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When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

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When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

Thanks in advance!  This looks like an excellent forum and am hoping you all can help me.  I'm just shy of 30 years old and just started pulling my head out of my rear when it comes to credit cards.  A bit about me and my situation.  My scores are 728, 722, and 730 from FICO, Transunion, and Equifax respectfully.  Here's my 'line-up'


VISA - Chase Freedom - I had a Chase Freedom under my parents name with a 15k limit..and finally decided to get one in my own name.. in doing so, my new CL is $5,800.  Opened in Oct 2015- but the previous account is 12 years old.  My plan is to use this just for the rotating 5% categories


DISCOVER - Discover It - I opened this April 2016 and also plan to use this just for rotating catergories when they don't overlap the Chase Freedom.  CL is $5,500


MASTERCARD - Citi Double Cash - I opened this April 2016 as well.  I plan to use this as my main card (with essentially 2% back on everything).  The main problem is the low CL of $2,600 


AMEX - Blue Cash Everyday - I opened this Feb 2016.  I wanted to start my tenure with AMEX and initially planned to use it as my main card until I found the double cash.  I plan to still use this for groceries...  Eventually I plan to do a PC to the Blue Cash Preferred- but right now my GF does most of the grocery shopping, so is not worth it until I get her one as well.  CL is $15,000 (was very surprised)


VISA - Mills Fleet Farm - I opened this in Feb 2016 as well..  I live very close to FF and buy all my gas there as they offer Mid grade Ethanol Free, every other station in town makes you buy premium to get ethanol free and my truck and toys just run better on it.. I also am a frequent shopper- so 4% on gas and other in store purchases makes sense to me.   CL is $4,800


I don't travel, and when I do it's generally driving and staying at cabins to go fishing... so travel/miles/hotel perks just don't appeal to me.  Cash Back / statement credit / gift cards make the most sense to me.  I was at a 767 FICO in January and have since dropped to a 728.  Obviousy it's time to lay low on the card apps, and I don't see any reason to apply for anything else anyway.  I keep my Utilization under 30% and pay in full each month.  My income is only 40k and my spending on all cards is under $1500 per month.  The only card that I really need to be mindful of is the Double Cash at $2600..  I planned to use it as my main card due to 2% back- but could see needing a higher CL to stay below %30 utilization on that card.  


I guess first off, is this a good combination of cards to have?  Any reccomendations?  I like that I have one card from each major card company.  Second- when, how, and how much should I request a line of credit increase?  Obviously, I want to increase it on all cards- because higher limits are always desired, right?   The biggy for the short term is that Double cash- but I'd eventually like to request an increase on all cards and set up a 'schedule' as to when to requst LC increases and how much to ask for...  That's really the main thing that I'm hoping you guys can help with- as you obviously know more about that than I do.


Eventally, I'd like to add a card with good travel perks like the AMEX Platinum when I start doing more travel... but I don't expect that to be for at least a decade- so nothing to worry about there.   If it matters- I plan to buy a new vehicle in about 4-5 years, and a house after that is paid for it 3-5 years after that.  My thought was to get my card situation figured out now so that those pulls are off my report before needing to borrow money.  If you're still here, thanks for taking the time to read this and for any advice you can provide!



Frequent Contributor

Re: When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

It sounds like you're off to a great start!


I too have the Discover It, Chase Freedom, and Citi DC and love them, and am considering adding the Amex BCE at some point. Like you I don't travel and instead focus on cashback cards, and yes, I think you've got a great portfolio of cashback cards there!


I'd say the main thing you need to do is sit tight on apps and HP CLIs for a good long time, minimum of 6 months IMO and with so many new accounts I'd aim for more like 1-2 years personally - but I take a slower, more conservative approach to credit building than a lot of people. Regardless, I think your general timeline of sorting out the credit card situation now, planning for a new vehicle in a few years, and a new house a few years after that, is very prudent. Your credit score undoubtedly took a hit due to all the new open accounts and lowered AAOA, but that will rebound and you should be in a very strong position credit-wise in a few years when it comes time to get the vehicle (and a few years after that when it comes time for the house), just as long as you do pump the brakes on more apps.


Regarding credit scores, I assume you're already monitoring your TU FICO 8 score with Discover and EQ with Citi? I hear Amex also offers free EX scores, so you should have access to Ficos from all 3 major CRAs! Above when you were talking about your 767 FICO dropping to 728, do you know which bureau that was with and which FICO model? It's important to be aware that you have 3 different FICO 8 scores - one from each major bureau. You also have other Fico scores, like the newly introduced FICO 9 as well as FICO scores geared specifically for bankcards, auto, and mortgage - and again 3 each of those since there's 1 from each bureau. The reason I'm mentioning all this is that 1) it's important to be aware of and 2) obviously you want to make sure you're comparing apples to apples. For example if your TU FICO 8 was 767 and now your EX FICO 9 is 728, then obviously that doesn't provide for a consistent comparision. For reference it's the FICO 8 that most people are referring to when they talk about FICO scores and that's the most common one for lenders to use. Although, different lenders pull from different bureaus and not all lenders use FICO 8. Also, most lenders have an internal scoring model that they use.


