She didn’t want “it to come out”: an image of success that hid large debts led her to bankruptcy

Young Quebecers are increasingly represented in bankruptcy proceedings in Quebec. Our Bureau of Investigation and the JE program met several young people who became bankrupt before the age of 25.


TOTAL DEBT: $14,668

  • SURNAME : Stéphanie (fictional name)
  • AGE : 23 years
  • CITY : Rawdon
  • BANKRUPTCY : October 2020
  • CAUSE : poor financial planning


In her early twenties, Stephanie gave her friends the impression that she had achieved great success with her lovingly decorated apartment and brand new Chevrolet Spark. Unfortunately, this image of prosperity and independence relied heavily on credit and masked great financial fragility.

When Stéphanie separated, she had to start paying the rent herself. She also realized that buying a new car came with high costs that she had not imagined. The unpaid bills quickly piled up.

“There were a lot of cell phone accounts [que je ne payais pas au début]. I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter,” she explains.

And credit cards. When you’re young, it’s easy to fall into it. That’s the option: I have money there that I can take with me, it’s very simple.”

At around the same time, Stéphanie also had a car accident. However, she was only insured “unilaterally” because she wanted to pay less for her monthly payments.

“I crashed the car and it’s not covered. I have to pay higher amounts because I was already late on my bills. […] I’ve been able to handle this before. But the [j’étais] brought in [milliers de dollars de dettes]Me at 20 years old, I couldn’t do it [envisager] that,” she admits.

“I felt suffocated. I couldn’t see the end,” she continues.

At the age of 20, the young Rawdon resident filed for bankruptcy with debts totaling more than $14,000.

Ironically, she herself was working for a credit institution at the time.


In the interview, the young woman made no secret of the fact that it was not easy for her to confess everything to her relatives.

She revealed to her mother that she wasn’t rolling in gold, even though she initially didn’t want “it to be known, to come out.” In order to reduce costs, she eventually moved back in with the latter.

Even though starting a process to reorganize her finances gave her great relief, the bankruptcy she experienced is not the solution to everything, she says. She had to pay an amount to her creditors every month for three years.

“The fact remains that bankruptcy will follow you. “It’s not all good because the debt has been paid off,” she says. She talks about the shame that still haunts her because she didn’t know how to manage her affairs well.

Today Stéphanie is gradually trying to gain control over herself. Despite being told that having a credit card can help improve her credit score, she is still hesitant to get one again. She fears falling into the same debt spiral again.

She works at a daycare center and says she can’t afford to go back to school.

The young woman advocates for more financial education in secondary school.

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Originally posted 2023-11-12 05:06:22.