Asking for an increase to your credit limit on a credit card can sometimes help you through an emergency situation, provide you with a safety cushion of extra available credit, and even help improve your credit score, but should you ask for an increase? That depends. If you’ve only had the credit card for a short time, it’s far better to wait until you’ve established a pattern of responsible use, including maintaining a low credit limit and making your payments on time, every time. Once you’ve proven that, you’re more likely to be approved for the increase to your credit limit. However, if you have a pattern of missed payments, or you’ve maxed out your credit limit, it is unlikely that you will be approved for a credit line increase.
Some lenders will automatically offer credit limit increases once you’ve proven that you’re a responsible customer. Beware of the fine print, however, as some credit cards carry a fee of up to one third of the increase for this additional credit. And, you’re not obligated to accept the increase, either. The bottom line is, you know what you can afford, you know your spending habits, and you know the course of action you need to take to stay on the right financial track for you.