Banking Basics

One of your first steps will be to open a Canadian bank account. You can manage your day-to-day banking transactions and deposit your funds in Canadian, U.S. dollars or in Euros. This account will help keep your cash in a safe place, pay bills, transfer funds and deposit cheques.

For convenience, select a bank or a credit union near your home or work. You will need to open some kind of chequing account immediately. To do this, you will need your landed immigrant papers and identification showing your place of residence.

How to write a cheque.

All banks and credit unions provide savings accounts and chequing accounts, plus many other services. Most banks will charge a monthly fee simply for providing you with a secure account into which you can deposit money and from which you can write cheques. Often, you won't have to pay this fee if you keep a minimum balance that has been determined by the bank. Monthly banking fees can range from about $5 to $20 per month.

How to write a cheque

Automated Teller Machine

An ATM is an automated machine which dispenses cash and accepts deposits, and is usually located outside any branch of your bank. You can conduct most common banking transactions 24 hours per day at an ATM. Most banks will automatically give you a bank card and a personal identification number(PIN) which will allow you to access your account at ATM's.Interac Symbol

One of the attractive features of ATM's is that you can usually access your account from any ATM at any bank that displays an Interac sign. You should be very cautious when using an ATM to ensure that no one sees your PIN or sees you withdraw large amounts of cash. This is especially important at night when there are few people around.

Direct Debit

Direct Debit is a method of paying for goods or services using you bank card and password, authorizing your bank to pay the retailer a certain sum of money. Direct debit draws money directly and immediately out of your account. Depending on the type of banking package you have arranged with your bank, you will likely have a maximum number of free bank debits you can make per month, after which you will be charged for each transaction.

Establishing your credit history in Canada

Doing the little things right is the best way to get started, and building your credit history is the first block on which you will build your financial foundation. Your credit history in Canada is a measure of your credit-worthiness; your reputation for paying back money.

  1. How do you build a good credit rating?
  2. Pay your bills promptly, especially credit cards
  3. Borrow only what you need and what you can afford
  4. Always pay your loans on time

Getting a copy of your credit Report

You can see what credit card companies are saying about you by contacting one of the two national credit agencies: TranUnion Canada or Equifax Canada.  The agencies will advise you how to order a copy of your credit report.

Keep in mind that every time you apply for credit. Your financial history is closely scrutinized. And any time you are rejected, this rejection appears on your record.

Safety Deposit Box

  1. Keep your valuables safe

When you move to Canada, you may have important documents and valuables which you want to keep safe.

With a safety deposit box, your valuables are in one safe, easily accessible place. Banks offer safety deposit boxes in different sizes to suit your individual needs.


Saving for your children's education

While elementary and secondary education tuition is free in Canada, post-secondary education (college and university) is not. A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a unique savings account that can help you, your family, or your friends save early for your child's education. If you have an RESP, your beneficiary could also be eligible for financial grants from the Government of Canada under the Canada Education Savings Program.


Saving for your retirement

Saving enough for retirement is an important financial goal. In Canada, one of the best ways to reduce your income tax and save for a comfortable retirement is to contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). RRSPs can help you live the retirement life of your dreams. RRSPs offer many advantages:

    1. Contributions are tax-deductible and may result in a tax refund.
    2. Returns earned on RRSP investments accumulate on a tax deferred basis inside the plan
    3. Your investment in an RRSP can also help you save for your first home by taking advantage of the Home Buyer's Plan


Buying your first home in Canada

  • You can use your RRSPs.
  • There is a tax credit for first time home buyers

Get a head start in Canada with Scotiabank.

Some banks offer special programs for newcomers to Canada. This is one example.

Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure. Each year, thousands of people move to Canada from all over the world and you all share a common goal: To build a good life for you and your family.

One of the first things that can help you get started is a comprehensive banking program. Many banks have options for newcomers. Below is one example of the types of services banks offer.

Overseas Account Opening for new immigrants and foreign students

Overseas Account Opening Program allows new immigrants and foreign students from India, Korea, and China to open a Scotiabank account, send money and get a VISA credit card before arriving in Canada.


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