Your credit card can be a useful partner to have – whether you’re spreading the cost of spending, using it for valuable buyer’s protection or rebuilding your credit history.
But, from time to time, you may need to borrow more than your current limit allows. As long as you feel ready to do so and you can afford it, you might be able to increase your credit limit.
How well have you managed your credit card?
Before you make a decision as to whether you want a higher limit or not, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether it’s a sensible idea.
Having access to more money means there’s an extra pot of cash there that you can dip into, and you may struggle to repay it if you don’t budget properly.
That’s why you should take a look at how you’ve managed your credit card so far.
Have you made all your payments on time? If you have, are your payments pushing your budget to the limit? It’s no good extending your credit card limit if you’ve been making just the minimum repayment as you can’t afford to pay any more.
If you borrow more when you can’t afford to pay off much on your existing balance, you may find the debt becomes unmanageable. Even if you keep making just the minimum payment, by spending more you’ll be paying off the balance for a very long time – and could end up paying a lot of interest as a result.
Similarly, if you’ve missed payments or been late paying within the last few months, it’s probably best to hold off thinking about a credit limit increase. Your lender wants to see that you’ve been meeting your monthly payments, and missing one (or more) means they’re less likely to trust you with a bigger credit limit.
Speak to your lender when you’re ready
But if you’re happy you’ve made payments on time, and you’ve got enough room in your budget to make larger payments on your credit card, you could ask to have your credit limit increased.
To do this, give your credit card provider a call and speak to them about the possibility of upping your limit.
If you’ve proved you can borrow responsibly – you’ve stayed within your credit limit and made all your payments on time – over a number of months, your lender might be happy to up your limit.
They don’t have to increase it, but it’s more likely they’ll agree if you’ve shown you can handle your current credit limit well over a few months. And if they do increase it, it’s worth paying off as much of your monthly balance as possible so you can reduce the amount of interest you’ll be charged.
You may even get a letter from your credit card provider asking whether you want your credit limit increasing. If you’ve been a reliable borrower, they could offer you a larger limit because they trust that you can borrow more without running into trouble repaying.
Even if you are offered more, remember that you don’t have to accept the new limit. If you think it’s too much, or if you don’t feel you’re ready to have more credit open to you, you could ask for a smaller limit or turn their offer down for now.
Your Ocean Credit Card
If you have the Ocean Credit Card, you might feel like you’re ready to up your credit limit.
As long as you’ve been a good borrower so far, you may be able to increase your limit. It’s more likely if you’ve gone for several months where you’ve not missed any payments and you’ve stayed within your limit – you might not be ready otherwise.
Remember, just how you’re managing your credit card will be reviewed regularly, so you may be offered a higher limit if you’re doing a good job. Don’t feel pressured into accepting a higher limit if you don’t feel ready!
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.