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How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

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Blessed2Be1
Member

How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

Hi, I wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any advice, they can share about credit card starting limits (SL)? Does every card just basically start you with the credit limit your other creditors did? Are there any that will do a big jump? Can you share some that offered more?


My highest credit limit for one credit card is reporting as $450 right now, my highest credit limit on one credit card will eventually report as $1K for a new card I recently opened. There are some cards that are showing as “Good” approval odds on Credit Karma. I did some research and one of them has a $10K minimum limit. It sounds enticing but I don’t want to be denied.


Will a creditor approve you for a $10K card if the highest card limit you have right now is $450 or $1K or would they want to see how you manage a similar limit first? With my current credit limits, I couldn’t even get a good rate on a car rental because my limit wouldn’t allow me to prepay for long enough. I really desire to have at least one high credit limit card!


My Sister who has unsecured credit limits and scores near mine, also has a $15K Secured DFCU Credit Card and a $5K USAA Secured Credit Card. She’s had both a little over a year. Yesterday she was approved for an Unsecured Credit Card With a 20K limit. She literally went from 1K unsecured to $20K instantly. She swears the only way to do the jump in credit limits is by opening and keeping utilization low on a High Limit Secured Credit Card. I don’t want to part with that much $, but I will if needed. Please let me know your thoughts.

Message 1 of 35
34 REPLIES 34
SUPERSQUID
Valued Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

In my case I had to totally rebuild after my bk7 dc in dec/2019. i started in sept/oct 2020- with about 6 or 8 small limit cards, a mix of store cards and bank cards but the bank cards were low limit and high interest with high fees after the first year.

I pif whenever I could and my lowest payment was at least 3 times the minimum due. I paid my cards weeks ahead of the due date.

I never had a secured card they were all unsecured. gradually i got better and better cards and closed the old ones, about 1 1/2 years into my rebuild I got a Discover with a 3k sl.

Now in less than 3 years I have 101,000 in unsecured limits and my highest card is 21,700 navy cr.

Theres no quick way, its a slow grind but if you practice good credit habits things will get better and better.

Good luck to you

{ BK7 DC 12/2019 } target 2100/ kohls Visa 7000/ discover IT cb 6500 / 2nd discover IT cb 6000/mercury 4100 / firestone 2800 /legacy 3000 /first savings bank cc 3000/ cap1 QS 5000/ cap 1 savor one 3100 /Bread rewards Amex 4k, Penfed PCR signature visa 10k/ penfed gold 7.5k NFCU >signature visa cash rewards 21700/bread cashback amex 8000

>/ nfcu platinum 15k, BABY NEEDS NEW SHOES !!!!!
closed-- reflex, applied bank, first digital, mission lane, ikea, fingerhut, big lots, valero gasoline, ollo, more to come
Rebuilding since September 2020
who i burned - chase, cap 1, TD bank, Sync, were the biggies
Income 40k
Total utilization around 20 pct depending on my current usage/needs
Ficos ,most are slightly above 700, the 9's slightly higher than the 8's

TCL - about 110k
Retired since 2017
Message 2 of 35
NoMoreE46
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

Welcome to  My Fico @Blessed2Be1.

Your credit profile is Thin and Young.   It is unlikley for a profile like yours to get approved with a  SL of $10000. 

We can steer you if you would reply with more DPs.

  • Which are the two cards you have now?
  • What are your FICO scores?

 

Not important,  but does your sister really have $15,000.00 parked with an issuer for a Secured card?

 


@Blessed2Be1 wrote:

Hi, I wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any advice, they can share about credit card starting limits (SL)? Does every card just basically start you with the credit limit your other creditors did? Are there any that will do a big jump? Can you share some that offered more?


My highest credit limit for one credit card is reporting as $450 right now, my highest credit limit on one credit card will eventually report as $1K for a new card I recently opened. There are some cards that are showing as “Good” approval odds on Credit Karma. I did some research and one of them has a $10K minimum limit. It sounds enticing but I don’t want to be denied.


Will a creditor approve you for a $10K card if the highest card limit you have right now is $450 or $1K or would they want to see how you manage a similar limit first? With my current credit limits, I couldn’t even get a good rate on a car rental because my limit wouldn’t allow me to prepay for long enough. I really desire to have at least one high credit limit card!


My Sister who has unsecured credit limits and scores near mine, also has a $15K Secured DFCU Credit Card and a $5K USAA Secured Credit Card. She’s had both a little over a year. Yesterday she was approved for an Unsecured Credit Card With a 20K limit. She literally went from 1K unsecured to $20K instantly. She swears the only way to do the jump in credit limits is by opening and keeping utilization low on a High Limit Secured Credit Card. I don’t want to part with that much $, but I will if needed. Please let me know your thoughts.


