Increase or decrease your credit limit

Your credit limit explained

What is a credit limit?

A credit limit is the amount that your card provider is willing to make available to you – in other words, it’s the maximum amount of money that you’re able to borrow.

Your 'available credit' is your credit limit minus any outstanding balance on your card. Your maximum credit limit will be decided based on a number of things, such as how long you've been a customer and how you’ve used credit cards in the past.

When you apply for a credit card, you won’t usually know what the credit limit will be. Often, we’ll tell you your actual credit limit when you receive your new card.

It’s shown on the letter you get with your Barclaycard, on your statement, and on Barclaycard online servicing and the Barclaycard app. You can sign up to text or email alerts that’ll keep you up-to-date on your balance and available credit.

Depending on how you manage your account, your credit limit might be increased or decreased from time to time.

Read our guide on lower credit limits PDF (209KB)

If your credit limit is decreased

Occasionally we may have to reduce your credit limit. This usually happens because of how you’re using your Barclaycard, and from information we’re sent from Credit Reference Agencies about your credit history. Reasons can include:

  • multiple missed payments
  • going over your credit limit
  • asking for multiple new types of credit in a short space of time

We’ll think about it carefully before we decide to reduce your limit. We’ll look at how you’ve used your card in the past – and how you’re using it now. We’ll look at other types of credit you’ve got too. And if we do decide to lower your limit, we’ll send you a letter to let you know – your new limit will take effect three days after the date on this letter.

It’s not an easy decision, but we want to make sure you don’t get into more debt than you can manage. A lower credit limit can help you to stay on top of your finances in the long-term. It can even help you build up your credit rating again over time.

Get in touch if you’d like to speak to us about reducing your credit limit.

Requesting a credit limit increase or decrease

You can request either an increase or a decrease in your credit limit online. Just tell us what you'd like your credit limit to be and we'll see what we can do for you. If we decide to change it, we’ll update it straight away. If we can’t change it, we’ll let you know – usually within 24 hours.

Things you need to know

  • You can request a decrease in your limit whenever you want, as long as your new limit isn’t below the balance still outstanding on your account plus a level of future spending
  • We can only increase your credit limit if it's been at least four months since your last credit limit increase or at least six months since a credit limit decrease. Make sure you ask for a manageable amount you think you'll need so you don't have to wait to ask again
  • We make decisions on credit limit increases based on information we already hold on you from credit reference agencies and how you’ve used your Barclaycard in the past. Your credit file won’t be searched unless you give us approval to do so
  • If we're not able to offer you the full amount of any credit limit increase you ask for, we could still offer a smaller increase. This will be the highest we can offer you
  • If you’re not eligible for a new credit limit but your situation changes, we’re happy to look at a new request if at least one month has passed since your request. If you are eligible for a credit limit increase, you need to wait until at least four months have passed before requesting another increase

Once you’re happy, use the quick guide below to request your credit limit change.

Quick guide

  • Step one – log in to your account and click the 'Accounts & Services' tab
  • Step two – click ‘Change your credit limit’ and tell us the new limit you’d like then enter employment and income details
  • Step three – submit your request and we’ll aim to give you and instant decision

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