Credit limits and outstanding balance


I have a couple of questions for the experts out there.

I have been stoozing for years, and used to have no problem getting several cards at once with 4-6K limit on each of them. I have a squeaky clean credit record.

Now days it's a bit more difficult and I sometimes find I am given a tiny credit limit or even rejected.

I suspect that this is to do with the cc companies now sharing info with each others, checking up on available credit, outstanding balances and obvious stoozers. So I have a couple of questions which, when answered, will hopefully help me to be more successful in the future.

1. Is available credit a big factor and do companies share this info? For example, Barclaycard AMEX have just offered to up the limit on my card (which I use regularly for cashback) by about 3K. I don't need the extra limit, so should I ask them not to do this (or even decrease my existing limit) to increase my chances of getting other cards in future (with a decent limit)

2. Is outstanding balance on other cards at the time of application a big factor? I do most of my spending through cashback cards, so at any one time might have 3 or 4K outstanding, although this is paid off in full each month. Does the company I'm applying to see that I pay off the balance each month and not take too much notice of this, or is the system less sophisticated, meaning that I should maybe time new applications to when I have just paid off my cashback cards so that there is a zero or low balance on them?

Thanks for your help!


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