How to increase your credit card limit

Here are the steps you can take to request a credit card limit increase with major Singaporean banks.

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Use this guide to find out how to request a credit limit increase with your bank and learn some tips to improve your chances of approval. Before making a request, you can also compare the reasons why you should or shouldn’t ask for a credit limit increase based on your own circumstances.

Credit limit

From 1 Jan 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) imposed a new measure to help borrowers avoid accumulating excessive unsecured debts.

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 will not be granted any additional unsecured credit if your existing total credit limit exceeds S$60,000.

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.

How to request a credit limit increase

The first step is 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 ExpressDownload 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.
DBSSign 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.
OCBCDownload 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.
MaybankYou 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.
HSBCApply 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.
CitibankLog 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 CharteredDownload 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.
UOBGo 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.

What to consider before adjusting your credit limit

When you first get a credit card, your bank or provider will usually assign you with 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 or credit rating.

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 may 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.

How to increase your chances of being approved for a credit limit adjustment

  • 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 a higher credit card limit.
  • Optimise your credit score. Always protect your credit score by making payments on time. Even late payments on phone and utility bills, car loans or personal loans can hurt your credit report and deter the bank from increasing your credit limit.
  • Don’t ask too 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 is 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 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.

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