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ODonna Pittman-Hall

Realty Resources of the Carolinas, LLC

Credit Card Maxed Out — Now What?

Charging too many expenses to your credit card can happen occasionally. It leads to what’s called a maxed out credit card, meaning you’ve gone over or are close to being over your assigned credit limit. 

It doesn’t mean your financial world will come crashing down around you. But it is something to take notice of and deal with. 

It’s okay to have a maxed out credit card if you plan on paying it off when your next credit card bill arrives. However, when your APR is applied to the balance, you may be over your credit limit. 

A quick way to resolve this—especially if you need to make more purchases on your credit card or have services such as Netflix or a gym membership that automatically charges to your card each month—is to call your credit card provider and ask for a higher credit limit. 

Without it, your next transaction could be denied if you’re over your credit limit. Some issuers allow over-limit transactions, and a fee may be charged for going over the credit limit. Along with the fee, you’ll have to make a minimum payment on the card when the bill arrives.

Having a maxed out credit card can cause a credit score to fall. Credit utilization makes up 30 percent of a credit score. It’s a measure of how much credit you’ve used. Using 10 – 30 percent of a credit limit is recommended, and maxing out a card is using 100 percent of the available credit. 

Once you’ve found out that your credit card is maxed out, paying it off in full as soon as you can is your best solution. If you can’t do that, asking for your credit limit to be raised is another step. 

If none of those steps bring you success, focus on paying off as much of the balance as possible—and stop using your credit card until then. 

You may also need to work out a repayment plan with your creditor, or with multiple creditors if you’ve maxed out multiple credit cards. This can require juggling your finances, such as taking out a personal loan or doing a balance transfer from one credit card to another that has a lower interest rate. 

Even if you can’t afford to pay off a maxed out credit card quickly, it shouldn’t be a reason to panic. Stop using the card and pay it off as much as you can each month, and hopefully in a few months, your maxed out card won’t be maxed out anymore.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice.