There are many reasons why someone may want to increase their credit limit. They may know that it can help their credit score by lowering their credit utilization rate, or they may just want to have a higher limit in case of an emergency. Whatever the reason, the task of increasing your limit will become harder if you are starting with poor credit. When your credit is poor, a creditor will be less willing to bump that limit up at all, because they may see you as a risk to stop making payments if your balance gets too high. Thus, the best way to increase your limit when you have poor credit is to improve that credit.
That leads to the next question: how to improve your credit? The first thing is to make sure that you are paying your bills on time. If you are late on payments (especially any payments that involve your current credit), that will hurt your credit score, and it will hurt your chances. Nothing gives a creditor pause like someone with a history of making payments late (or even worse, not at all), even when their limit is lower. They will not think that an increase is worth the risk.
The next thing to do is to make sure that you are not coming too close to your credit. If you are right up against the limit, try to pay it down as much as possible. Once again, if you are pushing your limit every month, the creditor will see that you are desperate for more, and perhaps not all that responsible with the credit that you do have, and they will be less likely to give you more. The way that they will see it is that if you are maxing things out at a certain level, you will probably max them out at a larger level, and that will make you a higher default risk. You can see their line of thinking is not illogical at all.
The other thing to do is just be patient. If you make your payments for a longer period of time, that should help your credit, as long as you aren’t doing other things that might undermine your credit. If you have been with a company for a long time, they will see you as a loyal customer, which will be a nice point in your favor when you are trying to increase your credit.
Last, make a list of all of the reasons that you should be given an increase in your credit limit. If you have received a recent raise, or paid off some other type of debt, this might show the creditor that you are more worthy of an increase to your credit limit. Make sure to mention these things, which may be the edge you need to push you over. It can be scary to try and increase your limit, especially when your credit is poor. But if you know a few of the tricks for how to increase your credit limit, and can get in the minds of the creditor and see how they are thinking, you are much more likely to have success.