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Newcomers List Advice as Key Ingredient in Establishing Their Financial Life in Canada: RBC

Building a credit history important to newcomers

TORONTO, May 2, 2012 - Most newcomers to Canada (79 per cent) feel it's important to start building credit history quickly and three-in-four (75 per cent) believe that expert advice is important when it comes to lending or borrowing money, according to an RBC poll.

"Building a new life in a new country is no small feat. Newcomers are faced with a myriad of tasks and decisions to ensure their future success," said Paul Sy, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. "Among these are important financial decisions and professional advice can be critical to overcoming obstacles and challenges in this area. That's why speaking to a financial advisor, someone who understands the challenges and can provide solutions, is integral to helping newcomers build their lives in Canada."

The RBC poll also found that most newcomers (68 per cent) say that using credit cards is a smart way to manage their finances and expenses.

"Building credit history is a key step to starting a new life in Canada, but it can also be a significant hurdle for newcomers," added Sy. "We recognize this challenge and are committed to providing newcomers with relevant banking solutions to help them get financially established in Canada."

Sy offers the following three tips to help newcomers build credit in Canada:

  1. Build your credit history - Take advantage of options available to you, such as RBC's Newcomer to Canada Credit Card program - an unsecured credit card for newcomers with zero credit history. This option also provides access to a second credit card, for a spouse or partner, and will help the cardholders build a credit history together. Credit history is used to establish a pattern on how well you manage your financial obligations and determine how safe it is to lend and do business with you.
  2. Meet the minimum payments - It's important to pay all of your bills on time, even the ones that seem small and insignificant. Even if it's just the minimum payment, staying on top of your bills regularly reflects positively towards your credit rating.
  3. Check your score - Your credit score, that is. It's good to know what your current score is. You can request a copy of your credit report from either of the two agencies in Canada - Equifax or TransUnion. It's a good idea to review your credit report in case of any errors or fraudulent activity.

RBC's Welcome to Canada package offers advice and tips to help newcomers get settled in Canada and now includes a preferred rate on Foreign Exchange transactions for up to 12 months.

About the Environics Poll
The findings were conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of RBC in October 2011. Respondents were recruited from an online consumer research panel and are made up of 628 South Asian and Chinese immigrants residing in British Columbia and Ontario who are first generation and have lived in Canada for 10 years or less. There were 300 Chinese and 328 South Asian respondents, including 100 newcomers (0 to 12 months in Canada) in each ethnic group. Quotas were applied to represent the different regions and tenure in Canada. Data was weighted according to population data from the 2006 Census to represent the population as closely as possible. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±4 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of Chinese and South immigrants in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error

About RBC Welcome to Canada Package
For more than seven generations, RBC has been supporting newcomers by providing them with resources and tools that make the transition to a new country seamless. The RBC Welcome to Canada package helps newcomers who have been in Canada for less than three years with key financial decisions and includes advice and discounts on products and services. Details on The RBC Welcome to Canada banking package, newly offered preferred rate on Foreign Exchange transactions for 12 months, and branch locators that identify representatives who speak up to 180 languages, can be found at

For more information, please contact:
Jill Quinn, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-313-8121
Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-974-2727


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