Why is my Available Credit Less than my Credit Limit | An Expert Guide

Why is my available credit less than my credit limit? Many account owners usually ask this question today. Thus, we have written this article to aid you. Many card issuers usually examine your earnings history when considering whether or not to authorize you for a credit card. You won’t get as much as you want once you have approval for a card.

At this point, the credit card company will establish a limit on how much you can borrow. Your credit limit is the amount of money you can borrow. Your available credit will decrease as you approach near your credit limit as you use your card. Understanding credit limitations, how available credit influences what you can loan and how available credit affects your credit score? Read on to find out why your available credit is less than your credit limit.

What does a Credit Limit Entail?

What does a Credit Limit Entail?

Simply put, your credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow from a credit card company. For example, a credit card provider may set a $10,000 credit limit for you, which means you won’t be allowed to loan more than $10,000 with the card.

Each of your credit cards will have its credit limit. You may put a $6,000 limit on one card and a $2,000 limit on another. Your card issuer’s particular limit will be determined by how much they feel safe permitting you to borrow.

What Determines a Credit Limit?

What Determines a Credit Limit?

Lenders determine credit limitations. And several factors could influence the decision. Companies may examine factors such as your credit score, credit records, and credit application. Here are some questions that lenders might ask:

History of payments: Do you pay your expenses on time, including your monthly credit card bills? Have you ever had an account sent to collections or filed for bankruptcy?

Current accounts: What is the total number of accounts you have open? And what kinds of loans are you now working on?

History of your account: How long have your current accounts been open? Have you recently applied for a lot of new credit?

Debt: How much do you owe? What’s the total amount of credit you’re using? How much money do you have on hand?

Income: Do you end up making enough revenue to sustain your monthly charges?

You can request a credit limit increase if you are unhappy with your current credit limit. In some situations, your lender may decide to change your credit limit on its own. Depending on the conditions, this could signify an increase or reduction.

What is Available Credit?

What is Available Credit

The amount you can now borrow decreases as you charge on your card because your credit limit caps the total amount you are eligible to borrow. Your available credit is thus the money you’re currently allowed to borrow depending on your credit limit and current credit card balance.

If you borrowed $8,000 on a credit card with an $11,000 limit, you could only borrow $3,000 more before reaching your maximum limit, leaving you with $3,000 inaccessible credit. Your available credit will rise as you pay down your debts.

You’d have $11,000 in available credit if you paid down your $8,000 bill. When your outstanding balance is $0, your available credit will match your credit limit. However, once you’ve changed something on the card, your credit available falls below the limit until you’ve repaid the money you borrowed.

What is the Purpose of Having Available Credit?

What is the Purpose of Having Available Credit

It’s critical that you don’t use up all of your credit cards by charging to the limit and that you have residual credit. This is something you don’t want to do for a few reasons.

One of the most crucial reasons you want some open credit is that maxing out your credit cards will hurt your credit score. This is quite valid because your credit usage contributes to roughly 30% of your FICO score. Your credit utilization rate is the amount of credit you’ve utilized divided by your total credit limit.

Your credit usage rate equals 50% if you have charged $4,000 and your credit limit is $8,000. To achieve the most significant credit score, your usage should not exceed 30% of your credit limit. This would imply that you’d always have 70% of your credit available.

There’s another incentive to having credit available: you never know when you’ll need it. You could be in substantial financial trouble if you’ve maxed out your credit and have a financial emergency.

You can charge what you need to get through the situation with available credit. You’ll be glad you had adequate credit if you need to place a car repair on your card in an emergency.

Why is my Available Credit Lower than my Credit Limit?

Why is my Available Credit Lower than my Credit Limit

Even if your credit card is fully rolled out and you’ve reached your credit limit, you might try to use it anyway. This makes your available credit less than your credit limit.

Some payment systems will refuse to process a transaction if you try to use more credit than you have available. Others will let the charge go through, but you may get charges over-the-limit fees, a penalty interest rate, lose incentives, or have your credit line lowered in the future.

Depending on your cardholder agreement, what occurs when your available credit is less than your credit limit varies. You can find out the rules by reading your credit card’s terms and conditions or asking your credit card issuer.

How to Step up your Available Credit

You might want to increase your available credit by increasing the credit limit on your credit card account. You can request a credit card increase from your credit card company if you do. The process of seeking a credit limit increase differs depending on the card provider.

Usually, you can request a raise through your account tools or account services menu. Before deciding whether or not to increase your credit limit, your credit card company will most likely run a credit check and inquire about your income.

When your balance is low or zero, you have a lot of credit available before reaching your total credit limit, so paying down every debt will help you increase your available credit.

You’ll be glad you took the step because your credit score will improve as a result of your low utilization rate and you’ll be able to borrow more if you need to as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my credit card issuer decrease my credit available?

The reasons for a card issuer reducing your credit limit vary. Still, credit limit reductions frequently occur when a cardholder is suddenly appeared to be at a higher risk of default. In times of economic uncertainty, banks can also reduce credit standards for multiple customers to minimize risk exposure.

Why hasn’t my credit limit been updated?

Suppose you’ve cleared off your credit card but don’t have any updated credit limit. In that case, the card issuer may have placed a hold on your account because you’ve exceeded your credit limit, made late payments, or developed a history of doing so. The amount will not appear in the available credit until complete processing.

Is it a bad idea to lower your credit limit?

Yes. If your credit utilization rate rises due to lowering your credit limit on a credit card, it could affect your credit scores. It’s a significant aspect of your credit score, and fair usage can help you enhance your credit in general.

How much credit should I have available?

Your amounts owed are essential criteria in determining your credit score, yet the name is deceiving. FICO and other credit score organizations don’t just look at the amount of debt you owe.

Instead, they look at how much of your available credit is taken up by that debt. Your credit usage rate is the ratio of how much credit card debt you have vs. how much credit you have available, and it can account for up to 30% of your credit score.

The best credit utilization ratio, contrary to popular belief, is not zero. Creditors desire to see that you can responsibly use your credit limit, not that you avoid using it altogether.

According to conventional wisdom, a more than 30% utilization rate is dangerous, but a lower rate is preferable. A rate of between 5% and 15% can demonstrate that you use your card regularly without appearing to be in debt.

Is it possible to have an excessively high credit limit?

No. The only time your credit limit may be too high is if you habit exceeding it. Stop utilizing your credit cards, start monitoring your expenditures, and create a budget if this is the case. Maxing out your cards regularly will harm your credit score and may lead to even more severe financial difficulties too.

There is nothing like having too much accessible credit if you use credit sensibly. And, because credit usage makes up such a significant part of your credit score, it’s to your most significant advantage to using all of your credit available, as long as you don’t let it affect your purchasing behavior.


In conclusion, the field of available credit and credit limits tend to be relatively easy to understand. But for those who are still lost and usually ask, “Why is my available credit less than my credit limit” the highlight above will aid you immensely.