Impacted by the Lynx Air shutdown? Find out how to get a refund for expenses made with your credit card.
Close important message.
Choose your settings
Choose your language

Preparing to live in Canada

You can count on us to help you settle into your new life in Canada. We offer support, services and a welcome offer suited to your specific needs.

Much more than a financial partner

Is your move to Canada permanent or temporary? Naturally, a move like this comes with many challenges and questions. That said, you can count on us to support you every step of the way.

Handy resources

Mon projet au Canada avec Desjardins Facebook page

Browse this informative social media page where you can explore topics and sign up for webinars related to immigration.

A successful move to Canada takes a helping hand

Watch inspiring testimonials from newcomers to Canada and learn how Desjardins was there for them at different steps in the process.

Getting your finances ready for your move to Canada

Before you leave

 Step 1. Opening an account in Canada

You can open an account online from abroad, both to save precious time when you arrive and get a head start on settling in.

Select the offer that's right for you

Our financial products are designed to meet your needs, whether you plan to move to Canada or study here.

Coming to live or work in Canada

Learn more about our welcome offer for newcomers.

Learn more
Coming to study in Canada

Learn more about our offer for students.

 Step 2. Transfer funds into your Desjardins account

You can transfer funds into your new account to get access to your money as soon as you arrive in Canada. Note that you can make only 1 international money transfer from abroad 1 . Ask your financial institution in your home country about how to transfer funds.

More details
What to have on hand:
Fees:

Sending funds and exchange rates: to be confirmed with your financial institution
Receiving funds:

  • Transfers under CAN$50: free
  • Transfers over CAN$50: CAN$15 2

 

Our tips to help you with your planning

When you arrive

 Step 1. Finalize opening your account

Go to your appointment to finish setting up your account. Bring 2 pieces of ID with you to confirm your identity and pick up your debit card. Use this meeting time to discuss your needs, projects and any concerns you may have.

 Step 2. Think about your future needs

Things can be vastly different from country to country. Here are a few helpful tips to make the transition even smoother.

Housing

Buying a home is a big decision. Before taking the plunge, take the time to carefully analyze your situation and consider the pros and cons of buying or renting.

 Step 3. Take advantage of our support

We're thrilled to share tips that'll help you with every step of your move to Canada. We're here to understand your goals, assess your financial situation and make personalized recommendations. We can help you navigate a number of topics, including credit and debit cards, personal loans, savings and investment products, insurance and more.

Learn more about the Canadian financial system

Description Transcript
Debit cards and credit cards: What’s the difference?

2 min 02 s

Learn how to use debit and credit cards as soon as you get to Canada.
Debit cards and credit cards: What’s the difference?

Note: The information in brackets describes the audio and visual content of the video that is not dialogue or narration.

In Canada, two kinds of payment cards are used

[A Canadian flag flies in the wind against a light green background.]

Debit cards and credit cards

[On a light green background, 2 cards appear: a light green debit card and a black credit card.]

What's the difference?

Debit card

[On a darker green background, the words "Debit card" appear in a lighter green. The words "Debit card" then turn yellow, from right to left.]

You get a debit card for free when you open a bank account

[Both cards appear again. The black credit card disappears and the light green debit card remains. The card then flips over and turns into a desk with two chairs and a desktop computer.]

When you use it, money is automatically withdrawn from your account

[The desk, two chairs and computer turn back into the light green debit card.]

So you have to have the funds in order to use it.

[Coins fall from the top of the screen towards the card. Some consumer goods (a video game in a box, a coffee and a shopping bag) then appear on the card.]

You can use it to

[The consumer goods disappear. The light green debit card reappears.]

make purchases at retailers

[Some consumer goods (a shoe box and some shopping bags) reappear on the card.]

withdraw money from the automated teller machine or "ATM"

[The card is inserted into an ATM slot. Cash comes out of the ATM and then goes bank into the slot.]

log in to your account with your financial institution

[The ATM slot changes into a smartphone, and the Desjardins logo and a "Connect" button appear on the screen.]

Credit card

[A darker green background reappears with the words "Credit card" in yellow. The words "Credit card" then turn light green, from right to left.]

Your account isn’t charged immediately

[The black credit card reappears against a light green background.]

Your financial institution temporarily advances you the money

[Then, a gift box appears on top of the credit card.]

and you pay for your purchase later

[The gift on top of the credit card stays and then disappears. Coins start to fall from the top of the screen towards the card.]

You must be 18 or older to get a credit card

[The black credit card appears again.]

Sometimes it’s free and sometimes there’s a fee, depending on the card you choose

To get a credit card, you have to apply for one

[The card flips over and a white envelope appears with the black credit card inside.]

You can use a credit card to make purchases at retailers

[The black credit card comes out of the envelope and the envelope disappears. Some consumer goods (a shoe box and some shopping bags) appear once again on the card.]

Or to buy things and make reservations online

[The consumer goods disappear. The black credit card then changes into a smartphone. A shopping cart and an airplane appear on top of it.]

