It could be worth a shot to check out the various pre-approval apps from the various banks. Capital One, Chase and Amex to name a few. If they come back with decent options he should give it a shot.
Ask him what kind of rewards he is after and nudge him in the direction of the best bank for that. If the banks do not come back with any pre-approvals, it may be best to have him wait a little longer.
having a balance of $0 does not hurt..
You can use your cards and still report a $0 balance, that shows actvity still.
Keeping a $0 balance and NEVER charging anything to it, yes that will hurt.
A few things:
- a BBR card (if that is BofA Better Balance Rewards), does hurt if you report $0 balance, you will lose the quarter bonus, the card needs to report a balance every month
- if the report is clean and only this AU is on the reports, you will get pre-approvals after a couple of months (sometimes up to 6 months)
- I recommend getting a secured loan to get extra FICO points thanks to a better credit mix, check this thread
- Amex BCE is a good card
- Discover IT is a good card
- don't apply for many cards
- wait more than 6 months after first card to get Chase core cards, the SL will be better
- I see some people with Amazon Prime that can get an Amazon-Chase card with good limit as first card
This is what I did for a friend with only an auto cosign:
- try Amex BCE, he got it with $1,000
- try Discover IT, he got it with $1,000
- less than 3 months later, Amex is $3,000
- less than 4 months after getting Discover the limit is $2,500
- told him to wait until this summer, maybe Amex will be $9,000 and Discover above $5,000 then try for other cards (like Cap1 and Chase)