A:

Depending on the credit increase amount that is requested and the length of time the borrower has held the line of credit, a lender may ask for information directly from the borrower, pull a credit report or use information it already receives from the credit bureaus each month. Such information as employment status, income and housing expenses will be requested of the borrower. The lender may also look at the borrower's payment history, including whether payments are made on time, how much credit is regularly used and how much of the balance is paid each month. Late payments from the previous six months negatively affect a request for a credit increase; monthly payments that are a higher percentage of the balance have a favorable effect. Information from the credit bureau that is considered includes total amount of debt held by the borrower; the number of other lines of credit; the number of other requests for credit that have recently been reported to the credit bureau; and overall credit score.

Having more available credit can increase your credit score, but being refused a credit increase may negatively affect it, because the request is reflected in your credit history for a short time. If a request is denied because the current amount of credit is too high, then an increase can be requested again once some of the balance has been paid. Most requests for credit line increases can be made online or by phone and can be approved immediately or take up to 10 days, depending on the information needed to make the decision.

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