Wanted to share a potential DP and also had some questions to hopefully gain a more comprehensive understanding of FICO scoring.
Basically, my SO is a foreign national with no SSN. She is in the process of immigrating here to the States, but has not yet gotten her visa (haven't gotten married yet). In an effort to smooth her upcoming transition here, I thought I could start by helping her build some semblance of a credit history, so I added her as an AU to as many of my cards I could.
For Amex specifically, I only have about 9 months of history with them (HH Ascend in 4/18), but she was added to all 4 of my Amex personal cards and also their BBP card. Outside of Amex, she's been added to 9 other cards including 6 Chase personals, 1 Chase Ink, and my 2 Citi cards. I know, in general, business cards don't do much for her personal score, but I didn't think it would hurt anyway.
Of course, however, she has no SSN, so in adding her to the Chase/Citi cards, I wasn't sure that actually had any effect at all. That is, until I started getting pre-approval mailers for her from Capital One for their low-end Platinum card. That's when I first realized that the history was somehow being reported. When I found out I could add her to Amex cards with her foreign passport, I added her as soon as I could. Last week, I hit the SUB's for all my cards and thought it would be worth a shot for her to apply using her foreign passport for her own credit card.
After some quick searching online, I found Amex, BoA, and Citi offer cards to people with no SSN, but BoA needed to be in-person, in-branch, and Citi had limited options. I tried to use the 000-00-0001 SSN to apply on amex online, but it didn't work, and even after logging into her Amex online account, the application still wasn't pre-filled, so we had to call in. The 3-way call was slightly difficult as the connection was a bit fuzzy, but we got through it. It was not instantly approved, so we called into the new accounts department to verify some basic information, after which she was quickly approved for the SPG card with a $15K CL at 22.99%
Pretty surprised by the CL, as it's 25% of her income, and it's her first credit card overall. She also has no credit history from her native country either, so getting approved for a relatively useful travel card was a pleasant surprise for me. Definitely relieved and satisfied that all the effort has paid off.
I was interested, however, by the fact that she has a credit score. When the card came in the mail, the packet showed that they pulled EX, which doesn't surprise me, but it also shows that her FICO score is 770, which absolutely does surprise me.
If any knows the answers to the following questions, I'd definitely appreciate them:
1. Can she create an Experian account online with no SSN, and what exactly would be on her credit report? Is it just the Amex accounts because they have an actual ID tied to them, or will her Chase/Citi AU accounts also report since the address/names match? Does she have credit history with the other 2 bureaus as well, and if so, would the scores be relatively similar?
2. Now that she does have her first Amex card, will her next Amex cards be SP's? Is she eligible for Amex business cards also? I don't necessarily plan on going ham with her accounts, since I want her to be under 5/24 when she gets here, but it would still be nice to have options open. Also, given that she was given a relatively high CL with a pretty high FICO, am I correct in assuming that it would probably be easy for her to get approved by Amex for another card?
3. What triggered the Capital One Platinum pre-approvals? As far as I know, you need either an SSN or ITIN to even apply for a Capital 1 card, so given that she doesn't have either of those, how did they even get her information?
Also, if anyone is in a similar situation, I'm definitely happy to share whatever info/experience I have.
Edit: Admins, does this belong in this forum or should it go in the CC Approval forum? Please move if necessary, TIA.