How much you can buy with your card depends on your credit limit

[The airplane takes off, the cart disappears, the smartphone flips over and then turns back into the black credit card again. A concrete barrier then appears on the card.]

You’ll get a monthly statement that shows all the purchases you’ve made

[The barrier disappears and a paper statement comes out of the top of the card.]

Every credit card has an interest rate

[The paper statement disappears, leaving the black credit card, and a percentage sign then appears.]

Choose the one that works best for you

[The percentage sign on the card disappears, leaving the black credit card against a light green background.]

If you pay off your balance in full before the end of the billing cycle (21 days)

[A green and white calendar then appears on the card.]

you won’t have to pay any interest

[The calendar disappears into the card, leaving the black credit card against a light green background.]

4 tips to keep your credit card under control and never pay interest

[The light green background turns red. A gold trophy then appears, surrounded by sparkles.]

1. Choose a realistic credit limit.

[The black credit card with the concrete barrier appears once again.]

2. Pay your balance off every month.

[The barrier disappears and coins once again fall from the top of the screen towards the card.]

3. Automate your account payments so you never forget.

[The black credit card disappears and a small calendar appears.]

4. Don't use it to withdraw money from the ATM (you’ll be charged a withdrawal fee and interest)

[The calendar disappears, and then the ATM slot reappears, with cash coming out and going back into the slot.]

Remember: Use this card at the ATM

[The two cards (a light green debit card and a black credit card) reappear against a light green background. A black arrow then points to the debit card.]

Remember: Use this card for online purchases

[A black arrow points to the credit card.]

Remember: Use these cards for purchases at retailers

[We still see two cards: a light green debit card and a black credit card, against a light green background. Black arrows point to each card.]

Step into your new life with good advice.

[The green background turns into a road. A car drives in front of alternating grey and red houses, with trees, the sun and the chevron from the Desjardins logo, which appears over one of the houses to form a roof.]

[desjardins.com/PrepareLiveCanada]

[The URL "desjardins.com/PrepareLiveCanada" appears in a white font.]

[On-screen logo: Desjardins logo]

[Background music: Desjardins jingle]

[End of transcript]

Description Transcript
How do you build a good credit history in Canada?

1 min 34 s

Learn why it's important to have a good credit history.
How do you build a good credit history in Canada?

Note: The information in brackets describes the audio and visual content of the video that is not dialogue or narration.

When you get to Canada, you’ll need to start building your credit report.

[A Canadian flag flies in the wind.]

Your credit report shows how well you can meet your financial commitments.

[Various financial tools (a calculator, some bills, money and two black bank cards) appear.]

It lists the size of your loans

[Most of the financial tools disappear from the yellow background, leaving only the calculator, with a paper statement coming out of it.]

It lists debt payments and other payments

[The calculator disappears and some bills appear, with money falling onto them.]

It lists late payments

[The bills and the money disappear, replaced by a green and white calendar.]

Your credit report comes with a credit score.

[The calendar disappears, replaced by a beige file folder.]

Your credit score is based on:

[The beige file folder opens and an indicator appears above it, with an arrow that turns from red to green.]

Your credit score is based on:

  • Your payment habits
  • The total amount of your debts
  • How often your credit is checked
  • How many times you’ve applied for credit
  • The type of credit you use

[The text appears in black.]

People can check your score to: approve you for a loan

[The yellow background changes to light green, and a small grey house appears.]

People can check your score to: let you pay on credit

[Various material goods (a sofa, a living room table, living room furniture, a TV and a home entertainment speaker system) appear against a light green background.]

People can check your score to: rent you an apartment

[A yellow apartment building appears.]

People can check your score to: hire you

[A briefcase and laptop computer appear.]

People can check your score to: approve you for home and auto insurance

[A black SUV appears.]

[A gold trophy then appears.]

6 tips for building a good credit report

  1. Pay your bills, loans, fines and tickets on time.
  2. Only borrow what you can pay back.
  3. Only use part of your available credit.
  4. Write cheques only if you have the money in your account.
  5. Only use a credit card if you can pay it back on time.
  6. Limit how often you apply for credit and credit increases.

In short, good habits and good financial decisions can improve your score!

Step into your new life with advice you can trust.

[The background changes into a street. A car drives in front of alternating grey and red houses, with trees, the sun and the chevron from the Desjardins logo, which appears over one of the houses to form a roof.]

desjardins.com/PrepareLiveCanada

[The green background reappears, with the URL "desjardins.com/PrepareLiveCanada" in a white font.]

[On-screen logo: Desjardins logo]

[Background music: Desjardins jingle]

[End of transcript]

Open an account from abroad

Do you have any questions?

Account openings and money transfers from certain countries may be subject to strict regulations under Canadian and international economic sanctions. Applicable fees are calculated on the transferred amount received, or, as the case may be, on the amount in Canadian dollars resulting from the conversion of foreign currency. The conversion rate corresponds to market rates in effect at the time funds are received. Some correspondent banks may impose fees or additional charges, which will be deducted from the amount transferred.