I would think that your bank would be willing to give you a card, a secured card at the minimum, as you have $12K on deposit with them!
To establish a FICO score, you need to have these things:
- An account that has been open for six months or more
- An account that has updated (reported to the bureaus) within six months, even with a $0 balance
- You can't be dead. Or reported dead.
Once you get a card from your bank, give it six months, and you're good. If you need something sooner, you can ask family members if they would be willing to add you as an AU (authorized user) to one of their cards that reports AU's to the
CRA's. You want a card that's been open for more than six months, obviously, and one without lates, and that reports a very low or $0 balance. If they use the card a lot, let the balance post, and then pay, that card might still have high util.
But at any rate, it would establish a credit history for you.
While you're waiting on your bank to decide, I would look into local credit unions. If your bank turns you down, politely tell them that you will ever-so-sadly transfer your accounts to Credit Union X, Y, or Z, and see if they don't reconsider. I hope that you're with a local or regional bank, and not one of the Big Boys that really don't care much about consumers any more.