I have a $500 limit, and probably below average credit history. Is there a downside to asking for a credit increase?

  • Just for clarification. Are you asking if there is a downside to having a higher limit on a credit card (as opposed to a downside of ASKING for one)?
    – JohnFx
    Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 21:36
  • I'm asking if there's a downside for requesting one. I imagine that having a credit limit higher than $500 is desirable.
    – Shelly
    Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 21:40

4 Answers 4


I'll take a broader view of your question.

Others have said that "the worst thing they can do is say 'no'." But you admit to (probably) having below-average credit.

So, is it bad for them to say no? That depends!

Are you still deserving of the below-average credit? If so, then what would likely happen if you were to get more credit? Overspend more, pay late more, get into trouble more? In that case, it's probably good if they say no to your request.

On the other hand, if you're "on the mend" and trying to improve your credit, then it might hamper you a little bit because your utilization will be higher with a lower credit limit than with a higher credit limit. So, in that case, it might indeed be bad for them to say no.

But these broader points aside, the act of asking for a credit increase won't hurt you.

  • -1 what about a credit pull that occurs as a result?
    – user541686
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 0:10

There is no downside for requesting an increase that I am aware of, unless you are the type who can't handle rejection. The worst thing they can do is say "No."

  • Lmao +1 for snark Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 10:38
  • -1 since it frequently results in a credit pull...
    – user541686
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 0:09

A request for credit line increase can result in a credit report inquiry. This may take some points off your credit score. Have you checked your score recently? It may be worth the effort.

  • 1
    I'll bite - I was taken down -1 for this. Curious, as there was no comment or post after questioning my facts. You ask for an increase, the company likely pulls a report. I said "can" as it's not always 100%. An inquiry will ding you. I refinanced in August. Funny, I owed less money at month end at a lower interest rate, I also lost 11 pts on my score for a month. Month after, it came right back. Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 0:24

From what I have read and seen, it should not have any downside simply asking the credit card company for an increase in your credit line. I did this once and was told the increases happen automatically over time on the account, which was true for that account with that company. It did happen automatically over time as the account history length increased also. I assume this might only done though if your credit score is maintained or increased during that time.

Like JohnFx said:

The worst thing they can do is say "No."

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