The loss of employment can be as damaging to your self-esteem as it is to your financial security.


Q: Two years ago, I lost my job that I held for more than five years. I owned a condo and just avoided a foreclosure. However, being unemployed I was unable to maintain the same lifestyle as I did before losing my job. Several credit cards were cancelled and I am being pursued by several lenders for unpaid balances. What can I do to get my life back on track and will my credit ever be restored?

A: Aside from losing weight and going on a diet, getting your finances in shape tops the list of new year’s resolutions for many Canadians. Is your goal to get your life back on track or to get credit? Not having credit can be a blessing in disguise as you learn to spend only what you earn, not how much you can burn.

The loss of employment can be devastating to our self-esteem, financial security, and social acceptance. Self-esteem, or lack thereof, may be more important emotionally than money. The making of and having money is a by-product of how you feel about yourself. Happiness is not about how much money I have or earn but about achievement, satisfaction and fulfillment. Sit down and look at the three “U’s.” Who U were, who U are and who U will be. A mentor taught me many years ago, what I will be depends on who I am and who I was. This can be more helpful to get your life back on track.

Enough of my philosophical upbringing. Credit is very important in our society and we are all judged in some way by our credit. Lenders are in the business of lending money and in turn earning a healthy return on their investment. Decisions to extend a loan are based on factors similar what most of us would use. How responsible a person is and does that person have the ability to repay a loan or debt? Lenders depend on credit reports to help them determine these answers.

Obtain a copy of your credit report. The credit report is a risk scoring system provided by Fair, Isaac and Company Inc. or as many in the credit business know —FICO. The higher the FICO score, the less credit risk an individual poses.

Outstanding delinquent loans on your credit report should be negotiated with and settled with the creditors, as these leave long lasting blemishes on your credit history.

rebuild credit by:

  • Building credit slowly.

  • Keeping the amount of credit to a minimum.

  • Paying balances on time or in full each month.

Henry Choo Chong, CGA provides professional accounting and taxation solutions for individuals, businesses and corporations. Henry can be reached at 416-590-1728, ext. 304. E-mail all questions to Money Matters: