General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Am I obligated to tell credit card companies my income?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33282points) March 1st, 2022

It seems like every year, when I log into a credit card payment site, they ask “Tell us what your income is” with the ‘promise’ that they’ll use it adjust my credit limit. At least one of these accounts I have had for 40 years.

Do I have to answer them? Do I have to tell the truth?

I don’t need or want an higher credit limit, nor do I think it’s their worry. I pay the bills and am never late.

How do you answer those questions?

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26 Answers

janbb's avatar

I don’t answer them. Like you, I pay up monthly and don’t want higher limits.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t answer, but my limits go up anyway, based on my credit score.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I answer it just to STOP it from coming up every time I go into my account. Just to test it, I lowered my income considerably…they accepted the info until the next year & it didn’t seem to affect my account. They know your income before you know your income, so I don’t think it matters. I also jacked up my income to see IF I was offered anything special…NOPE!!! I think there’s a setting under your preferences where you can tell them that you don’t want an automatic limit increase. Then they have to send an email asking IF you’re interested in increasing your limit. Look under your settings or preference tab.

KNOWITALL's avatar

If I have to change it I up it by like $1. :)

JLeslie's avatar

The only time I can think it might be necessary is when applying. After that I don’t answer.

SEKA's avatar

^^ Same here. I give them my info at time I apply. After that I hit the “skip” button

JLeslie's avatar

Yup. Skip.

nightwolf5's avatar

You don’t have to tell them anything. And I don’t feel there’s a guarantee that they will lower the rate. The websites ask questions, but they might just be wanting your info to see what kind of customers they have.

Response moderated
Samantha4One's avatar

Well, usually when you’re applying for the card, the income amount is used to set a predetermined credit limit to the card, so yeah it is necessary to tell them.
Now whether or not you tell them the true amount is up to you.

Poseidon's avatar

I agree with you they should not have the right to constantly ask you what your income is.

I have credit cards from 3 companies and they only asked me my annual income when I first applied for the cards. They have not asked since.

Most credit cards companies decide to raise or sometimes lower your credit limit by the way you are handling your card.

If you pay it off every month, pay the minimum amount or pay more than your minimum payment each month this is what normally affects your raising or lowering of your limit.

You should also be able to request a rise in your credit limit or even ask for the limit to be reduced.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I don’t think it’s to raise the limit necessarily. It could be to market other products like retirement accounts and other investments. I’ve had credit cards raise my limit without any new information on income and without me asking for a higher limit. I almost never look at my limits, and when I do I’m always surprised that’s it’s much higher than when I first received the card.

RocketGuy's avatar

Citbank Costco stated that they wanted my income amount to help with their fraud prevention efforts. I suppose they want to have data on purchase habits vs income (if they don’t have that already).

Forever_Free's avatar

No. Nor do I like when they just raise my limit.
My 21 year old daughter just asked me this question and also asked why they raised her credit. She called and had them put it back.

janbb's avatar

@Forever_Free If never bothers me if they raise or don’t raise my limit since I never borrow on my credit cards anyway.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Forever_Free I am the same way of paying anything down immediately even if it is a 0% card.
It typically helps your credit score but it is based on your utilization %.
Having a higher limit does not mean it is more attractive to stay with them. I wish they would incentivise people with lower APR if you are a good CC user. Sadly that is not their business model.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Irukandji's avatar

You are not obligated to tell credit card companies your income. It is illegal to lie to them about your income. A credit card company is unlikely to actually prosecute you for fraud unless you used the higher limits to screw them in some other way, but they might close your account on principle.

JLeslie's avatar

If your limit goes up and you still charge on the credit card the same average amount you traditionally were, your credit score will increase. Credit scores are higher if you have a lot of open credit.

RocketGuy's avatar

But if your limit goes down, you might feel deprived.

elbanditoroso's avatar

My point is that my income has remained stable, and I neither need or want additional credit. So that’s not an incentive to me to tell them anything.

Interesting aside: I had a card with a huge limit – maybe $25K – that I used to use for business travel. When COVID started and I stopped doing business travel, I got a letter from them saying “We notice that you are only using a small portion of your credit limit, so we are going to reduce from $25K to $15K”.

Didn’t bother me and as far as I can tell, didn’t make an iotum of change on my credit score.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Like I said above, I’m not so sure they ask income to raise your limit. Like Chase might ask income to market to you other products they have like retirement plans or maybe they sell off the information. Who knows.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a limit lowered? Interesting. I wonder why they bother lowering it when obviously you are controlling your spending anyway. It’s not like you became more risky.

Response moderated (Spam)
RocketGuy's avatar

The limit on one of my cards got lowered during the Covid shutdown too. I wonder if it was to limit their risk, in case I became unemployed and needed to use credit without a means to pay back.

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