What to do when your credit limit is too low

It’s vital to know your credit limit before you start buying stuff on your credit card.

Your credit card limit will be included in the info mailed together with your credit card.

If you have an online credit card account, you may be able to log in and view your credit limit online.

What's A Credit Limit?

This is the maximum amount a lender allows you to borrow on a credit card at any one time.

After applying for a credit card, your lender looks at different factors to determine what your credit limit should be.

Why Do Lenders Give Such Low Credit Limits?

You might not have as much credit limit as you like and are wondering why.

When deciding whether to accept your application and what credit limit to offer, lenders look at your credit history and other key factors.

These factors include:

  1. Your net earnings – if what’s left after your monthly expenses is small, expect a low credit limit.
  2. Debts with other lenders – personal loans, auto loans, mortgage and other credit cards.
  3. Your current credit – this includes the limit on any authorised overdrafts, store cards or credit cards you have available.
  4. Your repayment history – expect a low credit limit if you have missed on debt payments in the past.

The above factors help lenders to offer you a credit limit they’re confident you can afford. But that doesn’t mean that you are powerless against low credit.

What Happens If I Go Over My Credit Limit?

The average credit limit in the UK is £3,000 – £4,000.

Normally, the credit card will decline the purchase when you make a purchase that goes beyond your credit limit.

But this is not always the case. Sometimes, they may let it go through.

There are consequences for going over your limit. They range from getting a small penalty to longer-term effects like damaging your credit rating and getting your account closed.

Can I Request My Credit Limit to be Increased?

Some credit card issuers will automatically increase your credit limit after you’ve had the card for a while and made timely payments.

Before you request a limit increase, check the limits on your card to see if the lender has extended it.

If you’re unhappy with your credit limit and would like to change it, you can contact your credit card provider and tell them the new credit limit you’d like.

They will scrutinise your card use and credit history to approve or refuse the credit card limit increase. If your income has improved, that’s something you should mention. They’re often able to provide you with instant approval.

Your card provider will have a policy on credit limit increases. Some providers only offer an increase once you’ve had the card for 6 or 12 months. So, if you happen to be a new customer, it’s a good idea to wait for several months first.

If you’re denied, don’t fret. Ask your issuer why they declined your request. This will help you figure out how you can improve your chances for approval in the future.

What to do With the Low Limit Card?

Whatever your credit limit, there are ways you can position yourself to improve your chances of getting a higher credit card limit:

  • Never miss a payment
  • Use your card regularly and sensibly
  • Give it time
  • Don’t request a credit limit too often
  • Review your credit report for errors

Remember, if you’re contemplating requesting a higher credit limit, there’s a greater risk you’re borrowing too much. Ensure you can afford the repayments and the interest that will be charged.

Also, if you’re planning to apply for a mortgage or an auto loan, lenders could consider you a risky borrower because they may assume that you plan on taking on more debt.


If you have a good grip on your finances and can keep balances low, increasing your credit card limit could be the key to opening up your financial opportunities.

It will lower your credit utilisation ratio, help during an emergency, make it easier to secure a loan and give you access to credit card perks.

The information provided in this document is an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as investment advice. Seek a licensed professional if you are in need of investment or financial guidance.

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Dominic Matteo is a Scottish former professional footballer who played as a defender and midfielder in a 17-year professional career from 1992 to 2009. He made a total of 366 league and cup appearances, of which 276 were in the Premier League. He was scouted by Kenneth Dalglish as a 9-year-old boy playing in Southport and went on to enjoy a 16-year tenure at Liverpool FC before joining Leeds United as their captain.

Dominic was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in 2019, after lifesaving brain surgery and months of radiotherapy he is now raising awareness and funds to help others through his own charitable foundation Ahead of The Game, which he co-founded with fellow brain cancer survivor Dave Bolton.

Dominic now works in TV broadcasting and is an ambassador for Leeds United FC. In his personal time, he enjoys a pint with the lads down the boozer!

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Matthew has 15 years experience in the real estate sector working with developers, agents and investors – both on the client and delivery side. Matthew has vast experience in sourcing development sites with and without planning, or sites with capacity for planning gain – both on and off market and across the UK. Matthew has developed a reputation for being able to add value to existing sites with consent by improving unit mix, optimising unit plans and delivering additional capacity on both surplus and under utilised land. Having been involved in the acquisition, development and sales functions for a number of developers (both regional and national), Matthew has an acute understanding of the complexities of the development process and how to unlock access to additional revenue streams (entry and exit), complex financial modelling and exit strategy planning to meet, and improve upon, required financial returns.

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Following a successful career in corporate IT for several multinational enterprises, responsible for             multi- million pound infrastructure projects, Roger brings real-world experience of IT Technical Architecture, Networks & Security, and Systems Design to CurveBlock. Since 2004 Roger has been a property investor. In addition to this he founded a successful business in 2015, gaining useful experience in finance, marketing and other business skills. He is passionate about crypto and the many use cases and efficiency benefits it brings.

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Joey has many years of business management experience building successful teams and companies. Joey is also a Former Registered Investment Adviser with 37 agents geographically dispersed, and has built business from $0-$50M+ portfolios. This experience gave Joey deep understanding and knowledge within the Securities Compliance Arena. Working in the computing space for the last 10 year, and blockchain since 2016, Joey connects quickly with any target market and communicates well with all parties and publicly, which will have a substantial impact for CurveBlock around the world. Certificate of education in Blockchain and Digital Equity from University of Nicosia.

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With over 29 years construction industry experience, not only within the real estate development market but also other development sectors such as Commercial, Industrial & Agricultural developments. Along with Gary’s extensive construction experience & knowledge he’s also deeply involved in the world of Blockchain. Successfully scaled one of Europe’s largest building materials manufactories over 4000% leading to a private equity buyout during 2016.