The Recovering Gambling Addict


Hi Scott,

I am a recovering gambling addict. I got hooked at a young age, but I have not gambled in the last 18 months. Now I am in my late 20s and have ruined my credit rating by taking out credit, loans and payday lending to fund my gambling. My credit score is 458 and I can’t even get a phone plan. I am now 100 per cent debt free, and I earn $85,000. How can I fix my credit score — get a credit card? I want to fix it so one day I can buy a house.


Scott's Answer

Hi Tim,

You’ve got my respect, mate.

It takes a lot of courage and determination to face up to and tackle your addiction, especially given the gambling industry actively targets recovering gambling addicts (hello Sportsbet).

Okay, so let’s lay down a strategy to wipe your credit file clean and get you into your home.

You don’t need to get a credit card, and for god’s sake stay away from those credit repair (spray-on-hair) spruikers. Those creeps are almost as bad as Sportsbet. (Almost.)

All you need to do is open up a savings account and deposit money each payday for the next five years. That’s how long the information on your credit file lasts legally. And that’s also how long it’ll take you to save up a very safe deposit.
Here’s the thing, Tim. Most people totally overestimate what they can do in one year, but totally underestimate the mountains they can move in five years. Then again, most people don’t have your guts. You’ve got this.