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How to request a credit limit increase with Capital One

A bigger credit line can unlock payment flexibility and boost your credit score

Summary

If you want to boost your spending power or credit score, applying for a higher credit limit can be a great strategy. With Capital One, it’s as easy as filling out an online form.

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From freeing up more money to finance a large purchase over time to reducing your credit utilization ratio, scoring a higher credit limit can have a lot of great perks. As long as you don’t let a high credit line tempt you into taking on more debt than you can pay off, it can be beneficial.

If you have a Capital One credit card, asking for a higher credit limit is incredibly simple. In many cases, you can even receive a higher limit without having to ask. Read on for everything you need to know about how to request a credit limit increase with Capital One.

Eligibility requirements

Capital One evaluates several different factors when approving cardholders for higher credit. To maximize your chances of being approved, we recommend you meet the following criteria.

  • You have a history of on-time payments and responsible card use. Offering a cardholder a bigger credit limit represents more risk for a bank, so Capital One needs to be sure you can handle paying back what you owe. If you have a history of paying your bill late, the issuer will be less likely to offer you more credit.
  • Your Capital One account has been open at least three months. The longer you’ve had your Capital One account open, the more time you’ve had to demonstrate that you are responsible cardholder who pays bills on time.
  • You haven’t requested a credit limit increase in the past six months. This is not a firm timeline, but multiple requests for a higher credit line can seem like a desperate grab for more money. If you are asking a card issuer to extend more risk, you don’t want to seem overeager to take on more debt.

Before you request a credit limit increase

Before you request a credit limit increase, it is important to make sure you have all the information necessary to complete the process.

First and foremost, land on a number for the credit limit you want. Consider what you want from your credit line. Do you need a certain amount to pay off a big purchase over time? Could an increase reduce your credit utilization a percentage point? How much credit is too much for you to pay off?

With the answers to these questions, decide what credit limit will work for you. We recommend against asking for too much at once. In general, a 10% to 20% increase is a reasonable request. If you try instead to double or triple your current limit, it could seem like a desperate grab for money you can’t pay back.

You should also have a good idea of how you look to lenders before asking for a bigger credit line, so pull a free credit report and check your credit score before you make the request.

Finally, use your card responsibly in the months leading up to your credit limit increase request. Make all your payments on time and avoid carrying a balance whenever possible. Capital One will be more likely to extend you more credit if you demonstrate you pay back what you borrow.

Process for requesting a credit limit increase

After you have a good idea of the credit limit you are going to request and your qualifications, you are ready to ask for more credit. With Capital One, there are three different ways to score a bigger credit line.

Automatic credit limit increases

In many cases, Capital One will automatically increase your credit limit if you pay your bill on time consistently. This is especially true with the issuer’s credit building and student credit cards, which advertise the opportunity for a higher credit line after five months of on-time payments.

Requesting a higher credit limit online

One of the easiest ways to request a credit limit increase is through your online account. Just log in to your account on the Capital One website or app and click “Request credit line increase” in the “I want to” section of settings. (Note this option can be found via your profile page in the mobile app.)

From there, you’ll be prompted to enter information including your income, employment status and the credit line you want.

In many cases, your credit limit increase can be approved immediately after you submit this online request. However, you might have to wait a few days for an official response.

Calling customer service

One more way to request a credit limit increase on your Capital One card is over the phone. Call the customer service number listed on the back of your credit card and ask to talk to a representative about a higher credit line.

If you take advantage of this option, you should be prepared to argue your case for more credit. Make sure any information you gathered before the call is ready and available.

Mention any changes to your situation that might warrant more credit. These can include a higher income, a balance you want to transfer or a large purchase you want to finance. You should also bring up your positive history with Capital One, pointing to your payment history and how long you’ve been a customer. You should always stay away from requesting a higher credit limit just to take on more than you can pay off.

Like with an online request, the customer service rep might approve or deny your request immediately – or take a few days to review your account.

No matter which avenue you take to request a higher credit limit, Capital One evaluates your eligibility based on a soft pull to your credit. That means that it won’t affect your score (hard pulls can knock it down a few points). Because of this, there is little risk to asking for a higher credit line, even if you aren’t fully confident in your chance of approval.

If your credit limit increase is denied, don’t worry

While the process for requesting a higher credit limit with Capital One is easy, you aren’t guaranteed approval. If you’re denied, don’t stress. Ask the customer service representative why you weren’t approved, and focus on improving your chances for next time.

  • Work to improve your credit history by making consistent, on-time payments.
  • Pay down balances on your credit card accounts with Capital One and any other issuers.
  • Use the card more regularly. Capital One might be less inclined to offer more credit on a card you don’t use frequently.
  • Update your income and other personal information on your Capital One account regularly. This can better demonstrate your creditworthiness as your situation changes.
  • Consider asking during a different time of year. TransUnion study showed that credit limit increases are more common between January and May.

See related: Credit line increases most likely to happen early in the year

Pros and cons of a higher credit limit

For cardholders who still aren’t sure if a credit limit increase is a good idea for them, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • You can lower your credit utilization and potentially boost your credit score.
  • You’ll have more flexibility to finance large payments over time.
  • You’ll be able to put more spend on the card – and earn more rewards.

Cons:

  • A high credit limit can tempt you into overspending.
  • You could end up with a higher balance than you can afford to pay off.

Final thoughts

With a simple online form and plenty of other avenues for requesting more credit, Capital One makes it easy to request a higher credit limit. If you are considering putting a larger purchase on your card to pay it off slowly – or you just want to improve your credit utilization ratio – asking for a credit line increase can be a good strategy.

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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