Credit Rating, Credit Limit and Credit Repair Guide

Sometimes it is necessary to increase your credit limit to allow for more available funds when needed.

Most people increase their credit card limit before they go overseas on a holiday. Some people also like to increase their credit limit to pay for large expenses if they use a rewards credit card for example. By using their card to make these payments they will garner more awards points. It certainly helps to pay attention to these things if you want to take advantage of special offers.

Choose a responsible credit limit for your credit card

Choosing a credit card

Depending on the credit card that you will apply for, there will already be a certain limit of what you will be able to have. Low interest rate cards, with no frills have lower credit limits, which will be up to maybe $5000. Now there are credit cards at the other end of the market. Platinum credit cards will higher credit limits starting at $10,000 and go up to around $100,000. If you don’t need a credit limit between $10,000 – $100,000, don’t apply for those cards. Start with the low interest rate cards with no frills. Just because you pick a platinum credit card, it doesn’t automatically mean that you will receive a high credit limit.

Comparing credit cards

Rates last updated September 30th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day credit card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, an introductory purchase rate of 1% p.a. for up to 12 months, plus a waived annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Earn bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months. 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $59 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Earn up to 50,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, plus enjoy a 0% p.a. for 6 months offer on balance transfers with a discounted annual fee of $199 in the first year.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Take advantage of this exclusive offer and enjoy 0% p.a. for the first 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for the first 3 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $30 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum benefits offering complimentary insurances, 24/7 concierge, balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, purchase rate offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with $0 annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive $200 back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Also enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
No annual fee for the life of the card with $100 cashback and a 0% p.a. offer on balance transfers for 18 months. Spend criteria applies for cashback offer.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum card benefits with $0 annual fee in the first year and complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

Compare more credit cards here

How to decide on a credit limit

credit card limit decideCredit card companies are going to ask for your income and requested credit limit. It’s important to choose a responsible credit limit for your credit card. You don’t want something that is too high, where you are going to max it out and then not be able to pay it off. Credit histories are always looked at for other things such as mortgage requests, car loans and sometimes employment.

When thinking about a credit limit, it is a general recommendation to get at most 50% of your monthly income. But it is even better if you can get 30%. Therefore, if you make a monthly income of $5000, then you should request between $1500 and $2500. If you know you are going to pay it off every month, then you can get the higher credit limit. But if you have trouble with spending, then you should stick to the lower credit limit.

The only exception to this is if you are trying to max out some reward credit cards to get frequent flyer miles or reward points. If that is the case, get a higher limit but only if you are going to pay it off each month.

One thing to remember when deciding on your credit limit, is that it won’t be able to change for at least six months. Even then you will have to request either an increase or decrease. Credit card companies are not allowed to increase your limit without your permission anymore. Keep that in mind so you’re not regretting your decision within the first month.

Credit card company’s decision

As mentioned above, the credit card company will have the final say on your credit limit. It will most likely be based on credit history and income. If you have a good habit of paying off your balance each month, then you will be more likely to get a higher credit limit. But you ultimately give them a starting base for them to decide.

When trying to decide on a responsible credit limit for your credit card look at the different credit cards and what type of limits they offer. Then think about your situation and request between 30%-50% of your monthly income. Remember, how you handle your spending and your credit history will impact other important financial decisions. The credit card company will ultimately have the last say on what your credit limit is but it is up to you to keep spending responsibly. You should pick a reasonable limit and stick with it.

Clean your credit file

How to increase your credit limit

Your credit limit can be increased by calling your bank or visiting your local branch. Usually this is pretty much instant or else your increased limit will start to take effect once you last credit card bill has been paid off. Before you ask for a higher limit make sure you do the following first:

  • Be loyal to your bank

    They trust a long-term customer more than people who have no financial track record, but if there are better deals around, don’t be scared to switch.

  • Keep paying those annual card fees

    This will establish trust between you and the credit card provider.

  • Pay off your credit card debt in full each months

    The easiest way to do this is by setting up a direct debit from your savings account. If you do, make sure you check your credit card statements thoroughly to spot any discrepancies. If you don’t, then your financial details might be abused by cyber thieves without your knowledge.

  • Pay attention to the offers coming through your mailbox

    Some credit card companies will mail you appropriate offers from time to time. Know they don’t do this willy-nilly. They usually have access to a large database of financial information about you and wouldn’t offer you a new card unless they know you are suited to the offer.

  • Credit utilisation has a big impact on your file

    You never want to use all of the credit available to you, lenders look negatively on that. Using less than 25% of your available credit limit is favourable, while using more than 80% negatively affects your credit file and borrowing power. Fortunately, a high credit utilisation will not hurt your credit rating forever. When you reduce your balances, or have the limits increased, your utilisation will decrease and your file will go up.

How to increase your credit limit after having your credit file repaired

Some consumers find themselves unfortunate enough to run into financial troubles at some stage in their lives. If that happens to you, not all is lost as long as you work with your lenders. If you show a genuine interest in wanting to repair your credit, then chances are that by following the above steps you too can increase your credit card limit eventually.
About credit rating

If you are having difficulties in obtaining credit, you might want to find out how a credit repair service can help remove the defaults on your credit file. Learn more about credit card repair service.

With the right knowledge and your own willingness to better your situation it is possible to increase your credit limit after doing credit repair on your credit file.

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2 Responses to Credit Rating, Credit Limit and Credit Repair Guide

  1. Default Gravatar
    Brendan | September 13, 2016

    Quoting from the guide: “Using less than 25% of your available credit limit is favourable, while using more than 80% negatively affects your credit file and borrowing power”

    What exactly defines utilisation? If for example, I spend 81% of my credit limit, but then pay that off before the due date, does that count as credit utilisation? Or is it only if a balance is carried each month that the credit is actually being utilised?

    • Staff
      Debbie | September 21, 2016

      Hi Brendan,

      Thanks for your question.

      To exactly define credit utilisation, it is the percentage of your credit card balance versus your credit limits. For example, you have a balance of $5,000 and your credit limit is $25,000, then your credit utilisation is 20% (balance/credit limit*100). If you spend 81% of your credit limit, you need to pay the balance before due date or make it lower and achieve at least 25% credit utilisation rate before statement closing date so your credit report won’t be affected.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Debbie

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 30th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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