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Building Credit for Newcomers to Canada

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🇨🇦 Welcome to Canada, eh? Time to build a strong financial future!

Starting afresh in a new country can be thrilling, yet challenging. As a new Canadian, establishing good credit and financial habits is key. Here's an extended guide to help you:

1. Begin with a bank account

Open a Canadian bank account for efficient money management and access to credit opportunities. Many of the larger banks offer newcomer accounts and other perks. Visit one of their websites (or book yourself a face-to-face meeting at a branch) to find out what they can offer you.

Or check out one of the free banking solutions (Tangerine or Simplii Financial) to open a free account with lots of perks. Over the past year, Canada has welcomed thousands of new immigrants to our shores.

2. Apply for a secured credit card

A secured credit card, backed by a cash deposit as collateral, helps you build credit history without the risk of massive debt. I always recommend two cards as being excellent: Capital One has a secured Mastercard ( and Home Trust has a secured Visa card (

3. Pay bills on time

Timely payment of bills (utilities, phone, credit cards) is crucial to maintain a good credit score. You may want to automate the process once you set up your standard or free bank account.

4. Monitor your spending

Craft a budget and track your expenses to prevent overspending and falling into debt. A simple budget will make a huge difference month to month. There are also some apps available to help you with your budgeting – check out your mobile phone app store for options.

5. Save up for emergencies

An emergency fund is essential to tackle unexpected financial challenges. This should normally be a separate bank account though you can link it to your main account.

6. Seek advice from financial experts

Consult a financial advisor or attend workshops to understand Canadian financial regulations and products. Our website will also have tons of information on it.

7. Understand your credit report

Regularly review your credit report and address any discrepancies or errors. Two handy apps can be downloaded to your mobile phone: (which gives you a TransUnion credit report) and (which gives you a Equifax credit report). Both apps are free to download and use.

8. Diversify your credit mix

Have several credit cards, then add a small overdraft or loan to mix things up and keep your credit score soaring.

Welcome to Canada! Enjoy your new life in this beautiful country.


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