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Does increasing credit limit affect credit score?

Written byKoyo Loans
Last Updated27th October 2022
Contents
  • In 30 seconds…
  • Introduction
  • Does increasing credit limit affect credit score?
  • Do direct debits help credit score?
  • Does closing a credit card affect credit score?
  • Do multiple credit cards affect credit score?
  • Does not using a credit card hurt your credit score?
  • Does credit card interest affect credit score?
  • Does opening a joint account affect credit score?
  • Do money transfers affect credit score?
  • Conclusion

In 30 seconds…

There are lots of things you can do that will affect your credit score. Increasing your credit limit, setting up direct debits, using or closing a credit card account, and money transfers will all affect your credit score in one way or another. The way that you apply for and utilise credit will be reflected in your score, which is why it’s so important to be mindful of the aspects that appear on your credit file. Applying for a joint account with your spouse will bring both your credit scores into play, so bear this in mind before submitting an application.

Introduction

While many of us know that loan applications and credit cards influence our credit scores, there are several other financial factors that are less clear. Therefore, we run through various financial transactions that are likely to affect your credit score, and what you can do to ensure your creditworthiness doesn’t take a long term hit.

Does increasing credit limit affect credit score?

Any time that you make an alteration to your credit history, you might notice a short-term dip in your credit score. That being said, increasing your credit limits on your credit cards isn’t likely to do a great deal of harm and may even help your credit score in the long term.

This is because an increase in your credit limits is likely to reduce your utilisation ratio, provided you don’t increase your credit card balances at the same time. The lower your credit utilisation ratio, the better your credit score will be. In fact, credit utilisation is one of the most integral factors in determining your credit score.

Your credit score might dip in the short term because the lender might run a hard inquiry on your credit file. Although these inquiries don’t have a huge impact on your creditworthiness, they do often cause your score to dip for up to a year. The more inquiries made on your file, the more your score will dip, so it’s important not to apply for too many forms of credit at the same time.

Do direct debits help credit score?

Paying direct debits on time is an indication to a lender that you’re a responsible bill payer. The act of setting up and regularly making direct debit payments on time is actually an excellent way of building your credit history and is an effective strategy if you’re new to the UK.

You can set up direct debits for things like your utility bills, which is an excellent way of showing potential lenders that you manage your finances well. The key thing to remember is that you need to make sure you pay your direct debits on time. If you set up several direct debits and start missing payments, it will have a negative impact on your credit score and will do more harm than good.

If you’re new to the UK and are looking to build your credit history with direct debit payments, you can even sign up with CreditLadder and request that information about your regular rental payments is added to your credit file. Again, you will need to make sure you’re on time with your payments, but adding your rent can make a huge difference if your credit file is particularly thin.

Does closing a credit card affect credit score?

Closing a credit card might affect your credit score for several reasons. The first is that when you close a credit card account, you lose that available credit limit, which means your credit utilisation ratio increases.

In other words, this shows lenders that you’re using up a higher amount of your available credit, which might be interpreted as a higher risk. Therefore, it could be beneficial to keep your credit card dormant if you don’t plan on using it, as experts recommend keeping your credit utilisation beneath 30% wherever possible.

Another way in which closing a credit card can impact your credit score is that it will lower the age of accounts on your credit report. Agencies take into account how old your accounts are when calculating your credit score, and accounts that have been open for longer typically have a positive impact on your score. So, if you’re not planning to use a credit card that you currently have, it might be a good idea to keep the account active instead of shutting it down.

Do multiple credit cards affect credit score?

The number of credit cards you have will ultimately have an impact on your score, but it really depends on how you use them as to whether the impact is a positive or negative one.

Regardless of the number of credit cards you have, the basic rule always applies: keep your balances low and always pay your bills on time. Using credit cards and then paying off the balance shows lenders that you’re responsible for your payments, so provided you keep on top of your bills, the fact that you have multiple accounts open shouldn’t cause you any issues in the long run.

