People’s credit card limits increased without them asking

Firms should ask before offering customers more credit
Firms should ask before offering customers more credit

Cardholders who do not think they can pay off their debts are having significantly higher credit limits pushed on to them without being asked, according to evidence from Citizens Advice.

The charity estimates that around six million people across Britain have had their credit limit increased in the last year without their consent - and nearly a third (32%) of those showing signs of struggling financially were given a rise.

On average, credit card holders were given rises of £1,481 without being asked, with more than one in 10 people (12%) receiving increases of £3,000 or more.

This is despite 85% of people thinking that credit card companies should always ask permission before increasing someone’s limit.

Research carried out for Citizens Advice found that in the past 12 months, 28% of credit card holders - equating to 8.4 million people across the UK - received a credit limit increase.

But only around a quarter (23%) of credit card holders who were given a rise said they had actually asked for it - suggesting the remaining three-quarters of limit raises were initiated by credit card companies.