How to Increase the Credit Limit on Your Secured Credit Card
Key points about: increasing the limit on your secured credit card
You can increase your secured credit card limit by providing an additional deposit, but only up to the original credit limit the issuer approved you for.
Improving your credit score can help you qualify for a credit limit increase.
A series of on-time payments could help you get a credit limit increase and graduate to an unsecured credit card.
You may be able to build your credit with responsible use1 using a secured credit card. As your credit improves, you might require a larger credit line for bigger expenses such as furniture, a laptop, or car repairs. Here are some tips on how to increase your secured credit card limit.
How is the credit limit set on a secured credit card?
Your credit card issuer sets your secured credit card credit limit according to its own guidelines.
Typically, a card issuer evaluates your income, expenses, and credit history to establish a starting credit limit. With a secured credit card, your credit limit is tied to a security deposit. For example, if you’re approved for a secured card with a credit limit of $300, you must provide a $300 security deposit before you can borrow up to that limit.
Note that this deposit is not the same as a fee; it’s refundable at the close of your account as long as your account is in good standing and you don’t have an outstanding balance or if the issuer upgrades your account to an unsecured card.
How do you qualify for a higher limit on your secured credit card?
Regardless of the credit card type, your credit score is usually a factor when requesting a credit limit increase. You can improve your credit score by using all your credit responsibly, including paying your bills on time and keeping your balances low.
For instance, even though your secured credit card is backed by your security deposit, you don’t want to max out your credit limit each month. Credit utilization accounts for a certain percentage of your credit score, depending on the scoring model, and it’s best to keep your credit utilization rate as low as possible. Credit utilization is calculated by dividing your total debt from all your revolving credit accounts (accounts you can borrow from, repay, and borrow from again) by your total available credit across all your revolving accounts. Therefore, if you have a $500 credit limit, you might want to keep your revolving balance well below that.
How long should you have a secured credit card before you request a credit limit increase?
Depending on your financial situation, obtaining a credit increase on a secured card can take time. Most card issuers require secured cardmembers to make a series of on-time payments before qualifying for a credit limit increase or upgrading to an unsecured card.
Did you know?
After a set number of on-time payments, you can contact your card issuer to inquire about increasing your limit and upgrading to an unsecured card. With a Discover it® Secured Credit Card, you can get your deposit back when you upgrade to an unsecured card after six consecutive on-time payments and six months of good status on all your credit accounts.2
Do you have to pay an additional deposit to get an increased credit limit on your secured card?
Your security deposit equals the credit limit on your secured credit card, up to the amount your card issuer approves you for. It may be possible to increase your credit limit by adding additional funds to your original security deposit—but only up to the limit the issuer approved.
An increased credit line on your secured card can help you feel more financially prepared for unplanned expenses, such as car trouble or medical costs. Using your card responsibly can help improve your chances of increasing your credit limit and graduating to an unsecured credit card.
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