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Knowing your limit: Does your credit card limit match your budget?

Most of us don’t give a lot of thought to our credit card limit, but it’s well worth taking the time to review it. Choosing the right credit limit can help you save money on interest costs, get rid of credit card debt and keep your finances on track.

How reducing your limit can increase your financial wellbeing 

It can be comforting to have a higher credit limit than you really need – ‘just in case’. But having too high a limit can end up costing you. Even the most disciplined of us have probably said ‘just whack it on the credit card’ at some time. But you may end up paying extra in interest costs if you can’t pay off your credit card balance in full each month.

Here are some signs you may want to consider having a lower credit limit:

  • You can’t pay off your balance in full by the due date each month.
  • You struggle to resist the temptation to make impulse buys on your credit card – especially if they’re purchases you can’t really afford in your budget.
  • You struggle to keep on top of your budget.
  • You’re unable to meet a savings goal that you’ve set.

Working out the right limit for you

Everyone’s situation is different. To figure out the most appropriate credit card limit for you, consider:

  • Your budget. Your budget is a key financial tool that will help you work out how much money you have left after paying essential expenses. (If you don’t have a budget you can use our free budget planner to help you create one). Review your budget to see how much you can afford to put towards your repayments. Remember, to avoid paying interest on your credit card purchases you should aim to pay off your balance in full each month. 
  • Your money personality. Are you a saver or a spender? How disciplined are you? If you are susceptible to making impulse buys, reducing your credit card limit can help you avoid temptation.

If your circumstances change, like you are temporarily out of work or your income has reduced, then you may want to consider reducing your credit limit.

Reducing your credit limit is simple

If you decide you do want to reduce your credit card limit, just contact your bank or card provider – they should be able to arrange it for you straight away. Minimum limits can apply.

Remember, your credit card limit isn’t set in stone. It’s a good idea to review it regularly, to see whether it’s higher than you really need. And if it is, a simple phone call to your bank or card provider can help you keep your finances on track.

If you’re an ANZ customer and have the goMoney app, you can easily decrease your credit card limit. Just go to ‘Services’ and then ‘Manage cards’ within the app and follow the instructions. Eligibility criteria applies. Find out more. 

Information in this article refers to personal credit cards, is general in nature only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.The information may not reflect how interest and charges are calculated under your credit card conditions of use.

This material is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 296, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see anz.co.nz/fapdisclosure

The information is current as at August 2020 and may be subject to change. ANZ recommends you review your personal credit card conditions of use for information about the terms that apply to you.

Interest rates are subject to change.

Lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply to all ANZ credit cards. See Rates, fees and agreements for more information

Eligibility criteria and terms and conditions apply to ANZ Internet Banking, ANZ goMoney and ANZ Phone Banking. See our Electronic Banking Conditions (PDF 129kB) for more information.

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