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Please note, membership is required to open a DCU Visa® Platinum credit card. Visit our membership eligibility page for more information.
Did you know a general rule of credit card usage is that you should try to use no more than 30% of the total available credit on your cards each month? This has to do with your credit utilization, which can have a major impact on your credit score. Following this suggestion means if you have a $10,000 total credit limit, you should try to spend less than $3,000 with your credit cards each month.
If you think you’re ready for an increased credit limit, it’s good to examine how much you're spending each month so you know whether you really do need additional credit. If you can get your utilization under 30% by paying down your debt and cutting some future unnecessary expenses, you may be better off without the additional credit. You also don’t want to ask for more buying power to absorb emergency expenses — that may get you into lots of trouble later. But if you are responsible with money, intend to pay your credit card bill in full each month, and you want the additional buying power without negatively impacting your usage, you’re probably ready for more credit.
Most banking is done online now, which makes it easier than ever to get a higher credit limit. How you can go about it is usually done one of two ways:
Asking for your line of credit to be increased is often faster and easier than applying for a credit card. Whether you request a credit increase online or reach out via phone, you’ll find it’s faster and simpler than when you initially applied for your credit card.
Also, if you don’t want to call your bank or request a credit increase online, it’s not uncommon for credit card issuers to periodically raise your credit limit automatically. If you have been a loyal customer for a long period, or perhaps you are outstanding at paying your bill on time every month, this may be a way they choose to reward you. Keep in mind that even if you are given a higher credit line, that doesn’t mean you need to use it.
If possible, your credit will be best served by you spending only what you can pay off in full each month. Again, do your best to keep your credit usage to under 30% or you may see your credit score fall.
For many people, it’s good to request a credit line increase, since it allows for additional purchase power while providing the opportunity to lower credit card utilization. For example, if you get $2,000 added to your credit limit, but how much you spend each month remains the same, your credit usage percentage will shrink, which means your credit score will likely increase over time. Overall, having low utilization signals to your card issuer that you’re responsible with money, which pays dividends over time.
If you make your card’s monthly payments on time and keep spending the same after your credit line has been increased, your credit score will likely be positively impacted. However, if you increase your spending significantly after your credit line is raised, your credit score may drop. It’s also helpful to know that sometimes your credit score may drop a couple points as a result of your credit being checked. Many banks run a hard credit inquiry if you have asked for your credit line to be increased. These minor score dings are temporary and as the inquiry ages its impact will dissipate.
Digital Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit credit union, is proud to offer its members credit cards with great rates and rewards with no annual or balance transfer fees. Apply today, or if you already have one of our Visa cards, you can request a credit increase if you think that’s right for your needs. Find a branch in your area if you’d like to meet with a DCU representative in person.
Please note, membership is required to open a DCU Visa® Platinum credit card.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.