First question: did she ever pay off that debt — or did the card issuers simply write it off? That will make a big difference in getting even a secured card (where your credit limit is the amount of your deposit in a savings account).
I have a better idea. She needs to LEARN something more about credit since it is likely in very bad shape if they denied her a card. I suggest SHE (not YOU) contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227. That will connect her to the nearest local member agency. They are a non-profit and you can trust them completely. Some counseling can even be done over the phone, but I suggest she set up an appointment to go in for a talk. They can explain exactly how she must go about rebuilding her credit — and may be able to give her some assistance.
Again, this is on HER, not you — although I understand your concern. There’s an old Savage Truth: “The lessons that cost the most, teach the most.” Let her learn this lesson for her own future.