Will a credit line increase result in a hard credit pull

Updated 05/22/18

As you move on in life, your expenses grow, so you will want to increase your credit line. Therefore, you will probably ask your bank for a credit line increase. Your bank may want to make a credit inquiry, commonly known as a hard pull, on your credit report. Although one hard pull will not affect your credit much, a couple of hard pulls in a short time period will. To help you, I have put together this list so you can easily see which bank will and which bank won’t make a hard credit inquiry when requesting a credit increase. Before applying for a credit card, skim through this list and choose a bank that will give you the option of increasing your credit without making a hard pull. (No one likes the bank that will penny and nickel you.)

Please note: I’m not the CEO or the one that writes the policy at any of the banks listed below, so when I say bank policy, I’m referring to the way I understand and researched the bank’s policy in regard as to when they will make a hard credit pull when requesting a credit increase.

American Express

Bank policy

  • A credit line increase may result in a hard pull with no way of knowing beforehand.
  • You can request a credit line increase online or over the phone. 

Data points show

  • Most requests do not result in a hard credit pull.
  • You can request a credit increase in as little as 60 days from opening the account. There is a lot of data points saying that they got up to %200 increase from there current credit line. Check it out here.
  • It is recommended to wait six months between requests.

Barclay

Bank policy

  • A credit inquiry will always result in a hard credit pull.
  • You can request a credit inquiry at any time over the phone, or online -under account management.

Data points show

  • On doctor of credit, I found a comment from the man who can which reads as follows. “If you first ask for an APR deduction, you will be transferred to the department that handles the APR deductions, and then that same department can give a credit limit increase without making a hard credit pull.” But besides for this one data point, it seems to always be a hard pull.

Bank of America

Bank policy

  • As of 5/22/18 a credit increase will  result in a soft credit pull only.
  • You can request a credit increase at any time (even right after account opening) by phone, or online- under manage your account.

Data points show

  • There are some reports that only a soft pull was done.
  • It is recommended to wait six months before you request another credit increase.

Capital one

Bank policy

  • No hard credit pull.
  • You can request a credit increase every six months over the phone or online.

Data points show

  • People see best results by waiting a year before requesting an increase.
  • Capital One will usually want to see high credit usage before approving a credit line increase.

Chase

Bank policy

  • A credit line increase will always result in a hard pull.
  • A credit line increase can be requested only over the phone.

Data points show

  • The same results

Citi

Bank policy

  • There is an option, if eligible, to get a credit line increase without a hard pull. If you are not eligible, it will result in a hard pull (you will be notified.)
  • It can be done over the phone or online-under account management/services.

Data points show

  • If you’re not approved on the spot, cancel your request, since that may indicate that it will be a hard pull.
  • It is recommended to wait six months before requesting a credit line increase.

Discover

Bank policy

  • Discover usually does not make a hard pull when requesting a credit increase. If they do need to make a hard pull they will notify you.
  • You can request a credit increase once every 90 days over the phone or online. 

Data points show

  • The same results

Us bank

Bank policy

  • A credit limit increase can be done without a hard credit pull.
  • It can be done online or by phone. 

Data points show 

  • Most of the times it’s a soft pull. There are reports, though, of a hard pull.

Wells Fargo 

Bank policy 

  • You can request a credit line increase with a soft pull. If you’re not approved, then you can request a credit line increase with a hard pull.

Data points show

  • The same results

What To Do If A Hard Pull Was Done 

If the bank ended up making a hard pull on your credit report, don’t sweat. Your score will only go down by a few points. But what you should do is keep in mind that too many hard pulls can hurt your score. Therefore, it’s important to keep them below four to six a year.

If you have any data points that you would like to share, please enter them below. Thanks!

8 thoughts on “Will a credit line increase result in a hard credit pull

  1. Wow, Just in time. I just experienced a late payment the first time in 7 years and are applying for a mortgage in the near future. Thanks for this advice, it is very helpful.
    Thanks loads.

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