A while back, a student of mine called into my one-on-one Q&A session with a problem: She’d unexpectedly had her credit card limits reduced, which affected her debt-to-limit ratio, which in turn caused her score to drop.
Credit card companies do this regularly—they promise you a big limit, and then a few years later, they lower your limit out of the blue. This hurts your credit score, which is in part based on the debt you carry as a percentage of a limit.
In fact, 30 percent of your credit score is based on the debt you carry as a percentage of the limit.
For instance, let’s say you have a $5,000 limit and a $1,000 balance. Your balance would be 20 percent of your limit, which would be looked upon favorably by the credit-scoring bureaus.
But if the credit card companies went and dropped your limit to $2,000, your balance of $1,000 would be 50 percent of your limit, which would be looked upon negatively by the credit-scoring bureaus.
The credit-scoring bureaus will respond most favorably if you never carry a balance higher than 30 percent of your limit. So if they drop your limit, watch out! Your credit score will drop, too.
Well, like I said, this happened to one of my clients, and I told her how to fight back. Then I got this letter (which I’m editing slightly so that you have the complete
“I had one card with a limit that had been lowered, and I decided to try to get it raised a second time. The credit card company refused my request the first time, so I called back. After spending 1.5 hours on the phone with five or so people (who by the way, got a little more patronizing each time they transferred me to someone new), they still would not do it.
“But … during the conversation, one of them mentioned something about calling the “Portfolio Risk Department.” After just five minutes on the phone with ONE person in the Portfolio Risk Department, they restored my full credit limit! Done!
“I never would have known to even try this if not for your fabulous program and awesome encouragement! Thank you so much once again!”
At times like this, I love my job more than usual. I’ve said it before: Your credit score is your financial reputation, and I’m tickled pink to help people fight back when their reputations are being tarnished!
So if you need to increase your credit limit, call and ask for the Risk Department. Let them know your credit score is being adversely affected.
With that in mind, let me know if you have any questions about rebuilding your score. From time-to-time, I answer them in my weekly email/blog. Leave a comment below, and I’ll try to answer it in the coming months.