 

 

Message 3 of 35
Aim_High
Super Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

Welcome to My FICO forums @Blessed2Be1Smiley Happy 

 

Credit limits are a complex beast. There's no easy formula that opens the doors.  For most of us, we start small and work our way up. No, lenders don't just give you the limit you have on other cards; however, the limits you've demonstrated you can manage successfully sets a general pattern that most others will follow. No, you probably won't see a sudden jump from $450 to $10K. Opening several cards, using them regularly and responsibly, taking advantage of credit limit increase requests (especially soft pulls), and patience are the keys as you're just starting out.  Over time, your existing limits will probably grow slowly but steadily and you may qualify for progressively-higher limits as you thicken your credit file and history. 

Don't trust commercial website card recommendations like Credit Karma. They can be a good general credit resource but they get paid to push cards to their members through referral links. The referrals are tainted. 

You've told us very little about your profile and credit limits are about credit profile and money.  A higher Credit Score, as a part of profile, helps to qualify you for cards and may determine your credit-worthiness as reflected by lower APRs.  A perfect FICO, though, won't get you a high limit by itself. Lenders need to see you have ability to repay your credit line, and have shown responsibility in doing so. The money aspect for most people comes in the form of income, but it can also be large invested assets with that lender or large spend-and-pay like you might see with someone running reimbursable business expenses through their cards.  Some lenders will cap your upper limits (from that financial institution) at a certain percentage of income such as 40% or 50% annual income. They will also factor in your debt loading (DTI - Debt-to-Income) so the debts relative to income will drag down ability to repay, affecting credit limits.  Those debts are anything reporting to your credit file including not only credit card utilization but also student loans, auto loans, mortgages, and personal loans.  Other credit file factors such as thickness and depth of file, derogatory information, and employment stability (job tenure) could also be considered as some examples.  

I've written some detailed posts about credit limits before on the forums. If you go to >THIS LINK< you'll find a starting point. Then follow the embedded links in each post if you want to read others.

 


Business Cards


Length of Credit > 40 years; Total Credit Limits >$900K
Top Lender TCL - Chase 156.4 - BofA 99.7 - AMEX 95.0 - CITI 94.5 - NFCU 80.0 - SYCH - 65.0
AoOA > 30 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Feb 2024)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 4 of 35
MarkintheHV
Frequent Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

Starting limits are a crap shoot depending on the lender.  You can see in my signature that I have high limit cards, yet Discover only wanted to give me 3k for a starting line.  Citi on the other hand gave me 30.5k for a starting line.

 

As with everything credit related ymmv

What's in my wallet? - NFCU Flagship - 80k | AmEx Delta Reserve - $70k | Citi Strata Premier - $37k
Sock drawer - AmEx Delta Plat Biz - 60k | Citi AA Biz - 20k | Citi Custom Cash - 9K


Message 5 of 35
md_rebuild
Regular Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...


@MarkintheHV wrote:

Starting limits are a crap shoot depending on the lender.  You can see in my signature that I have high limit cards, yet Discover only wanted to give me 3k for a starting line.  Citi on the other hand gave me 30.5k for a starting line.

 

As with everything credit related ymmv


^^^THIS^^^

 

BK7 in 2019, rebuilding ever since.  NFCU is my main driver and I got my Cash Rewards card with them up to $14.5K.   It was my highest at the time, with Apple at $11K, and 3-4 others with smaller limits.   I app'd for the NFCU Flagship in December, got $25K.   App'd for the NFCU Amex a few months later, $25K.   Then got 2 others with a total of $16K.    Out of the blue, got a Discover pre-approval email for a 2nd card and I wanted to utilize the 0% APR for 12 months (my util is around 30% right now due to some out-of-ordinary expenses, but will be back down to less than 10% in the next 3 months).   I applied, thinking I'd move some of my balances over...and bam, starting CL of $3K.

 

It's just a crapshoot.   Even if it's low, be sure to PIF, use every soft pull you can.   Your DTI and util are important and would be factors in high CL.   Someone making $30K with a fresh file is a much bigger risk than someone making $150K with a mature file.

BK7: Discharged Sept 2019
7/7/24:

Message 6 of 35
Aim_High
Super Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...


@md_rebuild wrote:

@MarkintheHV wrote:

Starting limits are a crap shoot depending on the lender.  You can see in my signature that I have high limit cards, yet Discover only wanted to give me 3k for a starting line.  Citi on the other hand gave me 30.5k for a starting line.

