You have the best chance of getting a credit limit increase without asking after 6 consecutive months of on-time bill payments. Credit card companies need evidence that you can handle your current spending limit responsibly before giving you the ability to borrow more. Creditors will review your credit, income and payment history on a regular basis. If they feel you can afford an increase and refrain from abusing the added spending power, they may automatically grant a credit limit increase without you asking.
If you get a credit limit increase without asking, it should help your credit score. To start off, issuers only use a soft inquiry, which does not affect your credit score, for this type of increase. If you ask them for an increase instead, they’re more likely to use a hard inquiry, which can cause a temporary drop in your score. In addition, getting any kind of credit limit increase adds to the total credit you have available, which can lower your credit utilization if you spend the same amount of money (or less) than you did before. Or, it can allow you to spend more without increasing your utilization.
If you want to increase the chances of a credit card company giving you a higher limit without you having to ask for it, there are a few steps you can take.
How to get a credit limit increase without asking:
- Always pay your bill on time (in full if possible).
- Use only a portion of your current credit limit.
- Update your income on the credit card company’s website/app.
- Keep your account open for at least 6 months.
- Pay down any debt you owe.
These steps won’t guarantee a credit card limit increase without asking. But they will certainly help your chances. And if your issuer doesn’t grant you an unsolicited increase, you may want to just ask for an increase yourself. While your request will probably lead to a lower credit score, the damage will be small and temporary. In the long term, a limit increase has the potential to bring your score higher.