A young woman being playful with her kid while preparing a fruit smoothie

Hua’s story: Immigrating to Canada

I immigrated to Canada 2 years ago, along with my husband and 2 daughters, to join the rest of my family here in Toronto. A fresh start can be very scary, especially with young kids, but very exciting at the same time. 

My husband and I had average-paying jobs in our home country and lived a comfortable life. We thought we could live the same kind of lifestyle in Canada, but it was extremely difficult to find work. We moved to Canada with a bit of savings but ended up using up a big portion of it within the first few months of living here. 

My husband got a job as a janitor at a local high school after 6 months, making $30,000 a year. I was still looking for work and trying to take care of 2 young children. Our rent alone was $1,100 for a 1-bedroom apartment in North York, and needless to say, we were trying to get by on an incredibly tight budget.

We took loans from family members but were finding it difficult to pay them off. We’d also maxed out our CIBC credit cards and couldn’t make our minimum payments. Just as things were getting more and more unmanageable, a friend told us to look into whether CIBC could offer a helping hand. She explained how they'd helped her when she was new to Canada and approved her application for a credit card. I called CIBC right away and was so relieved to learn about the options they could offer us to improve our situation. 

We decided to get a debt consolidation loan which allowed us to combine all our CIBC debt to make it easier for us to pay off. The credit counsellor that worked on our case also gave us various budgeting tips to help us save more for the future. I could now afford a babysitter which meant I could dedicate more of my time to finding a job. In a matter of a few months, I landed a new job.  

With 2 sources of income, it’s become easier to pay our bills and slowly pay off our loans. CIBC was instrumental in helping me and my family feel settled and financially secure in Canada. We’re now saving up for a bigger place where our daughters can have their own room, and we couldn’t be more grateful for our credit counsellor’s support.

While this story is based on a combination of real client experiences, it was created using fictional characters to show how CIBC can offer help and strategies to those dealing with debt.