|“Canada is a popular destination for those studying abroad, and at Scotiabank we’ve come to realise that since international students may have limited experience managing their own finances, they may initially face challenges when setting up their banking. To meet their needs, we offer the Scotiabank StartRight® Program (scotiabank.com/startright.com), a customised banking solution for international students.
Recognising that many international students could benefit from practical support and financial advice, Scotiabank recently aligned with Languages Canada (languagescanada.ca) and their member schools to sponsor a series of financial literacy seminars to help international students understand financial services in Canada.
The informative information sessions will be made available to the more than 130,000 foreign students at any of the Languages Canada member schools. Topics will include practical issues like the difference between a chequing and savings account, debit versus credit cards, and managing money.
To start right in Canada, here are a few basics I share with international students often:
First, learn how bank accounts work: A bank account is an important way to keep money safe, rather than carrying too much cash. It’s both easy to open an account with your student and immigration papers, and easy to withdraw money when you need it. You should also be prepared to choose among account types, such as chequing or savings, and be mindful of service charges for transactions.
Second, understand debit versus credit cards: When opening a Canadian bank account, you will get a debit card, which allows you to access your account in a branch, online or by telephone and mobile banking, as well as withdraw funds at an ABM, a store and even a restaurant. A credit card is very different. When you use this card to make a purchase, you are borrowing money from the bank. That means that you must pay your monthly statement on time, or the bank will charge you interest.
Third, build a good credit history: A Canadian credit card is useful to make larger purchases, and to avoid paying extra charges or currency costs with a credit card from home. Using your credit card, you can build a Canadian credit history information that banks share which shows whether you manage credit responsibly and can be trusted to borrow money. A good credit history is helpful if you hope to stay in Canada and some day apply for other loans or buy a home.
This is the kind of crucial advice that Scotia® advisors offer every day to international students, so they can focus on their education, while we take care of their finances.”