Increasing your credit limit won't necessarily hurt your credit score. In fact, you might improve your credit score. How you utilize the credit access line after the increase is one of the multiple factors that can impact your score.
Does requesting a credit increase hurt your score?
Your credit usage, or credit utilization ratio, could impact your credit score. Your credit utilization ratio is the amount you owe across all your credit cards vs. the total credit limit of all your cards. It's generally recommended to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent but the lower, the better for your credit score.
Credit scores factor in both your overall credit utilization and your credit utilization on each individual card. So, it's important to keep both of these figures low.
Increasing your credit limit could lower your credit utilization ratio. If your spending habits stay the same, you could boost your credit score if you continue to make your monthly payments on time. But if you drastically increase your spending with your increased credit limit, you could hurt your credit score.
You might also see a temporary dip in your credit score following a credit limit increase. That's because a hard credit inquiry could be triggered to ensure you meet the standards to receive a higher limit. Inquiries can have impact on your credit score, but too many inquiries can result in a temporary decline in your scores. The older an inquiry is, the less impact it will generally have.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of increasing your credit limit?
There are many factors to consider when deciding to increase the credit limit of one or more of your credit cards. Here are some advantages and disadvantages:
- Increase your purchasing power. This can come in handy if you're looking to purchase something big and impactful in your life such as an engagement ring or baby gear for your newborn. Life changes may require this additional purchasing power.
- Improves your credit score. As mentioned above, a credit line increase could lower your credit utilization ratio and may lead to an improvement in your credit score.
- Impact to other borrowing. If you are planning to get a mortgage or personal loan in the near future, the lender will look at the total credit limit for all your credit cards combined to determine how much you can borrow. If your total credit limit is fairly high relative to your income, it may affect your ability to be approved for a loan.
- Potential for greater debt. When you have access to a larger credit limit, there's the potential for greater debt to accumulate. You'll need to be diligent about spending within your means.
Should I request a credit limit increase
There are a couple of scenarios when you may want to request an increase to your credit limit.
- You just got a raise: If your income has increased, you may feel better equipped to handle a higher credit limit. Greater income may show credit card issuers that you have greater financial security.
- You've been a reliable customer: If you make your payments on time and you have a low credit utilization ratio, you may be more likely to have your request approved, since both of these may give you a higher credit score.
- Your credit score is in the good or excellent range: Your creditworthiness is a big factor in determining your eligibility for an increased credit limit. You can access your estimated credit score and set a personalized action plan to improve your score with Chase Credit Journey or download the Chase Mobile® app.
When you may want to wait to ask for a credit limit increase
There are also certain scenarios when you may want to wait before asking for a credit limit increase.
- You recently applied for a new line of credit or requested an increase with another creditor: You may experience a hard credit pull if you apply for a new line of credit, and there's a good chance you'll incur a hard credit inquiry for the requested credit limit increase. A flurry of hard credit pulls can not only damage your credit score but could also signal financial distress.
- You've transitioned to a lower-paying job: You may not be approved for a credit limit increase if your income has decreased.
- Your credit isn't good or excellent: If your credit score isn't in the best shape, you may not be approved for a credit limit increase. Consider working to boost your credit score before asking for a credit limit increase.
Automatic credit limit increases
There's a chance you won't need to ask for a credit limit increase to get one. If you're not in a rush to get a credit limit increase, think about waiting until you're offered an automatic increase.
When credit card companies have evidence that you have consistently handled your current spending limit responsibly, they may increase your limit without you even having to ask. This typically happens after 6 to 12 consecutive months of on-time bill payments.
If you do get an increase, it may help your credit score since your credit utilization ratio could decrease when your credit limit gets higher. Furthermore, when credit limits are not requested by the cardmember, card issuers use a soft inquiry to initiate this change. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score like hard inquiries do.
How to request a credit limit increase with Chase
To request a credit limit increase, call the number on the back of your Chase credit card. Chase does not currently allow credit limit increases to be submitted online. The request is subject to approval.