 

As with everything credit related ymmv


^^^THIS^^^

 

BK7 in 2019, rebuilding ever since.  NFCU is my main driver and I got my Cash Rewards card with them up to $14.5K.   It was my highest at the time, with Apple at $11K, and 3-4 others with smaller limits.   I app'd for the NFCU Flagship in December, got $25K.   App'd for the NFCU Amex a few months later, $25K.   Then got 2 others with a total of $16K.    Out of the blue, got a Discover pre-approval email for a 2nd card and I wanted to utilize the 0% APR for 12 months (my util is around 30% right now due to some out-of-ordinary expenses, but will be back down to less than 10% in the next 3 months).   I applied, thinking I'd move some of my balances over...and bam, starting CL of $3K.

 

It's just a crapshoot.   Even if it's low, be sure to PIF, use every soft pull you can.   Your DTI and util are important and would be factors in high CL.   Someone making $30K with a fresh file is a much bigger risk than someone making $150K with a mature file.


You both make some good points and I generally agree, @MarkintheHV and @md_rebuild.  I've had my share of surprises along the way including a $1K Discover approval on a new card when I already had $50K with them on an aged card. Smiley Mad  So yes, Starting Limits are somewhat of a crap shoot, but there are patterns to be gleaned and general guidelines which make it more predicatable if you know how to recognize them.  I say all this because saying it's a crap shoot (period) discounts all the contributing factors that ARE under our control.  Lenders may have different tolerances for various metrics in their underwriting.  So in general, the more conservative we are about applying for new credit, the better chance of getting the best limit for our profile.  When I was on an app streak a few years ago, I got approvals with decreasing SLs, even with very high FICO, thick file, high income, modest debt.  So credit-seeking matters to everyone, at least to some degree, even if we don't have a commonly-known guideline such as Chase 5/24.  For another example, I underestimated Navy FCU's generosity towards the end of that streak and got a lower-limit approval (relative to my others) shortly followed by a denial on a new card.  It was just too much, too soon for them.  

 

The high limits that Navy so easily grants to many of our members can give a misguided sense of security and expectations when applying for new cards with other lenders.  They may completely disregard those Navy limits and base your starting limit more strictly off of their own underwriting criteria.  Navy is an outlier, so using existing credit limits with them alone is misleading about what a member might be granted on a card with another lender.

 

Likewise, we just documented (three) cases of Discover being less generous on a second card, perhaps depending on a variety of factors such as credit-seeking, existing Discover credit limits, existing Discover account usage, etc.  So in that case, it wasn't a crap shoot for any of us as much as we didn't fully understand how Discover underwrites their cards.  More observation from the sidelines, discussion with forum members, and researching forum archives prior to our applications would have probably served all of us well. 

 

Another great example is that 2019 BK.  Lenders can differ greatly on their acceptance of or sensitivity to derogatories such as that.  As witnessed by the generous NFCU approvals, Navy is much more tolerant of BK.  Chase, on the other hand, would likely have denied an application much less grant a generous credit limit. 

 

Great advice when you said, "Someone making $30K with a fresh file is a much bigger risk than someone making $150K with a mature file."  Credit scores, APRs, and Starting Limits are all essentially a risk management assessment by the lender.  Do we want to extend any credit to this profile and what safeguards do we feel are necessary to protect our interests in the event of a default?  A riskier profile might be approved with a high APR and very low limit, while a low risk profile would get the lowest advertised APR and a much higher liimit. 


Business Cards


Length of Credit > 40 years; Total Credit Limits >$900K
Top Lender TCL - Chase 156.4 - BofA 99.7 - AMEX 95.0 - CITI 94.5 - NFCU 80.0 - SYCH - 65.0
AoOA > 30 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Feb 2024)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 7 of 35
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...


@Blessed2Be1 wrote:

Hi, I wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any advice, they can share about credit card starting limits (SL)? Does every card just basically start you with the credit limit your other creditors did?

 

No.

 

Are there any that will do a big jump?

 

Yes

 

Can you share some that offered more?

 

I remember that the Chase Hyatt card and PenFed Power Cash Rewards card both gave me significantly higher starting limits than my existing cards. But both of those were quite a while ago.


My highest credit limit for one credit card is reporting as $450 right now, my highest credit limit on one credit card will eventually report as $1K for a new card I recently opened. There are some cards that are showing as “Good” approval odds on Credit Karma.

 

Disregard Credit Karma, it's full of misleading stuff.

 

I did some research and one of them has a $10K minimum limit. It sounds enticing but I don’t want to be denied.


