Recently moved, unemployed, running out of money. Should I get a line of credit? (in Canada)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I recently moved back to Canada after living overseas for a few years. (female, late 20s). The move was very sudden, and while I had an ok amount of savings, the move was very expensive, as was the first few weeks of settling back into a cold climate (I didn't own a coat, boots, sweater, nothing.) I rented a room in a affordable apartment, and started applying for jobs within a few days of moving here. That was at the beginning of December, and while many jobs were being posted, I forgot about the holidays. Obviously most work places aren't going to be doing a lot of hiring at this time of year. (Acquaintances in the area told me they weren't even applying for anything until January, as no one was hiring). Only yesterday did I receive a reply (rejection) from the very first application I sent - IKEA - back at the end of November. So there's hope... I just think it'll be awhile.
Now I'm starting to run out of money. I have enough savings left for around one month's rent, metro pass, and food. I'm about to max out my credit card ($1500 limit, so it's not too bad). I'm starting to panic. I'm doing my best to apply to any and all jobs (I have zero retail/restaurant experience, but I'm applying for them anyways). I've responded to around 75 job ads so far, including restaurants, stores, call centers, temp agencies, fast food, kiosks, non-profits, day cares, etc. I'm applying to basically every job I find that I'm even slightly qualified for (I don't speak chinese, have a car, or have any advanced financial/computer degrees, and i'm not desperate enough for sex work.... so about 85% of the ads I see posted are moot). I've had two acquaintences pass on my CV plus a recommendation to their work place, with no luck.
Also, I'm suffering from my usual (only when stateside) depression and anxiety. Currently, most of this is caused by panicking about finances. This makes it extremely difficult to follow the usual job hunting advice of: get out there in person, and make calls. I don't have any friends in the province, and am only slowly beginning to meet people. I want to get out and do things that are good for my mental health (yoga classes, join a gym, meet-ups, etc), but they all cost money! Even the YMCA charges. I wouldn't mind taking walks outside, but I still haven't bought a winter coat, and Quebec winters are terrible. I often don't leave the house for days out of fear of spending money.
Ok. Sorry. That was a LOT of background info. My actual question is: Should I get a line of credit? I've always been reasonably responsible with my finances, and I never buy anything I can't afford. Store brand everything, only on-sale clothing, etc. I have no idea what my credit rating is, but I've had a credit card for about 4 years, and have made my payments on time all but 2-3 times. I kept a very low balance on it up until this whole moving continents fiasco. I've also had cell phones in Canada since high school, so there's a credit history.
Ideally, I'd like to get a line of credit, and just use enough to buy a coat, not have to worry about rent for a few months, and be able to go out and meet people and network. I'd like to be able to go to a meetup at a pub, for example, for both my own sanity, and possible job connections. I'd also like to buy some office attire for interviews, as my entire wardrobe consists mainly of yoga pants, shorts, tank tops, and hoodies. I will continue to send out resumes, and make follow-ups. Assuming I find a job within the next 3 months, I'd like to borrow between $1000-$3500.
Would it be a responsible thing to get a line of credit? Is there a better alternative? If not, I was planning on going down to CIBC in the next couple days to apply. Any and all advice is appreciated. If you have specific questions, I can memail you directly. Thanks!