Anyway, regarding the credit limits, don't worry too much about the low starting limit with the Citi DC. Citi is notorious for giving people low/lowish starting limits, especially on the DC. I've now had my card about 18 months and though my SL was much lower than my limits on other cards, the CL is now completely comparable to my other CLs. After either 3 or 6 months (don't remember which, but I'd go with 6 months to be sure) you can request a CLI. Citi even does soft pull CLIs, which you can request online.


Discover will also do soft pull CLIs online. Coincidentally just last week I got SP CLIs with both Discover and Citi. It was a very quick, easy, and convenient process.


Chase will certainly do CLIs, but I believe they're always hard pulls when they're requested by the consumer.


Unfortunately I can't give you much specific info on CLIs with the others because I don't have those cards/lenders. However, in general I wouldn't recommend requesting a CLI more than once every 6-12 months. That's just my rule of thumb though, and I often don't even bother since I don't really need higher limits. Until my recent request it had been 2 or 3 years, maybe longer, since I'd asked Discover for a CLI. I haven't asked for one on the Freedom in almost that long too. But I know many people ask religiously every opportunity they get.


A few quick words about reporting and utilization, you indicated that you PIF (pay in full) every month and keep utilization under 30% - Excellent! However, I wanted to make sure that you're aware that your utilization is only relevant when it actually reports, typically right after your due date. So it's safe to go higher during the month as long as you pay it down before it reports. Also, if you're PIF-ing anyway you might want to consider timing your payments so that a no or low balance reports, rather than 30% for instance. It's important to find out your reporting dates, but a good rule of thumb is to pay it down to however much you feel comfortable with reporting by the due date.


Finally, if you're worried about the Citi DC limit remember that you're always free to make multiple payments in a month, and it really isn't much of a hassle to knock it out online. Personally I PIF weekly rather than monthly, not for utlization/score reasons or credit limit concerns, but just because that's how I like to do it. I know most people don't like paying so often, but it might be worth it to get in the habit of making one extra payment to Citi mid-way through your cycle until you can get your limit raised. Although, again remember that it's the amount that reports that matters for utilization scoring purposes. So if you need to you can go a bit higher during the month as long as you pay it down before it posts.


Anyway, good luck and welcome to the forum!

Message 2 of 6
Super Contributor

Re: When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

Welcome to the forum 


Unless there's another card you need. I don't see anything that you don't have covered (nice lineup)

If it was me I'd just grow the cards and instead of looking at new cards take 1 HP to grow the DC down the road since you want to use it as a general spend 

As far as staying below 30% just pay it off as needed 1,2,3 times a month and in 6 months ask for a CLI

Before you app think...
Have you done your research of the CC?
Does it fit your spending?
Do you have a plan for the bonus w/o going into debt?
Can you afford the AF?
Do you know the cards benefits? Is it worth the HP?
Message 3 of 6
Not applicable

Re: When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

Agreed with other posters: you have a nice group of cards there! With many cards, you can ask for credit limit increases every 6 months, so feel free to ask for those increases from the cards that will give them with a soft credit pull, and your limits will grow with you. 

Message 4 of 6
Not applicable

Re: When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

you basically got everything covered. great job! just read about tips and tricks on getting SOFT PULL CLI on your current cards and you should be golden. citi DC for example, i've read that you can request an increase by calling not chat or online (and making sure that they'll do SP and not HP) every 4 mos (or 6, i'm not sure, so search =p).


as for auto and mortgage down the road, start reading around about credit unions and eligibility. nfcu, penfed, dcu to name a few. you can read (search) about them here in the forum. also, dont seek credit 6-12 mos prior to these major loans. better if 24 mos which is very much feasible in your case.


most importantly, since you're now a member here, you'll see a lot of approvals, 'flavor of the month cards', etc etc... don't be swayed on apping. ONLY app if you really need the card and is beneficial to you. the 'temptation' here is very much alive and strong. =p


welcome aboard!!!!

Message 5 of 6
Not applicable

Re: When to request Line of Credit Increase, any other advice?

Does your Discover have double cash back the first year? If so, with that and a more useable limit I might use that as my go to for the first year, then switch to DC. See if you e gotten any auto CLI's on DC. Go for a SP after 6-9 months with some usage showing, all those higher CL/s reporting, and all your responsiblity on display.

In the meantime you'll probably get some auto CLIs on Discover with usage.

I know that you were asking for timelines and I wasn't much help on that, but I have read all kinds of conflicting results on both disco and Citi. And you don't really NEED to get your CLs up because of high util etc. so my advise is be patient and if you aren't happy with the DC by the time your double cash is up on disco, then take a HP if necc. Ask for $20k or whatever, they'll counter.

Also, you can't go from BCE to BCP within the first 13 months. Part of the card act.
Message 6 of 6
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