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Establishing a Healthy Financial Life in Canada

As you know by now, a Canadian credit profile and good credit score are important for a healthy financial life in Canada. Without them, it may be difficult to get a loan, mortgage or credit card, and you may experience higher interest rates on these products.

But a credit score can also affect whether you are able to secure things such as a rental property, a cell phone, a vehicle (leased or purchased) and, in some cases, employment.

A landlord may request your credit score

While housing in Canada is available for renters and buyers alike, there are things you must have when looking for a place to live. One of the most important things is your credit score. Landlords will typically ask for this, in addition to proof employment (or funds) and personal reference letters, before agreeing to rent you an apartment, condominium or house. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is a great resource to look through everything you need to know when starting out in the rental housing market.

Telecommunication companies can conduct a credit check on you

Believe it or not, all telecommunication companies in Canada will either conduct their own credit check or request one from you when you want to purchase a monthly cell phone plan. This is to ensure you’ll be able to make your monthly bill payments. If you’ve obtained a credit card already, telecommunication companies may not run a credit check. There are also instances when this can be avoided. A simple, pay-as-you-go plan with no data, which are available with most major telecommunication companies, doesn't require a credit check.

How credit score affects employment in Canada

When you are applying for a job, some employers will ask that you sign a consent that will let them access your credit report. This helps your potential employer to have a clearer picture of your financial background.

Applying for jobs in the financial sector will typically include a credit check, including in banking, insurance and accounting, as these types of employers tend to believe your credit score will show how reliable you are, or whether your financial situation might pose a security risk.

The Canadian government has also recently introduced mandatory credit checks of all public servants. This includes, but is not limited to jobs in:

  • Public safety
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Public administration
  • Not-for-profit

Unlike other types of credit checks, however, those done for jobs within the federal government won’t negatively affect your credit score.

Scotiabank is committed to helping you obtain resources you can access for information to build and maintain your credit score, as well as connecting you with resources to help you find employment opportunities that may be right for you. As you settle into Canada, it can be exciting to adapt to having a new job, a credit card and a new place to live.

For more information visit www.scotiabank.com/startright.