Immigrants lack financial knowledge: RBC

By Staff | July 3, 2013 | Last updated on July 3, 2013
2 min read

A majority of immigrants (60%) say they lack financial knowledge, including how to establish and build credit, finds an RBC poll.

“We have an opportunity to improve financial understanding for newcomers to Canada when they first arrive and we have a role to play in making sure they are getting the right advice from day one,” says Paul Sy, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC.

He adds, “Building a strong credit score is important to helping you get established in Canada, particularly when the time comes to buy a car or a family home.”

Read: Immigrants need help accessing credit

There are still a lot of misconceptions when it comes to credit use. Here’s what newcomers need to know.

  • Myth: In Canada, your credit rating is affected by your age, income and gender. The higher a person’s income, the better that person’s credit rating will be. Reality: Your credit rating is based on your record of managing your finances responsibly. Lenders look at how you handle your financial obligations, such as whether you pay your monthly bills on time, carry a balance, or regularly miss payments.

Read: Why do you love Canada?

  • Myth: Someone who has a lot of assets in their home country will have a better credit rating. Reality: Although assets are part of the equation, lenders will also focus on your Canadian borrowing history to assess your creditworthiness. That’s why it is important to build your Canadian credit profile early on, especially if you have plans for big purchases, such as a house or car. Even smaller transactions, such as renting living accommodations or getting a cell phone, often require a credit check.

Read: Rich are now younger, more ethnically diverse

  • Myth: When you get married your credit scores are merged. Reality: Credit scores are based on individuals. Any joint application for a loan will be assessed on both partner’s credit profiles. As well, any negative or positive reporting will be reflected on each score and could affect your approval or the terms of your loan. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.