The good news is, you really can request an increase on your credit card limit at any time. Even if you don’t have an issue currently, it’s always a good idea to keep your credit limit high. After all, your limit determines how much you’ll be approved for in a cash advance or a loan. Your limit also affects your credit score, so how you use it may determine your future borrowing power.
So what types of situations can result in a hard inquiry and what types of situations can result in an increased credit limit? As I said in Part I, there are two types of inquiries the credit card issuer will perform on you-a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry. A hard inquiry occurs when the issuer pulls your file first. This is because lenders use your application as a way to determine if you’re a good risk-if you haven’t been bankrupt or filed bankruptcy in the past, they don’t want to take the chance.
In order to increase your credit limit online, you need to avoid a hard inquiry and try to increase your file first. How do you do this? By going through the application process with a lender directly, you avoid the hard inquiry. While the application process might take longer, at least you’ll know ahead of time how your application is being evaluated.
Hard inquiries typically happen right after the lender pulls your file, usually right after you’ve been approved for financing. This happens when lenders review your credit report to determine if you’re a good risk-if you have bad credit scores, you could potentially be turned down. Lenders also don’t like hard inquiries because it looks like you’re trying to scam them. After all, if you’ve ever been turned down for financing, then you know exactly how hard it is to get approved. If you’ve been turned down twice, then your lenders want to make sure you’re serious about re-apply.
So how do you increase your available credit score without a hard inquiry? You’ll find that many lenders only look at your utilization ratio. Your utilization ratio is the percentage of available credit used versus the total amount of available credit. If you have high utilization rates, then that’s a good sign that you are a risk. This means that lenders will likely turn you down unless you come up with a solution to stop paying off your balances.
The best way to increase your available credit score and prevent hard inquiries is to come up with a good credit repair strategy. If you want to increase your available credit line increase your balance and pay more each month. Don’t just pay the minimum on your card, pay more! When you pay more each month, your debt becomes more manageable and your score goes up. When your score goes up the credit card company will be more willing to consider you.
If your utilization ratios are keeping you from getting approved, try other solutions as well. You may not be able to increase your limit but you can improve your overall score! Watch your spending habits and develop new ways to use your existing credit. You’ll never know until you try!
Another fix for increasing your current credit line and preventing a hard inquiry is to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. Go over the report and look for any negative marks. If there are, dispute the mark with the credit card company that issued the original negative mark. This will not only increase your current credit scores, but it will also prevent the company from reporting that mark again to the bureaus in the future.