When you have a credit card, a bank or finance provider can sometimes encourage you with a temptingly high credit limit. Sometimes, people find these limits very exciting, and feel compelled to take a high credit limit. Credit limits can be as high as $10,000, $20,000, and we have even heard of $50,000+
What is a credit limit?
A credit limit is usually up to how much you can spend on your credit card. A bank can often encourage customers to take a higher credit card limit. Certain credit card types, such as “Platinum Cards” can also have a higher limit. This can apply to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and other types of cards.
Why is a credit limit a problem?
There are a range of issues around having a high credit limit. These are some of them below.
A high credit limit can tempt you to spend more
If you have a high credit limit, it can tempt you to spend more. A high credit card limit, say of $10,000, makes it very easy to quickly to get into a lot of debt! Some people could spend that money very easily on a holiday or purchasing new furniture for example. It can be hard to create a ‘get out of debt plan’ and can possibly take years to pay off that $10,000!
When applying for a home loan, a high credit limit can make it tougher
If you have a very high credit limit, it can make it harder for a bank or lender to approve your application for a home loan. The reason is that the lender usually needs to consider this as you having a finance facility at the limit.
For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of $10,000 but only have a balance of about $1,000. The bank or lender usually needs to consider that you might have a loan as much as $10,000! Even though you don’t use the full amount of your credit card’s limit, the lender needs to consider the risk and possibility you could easily jump into a mountain of debt at $10,000!
How do you lower your credit limit?
To reduce your credit limit, you usually need to contact the provider first. For example, if this is on a credit card issued by your bank, contact your bank. You can explain to them you wish to take a lower limit, and they should be able to adjust it.
Sometimes, you might be on a credit card that forces you to be on a very high limit. Some types of credit cards have forced minimums. Therefore this might mean you have to cancel and close the credit card. Alternatively you might be able to discuss with them your options around moving to a different type of card with a lower limit. They may have to issue a new card to do this.
What about other types of cards?
Sometimes you may have a card such as “Gem Visa Card” and need to lower the limit on this. You may need to contact the provider to reduce the limit.
In the past we have heard that some providers cannot lower the limit over the phone. They may ask you to return to the retailer or store you first applied to the card from. For example, if you got your card application done through purchasing a new appliance from an appliance store, or a laptop from a computer store, you might need to discuss it with them as to how you can lower the credit limit.
Having a high credit card limit can look like a lucrative opportunity, and sometimes a ‘status symbol’. However, high credit card limits can produce a great risk around getting in to debt easily. Credit cards can often have a much higher interest rate than personal loans, and are generally not a cheap way to borrow money. If you need to borrow money, consider a personal loan as an alternative.