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How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

Regular Contributor

How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

Hey all,

 

So I've seen a bunch of people here with probably more than 10 CCs and each one has credit limits upwards of $15k, which really makes me wonder what their incomes are. So I'm asking everyone generally, how much is your total credit compared to your income? Do people have over 100%? Is this achieved by lying about income (something I wouldn't recommend personally) or does just having the card for a long time and building the relationship with a bank cause these increases to happen naturally?

 

Thanks for all your input!

23 REPLIES
Frequent Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

I have probably a little over 100% of our annual income in available credit.

 

PS: no lying involved.....lol


You can't have your cake and eat it too. But you can dip your finger in the bowl and lick the icing!
Senior Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?




mkhan1093 wrote:

Hey all,

 

So I've seen a bunch of people here with probably more than 10 CCs and each one has credit limits upwards of $15k, which really makes me wonder what their incomes are. So I'm asking everyone generally, how much is your total credit compared to your income? Do people have over 100%? Is this achieved by lying about income (something I wouldn't recommend personally) or does just having the card for a long time and building the relationship with a bank cause these increases to happen naturally?

 

Thanks for all your input!


If you do a little searching, you may find a thread I started about 6 months ago on this very topic.  I think quite a few people chimed in and it was many pages long by the time it fizzled out.

 

To sort of summarize what I learned from reading it, many people on this forum have total combined credit limits either equal to or greater than their income.  I think 1:1 or so is probably most common, but there are people credit limits 2X their income, 3X, 4X and even 5X their income (I think that was someone with around $100k income and $500k in total credit limits).  Of course that's an extreme example, but it can happen. 

 

I think most typical people have credit limits that are say 25%-50% of their income, but the members of this forum are by no means "typical" once they've been around here for a while so the data can be a little skewed on here... very pro-limits, so on these forums you'll find far more people with total credit limits that are at 75%-200% of their income.

Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?


mkhan1093 wrote:

Hey all,

 

So I've seen a bunch of people here with probably more than 10 CCs and each one has credit limits upwards of $15k, which really makes me wonder what their incomes are. So I'm asking everyone generally, how much is your total credit compared to your income? Do people have over 100%? Is this achieved by lying about income (something I wouldn't recommend personally)

 

or does just having the card for a long time and building the relationship with a bank cause these increases to happen naturally?

 

Thanks for all your input!


There's a third possibility in the middle there, between active deceit and a passive long waiting for the banks to give you higher limits.

 

And that is for the person to actively solicit CLIs (credit limit increases).  Once upon a time most CC issuers did a hard pull for that.  In the last three years it seems to me there's been a shift so that many issuers do a soft pull.  Here is a guide to which issuers do hard and which do soft:

 

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/maximize-your-credit-limits-for-the-citi-gold-deal/

 

In my own case, I was on the passive end of the spectrum.  (I have requested two CLIs in my entire life.)  I will mention that banks used to give me very limited CLs, until I used the "triple your CL" button with Amex.  Once I had one card with a big CL (24k) any new cards I requested with other issuers used my big Amex card as the yardstick they were competing with, and so I would get much bigger CLs.  My recent Chase card came with a 35k CL -- and I didn't ask for that.

 

Let me add one final note, however.  And that is just a reminder that the size of your credit limits (either total or individual) is not a FICO scoring factor.  Suppose Bob and Fred each have four credit cards and (say) 5% utilization.  Bob's cards have credit limits of 1k each and Fred's are 20k each.  Fred will not get even 1 extra point for having the huge credit limits.  All that matters is the utilization, not the size of the CL.  And a person can have exactly one card with a CL of $500, spend 2k a month on it, and have a reported utilization of < 5%. 

 

So there's really no scoring need to pursue these big CLs. 

Senior Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

CGID makes a great point above about how larger credit limits don't equate to better scores.  I think a very common misconception is that if someone possesses a couple of 5-figure limit cards they will have a better credit score than someone else, all things being equal, that doesn't have any high limit cards.  Perhaps part of this reason is that generally speaking people with higher credit scores have higher limit cards; the guy with a 800 score more often than not will have a few cards with significantly higher limits than a guy with a 650 score.  Certainly there are exceptions, but you get the point.  I think that those that are a bit newer to credit may see those larger credit lines and also see those higher scores and tie the two together and make a wrongful assumption that larger credit limits equate to larger scores.

 

Someone with exactly 3 credit cards each with a $300 limit that allows only one of the 3 to report a small $10 balance (while the other two report $0) will obtain the same exact scoring result with respect to utilization with their total $900 in limits as a guy with $300k in total credit lines that also allows just 1 small balance to report.

Valued Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

I'm at 72% of my income with AU 149K
Regular Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

Thanks for all the input guys. I know it doesn't have an affect on the score since the score cares about the ratio, I just would find it convenient to have more available since I have a few big purchases coming up. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't "out of line" in wondering if I could do a CLI since my total credit at the moment is ~60% of my income. Thanks for that doctorofcredit.com link by the way - it's good to know not everyone does a hard pull.

Senior Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

Credit limits at 60% of your income is a relatively tame number around these parts.  No harm at all in requesting CLIs or opening additional lines of credit in the future should you need to do so.

Regular Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

Im at 140k in available credit over about 9 cards with 75k Income.

 

Two of the biggest are a 32k Discover and a 28k Amex. ( Amex started at 8k )

 

If it wasnt for these forums i would have never been able to build my cards to where they are at.

 

For example the only reason i was able to get my Amex to 28k is because of the 3x Rule on here that i would have never known about.

 

In 2016 i was reading about this Discover CLI train and how discover likes usuage. I Ran 17k in that year and was PIF every month. Discover rewarded me by taking my Card from 3.5k start limit to 32k.

 

I have 3 different capital one cards They started at 1750 , 5000 , 15000. They are currently sitting at 7000 , 7500 , 20000 in that order. Later this year ill probably combine them all into one if possibe and have a capital one card at 34500.

 

I dont plan to apply for anything else. I have all the credit i will ever feel i need. Bunch of INQs coming off at the end of the year. Maybe later on a sign up bonus may come around that i can pass up. Goal is to just garden and let the accounts age. I would expect that any card i would apply for in the future would atleast be 15k plus starting limit though.

 

 

I guess the reason i keep blabbing is to show that while income is defintely relevant. There is definitely other ways to get high limit numbers on certain cards. Just have to remember credit building is a marathon not a race.

 

 

Senior Contributor

Re: How much total credit line do people really get compared to their income?

metech's story above echoes that of many a myFICO forum member.  His credit limits are also nearing 2X his income, which is a pretty common point for many that have been around this forum for a while that have been trying to grow their limits.