|Deutsch: Toronto: TD Canada Trust Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Statistics Canada estimates that immigrants account for more than one-in-five Canadians and projects that by 2055 immigration will account for 90 per cent of the country’s population growth.
But figuring out how things work in a new country can be challenging, from locating new schools and communities to navigating the banking system.
According to a poll from TD Canada Trust, most newcomers said they did not know how to open a bank account (47%), apply for a credit card (58%) or mortgage (87%) or send money to family overseas (72%) in their first three months in Canada.
The biggest surprise New Canadians encountered setting up their finances was the credit rating system (24%) and not having access to credit right away (23%).
“A major challenges new Canadians face is establishing a credit history so they can buy or rent a home, get a credit card, purchase a car, and even secure a mobile phone plan and insurance,” said Stephen Menon, Associate Vice President of credit cards at TD Canada Trust.
The following tips can help newcomers build their Canadian credit rating:
Apply for a secured credit card
According to the poll, a quarter of new Canadians (23%) said they wish they knew more about how to get approved for a credit card. Menon recommends newcomers visit their local branch to apply for a secured credit card as soon as they arrive.
Pay all of your bills on time and in full
Late bill payments have the potential to negatively affect a credit rating. According to the research, 49% of newcomers pay their bills through online banking and 30% use a mobile app on their smartphone or tablet for banking services.
Check your credit rating before applying for a mortgage
Eighty-seven per cent of newcomers didn’t know how to apply for a mortgage in their first three months in Canada and 38% said they wish they knew more about local mortgage rules. TD recommends homebuyers check their rating at least six months before applying for a mortgage, so they have time to correct it if there are any flaws.
TD Canada Trust and New Canadians
Language can be one of the biggest challenges for newcomers: 41% found communicating difficult when they first arrived and 55% said it was important for them to find a bank that offered services in their native language. TD Canada Trust offers telephone banking services in more than 170 languages, including the ability for customers to make an in-branch appointment with a financial advisor who speaks their native language.