Will Raising Your Credit Limit Hurt Your Score?

by

One of our readers, Kali, sent us this question:

I was wondering how asking my credit card company to increase my credit limit will affect my score. I would like to take advantage of a 0% promotion. thanks – km

Hi Kali, thanks for your question.

Getting a credit limit increase will not hurt your score. In fact, it may actually raise it because it will lower your debt-to-credit ratio. Your debt ratio is factored by weighing the amount of money you have already borrowed, against the amount of money it is possible for you to borrow. In otherwords, your credit limit vs. what you’ve charged. The goal is to keep the amount you have charged well under 30% of your available credit.

So, if you raise the amount of money it is possible for you to borrow (by asking to have your credit limit raised) without going out and spending more money on credit, then your score will go up.

Now this holds true for existing accounts where you just call and ask for the limit to be raised, or where your credit card company raises your limit for you automatically. However, if you are responding to a new offer, like a balance transfer, or a completely new card, then you can expect your credit score to take a small hit because they will have to pull your credit score to approve you for the new account.

The key thing to understand is that new accounts only represent ten percent of your FICO score, while the debt to credit ratio represents 30 percent of your FICO score. That means that going ahead and getting that credit limit increase will help you more than it will hurt you.

Thanks again for your question!

Have a question for us? Leave a comment below!

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

yearold


7 Responses to “Will Raising Your Credit Limit Hurt Your Score?”

  1. Random Says:

    When you ask for an increase on an existing card, do they not pull a credit report? I always assumed they pulled a report as part of their decision, at least when you ask for an increase as opposed to them automatically raising it.

  2. Jenna Says:

    Random,

    Thanks for your comment!

    It depends on the individual company and their policy. Some do pull your credit report, some do not. If they do pull your credit report as part of the decision process, then your score will take a small hit. However, for most people the benefits of the higher limit on their debt-to-credit ratio would make up for hte hit in a very short amount of time.

    Now to be fair, this response makes two assumptions:

    1) That the customer actually gets the credit increase. If they do not get the increase, and their report is pulled, then their score will go down slightly, instead of up.

    2) It also assumes that instead of continuing to charge on the card, they stop charging, and pay down their balance. If you get a credit limit increase, they pull your credit report, and they charge their card right back up, then their score will most likely drop.

    Excellent question! Thanks for giving me a chance to clarify.

  3. Megan Says:

    Hi,

    If I always pay a little more than the minimum balance due on my student loans but each month the amount of the payments aren’t consistent (i.e. one month $200, next month $1000), will this hurt my credit score?

    Thanks

  4. KindaSmart Says:

    Megan,

    As long as you keep up with your student loans, meaning you pay ‘at least’ the minimum payment each month, then your credit score will be fine. The loans will only hurt your credit score if you fail to pay on time; i.e. 30 days past due date, 60 days past due date. You can get a free copy of your credit report by all three of the credit bureaus online at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. It’ll give you a better idea of what can count as negative or positive toward your credit score. Take care!

    KindaSmart

  5. Lisa Says:

    My card company just keeps increasing my credit limit- can I call and ask them not to increase it anymore without having that affecting my credit score? My cards are paid in full every month, and I will never charge the amount they have given me.
    Thanks

  6. liz Says:

    I am an authorized user on my spouse credit card. Would my credit score be affected if I remove myself? It appears on my credit report. His card balance is high balance. We’ve had the card 16 months.

    Thank You

  7. Telly Says:

    Will asking for a credit increase on my existing AMEX card help or hurt my score? I currently dont have a balance or only typically i only have a balance that is very small. I would like to have a higher limit in the event I need to use the card for a home im purchinging in the next 6 months. I am mainly just trying to increase my credit score. thank you,

Credit Card | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | About Me | Contact Me