CarefulBuilder14 wrote:But if you apply for a card you get through the SCT, presumably there is at least one hard pull involved before you actually get a full approval?
There isn't a hard pull involved, apparently. You don't have to do a hard pull to extend someone credit, though it's usual. (Which is why the fico cultists like it, because they're deathly afraid of inquiries.) A credit union gave me a loan (an unsecured, personal loan, with only my signature on a form as collateral.) a few years ago (okay, a decade...), without doing any credit inquiry. It wasn't a big loan, and it wasn't for a long term, but they knew I had a job, because I had direct deposit, they knew I had a reasonable amount in accounts there, and I've been a member since before I was born.