3 Steps to Boost Your Credit Limit in 2023

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  • Credit limit increases enable you to charge more to your credit cards each month.
  • They can help your credit score if you're approved, but requesting one and getting denied could hurt your score.
  • Cardholders can request a credit limit increase by reaching out to their card issuer either online or by phone.

It's pretty simple, but you have to make sure you time it right.

A credit limit increase doesn't just enable you to borrow more money. It can also help boost your credit score, which can make it cheaper and easier to take out loans in the future. That's because raising your credit score lowers your credit utilization ratio -- the ratio between the amount of credit you have available to you and the amount you use each month.

If you've been looking for a way to improve your credit in 2023, this is one option worth considering. Here are the three things you need to do.

1. Make sure requesting a credit limit increase is actually a good idea

Requesting a credit limit increase can help your credit score if you get approved. But if the request is denied, it could actually hurt your score. Credit card issuers may do a hard credit check when evaluating a credit limit increase request, and this drops your score by a few points. It's not a big deal if you get approved because the reduction in your credit utilization ratio more than offsets it. But if you're denied, you just lost a few points off your credit score for no reason.

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So it's usually not a good idea to request a credit limit increase if you think you're likely to be denied. Factors that could contribute to a denial include having received a credit limit increase within the last six months, routinely failing to make payments on time, or not having a steady source of income.

2. Contact your credit card issuer

Many credit card issuers enable you to request a credit limit increase through your online account. To do this, you usually need to provide the issuer with some information on your average annual income to help it make its decision.

If your card issuer doesn't have a way to request a credit limit increase online, you can always reach out to the company by phone. Have your income information ready and be prepared to explain why you think you deserve a credit limit increase, highlighting your loyalty as a customer and your good payment history when applicable.

3. Follow up if you're denied

Ideally, your card issuer approves your request, giving you a higher credit limit for 2023. But if you're denied, it's important to reach out to the company and figure out why. This will give you some idea of what you need to work on and it'll help you figure out when you ought to reach out in the future if you want to try for a credit limit increase again.

Whatever you do, make sure you stay polite through the entire interaction. If you're rude, you're not going to find anyone willing to help you achieve your goal.

Your credit limit isn't the only important thing

Available credit is only part of the credit utilization ratio. Another factor is how much of your credit you're using every month. If you have a card with a $10,000 credit limit and your average monthly balance is $5,000, your credit utilization ratio for that card is 50%. Generally, lenders like to see ratios of 30% or less. A higher ratio is a red flag that you may be spending beyond your means.

So while it's possible that a credit limit increase could boost your credit, it also depends on what you do with it. If you increase your monthly spending after you get the credit limit increase, you may not see a huge change to your credit score.

If a credit limit increase doesn't work out for you, there are other things you can try to boost your credit score, like making regular, on-time payments or reducing how much you charge to your card each month. It'll take time, but these things can raise your score over the long run.

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