Income is Not Part of a Credit Report

Dear Experian,

How do I get the word to Experian that my income has greatly increased? I was denied a credit limit increase on my credit card, and I think it was because they think I still have a low income.


Dear ORI,

Income is not part of your credit report. Lenders get your income information from your credit application or they may use an estimated income.

Because it is not part of your credit report, income is not considered by credit scoring systems that use only your credit history. There are some customized credit scoring systems, however, that also pull in details from your credit application, including your income. Scores from those systems would be affected by your income.

Lenders Will Ask for Your Income Information as Part of the Application Process

When offering a credit card or credit limit increase, the providers are now required to consider your income, as reported by you or estimated based on market demographics or your financial activity. But, their decision on whether to approve the application is primarily determined by how you have managed your previous credit accounts.

It is quite possible that income had nothing to do with the credit card company's decision, especially if you have had difficulty managing your debts in the recent past.

Ordering Your Free Credit Report

To get a better feel for your overall credit standing, request a copy of your credit report. Because your request was declined, you should have received an adverse action notice that told you why you were declined or provided instructions to obtain that information from the lender.

If a credit score was used the credit card company might also disclose the score it used, including the risk factors from your credit history that most affected the score. They also should provide instructions to obtain a free report from the credit reporting company they used in making their decision.

If you do not qualify for a free report as described above, you can get a copy free once every 12 months at

Focus On Your Credit Score Risk Factors

In either case, consider purchasing your credit score at the same time. You will get both a number reflecting where your history falls in the range of risk and an explanation of the factors from your credit report that most affected the score.

A poor credit score would indicate that more than your income is an issue. Even if your score is good, the factors will help you identify what you need to focus your efforts on to become even more creditworthy.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist