I helped a 78 year old neighbor apply for a secured credit card but he was turned down for having "no credit history".
He has had no credit cards for 30-40 years, no credit accounts, nothing. On NerdWallet he shows up essentially blank. On https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ it shows some bank accounts but no credit accounts.
He NEEDS a credit history because it's a requirement to apply for Senior housing. He has a fixed, though low, income stream from Social Security until he dies. He has a checking account and has never had any bad credit events.
Where can he go to build a credit history?
OP here. These things failed:
- A "starter" or "bad credit" card application.
- A "secured" card application with a big bank.
- A "secured" card with a Credit Union. The Credit Union was reasonable, but rejected based on over 50% of income going to rent.
What worked so far:
- Adding the senior as an "authorized user" on one of my cards. This requires no credit check, but should result in reporting to the credit agencies. With Capital One I was able to get a separate credit card number, separate spend limit, and separate accounting on the statements.
The site "NerdWallet" was the most useful in terms of forum advice and data.