How to Get a Higher Credit Limit?
If you want additional credit because you are using all that you currently have and want the ability to spend even more, you have a flawed approach to credit card use. You must understand that using most or all of your available credit is bad for your credit score because of something called credit utilization. Credit utilization is a balance-to-available credit ratio that FICO—the largest credit scoring agency in the United States—determines for each of your individual credit cards as well as for all of your cards in combination and includes in the calculation of your credit score. Having high credit utilization will bring down your credit score, thus your spending should be well below your credit limits.
However, if you wish to acquire additional credit in order to lower your balance-to-available credit ratios, your interest in doing so is indeed warranted. Whether or not you will actually get any additional credit depends on three factors: your credit score, the economy and the way in which your credit card company regards you. So let’s take a closer look at each in order to gain a deeper understanding of credit line determinations.
If your credit score has gone up since you opened your credit card account, you have been using credit responsibly, and might therefore deserve a credit line bump. However, if it stayed the same or fell, you are unlikely to be given a credit raise. Still, whether or not your credit card company will give you access to additional credit is not pure a function of your credit score because other, less controllable factors come into play as well.
If the economic outlook is gloomy, credit card companies are likely to be conservative in their credit offers to all of their customers. In these cases, even if your credit score has risen, you might not be granted additional credit.
Additionally, and perhaps obviously, your eligibility for additional credit is dependent on the perspective of your issuer. If your credit card company believes it must increase the perks of your account in order to keep your business or to profit from off you further, a credit line increase might just be in the cards. If your company does not feel this way, it might just need some convincing that it should. A good indicator of how your credit card company views you is whether or not you can qualify for a credit card that is better than the one you currently have.
You must remember that your credit card company will not necessarily act proactively in raising your credit limit. Thus, it is worth it to call your issuer and inquire as to whether you deserve a credit line raise or what you need to do in order to warrant one. Ultimately, if you feel that your issuer is not granting you additional credit when it is justified, you can always simply complain. If this proves unsuccessful, open a new credit card with better terms and a higher credit line, stop using the existing card (for which high credit utilization is a concern) and take advantage of the fact that the major credit bureaus now view you as having more available credit.
Questions to Ask a Credit Counseling Agency?
1. Credit counseling agencies are companies that offer you advice on how to manage your money and debts more efficiently. They help you to organize your budget in a way that will fit your way of life and monthly payments. Credit counselors receive proper training and certification in these areas. They also help you develop a personalized plan to get out of debt. Credit counseling is a requirement for those who intend to file for bankruptcy.
2. One of the first questions you should ask a credit counseling agency is which services they offer. Look for a company with a variety of services, such as budget counseling, savings and debt management classes, bankruptcy filing and help to find alternatives to bankruptcy. Avoid any company that does not spend a considerable amount of time looking at your financial situation before offering their services. A reputable organization will offer a personalized evaluation of your situation.
3. Ask about fees, including total costs, monthly payment options and mandatory up-front fees. Get specific quotes for all of the services they provide and compare agencies to see which one offers the most value. Decide whether or not you have the income necessary to pay these fees. Up-front fees are often around $250. If you are having money problems -- which you probably are if you are filing for bankruptcy -- this can often be a burden, and you may decide to address your credit issues on your own.
4. Credit counseling agencies are required to have state licenses to offer services in that state. Ask the company if they have all of the necessary licenses. Ask if their counselors are licensed to offer you the financial help and advisement you need. A reputable company will only have licensed staff advising you. If a company is licensed, you then know that it is following all of the necessary regulations.
5. You have the right to demand the protection of your information. A credit counseling agency does not have the right to sell or share your information with third parties without your permission. Ask them how they will protect your information and how you will be assured of this. Ask if there is a confidentiality contract between you and the agency. Information that you have the right to protect includes your name, address, phone numbers and any records of your financial situation.
Read more: Questions to Ask a Credit Counseling Agency | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/
What is in my credit report?
Your credit report is actually a credit history. It is created by data about you from many different sources. Companies that have granted you credit make regular reports about your accounts to the three main CRAs: Equifax, Experian (formerly TRW), and Trans Union. If you are late in making payments, those to whom you owe money such as utilities, hospitals, landlords and others may report this information to the CRA. Your bank may inform the CRA if you overdraw your account or do not make credit card, auto loans, or mortgage payments on time. Your credit report may also contain information about delinquent child support payments. The FCRA allows CRAs to report records of convictions of crime. However, it is not the practice of any of the three main CRAs to report criminal convictions on credit reports. Such information may, however, be reported in connection with an employer background check.
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