You probably won’t get a Bank of America credit limit increase with a soft pull. Any time you seek credit from Bank of America, whether that’s opening a new card or increasing your existing credit line, they’ll do a hard pull on your credit. And Bank of America doesn’t give automatic credit line increases, so you won’t avoid a hard pull that way. You can request a credit limit increase every six months.But unless there’s been a change in your financial circumstances, like a pay raise or a debt paid off, you’re unlikely to get one more than once a year.
A hard pull is a detailed inquiry into your credit history. It shows whether you’ve paid your bills on time, how long your accounts have been open, and how frequently you apply for new credit, among other things. Unlike soft pulls, each hard inquiry causes a bit of temporary damage to your credit score. But this shouldn’t discourage you from requesting a credit limit increase, as long as you don’t plan to apply for credit in the next six months or so. The hard inquiry won’t cost you if that’s the case. And if you avoid having numerous hard inquiries in a short period of time, the damage shouldn’t be too bad, anyway.
A well-timed hard pull could actually be an investment that pays off for your credit score in the long run. If you successfully request an increase and keep your spending the same, you can reduce your credit utilization and wind up with a higher credit score than you started with after six months or so. In other words, the fact that you can’t get a Bank of America credit limit increase with a soft pull doesn’t have to be a roadblock.