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The Ultimate guide to moving to Canada

Whether you’ve just moved to Canada or are seriously considering moving here in Ottawa, congratulations!

Trekking to the land of true patriot love is certainly a choice we highly recommend, but we also understand that it can come with some unanswered questions and uncertainties on the best way to move forward.

New beginnings can feel extremely exciting with endless opportunities and discoveries, but also overwhelming and occasionally confusing (which, by the way, is totally normal to feel!). After all, you have to consider major components like health care, finances, housing, and potentially purchasing or getting a car loan in Ottawa. As Robert Thier wisely put it, “Knowledge is power is time is money.”

Keeping that in mind, we’ve created this guide to welcome newcomers, elevate your all-things-Canada knowledge, and equip you with the necessary tools to navigate through this transition period with ease.

People searching for a car loan in Ottawa and driving past Parliament Hill.

Where do I start?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve landed on the flat lands of the prairies, stunning mountains of British Columbia, or bustling streets of downtown Toronto — one question remains: where do I start?

The first step in your plan of action should be to build a Canadian record that will essentially just prove your existence as a citizen. Getting a provincial license and health card will help to establish your identity locally and nationally, and make things a bit easier in terms of in-country travelling, finances, and housing. Plus, health care is FREE in Canada and the easiest way to access it is with official Canadian documentation.

After you’ve crossed off the task of obtaining legal identification, you can work to build financial credit.

Building Credit for Yourself

Canada does not permit the transferral of credit from other countries and when it comes to building a credit profile, you have to start at square one.

Luckily, there are ways to build credit healthily and within a reasonable window of time. Apply for a Canadian credit card as soon as you can. Many vendors will offer credit card plans with low lines of credit and have even developed plans specifically for new immigrants!

The best way to secure a credit card is by, ironically, purchasing an unsecured credit card. They’re easily accessible, readily available, and don’t require deposits. Alternatively, you could apply for a secured credit card (which does require an initial deposit) but are more likely to grant you a larger line of credit.

Some factors that affect the likelihood of your approval include whether you’re employed, what field you work in, and what your salary range is or could be. Again, there are options, like the Capital 1 low rate MasterCard. It’s best research on what promotions various credit card companies or banks offer that fit your financial needs.

Once you’ve obtained one or more credit cards, (we suggest starting off with two) there are some fundamental rules to follow. The first is to always pay off your balance in full and budget accordingly so that you’re able to do so. Using your credit card and paying off your monthly balance won’t penalize you, but it also won’t build credit as quickly as it can if your card is continuously paid off! If you use your credit card with the mentality that it’s a debit card, you’ll be able to integrate this philosophy in your lifestyle a bit easier.

The next rule is to always make regular, consistent monthly payments. Most credit card companies follow a billing cycle of 21 days in which you can pay off your balance. If you schedule a particular day and time of the month to make these payments, you’re less likely to forget, be penalized on your credit score or get charged steep interest rates. One quick tip to track your banking easily is to download your financial institution’s online banking app. That way, you can make payments on the go.

Ultimately, it’s all about making the process as easy as possible for yourself.

Commit to a Canadian phone number

We know that the moving process can complicate regular communication with the ones you love the most.

Historically, people leaned towards keeping their international numbers until everyone in their life was up to date about their move. In the modern world and with social media apps like facebook messenger, whatsapp, facetime and skype, there are plenty of alternative methods to keep up with family and friends–making it much less of a difficult choice.

Changing your number to a Canadian area code and getting on a plan with a Canadian mobile provider sooner than later can prove to be advantageous. There are a few Canadian carriers that offer plans without the prerequisite of credit history, and once you join they will report your subscription to the credit bureau. The sooner you get a plan, the quicker you can build good credit!

Although prepaid plans are much more tempting in terms of benefits, looking into a post-paid plan is what will earn you the credit history you need.

Settle into your new home

There’s no way we could create this guide without giving you tips to find your new home sweet home!

