by Eric Volkman | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Dec. 2, 2018
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Yes, you too could increase your Discover card's buying power. Here's how.
Like other credit card issuers, Discover's credit limits are not set in stone. Cardholders can always make a request to lift their ceiling, and if they've demonstrated enough fiscal prudence and responsibility, Discover will probably grant that wish.
This is because a credit limit increase potentially benefits both cardholder and issuer. After all, assuming all things are equal, having more credit available to its cardholders increases an issuer's opportunities for making money from them (through interest charges, fees, etc.).
Note how we qualify the chances for a dependably prudent cardholder with the word "probably." Even for the worthiest customers, a Discover credit increase isn't guaranteed. There are several important factors in the issuer's decision, and some good practices and tips you should know before you hit the send button on your request. Let's dive right into it.
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Simply put, a credit limit is the maximum amount of money a creditor will let you borrow. In the credit card world, it's how much your issuer allows you to spend on each of its cards.
The issuer sets the credit limit based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:
Whether you tend to pay down your debt, or only make the minimum payments set by your issuer (typically, these are a small percentage of your outstanding debt).
Every credit card issuer weighs the factors in a credit limit increase request differently, although the above-mentioned ones are almost always critical. Discover particularly emphasizes these factors:
It's in the best interests of issuers to make a credit limit request simple and straightforward. This allows them to complete the process relatively quickly, and increase those potential interest fees and other forms of remuneration coming their way.
Discover's two main avenues for making a credit limit request are:
If all goes well, Discover will grant your request for a credit limit boost. When that happens you may be tempted to go on a buying spree or several. That's not a good idea; first, it'll play havoc with your credit utilization rate, second it'll add on debt you might have more difficulty retiring.
Discover is well acquainted with cardholders who let their spending get out of control. The company has a set of good suggestions for avoiding debt, among which are:
By all means, after a credit limit increase you should spend a little extra on yourself and your nearest and dearest. But not to excess. An acceptable utilization rate likely helped you push that limit higher, don't squander it.
It's also good not to use that I-just-got-a-raise confidence to go crazy applying for other credit limit increases and/or new credit cards. Too many hard inquiries on increase requests and new card applications can ding a credit score. On top of that, they can raise a red flag that you're taking on too much credit at once. Potential issuers don't like to see that; it looks irresponsible.
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