Requesting a Bank of America credit line increase can be a smart move, and that’s true whether you need access to more credit or have other goals in mind. Your larger line of credit can help you fund a bigger purchase you want to make, and it could even improve your credit score by reducing your credit utilization ratio. Meanwhile, a Bank of America credit limit increase could also free up room in your available credit if you need it, which could come in handy if you face an unexpected emergency expense.
But how do you get Bank of America to boost your available credit? For the most part, all you have to do is ask. However, not everybody knows how to increase their credit limit—and many people don’t know that getting a higher credit limit can be as simple as making a request online.
Keep reading to learn about the steps to take before making your credit limit increase request with Bank of America, what to do if your credit limit increase request is denied and how to increase the odds of getting a credit line increase from Bank of America.
Who is eligible for a credit limit increase with Bank of America?
Bank of America does not explicitly state its eligibility guidelines regarding credit limit increases. That said, there are a few common factors that lenders look for when deciding whether to increase your credit limit. These include:
- Responsible credit use: Do you make your credit card payments on time? Do you pay off your balances regularly, or are you close to maxing out your credit cards? If you want a lender to increase your credit limit, you need to prove that you can handle the credit you already have.
- Length of account ownership: Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to wait at least six months after opening a credit card before requesting a credit line increase. The longer you’ve been using your credit account responsibly, the more likely you’ll qualify for a Bank of America credit line increase.
- Increased income: If your income has recently gone up, any major credit card issuer might be more willing to bump up your credit limit as well. This is why it’s important to let your credit card issuers know every time you get a raise or a new job. In most cases, you’ll be able to easily update your income information through your online account management page.
What to do before you ask for a credit limit increase
Before you contact Bank of America to request a credit limit increase, ask yourself the following three questions:
What is your current credit limit?
First and foremost, you should know what your current credit limit is. You can usually find your Bank of America credit limit by checking your monthly credit card statement or logging into your online account.
Once you find this information, take the time to compare your credit limit to your available credit—or the amount of credit you have leftover after you subtract your credit card balances. If you have very little available credit left, your chances at a Bank of America credit line increase are much slimmer. With that in mind, consider paying your balances down before asking for a larger credit line.
How much credit do you want?
In some cases, credit card issuers determine how much of a credit increase to offer you. In other cases, you’ll be asked how much credit you want, so try to have an answer ready.
Don’t make your credit limit increase request too large; if you have a Bank of America credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, for example, it’s better to ask for an increase to $6,000 than it is to ask for your credit limit to be bumped all the way up to $10,000.
What is your credit score?
It’s a good idea to check your credit score before requesting a credit limit increase from Bank of America, and this is especially true if you aren’t sure whether or not you have good credit. If your credit score is lower than you’d like it to be, take the time to build your credit before making a credit limit increase request. Doing so might make the difference between whether or not your request is accepted.
How to request a higher credit limit with Bank of America
There are two ways to request a higher credit limit with Bank of America—online or over the phone.
If you have an online account with Bank of America, log in to your account and select “Request a Credit Line Increase.” This option should be located under the “Card Details” section of your account summary. If you don’t see the option to request a credit line increase, you might not be eligible for one at this time.
You can also call the number on the back of your Bank of America credit card and ask for a higher credit limit. Be prepared to provide income information and the reason why you are requesting additional credit.
In some cases, you might be able to get a higher credit limit with Bank of America without having to ask. Like many other credit card issuers, Bank of America regularly issues automatic credit limit increases to its most creditworthy cardholders. If you are eligible for an automatic increase, you may receive a notification via email or through your online account management page.
What to do if Bank of America denies your request
If you are ultimately denied a Bank of America credit line increase, here are some options to help you get the additional credit you need:
- Wait six months, then make another request: If you plan to request another credit limit increase with Bank of America, wait at least six months (and consider using that time to improve your credit score).
- Request a credit limit increase with a different card issuer: Some lenders are more strict about issuing credit limit increases than others. If Bank of America does not grant your credit limit increase request, you might be able to increase your credit limit through another credit card issuer. (If you have a Chase credit card, for example, here’s how to increase your credit limit with Chase.)
- Apply for a new credit card: Sometimes the best way to increase your overall credit limit is by applying for a new credit card. Whether you apply for a top rewards credit card or a card that offers easy approval, a new credit card can increase the amount of credit available to you (and, if used responsibly, help boost your credit score). If your credit isn’t that great, consider applying for a credit card for fair credit.
- Consider a balance transfer credit card: If your Bank of America credit card balance is so high that you’re worried about going over your credit card limit, you might want to apply for a balance transfer card. The best balance transfer credit cards offer a 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 to 18 months, which can help you pay down your outstanding credit card balances without the burden of added interest.
What to consider when requesting a higher credit limit
Before you request a Bank of America credit card limit increase, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of this move:
- The request could lower your credit score: Lenders often perform a hard credit inquiry before deciding whether to approve a credit limit increase request. Each hard pull on your credit has the potential to lower your credit score by a few points, so if your credit score is currently hovering on the border of good and fair credit, you might want to avoid any unnecessary credit inquiries.
- A higher credit limit could improve your credit score: Even though a credit limit increase request might lower your credit score, a credit limit increase can help improve your credit score if used responsibly. Thirty percent of your FICO credit score comes from your credit utilization ratio, which compares your available credit to your current debt. If you increase your credit limit without increasing your debt, your credit score could go up.
- A Bank of America credit line increase could tempt you into new debt: Don’t let your new credit turn into debt you can’t pay off. If you want to increase your credit limit in order to make more purchases on your credit card, make sure you have a plan to pay off those purchases as quickly as possible—otherwise, you could find yourself in serious credit card debt.
The bottom line
If you want more available credit for any reason, you can request a Bank of America credit line increase through your online account or by calling the number on the back of your credit card. Increasing your credit limit can help you build credit and might boost your credit score, but don’t forget that your new available credit could quickly turn into new debt.
If Bank of America grants your credit line increase request, make sure to use your increased credit limit responsibly. If your credit limit increase request is denied, wait at least six months before making another credit line increase request with Bank of America.