(Published in Asian Connections, Page 1, Jan 26, 2013)
Will someone please tell the new immigrants how to build credit in Canada? Because it seems the banks and financial institutions are hell-bent on making life miserable for the newcomers and no one really offers you a comprehensive package about credit building, which is so very important in Canada.
It’s been three long years I am in Canada and I still don’t know what exactly I should do to have a good credit. Some say I should pay off my credit cards and keep them in a vault; some say I should use my cards and pay them off before due date; some say I should get more cards; some say I should not have too many cards.
Some say you should have a lot of money in the bank to get credit; some say millions of dollars in the bank won’t help. Some say all you need is a good credit payment history; some say you need to have a good paying job. How do you expect a newcomer to have a good job when newcomers are not given jobs since they do not have the much-haloed ‘Canadian Experience’?
Immigrants are allured everyday by the government to come to Canada, an apparent ‘Land of Opportunities’ and then they are left to find out about struggling in Canada on their own.
I am sure, like me, a lot of newcomers are flummoxed as to what to do. The government and banks keep silent, and will hit you below the belt with a ‘Not Approved’ Line of Credit or housing loan, when you apply for one. And to top it all, your credit score goes down every time you apply for a loan. What the hell does one do then?
Like in other countries you are ostracized if you are a criminal, drug addict or a gay, you are ostracized if you do not have a good credit history in Canada. Hence, it is imperative for every Canadian bank to educate newcomers step-by-step of how to build credit; when to buy a house, how to buy a house, how to invest, what kind of jobs will affect their credit negatively and more importantly, remove the much-hypocrite “Canadian Experience” badge! Immigrants come here with years of experience, are much more experienced than major Canadians, and perfectly qualified Engineers, MBA’s and doctors do not need to haul packages at a factory or serve coffee at a restaurant to acquire “Canadian Experience”. This hypocrisy on the part of the government needs to stop.
Being a true place for social integration, Canada can rise to a much higher degree and can stop its citizens from fleeing off to other countries after they’ve taken full advantage of the generous government’s resources, if only immigrants are given the respect they deserve. If you are using the immigrant-manpower to fill up your census, you cannot blame immigrants from taking advantage of your full resources and then going off to greener pastures.