Did You Know…

Financial Institutions

  • When you hold a loan or credit card with the same financial institution with which you bank, they have the right to withdraw funds from your account to pay overdue credit balances. This is called right of offset. You can avoid this by banking and carry debt with different institutions.
  • If you are new to Canada you may be able to get financial institutions to recognize your credit history from outside Canada. This may involve, for example, requesting a copy of your credit report from the credit-reporting agency in the other country and sitting down with a branch officer to discuss your credit or loan application.
  • A bank may place a hold on funds deposited by cheque in order to make sure that the person or company who wrote the cheque has enough funds to cover the value, that a stop payment has not been placed on the cheque, and/or that the cheque has not been altered in any way. You may request a copy of a bank’s policy on the maximum length of time they will hold cheque funds.
  • If a financial institution cashes a postdated cheque before the date on the cheque, you can ask them to refund the money to your account, provided you make the request before the date on the cheque. If the cheque has resulted in non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees being charged to you, you can make a complaint to your financial institution.
  • A bank cannot refuse to open a bank account for your because you are unemployed or do not make a minimum deposit right away, or because of a poor credit history – as long as you have the proper identification. For more details you can contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada at 1-866-461-3222

Credit Reports

  • You can receive a FREE credit report from Equifax Canada and TransUnion. The only catch is that you must request it by mail. Credit reports can also be obtained online for a fee.
  • Companies that promise to “clean-up” or “erase” your bad credit may not deliver on their promises. You can correct your credit report of errors for free and no one can require credit-reporting agencies to remove accurate, negative information from your report before the legal time is up. The only way to repair bad credit is with good credit practices over a period of time.

Credit Cards/Loans

  • Even if a credit card issuer offers to waive a payment, you will likely still be charged interest during this “grace” period. The institution is required to tell you how much it will cost you to take advantage of this waived payment.
  • Getting a payday loan and paying it off will not improve your credit score. However, if you do not pay your loan back on time and it is sent to a collection agency, this will likely be reported to a credit-reporting agency and could have a negative impact on your credit score.


  • A little can add up to a lot! If you spend just $1.50 less per day on average, (the price of a cup of coffee), your savings will add up to this much:                         $10.50 per week  /$45.00 per month / $548.00 per year


  • If you are in a couple relationship and applying for the Child Tax Benefit, both parties must file THEIR OWN tax return even if they have no income to report

Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) for People With Canada Student Loans

This repayment program replaces the old interest relief program and debt reduction in payment programs.

The new RAP program began on August 1, 2009 and is available to borrowers who are having difficulty paying back their student loan debt. The Plan makes it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by paying back what they can reasonably afford.

The RAP has two stages to help student borrowers fully repay their student loan with 15 years, depending on their financial circumstances.

Under the Plan:

  • No borrower should have a repayment period of more than 15 years (or 10 years for borrowers with a permanent disability)
  • Affordable student loan payments are based on the borrower’s family income and family size
  • Borrowers will not make payments exceeding 20 percent of their family income towards loans covered by the RAP

In certain cases, borrowers may not have to make any student loan payments until their income increases. For more information or to find out if you are eligible contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) at 1-888-815-4514

Student Budgeting Tips

  • Buy used books whenever possible
  • Buy only those books you absolutely need; suggested readings can usually be found on reserve in the library,
  • Purchase your supplies (paper, notebooks, pens, etc.) at discount or large department stores for the best price,
  • If you need a computer for your program, shop and compare; buy what you need at the best price.
  • Be sure you check what scholarships and bursaries you might be eligible for. Scholarships are based on your academic performance while bursaries are mainly based on your demonstrated financial need.
  • You might need to consider applying for student loans either through your province/territory or from your financial institution in the form of a student line of credit
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