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How to request a credit limit increase with Wells Fargo

Score more flexibility and a lower credit utilization with a larger credit line

Summary

Applying for a credit limit increase can boost your credit score and payment flexibility, and the process with Wells Fargo is incredibly straightforward.

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For cardholders looking to finance a large purchase or improve their credit utilization, undersized credit limits can hold them back from their goals. Luckily, most credit card issuers let users request a higher credit line on their cards — instantly reducing credit utilization and increasing payment flexibility. By strategically taking advantage of a high credit line, you can even boost your credit score.

And with Wells Fargo, the process for requesting a bigger credit limit is very straightforward.

Read on to learn more about how to request a credit limit increase with Wells Fargo.

Who is eligible for a credit increase?

To improve your eligibility for a credit line increase, there are two things you should always keep in mind:

  • The amount of time you’ve had your account open
  • Your payment history

This is because your credit limit represents a level of risk to the card issuer. To extend you more spending power, the issuer must first trust your ability to pay off your balance on time and responsibly. If you have a negative payment history or you haven’t had the card long enough to demonstrate your habits, Wells Fargo is less likely to approve a higher limit.

With this in mind, a good rule of thumb is to have your credit card open for at least six months. Wells Fargo does not have a predetermined time period you must have your account open to qualify for a credit limit increase but six months is a good starting point for having enough of a positive history.

What should you do before you request an increase?

Once you feel good about your chances of scoring a higher credit limit, there are still a few steps to take to make sure you’re ready to make the call. Most important, collect all the information you can before you make a request.

First, you should have a credit increase number in mind. We recommend against asking for too much all at once, as it might seem like you’re planning to spend more than you can feasibly pay back.

Consider how much higher of a limit you need to either lower your credit utilization ratio or pay off a large purchase over time. Requesting a 10 percent to 50 percent increase is usually a good place to start.

Additionally, if you’ve been carrying a balance and only making minimum payments on your credit card, consider switching up your strategy for a few months. If you can prove you can pay back what you borrow in full, Wells Fargo will be more likely to grant you more credit.

Finally, it’s a good idea to pull your credit report and know your credit score. These help to show your creditworthiness to card issuers, so it’s good to see how you look to lenders before asking for more credit. You can pull one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Wells Fargo also provides all credit cardholders with their FICO scores for free on their online accounts.

How to request a credit limit increase

Once you have a plan for how much credit you want and are ready to demonstrate why you qualify, you’re ready to make your increase request. With Wells Fargo, there are two different ways to score a higher credit line.

Automatic credit limit increases

In some cases, Wells Fargo might automatically increase your credit limit without you having to request one. If you demonstrate a good payment history and are a reliable customer, the issuer will occasionally award you with more credit. There is no designated timeline for this process, and you must be targeted. Nevertheless, you should keep an eye on your account for that.

Calling customer service

If you want to formally request a higher credit limit, the only way to do so is by calling customer service at 1-800-642-4720. Ask to speak to a customer service representative about a bigger credit line and be prepared to argue your case.

When you ask for a higher credit limit, the representative will likely ask you why you need more credit. You should mention any changes to your situation that warrant the boost, including a large purchase you want to pay off, a recent boost to your income or a balance you’re hoping to transfer. Be sure to mention your positive payment history and the fact that you’ve been a good customer.

Just be careful not to request a credit limit increase simply to take on more charges. Your reasoning should make it clear that you’re prepared to pay back what you borrow.

Before finalizing your increase, the Wells Fargo rep will likely check your credit. In some cases, Wells Fargo only performs a soft pull to approve a higher credit line. However, other instances may require a hard pull to your credit, which will knock your score down a few points. Because of this, you should always ask before they put through the request.

What if your credit limit increase is denied?

It’s always possible that you ask for a higher credit limit and Wells Fargo denies your request. If this is the case, don’t worry. You have nothing to lose if your credit line increase is denied — especially if they didn’t do a hard pull to your credit report. Just start by asking the Wells Fargo representative why they didn’t approve you and work to better your odds for the next time you apply.

  • Work on building your credit score by paying your bills on time and in full whenever possible.
  • Use the card more often — Wells Fargo might be less inclined to increase the limit on a card you don’t use.
  • Pay down balances on other credit cards to lower your overall credit utilization.
  • Update your information with Wells Fargo, especially if your income has increased.
  • Wait at least six months before requesting again — too many requests close together might signal a desperate grab for more credit.
  • Consider asking to move credit from one card to another instead of asking for more credit altogether. Since this doesn’t require extending you additional credit, Wells Fargo might approve the request.
  • Consider applying for a new credit card. Sometimes applying for a new card is the best way to increase your overall credit limit as it can increase the total amount of credit available to you.

Pros and cons of a higher credit limit

Wondering if you should even request a credit limit increase? Here’s a quick look at some of the pros and cons of boosting your limit.

Pros

  • Can lower your credit utilization ratio and boost your credit score
  • Gives you more flexibility to finance large purchases over time
  • Grants more spending power on the card and allows you to earn more rewards
  • Provides more wiggle room and time to pay back purchases in case of emergencies

Cons

  • Request usually result in a hard pull, bringing down your score briefly
  • May tempt you into overspending, leading you carry over balances more than before

Bottom line

Circumstances change, and you might want a higher credit limit than your card currently offers. Whether you’re more creditworthy than the day you applied or you simply have an upcoming purchase to finance, requesting a higher credit limit can be a win-win situation for your payment flexibility and credit score. Nevertheless, you should stay aware of the risks an increase brings with it.

The good news: Wells Fargo makes the process simple. By taking just a few minutes to call customer service and plead your case, you can ensure your card is working the best for you.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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