Capital One, Discover clamp down on lending

Credit card companies are tightening the lending standards for charge cards, a surprising move given the improving state of the global economy and record low unemployment in the U.S.

Capital One and Discover are among the major companies tightening their credit card requirements, saying they want to “become more cautious” in handling credit limits. While they are not concerned with consumers’ ability to pay their debts, they do question how much longer the economic recovery will last, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

During the Great Recession credit card delinquencies peaked at 6.77 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. They are now significantly lower. In 2018 the rate is about 2.54 percent.

For those looking at scoring a higher credit card limit, there are a few things they can do. Banks generally grant credit based on their assessment of how likely a borrower is to pay their bills. As a consumer, there are a few things you can do to maximize the credit line lenders are willing to extend – and it largely circulates around maximizing your credit score.

According to, a person’s FICO credit score is based on the following: [just added this for visual to make simple and used %]

  • 35% on payment history
  • 30% on the amount owed
  • 15% on the length of credit history
  • 10% on credit mix
  • 10% new credit

So, the best way to make sure you are able to get a credit card with the limit you want is to make payments on time and pay down your debt balances.

Coming next year, Fair Isaac Corp., which is the creator of the widely used FICO credit score, is expected to factor in how consumers manage their cash when calculating your score.