Managing Finances as a New Immigrant to Canada

As a new immigrant to our country, you’ll be experiencing all kinds of exciting changes – some good and some shocking. One thing you’ll notice is how different finances are in Canada.

We do our best at Remitbee Online Money Transfer to making the remittance side of your finances cheap and easy. But there are other aspects of your finances where extra money help is needed.

This is a quick guide to help you manage your finances as a new immigrant to Canada!

What’s Different About Finances in Canada?

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

Using banks in Canada is essential. From getting paid for work to showing bank statements for loans and mortgages – you will need a bank account to live in Canada. It’s very simple. Here are a few things you should know:

  • The big Canadian banks are very stable, reliable and trustworthy.
  • Deposits up to $100,000 CAD are protected by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. If something happens to the bank, your money is safe.
  • You can do your banking at the nearest branch:
    • As a new immigrant you may need to use banking services regularly. Banking in Canada can be done from any branch of your bank. You need your banking details, and you are got to go
    • Checking accounts may require a small fee
    • Basic savings accounts will have low interest rates.
  • Or, you can do your banking online:
    • Only basic services that might not meet your needs
    • Higher interest rates on your savings
    • Very quick transfer times and no queues!

Choosing a bank is as simple as comparing what they offer. Do this online at their websites, or by calling the bank or visiting a branch. Don’t feel intimidated! Every bank will have a customer service department or helpline to explain.

Savings Accounts, Loans, Mortgages and More

These are some common financial things you’re going to come across:

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) – save up to $6000 CAD per year (as of 2019) with no taxes to pay on it. You can also withdraw this money tax free too.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) – save for your retirement, adding 18% of your previous year’s income. Only pay tax when you withdraw your retirement funds.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) – save up to $50,000 CAD for your kid’s education after high school. The more you save, the more the government contributes too. The amount depends on your income.

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive – a new plan for 2019 to help first-time buyers get a mortgage with help from the government. There are also plenty of home buyer grants and programs in Canada ran by the government and banks to help you.

How to Get Help with Your Finances in Canada

The Canadian government offers free financial & even job-search guidance via settlement agencies. You don’t need to waste money on expensive professional services, unless you really want to and have buckets of money to spare. A good place to start is your nearest newcomer services for money help.

You can’t carry over your credit score from your origin country. Rebuilding your credit score can be as simple as taking out a credit card and paying it off on time. You should speak to your free settlement advisor about how to build your credit score!

We know it can be daunting when you need to sort your finances out for the first time. But please, don’t get overwhelmed! There are many immigrant communities across Canada that can help you.

At Remitbee we’ve made the remittance side of your finances very simple. Send money back home to your family in just a few taps. Download the app and sign up to learn more.

That will be another finance task ticked off your list!

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