Getting a credit limit increase on your Bank of America card can be helpful, whether you need to make a large purchase or build a bigger financial cushion. Sometimes, Bank of America offers a limit increase without a request.
“Credit limit increases are typically offered to consumers who have demonstrated really good credit habits, tend to have lower limits to begin with and the creditor wants to continue to be the favored card,” says Jeff Richardson, spokesperson for VantageScore. “So they proactively offer a credit limit increase.”
If you want a credit limit increase for your Bank of America card, here is how to proceed and whether this move could affect your financial health.
Who Is Eligible for a Credit Limit Increase With Bank of America?
Bank of America does not state specific eligibility requirements to qualify for a credit limit increase.
If you have used your Bank of America card responsibly, you have a good chance of getting a credit limit increase. The company treats the extra credit as a reward, according to Jason Gaughan, credit card executive at Bank of America.
“At Bank of America, a request for an increased credit limit is evaluated largely on a client’s credit history and how they manage their accounts,” he says. “To ensure you’re in good standing, practice healthy financial habits, including planning out your card usage, spending within your means and paying on time.”
What Should You Do Before You Request a Credit Increase?
Consider checking your credit report and, separately, your credit score to see whether it is poor, fair, good or exceptional before you request a credit line increase.
You can access a free credit report weekly from each of the three national credit bureaus through April 20, 2022, at AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit card issuer may offer you a free look at your credit score, or you can use Experian Boost or Discover Credit Scorecard for free FICO scores.
Your credit report will show the balance on your Bank of America card and other accounts. High balances and missed payments can prevent you from getting a credit increase, Richardson says.
You’ll want to demonstrate at least 12 months of good credit habits before you ask for an increase, he suggests. “And that includes keeping balances low,” Richardson says.
Also, think about your reasons for requesting a credit line increase. A bigger credit limit could tempt you to overspend.
“The higher your credit limit, the higher your potential balance that you’ll have to pay back,” Richardson says. “If you are having trouble paying your balance now, think twice about getting an increase.”
How to Request a Credit Limit Increase With Bank of America
If you are eligible to request an increase online, you will be able to sign into online banking, select your card and then choose the “request a credit line increase” link under Card Details in Account Summary. You will need to call the number on the back of your Bank of America credit card if you can’t make your request online.
You can request a credit line increase anytime online or by phone. “Requests are individually evaluated by our financial team based on financial history and income,” Gaughan says.
What to Do if Your Request Is Denied
Your request for a credit limit increase might be denied for a number of reasons.
If your account is new or you recently received a credit line increase, you will probably be turned down, according to the credit bureau Experian. “Usually, credit card companies will grant an increase on an annual basis, though there are no absolutes,” Richardson says.
Your request could also be rejected if you have a low credit score, earn insufficient income, don’t use your card often, make mostly minimum payments or have been past due on credit accounts.
Bank of America will provide a note explaining why an increase was not approved. The idea is to help cardholders “understand where and how they can improve to qualify for an increase in the future,” Gaughan says.
How Can a Credit Limit Increase Affect Your Credit Score?
As long as you don’t increase your spending along with your limit and keep making payments on time, your credit score won’t be hurt by the change. In fact, a higher limit could help because it can lower your overall credit utilization ratio, an important factor in calculating your credit score.
Bank of America also uses a soft pull, which does not hurt your score, to approve the increase.
You could hurt your score and create stress, however, if a higher limit leads to overspending and then struggling to pay off the debt. A credit limit increase can be helpful only when used responsibly.
Otherwise, Richardson says, “It can put a lot of pressure on your financial health.”
At the same time, a credit limit increase has some benefits. You can make larger card purchases that were once impossible and earn rewards for them.
The key is to make timely payments and only buy what you can afford. “You really have to be disciplined,” Richardson says.
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