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Building a future with Bill.


“I started with cash in jars and now I have a real credit card,” says Bill, a lifelong resident of Victoria and a Capital One customer.

When it came to his finances, Bill found that, like many Canadians, he had to figure a lot of it out on his own. “I don’t remember receiving any lessons growing up about managing money,” he says. “I didn’t really have any understanding of it. So, when I got into my 20s and money came in here and there, I didn’t really have a plan.

“I didn’t have any credit. I didn’t have a credit score that I was aware of. I didn’t know that was an important thing in life. I wasn’t looking anywhere beyond my nose. I didn’t think of the future.”

For Bill, living in the financial moment worked, until it didn’t. He experienced a traumatic leg injury, which resulted in him losing his job weeks later. With no money coming in, the bills, student loans and debts all started adding up.

“It felt like the past had really caught up to me. The lack of vision and planning had finally reared its ugly head. It all came in at once and it was overwhelming. I think I turned to bankruptcy as the way out.”

When Bill filed for bankruptcy, it created a different way forward for him, but also introduced its own challenges and difficulties.

“Shortly after my bankruptcy, I got a well-paying job, but I had to give a percentage back to go against the debt I defaulted on. So while I had this new job, I was faced with the real repercussions of the decision I’d made. There are a lot of restrictions, rules and penalties.”

Though Bill was getting back on track with his finances, his bankruptcy had taken a heavy toll.

“It takes years to wipe that from your credit record. From the moment I did that, I knew there was no possible way I would be able to get a loan, buy a house, or do anything [with credit] for several years. I felt like I had really set myself back.”

Facing a steep learning curve, Bill decided to start his commitment to re-taking control of his financial and credit journey one step at a time.

“I had glass jars. I labeled them: gas, food, etc. I separated and kept track of everything, and if I had anything leftover at the end of the week, I put that in a separate jar for bonus money. That was my first step. It was very grassroots. As I got further into it, I discovered spreadsheets, started budgeting and was able to set more goals.”

Along his journey to credit success, Bill reached another milestone: receiving a credit card from Capital One.

“That was a eureka moment for me when I thought, ‘Man, I’m back in the game.’ Capital One also sent me encouraging emails along the way. It made me feel like the work I was doing was actually paying off and was being seen.”

Bill was able to move on from his glass jars, and focus on budgeting and making payments with Capital One.

“I was using my Capital One credit for everything: groceries, gas, all that stuff. And I would just pay it off every month for years. Then, over time, I built my credit.”

As a result of the diligent building and budgeting, Bill and his wife were able to buy a home.

“When I look back at the difference of who I was financially at the start of that process, from going into bankruptcy in my early 30s to buying a house in my 40s, and having a family, I feel like a completely different person. I never would have thought of that in my 20s. That was a big moment.”

These days, Bill and his family give back to their community by making lunches to share with those who experience food insecurity.While he’s back in control of his credit, he hasn’t lost sight of how he turned it all around.

“Maybe it sounds cheesy, but I’m here because of Capital One. That was the moment that my journey began. They give people a chance.”

Learn how Capital One can help you on your financial journey, too.

* If Quick Check pre-approves a card, you can be 100% sure we’ll approve your application as long as:

a. There’s been no change in your credit file information, personal information or financial status from the time you receive your Quick Check results to the time you apply for one of our credit cards;

b. You’re at least the age of majority in the province or territory you live in;

c. Your application isn’t flagged for fraud prevention;

d. You don’t have an existing Capital One account; and

e. You haven’t applied for a Capital One account in the last 30 days or had an account with us that was not in good standing in the last year. In good standing means not past due, over limit, fraudulent, restricted, or part of a consumer credit counselling program or bankruptcy.

In some cases, we may not be able to open an account for you even though your application was approved. This can happen if we’re unable to verify your identity, or you don’t provide the required security funds if you’re approved for a Secured Mastercard®.