However, if you apply for multiple credit cards in a short space of time, your credit score will take a hit. This is because lenders will perform a hard inquiry into your credit history, which causes your credit score to drop in the short term. If you’re struggling to make the repayments on your credit cards, you could consider taking out a personal loan for debt consolidation purposes. This may help you get on top of your repayments and could even save you money.

Does not using a credit card hurt your credit score?

Not using a credit card will not hurt your credit score. However, if your account stays empty and unused for a considerable period of time, the issuer may cancel the card due to inactivity.

So, if your financial circumstances have recently changed and you find that you no longer need to use your credit card, it could be beneficial to keep using it for small purchases. You can then pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will continue to show lenders that you’re responsible when it comes to managing your repayments and will help build your creditworthiness.

Another thing to consider is your credit utilisation. Some people like to keep a credit card account active even when they’re not planning on using it, as it indicates that you are only using a small amount of your available credit. Given that this is one of the most significant factors as far as your credit score is concerned, it can actually be a good idea to keep a credit card going, even if you don’t plan on using it very often.

Does credit card interest affect credit score?

As your credit card debt increases, so does the interest. Some people pay the minimum amount on their credit cards each month, but doing so means that it will take a long time to clear your debt, as you’re not really eating into the balance.

When you’re only making the minimum repayments on your credit score, it can potentially have a negative impact on your credit score. This is because when you have a high balance on your credit card, it doesn’t look good in the eyes of lenders. So, if you can, it’s always better to try and pay back more than the minimum amount on your credit card wherever possible.

So, the key thing to remember is that credit card interest can affect your credit score, particularly if you’re only making the minimum repayment on your card every month. Therefore, if you can, try and budget accordingly so you can pay back slightly more on your credit card each month, as this will help your credit score as a result.

Does opening a joint account affect credit score?

When you open a joint account with someone, you’re essentially tying together your finances. Some people do this when they live together, while others wait until they’re married to open a joint account.

The reality is that if you open a joint account with someone who has a poor credit history, it will affect your creditworthiness. This is why some couples opt to retain their financial independence, even after marrying. It’s therefore really important to consider each person’s financial history before deciding to combine your finances, as it might make more sense to manage your finances independently.

On the other hand, if you and your partner have similar credit scores, opening a joint account can be a good move. Then, provided you pay your bills and make your other repayments on time, your credit score won’t be negatively impacted. You can then submit joint credit applications as and when it’s appropriate, which can even increase your chances of being approved.

Do money transfers affect credit score?

Money transfer credit cards can be a smart choice if you’re currently paying a high rate of interest on your existing debts. They work differently from standard credit cards, as they move money into your current account that you can use to pay off expensive debts or to complete a purchase.

Some people use money transfers to pay off overdrafts or expensive payday loans, while they can also be used to fund a large purchase, such as buying a car. If you’re eligible for a money transfer card, you should note that the lender will perform a hard inquiry on your credit file before approving your application, which will cause your credit score to dip in the short term.

However, if you use your money transfer efficiently and meet the monthly repayments, you may find that it will actually contribute positively to your credit score in the long run. This is actually the case with most forms of credit, and the short term dip in your credit score can be worth it for the long term benefits that it has on your creditworthiness.

Conclusion

As there are so many different types of credit you can apply for; it’s really important to consider how your applications are likely to influence your credit score. As we’ve explained, provided that you meet your repayments on time and are sensible with your credit, your credit score shouldn’t be negatively impacted in the long term by most applications.

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Key Takeaways

Your credit score is a reflection of how good you are at managing your borrowing. Therefore, improving your credit utilisation ratio, regularly paying direct debits, making debt repayments on time, and keeping the balance on your credit cards low will all help you boost your credit score.

The number of credit cards you have and use will also affect your credit score. You should keep all your balances relatively low and pay your bills on time, as doing so will work in your favour. You should also be mindful of the interest that accrues on your credit card, as making the minimum payment each month doesn’t look good in the eyes of creditors and means your balances will remain high.

If you take the step to combine your finances with your spouse by opening a joint account, both of your credit scores will be considered. So, if you and your partner have contrasting financial histories, it might make more sense to retain your financial independence. Ultimately, considering and working on a broad range of factors that appear on your credit file will help you work on your credit score over time.

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