Banking in Canada – If you are new to Canada, one of the first things you will likely do is make sure your finances are in order and on track for future living expenses.
“Settling in can take some time for newcomers,” says Ivy Chiu, senior director of the newcomer segment at RBC. “An important first step is familiarizing yourself with how things work in your new country. Building a trusted network to help you navigate and understand common questions including finances can help you get established faster.”
Banking in Canada may seem overwhelming at first. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Get to know Canadian bank account options. One of the differences you may notice first is the various types of accounts that are available to you. They may serve different functions or be called names you don’t use back home. Two popular accounts are “chequing account” and “savings account”. You might decide to open a chequing account for your day-to-day transactions or deposit your work pay-cheques. A savings account may be the right option for setting money aside for things like home furnishings or education.
Build your credit history. Learning about credit history in Canada and why it matters is a good idea to look into as you settle in. One way to start building credit is by applying for a Canadian credit card and using it wisely. It can be treated as an alternative form of payment that can be used for many expenses such as internet and phone payments, online purchases, and travel.
Research government-funded programs. As you set up your day-to-day banking account, you may also want to consider the different tax-sheltered options available in partnership with the Canadian government. One is the Tax-Free Savings Account, or better known as TFSA. It is a way for individuals who are 18 and older and have a valid social insurance number to set money aside tax-free throughout their lifetime; the money is tax-free even when it is withdrawn.
Find more information at www.rbc.com/newcomers.