Building Credit in Canada


Remember how I said I cannot get a credit card in Canada because I don’t work outside the home? Not even a secured card, where I give my bank five hundred dollars, and they loan it back to me in little bits, for which they charge interest? Even though my credit in the United States is sterling (and even though they pulled my US credit before they would give us a mortgage)?

Apparently it’s not just me.

I was texting with a girlfriend today — another stay-at-home mom who moved up from the States within the last two years or so.

She tried to get a credit card. No luck. Not even a secured card. So she applied for a loan instead, just to build credit in Canada in her name.

She couldn’t get the loan because … wait for it! … she doesn’t have credit, nor a job outside the home.

Betcha didn’t see that coming!

BUT! Being good, polite Canadians, they had a compromise to offer.

For the next two years, they will automatically draw fifty dollars a month from her account (for which they will pay her the generous sum of … exactly nothing), and in two years, they agree to loan her a thousand dollars.

Of her money.

For which they will charge her interest.

… insert blinking owl eyes ….

But what’s a girl gonna do? You gotta have credit, right? In Canada, debit cards can only be used in person, so if you don’t have a credit card you cannot buy anything online or via the phone. She agreed to it.

They filled out the paperwork. They got her to sign a bunch of documents.

Then the clerk and said, “Would you like accidental death insurance on this? That way, if you die, your husband won’t be out the thousand dollars.”

She burst out laughing and said, “Hopefully he can spot me.”

See why I love this girl?!

But the best news of all, I haven’t told you yet.

You ready?????

You sure?

OK, here goes. Fabulous news!! My friend’s banker told me … (insert drum roll to create suspense) … I can get the same great deal she got!”

… insert crickets …


Look, here’s the deal, Ms. Canadian Banker. I already have credit cards. Granted, they are United States credit cards, but they work just fine here. And yes, my bank charges me a “Foreign Transaction Fee,” but it’s only one percent.

Rather than gift you with $1200 of my dollars so that you can loan me back a thousand, I’ll just keep using my U.S. cards, thanks.

And sending my interest money south.

One Response to “Building Credit in Canada”

  1. Jim Says:

    Love your plan!

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