If you’re settling in Ottawa, there’s a lot to factor into your housing decision. Are you ready for the responsibility of owning a home? Would you prefer to be in the centre of all the action in Downtown? Are you willing to live with others, or have you already moved to Canada with others?

Many newcomers to Canada don’t realize the full scope of how vast Canadian land is. When deciding where you’re going to nest, it’s important to narrow down a location that’s convenient for you. If you have kids, it may be of value to find a neighborhood with easy access to childcare. If you have a restricted budget (as many do), try and find a neighborhood near public transport stops. If you find a place near a subway, go bus, or go train line you’re golden!

After deciding on an area, you should decide what type of housing works best for you. If you’re choosing to rent an apartment, the general rule of thumb is to not spend more than 30% of your monthly take home income. For example, if your take home pay is 50,000 then it’s advisable to not spend more than $1250. If you’re looking to find a bigger property to own, perhaps a townhouse, condo, or freestanding home, then we would advise speaking to a credit lender to aid you in your loans and mortgage. The process is actually quite similar to, and involves some of the same variables as acquiring a car loan.

Person driving through the woods after getting approved for a car loan in Ottawa

Finding a new ride

The last item to check off your list is to find a new car! While there are great public transportation systems and ride sharing available, they can be costly. Depending on where you’re located, inconvenient. Plus, in a province as vast as Ontario you’ll want a vehicle to explore!

When shopping around for a car, you should consider 3 major factors: how much you’re willing to spend, whether you have and savings to put towards a downpayment, and what you’re looking for in a vehicle.

If you have a high amount of cash available, you may opt to just purchase a vehicle entirely from cash. While that’s the ideal situation, many are unable to do so as their finances aren’t as flexible. One alternative is taking a car out on a lease, but there are several restrictions applied in terms of how much you drive, and for how long. The car is also not your property within the terms of a lease. Another possibility that has proven to be successful with new immigrants is committing to a car loan in Ottawa.

Car loans in Ottawa are personal loans provided to individuals seeking help in financing and/or purchasing automobiles. They’re a great option for new residents as to the country as they offer an alternative form for getting credit. In fact, credit bureaus are more likely to provide approvals if you have different sources of credit. Before deciding on a monthly rate, make sure to analyze your budget which is surely filled with several new costs associated with moving.

To give you some perspective, Car loan experts in Ottawa generally suggest not spending more than 15-20% of your monthly pay after taxes on your car loan. So, after dissecting your income or savings and expenses, you can hopefully find that magic number that you’re comfortable with. If you want to double check your calculations, or play around with different combinations of the variable involved, we suggest using a car loan in Ottawa calculator.

You may be wondering how it’s possible to get a car loan in Ottawa with no credit, but companies like Ottawa Bad Credit Car Loans actually specialize in these type of cases. It is important to keep in mind that for bad credit lenders to be able to offer loans, you may be required to find a co-signer or take on a loan for a lengthier period of time. Despite that, it’s still a real possibility to strengthen your credit in just 12-18 months!

At Ottawa Bad Credit Car Loans, we work with major Canadian banks to secure the lowest possible rates for our customers. For newcomers especially, we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay a premium on your exciting new start in our city! On top of that, we only offer certified new and used cars to our consumers. Each and every vehicle is inspected and certified so that you can drive without worry.

As you can see, many of the variables we’ve listed are interrelated. Your status as a citizen and documentation enables you to get a credit card, which enables you to apply for a housing or car loan in Ottawa. If you weren’t sure where to start, we sure hope you do now! Although starting a new chapter may have a lot of unknowns, we’re sure you’ll be loving Canadian life once you get the ball rolling!

Here at Ottawa Bad Credit Car Loans, our priority is to help people of all backgrounds build their credit in the best way they can. If you’re looking to get a car loan in Ottawa to help traverse your new homeland, we’ve got you covered. We’re also always looking for new ideas to help our customers If you’ve moved to Ottawa recently, comment below with some tips that really helped you out!