Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Credit Limit Decrease

Established Member

Credit Limit Decrease

I'm in the process of paying off 4 cards. One cars in particular,Citi, keeps lowering my credit limit as a pay down the card and as a result my utilization on that card is consistently over 90%. Im not sure what I should do. Should I ignore it until I pay down my other cards? Because me focusing on that card isn't helping my credit score because of the limit decreases....

Message 1 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: Credit Limit Decrease

Lenders are sensitive to utilization, especially right now. When multiple revolving accounts are showing a high util level, it shows financial stress. Your CLD from Citi is an example of this. Hopefully your other lenders do not balance chase you as well. I would pay the cards off in the order in which makes the most financial sense to you, as the balance chasing is unavoidable and inevitable from that card at this point. Hopefully once you are able to get your util in check across all of your revolving accounts then Citi may consider increasing your CL again. I'm sorry you are experiencing this, but it is never personal from any lender, it's just simple risk mitigation.

FICO 8 Mar '23 EX 753 EQ 755 TU 735
TCL $183,500
Message 2 of 6
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Credit Limit Decrease

I would pay off balances in the order that makes the most financial sense. Don’t worry too much about balance chasing as it’ll continue until you reach the limit that a lender is comfortable with you having.

Ignoring it or paying the minimum won’t change their stance one bit. I’d focus more on reducing debt rather than a score. Even if your score increases for some reason it still won’t stop balancing chasing if a lender has determined that they’ve extended more to you than they’re comfortable with.

Message 3 of 6
Frequent Contributor

Re: Credit Limit Decrease

Also please for future reference never let more than 30% report at any given time. Lenders love when you spend money and alot of it but they also want to see how well you pay it down. Paying only minimums and consistant 90% util is not good at all. So mistakes happen do what you gotta do and learn from that mistake. We are all only human so no worries it will be fine. Just pay it down and keep it down.

Message 4 of 6
Regular Contributor

Re: Credit Limit Decrease

@hawkinsadvice is sound.  If you think you can effectively punish your card issuers by some action on your part, odds are that you're the one who'll ultimately be injured.


If you suffer adverse action from a creditor, it's certainly your right to cease doing business with them (or in some other way favor other issuers).  But if the card relationship has generally been favorable to you, you better course of action is to engage in behavior that restores their confidence in you and might ultimately reverse the adverse action.


I entirely understand how one might be caught up by financial circumstances and be led to take a card's utilization above 50%.  But this is why it's critical as a borrower to ensure that you're prepared for difficult times by securing ample access to revolving credit sources.  The may mean that, at any given time, you hold at least two credit lines that aren't actively used (beyond a token charge every 6 mo), to which you can transfer a balance in a bind.


Message 5 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: Credit Limit Decrease

You are being "balance-chased." They have decided to cut your credit limit, but can't do it while your balance is higher than the new, lower limit they have in mind. When your balance goes down, your limit is able to drop, so it does. This will continue until your balance falls below the limit they want you to have at that time, which can happen due to your balance reaching the point they have in mind, or due to them changing their mind and raising the limit they want to give you. This second factor is very difficult to predict, and in most cases, it's the first factor. In other words, if your old limit was $8000 and your balance was $7700, they may decide that your limit should be $4000 but they can't do that yet. When you pay the balance down to $6000, they drop your limit down as much as they can, in this example, to $6000. If you pay it down to $4000, they will drop your limit to $4000. But if you drop it down to $3000, your limit will remain at $4000 (again, example numbers only).


There is no short-term solution for this. The situation calls for a focus on finances over scoring. My advice would be to make all minimum payments, and beyond that, pay down credit card debt based on which account has the highest interest rate. Continue paying down from highest rate to lowest rate. Unless there is an X factor, such as having a card you want to keep and another card you don't care about (might prompt you to pay down the one you want to keep first to preserve that relationship better), but the main problem in this situation is how much you are spending on interest, and the solution to that is to cut balances based on interest rates. You would pay the one you are being balance-chased on down the same as the others, for the same reason, reducing how much you spend on interest. JMO.


In the long term, be aware that balances above 30% are like a yellow light and balances over 60% are like a flashing red light. You want your balances to generally be below 10%.


Good luck!

FICO Resilience Index: 64. Cards: 5/24, 2/12, 2/6. Accounts including loans: 8/24, 4/12, 3/6. Card CLs total $213,900, or $240,400 including the AU card. Cards (oldest to newest)

Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loans / Personal loan
Message 6 of 6
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.