Increasing your credit limit on your credit card: hard or soft credit check?

The credit limit that you receive when you’re approved for a credit card is not necessarily the limit that you’ll have for the life of the account. Your credit limit can be increased through a process called a credit limit increase (CLI).


Though some credit card companies don’t offer credit limit increases, most do. Companies offering credit limit increases generally have their own policies regarding credit checks.


If your credit card company provides an automatic credit limit increase, there should not be a hard credit check since you didn’t personally request the increase or authorize any credit check that resulted in your credit card company’s decision to increase your card’s limit.


An automatic credit limit increases isn’t your only opportunity to raise your credit limit. You might also be able to initiate a request for a credit limit increase. Though the process varies by company, it’s not uncommon for a credit card company to allow you to request a CLI via a soft pull and require a hard pull if you want another increase before six months have passed. 


Even the method for requesting a credit limit increase varies. Some companies allow CLI requests online and other companies require customers to call. Review your credit card company’s site or contact them to get more details on their credit limit increase policy.


Important things to ask your credit card company before applying for a credit limit increase

  • Will there be a soft inquiry or a hard inquiry?
  • What credit bureau/s does the credit card company pull from?
  • Will a fresh credit report be used or will a credit report from a previous pull be used? 
  • If a previous credit report is being used, what is the date of the report? 
  • What are your options if you’re unhappy with the credit limit increase amount? 
  • How often can you request a credit limit increase?

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