Your credit limit likely went up because you received an automatic credit limit increase from your credit card company. Creditors periodically review cardholders’ accounts and may consider increasing the credit limit as a reward for consistently paying the monthly bills on time and maintaining a low debt level. Another reason your issuer might increase your limit is if you updated your account profile with a higher income. The first account review for a potential automatic credit limit increase typically happens after your account has been open for about six months.
An automatic increase uses a soft pull of your credit, which does not hurt your credit score. A soft pull can occur at any time and without your knowledge. Some issuers may give you the option to deny an automatic credit limit increase or request an even higher limit. If you initiate a request for a credit limit increase, a hard pull may occur, depending on the issuer. Hard pulls can only be done with your permission, and may cause a slight dip in your credit score. Fortunately, hard pulls can only affect your score for 12 months and disappear from your credit report after two years.
An automatic credit limit increase could actually improve your credit score. A higher credit limit will lower your credit utilization - if your spending doesn’t increase in proportion to the raised limit. The general rule is to maintain an overall utilization ratio of less than 30 percent. Lower utilization is better for your credit score.
You should increase your credit limit as long as it won’t make you overspend. Getting a credit limit increase does more than just give you increased spending power. It also gives you the potential to lower your credit utilization, which can benefit your credit score. But just because receiving a credit limit increase is a good thing does not mean it’s always the right time to ask for one. … read full answer
You shouldn’t ask for a higher credit limit unless your account has been open for at least 6 months and you’ve been paying the monthly bills on time. Otherwise, you’re likely to be rejected, as would also be the case if your credit score has gone down a lot since you got the card. Also, it’s best not to request an increase right before you apply for a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, etc. You’ll want your credit to be in top shape, and requesting a credit limit increase will usually result in a hard pull of your credit report, causing a temporary dip in your credit score.
Assuming the timing works out for your situation, you can look forward to a handful of notable benefits following a credit limit increase.
Why you should increase your credit limit:
It gives you higher spending power.
It can decrease your credit utilization ratio and help your score.
It leaves you better prepared to face a financial emergency.
It reduces the chance that you’ll max out your credit card.
If you curious about how a higher credit limit can lead to lower credit utilization and corresponding credit score gains, an example might be helpful. Let’s say you have a $500 credit limit. If you spend $200 in a month, you have 40% credit utilization. If your credit limit goes up to $800 and you still spend just $200, you’d have 20% credit utilization. Anything under 30% is good for your credit score.
So, getting an increase can help you reduce your utilization percentage without having to cut back on your expenses. Plus, if you already have low utilization, a credit limit increase could allow you to spend more without hurting your score.
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