How to Build Good Credit as a New Canadian

How to build good credit for new Canadians

If you’re new to Canada, welcome! We’re glad you’re here. It can be challenging to transition to life in a new country, but there are plenty of fantastic resources to help make the process as smooth and low stress as possible. We hope your family is settling in well and has access to everything they need.

From a financial perspective, moving to Canada comes with a big to-do list. You’ll want to open Canadian bank accounts and start building good credit to secure your financial future. This will help with things like getting a car loan or securing a mortgage — remember, even if these things aren’t on your radar now, they might be in the future! It’s best to be prepared.

Your credit score is a number that helps financial institutions and other lenders understand risk related to offering you credit. The higher your credit score, the better terms and interest rates will be available to you (and, larger credit amounts). Follow these tips to help build your credit rating and position yourself well for the years ahead.

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Get a credit card (and use it)

Using a credit card responsibly is an excellent way to build and improve upon your credit score. We recommend looking into credit card options with your financial institution and choosing one with terms that meet your needs. There are no annual fee cards, low limit cards, rewards cards and other great options — talk to your bank about what’s possible. If you aren’t able to demonstrate proof of income, you may want to consider a low limit or secured credit card through your lender.

Once you have your credit card, use it regularly. Make small purchases (for example, for takeout food or when buying household items). Or, use your credit card to shop online — just remember to avoid making online purchases using public Internet or other unencrypted sources for safety reasons.

If you use your card regularly and then pay the monthly bill in full and on time, you’ll be well on your way to a great credit score. Just know your budget and stick to it! If you incur debt on a credit card, you’ll be dealing with high interest payments and negative impact to your credit rating. If you cannot pay your credit card bill in full every month, be sure to pay more than the minimum payment.

Pay your bills on time

Just like you need to pay your credit card on time and in full, you must manage your bills well to develop good credit. Make sure that all bills, from utilities to cable and phone bills, are in your name. Pay each bill promptly and in full. In as little as six months, you’ll have started to develop a strong credit rating. It’s a great place to start!

Additionally, it’s important to file your annual income taxes on time and pay any balance owing before it becomes overdue. Like other bills, an overdue Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) payment will negatively affect your credit score. Pay on time and you’ll be strengthening your credit rating! It’s that simple.

Get a personal loan

If you need help paying your bills on time or need access to money as you start your new life in Canada, consider a personal loan. This lump sum of money can help you cover expenses and avoid late bill payments.

A personal loan can help you pay for things like rent and items needed to set up your new home, and will offer peace of mind as you build your income and develop good credit for your future. It’s better to carry a balance on a personal loan that’s designed to be paid back over time than it is to incur late fees or harm your credit rating by not paying bills in time. This is a strategy that many Canadians take, as it’s a solution with a manageable, long-term repayment plan.

A personal loan is also helpful as credit scores are stronger when you demonstrate responsible use of credit through multiple credit streams (for example: a loan, a credit card and a phone bill). Time also factors in — the longer you use credit responsibly, the better your rating.

Can I get approved for a personal loan at easyfinancial with no credit history?

Yes—you can now get approved with low credit or no credit history! Visit easyfinanical online to learn more about how we can help you get on a path to a better financial future and graduate to lower rates. Plus, applying takes only minutes and won’t affect your credit score.

We’re here to help

Whether you’re new to Canada or simply need help finding your financial footing, we can help. easyfinancial’s Credit Optimizer tool can help you build good credit faster with personalized credit tips. For personalized financial advice, you can always reach out to your local easyfinancial branch or easyhome store, or give us a call at 1-888-502-3279.

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