I had a chance to read through this full thread. I noticed some repetitive questions. So I’ve put together this response that will hopefully answer most of your questions. Note: This is based on my experience, and what I did as part of my application.
You are required to show liquid funds that you have access to as any given time. This would generally mean bank balance. You can however, support the liquid funds with additional stocks / bonds etc, however it is safe to ensure you have the required amount in your bank balance.
Access to money: Rule of thumb the money should be in your account or your spouse. Any other family member would not be recommended as they can assume YOU do not have access to those funds. Having said this – how do you show that you have access to funds in spouse’s account? Read on.
You may have funds in multiple accounts (Banks and credit unions) how do you reflect them in one document? – Simple, after accumulating all required documents, I recommend writing a cover letter. In this letter, put a table that states the Name of the institution, owner of account, funds available, CAD equivalent. Also, I added a statement in the letter along the following “We, ________________ and ____________ certify that we have a total funds _______ or _________ CAD (Rate: 1 USD = ____ CAD) as disposable income. In addition, we have retirements funds and stocks which we have listed below “.
With this sentence you have stated that both of you have access to the funds. Provided a quick overview for the officer as what to expect and a quick table with all funds for a summary. Feel free to rephrase the sentence as needed. This is what I wrote and submitted, you may feel to make edits as you wish. You may have an account in India, you can show that balance as well, make sure you include the conversion rate.
How to reflect current loans (car, credit card, house) – Do this through statements. These loans will not be counted against you. Instead they are used to provide an insight into your financial maturity i.e. are you paying your bills on time? That is the only thing that they care about.
List of Documents
a. Bank statements (with 6 months average balance)
b. Loan documents
c. Stocks / Bonds / 401K / Retirement Funds
d. House Loan (if any)
e. Credit Card statements (and balances)
Here is my $0.02 – if you have a car, do not sell it yet. You have taken time in USA to build your credit history. Moving to Canada you will be starting credit history from scratch. Upon migrating you will have lots of other expenses to take care of, in that case having a car will really help. Rather than taking up a new car loan, just continue with your current one till you have all the required things taken care of. You can transfer a car from USA to Canada, there are some documents required but it should be pretty straight forward.
If you feel that by waiting for another 3 months or so your financial profile will be better, then do that. Do not apply with a half mind, you have a long waiting time in this process, and any halfhearted or luck-based approach will cause additional headache. From EE to ITA based on your score it can take from 2 weeks to 2 months, and ITA gives you an additional 90 days to submit documents. This means you can get started in the process and have time built in to be able to submit documents on time with sufficient funds.
Hope this gives you all an overview of all factors surrounding funds and financial documents.
@avj @mrandmrs please feel free to add to this, if I have missed anything.