Will a creditor approve you for a $10K card if the highest card limit you have right now is $450 or $1K

 

Many would not.

 

or would they want to see how you manage a similar limit first?

 

Most would.

 

With my current credit limits, I couldn’t even get a good rate on a car rental because my limit wouldn’t allow me to prepay for long enough.

 

There's no reason to prepay.

 

I really desire to have at least one high credit limit card!


My Sister who has unsecured credit limits and scores near mine, also has a $15K Secured DFCU Credit Card and a $5K USAA Secured Credit Card. She’s had both a little over a year. Yesterday she was approved for an Unsecured Credit Card With a 20K limit. She literally went from 1K unsecured to $20K instantly.

 

Don't compare yourself to others; all profiles are different.

 

She swears the only way to do the jump in credit limits is by opening and keeping utilization low on a High Limit Secured Credit Card. I don’t want to part with that much $, but I will if needed.

 

She might be right. Or she might be wrong. It worked for her. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. But if you have $20k you can afford to tie up like that, go for it.

 

I'm sure that there are banks and credit unions that will take it into account if you just deposit that kind of money in a savings account with them, without tying it to a secured card.

 

Please let me know your thoughts.

 

There are a lot of factors that go into credit limit decisions, some of which are not even reflected in your scores, such as Income and Debt-to-Income ratio.

 

Of course you've told us practically nothing about  your credit profile, except that you have one card with a $450 limit, and will soon have another with a $1000 limit, so it's difficult to give you advice as to a strategy for getting one or more higher limit cards.


 


Total revolving limits 650200 (530700 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 708 TU 714 EX 715

Message 8 of 35
Blessed2Be1
Member

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

@SUPERSQUID WOW I REALLY REALLY REALLY APPRECIATE YOU SHARING THAT with me! That also makes me feel a lot betterbecause I just wasnt for sure how or if it was possible to do it without a secured card. The only person close enough for me to ask put a crazy amount of $ into a secured card, so I was unsure Thanks again @SUPERSQUID !

Message 9 of 35
Blessed2Be1
Member

Re: How to Get High Starting Limits on Credit Cards...

Hey @NoMoreE46  

 

Right now:

These are the Credit Cards I have:

First Premier $400 Used $337

Credit One AMEX: $450 Limit Used $443

I recently opened a Credit One Visa with a $1K starting limit Used $100, but it’s not reporting yet.

Chime: NO Credit Limit It Is A Secured Credit Card: Balance Usually Under $60

 

Right now, I have high credit card utilization due to my Ex, but I’ve already disputed the charges. I’m unsure of when or if they will credit the $ back though. I will pay it off the next billing cycle if they haven't. 

 

I also have:

Deferit Line of Credit: $1200 Limit Reporting No Utilization

Stellar Finance Line of Credit: $1K Limit Reporting No Utilization

Upstart Loan: $1K Opened 6/2023 Have $850 left to Pay. I plan to pay $250 - $350 this month. I am trying to get it down quickly, so around the holidays it will hopefully be paid off and I can reapply and hopefully get a higher limit.

Grow Line of Credit: Reports $1800 Limit Reporting No Utilization

Kickoff: Reports as a Credit Card on Equifax and TransUnion, but as a Line of Credit on Experian. 

 

Right now, my Fico Score 8 for Equifax is 711, Transunion is 701, and Experian is 616 as of 7/24/2023.

 

I’m working to correct my Experian and hopefully it will be up to the low 700’s in the next month or so. I will wait to apply for anything until then. I have high credit card utilization due to my Ex, but I’ve already disputed the charges. I’m unsure of when they will credit the $ back though.

 

Yes, that’s REALLY what she did!!! She has a whole thing about how much interest is your retirement account getting? 6%- 9%, but as a tradeoff you don’t have access to your own money! If you take it out and put it in to a secured account for a year or two you can at least access it, and your only loosing out on a small amount of accumulated interest, but the reward is you will get a similar unsecured limit in a year or two and once you get that you can close your account and then put your money in an IRA account.

 

I was actually helping my Mom buy a car this weekend. Just helping her through the process she was paying her own down payment. But now she doesn’t know if she wants to because my Sister Monica, who we call her Mo is convincing her with her little approval screen shot to do what she did. She even mentioned taking money out of her Life Insurance! She has cancer and this is a horrible idea!

 

My Sister just moved in with me, so we have become closer, and more transparent with each other, but I’m not close enough with anyone else to ask such personal questions about credit. That is why I am sooooo GRATEFUL for this Forum. This is such useful information to receive!

 

Thanks for your direct and honest feedback @NoMoreE46 

Message 10 of 35
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