Your credit limit is a major factor in your credit health. If you use your credit cards responsibly, you are often rewarded with higher credit limits and more purchasing power. If you are stuck with low credit limits, you might not have the ability to make as many purchases, earn as many rewards or use your available credit to boost your credit score.
Many of today’s best credit cards regularly offer credit limit increases — but if you haven’t received a credit limit increase in a while, you can always request one. Knowing how to increase your credit limit gives you the ability to fund major expenses, earn rewards on those purchases and build your credit score.
If you have a Discover credit card, you can request a credit limit increase online or over the phone. There is no stated Discover card maximum credit limit, which means you can always ask for a little bit more — but when should you ask for a credit increase with Discover, and how much credit should you ask for?
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about requesting a Discover credit limit increase, including what you should do before you make your request and what you should do if your Discover credit limit increase request is denied.
Before you apply for a credit increase
When should you apply for a credit increase? Many people ask for a credit increase if they are planning to make a big purchase or are hoping to use their credit limit increase to boost their credit score.
That said, it’s a good idea to time your credit limit increase request with an increase in your financial stability. If you have recently increased your income or improved your credit score, for example, you might be more likely to see your credit limit increase request accepted. Discover wants to know that you will be able to handle your new credit limit responsibly and that you won’t use it to run up a bunch of debt that you can’t pay off.
Here are three questions to ask yourself before you request a Discover credit limit increase:
What is your current credit limit?
Before you request a credit line increase with Discover, it’s a good idea to know your current credit limit. That way, you know how much credit Discover has already issued to your credit card and how much of that credit you’re currently using. Log in to your Discover online account or Discover Mobile App to view your credit limit, which should appear at the top of the screen.
How much credit do you want?
Once you know your credit limit, ask yourself how much credit you want. Increasing your available credit can boost your credit score and improve your purchasing power, so you might be tempted to ask for a large amount of credit at once — but don’t make a request that’s so large it’s likely to be declined. If you have a $5,000 credit limit, it’s better to request an increase to $6,000 than it is to request an increase to $10,000.
Keep in mind you may not even get to suggest a number. When you apply for a Discover credit limit increase online, for example, Discover will determine how much of a credit line increase to offer you.
Are you eligible for an increase?
According to Discover, the three best times to request a credit limit increase are:
- When your credit score is strong
- When you have demonstrated good repayment behavior with the card issuer
- When your income increases
If you meet at least one of the criteria on Discover’s list, you might be eligible for a Discover credit limit increase.
3 ways to increase your credit limit with Discover
Requesting a credit limit increase on your Discover credit card is one way to increase your credit limit with Discover, but it isn’t your only option. Here are three ways to increase your credit limit with Discover:
Apply for a new Discover card
If you want to increase your available credit with Discover, you don’t necessarily have to request a credit limit increase on an existing Discover credit card — you can also apply for a new Discover credit card.
Taking out a new Discover card gives you an additional line of credit, which can help you increase your total available credit and potentially boost your credit score. A new Discover card can also help you access additional credit card rewards. If you have the Discover it® Cash Back, for example, you might want to consider applying for the Discover it® Miles. That way, you can earn cash back rewards and travel rewards on your purchases.
Request a credit limit increase
If you want to request a credit limit increase with Discover, you can call the number on the back of your credit card or log into your online account or Discover app. If you are requesting a Discover credit limit increase online, select “Manage” followed by “Credit Limit Increase.” If you are using the Discover app, select “Services” followed by “Credit Limit Increase.”
When you request a credit limit increase with Discover, be prepared to provide your total annual gross income as well as your monthly housing/rent payment. If you are contacting Discover customer service by phone, you may also be asked why you want Discover to increase your credit limit — so make sure you have an answer ready.
A Discover credit limit increase request might involve a hard credit inquiry, which could drop your credit score by a few points, but Discover will only proceed with that part of the application after receiving your consent.
Look out for an automatic credit limit increase
Discover may automatically increase your credit limit depending on your account history and creditworthiness. If you consistently make on-time payments on your Discover card account, for example, you might be more likely to receive an automatic credit limit increase than someone who regularly misses payments.
If you want an automatic credit limit increase from Discover, do your best to practice good credit habits and keep your credit score as high as possible.
How long does a Discover credit line increase take?
While there isn’t an official statement on how long a Discover credit line increase takes, many credit line increase requests are implemented as soon as the request is approved. In other words, if you request a Discover credit limit increase and get approved, your new credit limit could take effect that same day.
In most cases, a credit line increase request will be accepted or denied within minutes. In some cases, it may take a few days to learn whether or not your credit limit request will be approved (and you may have to answer additional questions about your finances before Discover can make the final decision).
What to do if your Discover request is denied
If your Discover credit limit increase request is denied, it’s a good idea to wait before requesting another Discover credit limit increase. In fact, Discover suggests waiting several months before submitting a new request and to consider holding your next credit line increase request until after your credit score, payment history or income have improved.
That said, your creditworthiness might not be the primary reason why your credit line increase request was denied. Many credit issuers tighten credit limits during economic downturns, for example, making it harder for individual cardholders to access higher credit limits.
If Discover does not accept your credit limit increase request, here are a few options to consider:
Increase your income
After you’ve increased your income, make sure to update your Discover account with your new gross annual earnings. If you’re logging into Discover through a web browser, select “Profile,” “Edit Account Profile” and “Edit Income and Housing Info.” If you’re using the Discover app, select “More,” “Profile” and “Income and Housing Information.”
Once your income information is updated, you might be ready to request another credit line increase — or Discover might increase your credit limit automatically.
Improve your credit score
Discover is also more likely to increase your credit limit if your credit score improves, so start doing the work to build your credit. If you want to improve your credit score as quickly as possible, focus on making on-time payments on all of your credit accounts and paying down your outstanding debt. Since your payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score and your credit utilization ratio makes up 30 percent of your credit score, making on-time payments and paying off your credit card balances can give your credit score a significant boost.
Consider a balance transfer
One of the best ways to pay off outstanding credit card balances is through a balance transfer. The balance transfer process allows you to transfer your credit card debt onto a single balance transfer credit card, which can help you consolidate your debt into a single monthly payment. Plus, many of the top balance transfer credit cards offer 0 percent intro APRs on balance transfers for up to 18 months, giving you over a year to pay off your transferred balance without added interest.
Apply for a credit card from a different issuer
There’s one more way to increase the amount of credit available to you, and that’s by applying for a credit card from a different issuer. Instead of requesting another Discover credit line increase or applying for a new Discover card, you might want to consider a credit card from American Express, Citi, Chase or Capital One.
Credit card issuers have different methods of setting credit card limits, and you might be able to get the credit you need by applying for a credit card that isn’t issued by Discover. If you already have a credit card issued by another major lender, that issuer may also be more likely to grant your next credit limit increase request.
Ultimately, your ability to successfully request a credit limit increase — whether from Discover or from another issuer — all comes down to your ability to manage your credit accounts responsibly. If your credit habits aren’t great, you’re probably going to have a harder time increasing your credit limits. If you practice good credit habits, credit card issuers are likely to reward you with additional credit.