Find your credit cards and call the number on the back to find out your total credit limit and current balance for every card and write it down.
For each card, take your total credit limit and divide by your current balance.
Visa card total credit limit: $10,000
Visa card current balance: $9,500
Take 9,500/10,000 = .95 or 95%
All credit cards you have that are around 80% or above, are potentially damaging your credit score. The 3 main credit bureaus see how maxed out your credit cards are and deduct points if your credit card balance is equal to or close to your total credit limit on that particular credit card. By paying down your credit card, below 80%, you can improve your credit score. You can also acheive below 80% by raising your credit limit.
Now that you know which cards are above the 80%, you should either pay down the current balance, or call the credit card company and speak to a representative to raise your credit limit.
If you need to raise your credit limit by $4,000 to go below the 80% threshold, ask for a raise of $8,000. Usually, if the credit card company will not raise your credit limit to the full amount, they will still try to raise it to some smaller amount, so it’s always best to ask for more of a credit limit raise than less.
After you successfully go below the threshold of 80% on all of, or most of your credit cards, you should see an increase in your credit score. The time amount that you will see the increase will vary depending on each credit bureau’s criteria.
Congratulations! You have just taken the first step to raising your credit score!
Tips & Warnings
- Please add comments and tips if you’ve tried this procedure. Also, share your tips on how to help others improve their credit score here.
- The goal of this lesson is to improve your credit score and ultimately your financial situation. It is not a means to raise your credit limit to spend more money.
- The change in credit score will vary with each individual person and with each credit bureau.