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Westini

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I have a card at 83% utilization. Is it worth a Hard Check to increase limit to lower utilization %?
I realize that paying down the debt is the most important, and I am already paying over the minimum each month to establish a good payment history. But it seems to me that I could lower the utilization rate in the short-term very quickly, by requesting a credit increase. However, that will result in a hard check, which I realize will negatively impact my score, and may still be turned down. Assuming I would be approved, would this approach be worth the risk, or is it better to keep the limit as-is, and just focus on paying down?

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I would get the credit utilization down to at least 10% or less, for about three or more months before requesting an increase.  If you ask for it now, you could appear desperate to the company and they might even lower your credit limit once most of it is paid off. Now this also depends on your credit score which you haven't given.  American Express has been known to lower credit limits if they see a lot of charges in casino hotels.   

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Thanks, right now the my score(s) are 717 or 697.

Paying down is 100% the goal.

I was just unsure if it would be considered a worthwhile "gamble" (continuing your Casino theme) to almost 'cheat' in lowering the utilization % by simply requesting an increase.

I suppose to answer my own question, that's risk vs reward - since I risk further damaging the score, and not even being approved of the increase.

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