The average credit card limit is $12,945, according to the latest data available from the credit bureau TransUnion. This number takes into account all American cardholders, including people of all ages, credit scores and incomes.
Average Credit Card Limits by Year
|Year||Average Credit Limit||Median Credit Limit|
In order to actually receive a credit limit of $13,000+, you will likely need to have good or excellent credit, a high income and little to no existing debt. In addition, most people are not likely to receive a limit this high until they are in their 30s or 40s.
Naturally, the average credit card limit will be much lower for an 18-year-old with little to no credit experience and a minimum-wage job than it will be for someone in their 50s who has built a solid credit history and is making close to their peak salary. Below, you can learn more about how income, age and location affect the average credit card limit.
Average Credit Limit by State
|State||Median Credit Limit||Average Credit Limit|
|District of Columbia||$7,083||$16,216|
Source: TransUnion (2021)
The state you live in does not have a direct impact on your credit card’s credit limit. Average credit limits differ by state because overall financial conditions differ geographically. The cost of living varies, as do job opportunities, average salaries, tax rates, and much more. All of this ultimately manifests itself in average credit card limits by affecting state residents’ ability to pay, which is what credit limits reflect.
Average Credit Limits and Income
The higher a person’s income is, the higher their credit limit is likely to be. A card’s credit limit is the maximum amount of money that the issuer believes the cardholder can borrow while still keeping up with their payment obligations. People who make a lot of money (relative to the amount of existing debt they have) are consequently able to borrow more than people with lower incomes and more existing debt.
Average Credit Limit by Age
Different generations have drastically different average credit card limits. In general, the older people are, the higher their average credit limits tend to be.
One reason is that people who are older are more likely to have been able to build good or excellent credit over time. Their accounts will have been open longer, and they will likely have had access to a wider range of types of credit, including things like mortgages that younger people are less likely to have opened. Account age and account variety are two important factors in your credit score.
In addition, people who are older are more likely than younger people to have established careers, and therefore they often have higher incomes. Younger people also often have a lot of existing debt coming out of college.
What’s interesting is that the average credit limit starts to decrease after age 74. However, it makes sense given that the vast majority of people in that age range are retired, and many retired people live on fixed incomes.
How to Get a Higher Credit Card Limit
- Ask for a credit limit increase.
After you’ve made at least 6 consecutive months of on-time payments, you can consider asking your credit card issuer for a credit limit increase through your online account or by phone. Having a better credit score and/or income than when you were approved will increase your odds of success.
- Wait for an automatic credit limit increase.
Sometimes, a credit card issuer will increase your credit limit without you even asking, if you have a good track record of on-time payments. There’s no guarantee this will happen, though, so if you really want a credit limit increase it’s better to ask for one.
- Increase the security deposit on a secured card.
On secured credit cards, your credit limit is typically equal to your security deposit amount. Adding to your deposit can increase your credit limit by an equal amount.
- Get another credit card.
While this doesn’t impact the credit limits on your current cards, it does expand the amount of credit you have access to in general. Just make sure to wait at least 6 months between credit card applications to give your score time to recover.
You can learn more about ways to increase your credit limit on WalletHub.