In less than two years, I significantly increased my available credit limit from $0 to over $30,000. Let me share with you how I accomplished this feat.
When I began, I didn’t have a specific plan in mind. My main goal was to improve my credit score and clean up my credit. In January 2021, I made the decision to actively work on my credit. I had already started managing my finances better, paying off debts, and creating a budget. Now, I wanted to focus on improving what others see: my credit report and credit score.
At the time, my TransUnion credit score was around 648, and I had one collection account. My Experian credit score was 605, and I also had a collection account. My Equifax credit score was 647, but I had multiple collection accounts listed there. Additionally, I had zero credit available to me. I didn’t possess any store cards or credit cards, which made tasks like renting a car quite challenging. While I used my debit card and cash for most expenses, having a credit card would have provided greater flexibility and convenience. Hence, I decided to take control, address the issues on my credit report, and aim for a credit score of 700.
Although I didn’t reach the 700 mark that year, I made significant progress. In July 2021, while establishing my own business, I applied for a Staples credit card, which I was approved for with an $800 limit. This allowed me to purchase necessary items for my business and pay the bill in full, avoiding carrying a balance on the card. Then, in September, I took a leap of faith and applied for a Capital One Platinum card. With a credit score in the low to mid-600s, I was approved for a limit of $500. While this card wasn’t going to take me where I wanted to be, it was a positive starting point.
Over the next eight to nine months, I utilized these two cards wisely. I transferred my recurring expenses to the Capital One card to demonstrate responsible usage and kept the balances low. During this time, I regularly requested credit line increases from both Staples and Capital One. By the summer of 2022, my Staples card had increased to $2,000, and my Capital One card had reached $3,000 through multiple limit increases.
In July 2022, I decided to challenge myself further and applied for a Delta SkyMiles American Express card. Despite having had a previous Amex card canceled due to a missed payment on a different card, I had been diligent in managing my current cards. As a result, I was approved for a $1,000 limit on the Delta SkyMiles card. Around the same time, I needed a new laptop, and although it exceeded my budget, the salesperson at the store recommended applying for a store card. To my surprise, I was approved for a $1,200 credit limit, enabling me to purchase the laptop. I promptly paid off half of the balance and cleared the rest within two months.
By September 2022, I had managed to accumulate $7,500 in available credit. Feeling motivated, I set a goal to reach $10,000 in credit as having more available credit positively impacts credit profiles. In the fall of 2022, I focused on requesting credit limit increases on my current cards. While Capital One denied my requests in September, October, and November, I managed to receive a $250 increase, bringing my Capital One limit to $3,250.
At the end of January 2023, I found myself deviating from my original plan once again. Despite intending to wait until March to apply for credit limit increases, I couldn’t resist applying early. I increased my income on my Amex profile and successfully received a $1,500 increase, bringing my Amex card limit to $2,500. Furthermore, I applied for a Discover card, which I had previously been denied. To my surprise, I was approved for a credit limit of $7,000. Wow! Not only was I approved, but my initial limit was higher than I thought it would be.
As a result of these developments, by the end of January 2023, my total available credit had soared to over sixteen thousand dollars.
So I was done and just did my best to get my credit limits increased. But, for some reason, it wasn’t happening. Months went by and my limit were stagnant.
Then in early June, something big happened. I received an alert that my credit score increased – by over 40 points.
Apparently, one of the negatives I had on my reports fell off and that helped my credit score tremendously. So much so, I finally hit that 700 score on 2 of my reports. HOLY CRAP BATMAN!
And this is when things started to happen. My Capital One went up to $5,250, Amex increased to $3,000, Staples card was grew to $5,000 easily with a simple request. Everything was going well.
What’s One More
There was one more card that I really wanted, but thought I was no way near getting accepted for it. It was a card that you will see videos on over, and over, and over and all I could do was dream. I decided to say SCREW IT! If I got rejected, it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I did it. I applied for a Chase Sapphire card. And low and behold, I was approved for $7,100.
About 2 weeks after I received my increase from Staples, I received a notice that their credit card program was being discontinued. I was going to lose $5,000 of my available credit. Crap. It’s not the biggestdeal, but I really wasn’t happy about going in reverse.
In working on my YouTube channel, I decided I needed a new camera. I bought the camera on B&H’s Payboo card (no interest for 12-months, and that increased my credit by $3,800.
So, at the end of July 2023, here is where I stand on my credit limits:
Chase Sapphire – $7,100
Discover – $7,000
Capital One – $5,250
American Express – $3,000
Staples – $5,000 (going away the end of August)
B&H PayBoo – $3,800
MicroCenter – $1,200
Target – $300
Total available credit – $32,650 ($27,650 without Staples).
Phew, that’s a lot. As a matter of fact, that is all I’m doing. There is not a single card left that I want.
So you are probably asking, what’s your goal now Irene? Well, the only thing I want to do is increase my limits on the credit cards (Chase, Discover, Capital One, & Amex) to $10,000 each, and increase my Target to $2,500. That’s it.
OMG, its so exhausting, isn’t it? This progress was achieved by diligently cleaning up my credit report, paying off collections, and using my cards responsibly. I paid my bills on time, often paying more than the minimum amount due and keeping my credit utilization low. I avoided maxing out my cards and regularly requested credit limit increases.
My journey from $0 to over 30,000 in available credit was not overly complicated. By staying committed to paying off debts, maintaining responsible credit card usage, and consistently working on improving my credit, I was able to achieve significant progress in a relatively short period.
I’m so proud of myself and my credit journey is now just increasing limits and keeping my usage low so my score goes up and reaches 750 (my ultimate goal).
So that’s it. What do you think? Do you see growing your credit availability like this in less than 3 years feasible? Let me know in the comments below.