Thickening a thin file? Unsecured options?

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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:45 pm
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Thickening a thin file? Unsecured options?

Postby Antimony » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:07 pm

Short version: Are two AU accounts enough to generate a credit score? Can those scores get my immigrant wife an unsecured card?

Long version: My wife became a green card holder last September, and had no credit history here. She used a debit card and her foreign credit cards until December, and then I added her as an authorized user to a new card of mine (AMEX Blue Cash Everyday).

She started work full-time in February. I know that this does not affect the credit score directly.

In May she started getting "preapproved" offers from Citibank, where we have our checking and savings accounts; not previously having thought very much about credit scores, we blithely believed the "preapproval" and got her rejected for a card ("thin file").

In June we went to talk to the people at our Citibank branch directly, figuring they would be able to reconsider given the significant funds we have there and the length of my history with the bank (approx. 10 years). They helped her apply for the Forward, and assured her it would go through with their referral--but it didn't, and she was rejected again for having a thin file. Maybe we should have called for a phone reconsideration, but I didn't know about that option at the time.

The credit limit on the BCE has since been raised, and I have also added her as an authorized user to a BoA Platinum Visa with 8 years of history. Utilization is under 10% on both cards at the moment (>$10K available).

Will she continue to get rejected for a thin file with two authorized user accounts reporting? Are there any unsecured, non-store cards that would be likely to accept her with this profile?

Thank you for your help!

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Postby shoptalk01 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:16 pm

You might not like this suggestion, but when I tried for Capital One, I was offered a secured card with a 200 limit for a deposit of $49. If nothing else, this would get an account put in her name. While you can't do much with a $200 credit line, just charge a small amount then pay it when the bill comes. In 6 months to a year you should see some real improvements and she should be offered an unsecured Capital One card. Wait several months, apply for another card and you should get it.

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