There are a lot of good reasons to request a credit line increase. You might want to increase your credit limit in order to finance a large purchase, for example, or perhaps to take advantage of the potential boost to your credit score.
If money is tight, increasing your credit limit can give you some extra flexibility. If you have a Chase credit card, in particular, asking Chase to increase your credit limit can help you build your credit and provide you with additional spending power.
Unlike other top credit card issuers, Chase does not let you request a credit increase online. If you want a Chase credit limit increase, you need to call the number on the back of your credit card. Before you make that call, here are some tips to help make your credit line increase request as successful as possible, as well as some options to consider if your request is denied.
Before you apply for a credit increase
Before you decide to increase your credit limit with Chase, it’s worth asking yourself the following three questions:
What is your current credit limit?
How much credit is Chase currently giving you? Log into your Chase account and check the credit limit on each of your Chase credit cards. Your total credit limit should appear alongside the rest of your credit card information (if you’re on the Chase Mobile app, you might need to select “Show Details”). If you have trouble finding your credit limit, you can always calculate it by adding your current balance to your available credit.
How much credit do you want?
Once you know your current credit limit with Chase, it’s time to ask yourself how much credit you want. In general, it’s a bad idea to ask Chase to significantly increase your credit limit—going from $5,000 to $6,000, for example, is better than going from $5,000 to $10,000. Have a reasonable number in mind, and be prepared to back up your request with proof you’ve been using your Chase credit cards responsibly. If you have a history of on-time payments, for example, you might be more likely to score an increase with Chase.
Are you eligible for an increase?
There are two big factors that help determine your eligibility for a Chase credit limit increase: Your account history and credit score. If you’ve only had your Chase credit card for a few months, you probably won’t be eligible for a credit limit increase. Try to wait at least six months before contacting Chase with your request.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit score before applying for a limit increase. Your request is more likely to be successful if you have good or excellent credit, so take the time to build your credit score if you find yourself below the threshold and remember that any credit limit request is likely to come with a hard pull to your credit, which might drop your score by up to 10 points.
4 ways to increase your credit limit with Chase
If you want Chase to increase your credit limit, you can always ask—but that isn’t the only way to increase your limit. Here are four ways to boost your Chase credit limit and increase your purchasing power:
1. Apply for a new Chase card
Sometimes, the easiest way to increase your credit limit is to apply for a new credit card. Opening up a new Chase credit card won’t increase the credit limit on your old Chase cards, but it’ll give you an additional line of credit to use. Having that extra available credit might even increase your credit score.
There are a lot of advantages to having multiple credit cards, including the ability to earn multiple sign-up bonuses. That said, keep Chase’s 5/24 rule in mind before you apply. If you’ve already taken out five credit cards in the past 24 months—regardless of whether those cards were from Chase or from another issuer—Chase is likely to turn down your application.
2. Request a credit limit increase
If you’d like to request a credit limit increase, call the number on the back of your Chase credit card. Currently, Chase credit increase requests can only be completed over the phone; you cannot request a credit increase online. Be prepared to discuss the credit limit you’d like Chase to apply to your account, as well as your current income, employment status and reasons for requesting more credit. This is your opportunity to prove you can manage your increased line of credit responsibly, so be prepared.
3. Receive an automatic credit limit increase
Chase cardholders in good standing may occasionally receive an automatic credit limit increase. To increase your odds of earning an automatic limit increase from Chase, make sure you manage your current Chase credit accounts responsibly. Make all of your payments on time, avoid carrying high balances and so on.
You can also boost your odds of earning an automatic credit limit increase by updating your income with Chase. If you recently got a promotion, took a new job or otherwise increased your income, let Chase know. You might get a credit limit increase as a result.
4. Respond to a targeted credit limit increase offer
Sometimes, Chase will automatically increase your credit limit; other times, Chase will ask you if you’d like a credit limit increase. Responding to these targeted credit limit increase offers is a great way to build your credit. These kinds of offers should appear when you log into your Chase account, though you may also get an email notifying you of a new or outstanding offer. Accept the offer, and the increased credit limit is automatically applied to your account.
How long does a credit line increase take?
In many cases, it only takes a few minutes to learn the results of a credit line increase request. If you are requesting a Chase credit limit increase over the phone, make sure to build in extra time for navigating the phone menu and potentially waiting on hold. Once you’ve been approved for a credit line increase request, it should be applied to your account immediately.
How much of my credit limit should I be using?
It’s a good idea to keep your balances no higher than 30 percent of your available credit. This means if your total credit limit is $1,000, your balance should not exceed $300. If your balances go past the 30 percent mark, the extra debt could have a negative effect on your credit score.
Keep in mind that this guideline primarily applies to revolving balances that stay on your card from month to month—if you have a $1,000 credit limit, charge $500 to your card and pay the balance off in full before your grace period ends, you’ll be fine.
Learn more: How to request a credit line increase with Bank of America
What to do if your request is denied
If your credit line increase request is denied, you still have options. Here are three ways to manage your credit after getting denied for a credit limit increase:
Try a balance transfer
If you were hoping to use a credit limit increase to free up some space on a credit card, you might want to consider a balance transfer instead. Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer old balances from existing cards, often with at least six months of 0 percent APR to help you pay off those balances without paying interest. The best balance transfer credit cards offer introductory 0 percent APR periods that last between 15 and 18 months, giving you over a year to pay off your transferred balances.
Improve your credit score
If your credit score is keeping you from getting the credit limits you want, it’s time to start improving it. It doesn’t take much time to build your credit—in many cases, you can see positive results in just a few months. Focus on making on-time payments and paying down your outstanding balances to increase the possibility that you’ll be accepted for your next credit limit request.
Apply for a different credit card
If you requested a credit limit increase with Chase and got denied, you might want to consider increasing your available credit by applying for a card from another issuer. If your credit score isn’t great, consider applying for one of the many credit cards for bad credit or credit cards for fair credit—otherwise, you run the risk of another denial. If your credit score is good, applying for another card could help you continue to build a positive credit history.
Remember: Just because Chase denied your credit limit increase request doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways of acquiring new credit. Credit card issuers periodically cut back on credit limits—especially during economic downturns—so if your Chase request gets denied, try another issuer. There are many ways to obtain an additional line of credit, especially if you use your current lines of credit responsibly. Want to see if you pre-qualify without affecting your credit score? Check out our CardMatch feature and get matched with a card that best fits your needs.