Use this guide to find out how to request a credit limit increase with your bank. Plus, get tips to improve your chances of approval. Before making a request, you’ll want to compare the reasons why you should or shouldn’t ask for a credit limit increase based on your own circumstances.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has a number of measures to help borrowers avoid accumulating excessive unsecured debts. We suggest you read our ‘Frequently asked questions’ section below to find out more detail on how some of these rules work.
If you’re unsure if you’re eligible to apply for additional credit, you may contact your provider directly to find out more. Content on this page has been provided for general information purposes only.
You will need to ask your bank for a credit limit increase. Here’s how you can initiate a credit limit increase with different credit card issuers:
|American Express||Download the credit limit review form from the provider’s website. Once it’s duly filled in and signed, attach your latest income documents and send it back to American Express through fax or mail.|
|DBS||Sign into DBS Internet banking using your iBanking details or card number and PIN. Download the required form, fill in and upload it with the supporting documents. You may apply online if you only require a temporary credit limit increase. You can also increase the credit limit by making an advance payment to your credit card account.|
|OCBC||Download the form for credit limit review on OCBC’s website. Once you’ve completed the form and attached your latest income documents, you may mail to the bank’s mailing address or fax to 6830 7917. If you only require a temporary increase, you can speak directly with a customer service officer by calling the bank’s dedicated hotline at 6363 3333.|
|Maybank||You may apply directly at your nearest UOB branch, or through UOB’s online banking and uploading your supporting income documents. You can also download the credit limit review form, attach all the required income documents, and either mail or fax it to the bank. For a temporary increase in the credit limit, you may call the bank’s customer care at 1800 222 2121 for assistance.|
|HSBC||Apply by downloading and filling in the bank’s credit limit review form. Once the form is duly filled in, sign and upload the required supporting documents. Alternatively, you can also send the application form and documents directly to the bank’s HSBC’s mailing address.|
|Citibank||Log into the online application facility available on Citi’s website and apply directly. You can also download the form from the bank’s website, fill in all the necessary fields, attach the required documents, and mail it to the bank’s address. If you’re looking to get a temporary credit limit change, you make your request directly from Citi’s online banking.|
|Standard Chartered||Download the credit limit review form from the bank’s website. Once you’ve duly filled in the form, you can either fax it or mail it along with the necessary income documents to the bank.|
|UOB||Go to the bank’s website and download the credit limit review form. Make sure you fill in all the mandatory fields and attach all the relevant income documents before faxing or mailing it to the bank.|
|BOC||To apply for credit limit adjustment, you can contact BOC’s 24-hour Customer Services Hotline for credit cards at (852) 2853 8828.|
|ICBC||Visit this lender’s website and download its Limit Adjustment Application Form. After completing all the required fields, you can mail it to the bank.|
|CIMB||Go to the bank’s website and download its credit limit review form. Simply mail the completed form together with your latest income document(s) for review and the bank will typically notify you of its decision within two weeks.|
When you first get a credit card, your bank or provider will usually assign you an affordable credit limit for your circumstances. This limit is based on factors in your credit card application including your income, expenditure, existing debt and credit score.
If you get a credit limit that’s too high, you’ll increase the risk of ongoing debt. Submitting a request for a credit limit increase also impacts on your credit history. So before deciding if you want a credit limit increase, it’s a good idea to consider whether or not these circumstances have changed.
Consider the following reasons why you should or shouldn’t request a credit limit increase for more information.
- It could help your credit score. If you can afford a higher credit limit, it could help improve your credit score by providing you with a lower credit utilisation ratio (the amount of credit used compared to the amount of credit available).
- Increased spending potential. You’ll have greater spending power because you can make larger purchases without worrying about maxing out your card.
- Greater rewards earning potential. A higher credit limit means you can use your card for more purchases and maximise the points you earn per $1 spent on a rewards or frequent flyer card.
- Emergency funds. You’ll have a bigger safety net in case of an emergency.
- If you have a bad credit history. When assessing your application, the bank will make an inquiry into your credit history. This credit inquiry is then recorded on your credit report and can negatively affect your credit score.
- Potential rejected application. If your request is denied, it will impact your credit score and you’ll have to wait longer before your next application. Lenders tend to get suspicious when they see many credit inquiries made within a short period of time listed on your credit report.
- Meeting monthly repayments. A higher credit limit and larger debt also mean higher minimum monthly repayments.
- Increased debt risks. Having more credit could increase your spending and lead to more debt if you’re not disciplined.
What happens if I go over my credit limit?
Although your credit limit generally sets the ceiling for your credit card spending, some card companies may let you exceed that limit and some also charge you a penalty for going over your limit. Make sure you check these details with your credit card company so you can avoid additional fees if you max out your card.
- Use your card regularly. Card providers generally favour cardholders who use their cards frequently and pay off their balances on time. This shows them two things: that you have a need for a higher credit limit and that you can handle credit responsibly.
- Make payments on time and pay your balance in full. Timely payments can improve your chances for approval because they show the bank that you are a responsible and low-risk borrower. Paying off the full balance also shows the bank that you’re capable of managing aoo soon or too often. Unless otherwise stipulated, credit card providers typically review your account after six months. Asking before that time could raise alarm bells and hurt your chances of a future credit limit increase. Asking again too soon after a previous request can have a similar outcome.
- Don’t ask for too much. It may be better to ask for a conservative 10-25% increase than to wildly shoot for more. Unless your circumstances have drastically changed, your request should be capped at 30% more than your current limit.
- Apply for a card with a high minimum credit limit. Premium credit cards typically offer higher minimum credit limits than standard cards. If you meet the eligibility requirements for these cards, you could compare your credit card options and apply for one that suits your spending habits and needs.
Even if a credit limit increase isn’t on the cards for you yet, it’s good practice to establish a healthy credit history by borrowing and repaying responsibly. A credit limit increase can be helpful but it shouldn’t increase your spending dramatically, or negatively impact your ability to repay. You should only apply for a credit increase if you can afford it, and spend responsibly.
How is my credit limit calculated in Singapore?
Your credit card limit is set by the card issuer and will be based on factors including your age, income and borrowing history. Plus, the limit will need to be within the parameters set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
What’s the maximum credit limit?
As per MAS regulations, credit card limits in Singapore are usually restricted to no more than four times your monthly income.
MAS also dictates that if you have any outstanding unsecured debts exceeding six times your monthly income, financial institutions are not allowed to grant any increase in credit limit or any new unsecured credit facilities that will result in your credit limit exceeding 12 times your monthly income.
For instance, if you earn a monthly income of S$5,000 and have an outstanding debt of S$40,000 (which is 8 times your monthly income), you cannot be granted any additional unsecured credit if your existing total credit limit exceeds S$60,000.
Keep in mind that you’re not obliged to take the maximum credit limit. In fact, you may feel it’s a better option to choose a lower limit to help you avoid spending too much.
How is age a factor in the credit limit rules?
Generally speaking, the rules are similar but some income requirements can be lower if you’re aged 55 or above – but keep in mind that you may need to have at least S$750,000 in personal assets.
If you’re aged under 55 with and your yearly income is S$30,000 or below, you’ll have a credit limit cap of up to two times your monthly income. If you earn between S$30,000 and S$120,000 per year, your credit limit is up to four times your monthly income.
Finally, there’s no regulation on your limit if you earn S$120,000 or more a year.
How long does a credit limit increase take?
This will vary from bank to bank and could be anything from the same day to a couple of weeks. Make sure you read the lender’s terms before you apply, and check if there’s a waiting period for any previous applications you may have made to extend your credit.Back to top