have good credit. Customer service advisers may be able to offer information on whether an increase on a revolving credit limit is likely to be approved before putting a request through. This can allow people to avoid negative marks on their credit reports in association with inquiries that won’t lead to an increase in credit.