7 Practical Graduation Gift Ideas to Give to Your Kids

Few days left until March. This means it’s graduation season again. This also means you are obligated to give something to your kid as a reward for all the effort and hard work done not just during the school year but for the entire time s/he is in school.

Apparently, giving gifts means you need to spend (again). Surely, your kids will ask you things like new phone, or a tablet, or a trip somewhere they haven’t been before. If you’re on a tight budget, giving them what they want could hurt your wallet.

What’s your alternative? You can still give your kid a gift, but instead of giving in to their demands, you give them something more practical and useful.

Here are some practical graduation gift ideas you can give:

Your Child’s Own Bank Account

Saving for the future is not solely your responsibility. In fact, it is everyone in the family’s responsibility. For your graduation gift, why not open a bank account under your child’s name? This could be her personal savings account, which she can use for whatever purpose, hopefully, something useful. Giving your kid a bank account too also teaches the importance of saving and becoming more responsible with money.

Is there anything more practical than this?

A Nice, Durable Bag 

Bag will always be a staple in everyone’s life. Whether your kid is heading to college or on his way to look for a job, he will need a durable bag to bring with him. As much as possible, keep it simple and could easily adapt to any given situation.

Does it have to be branded? It depends since not all signature bags automatically mean they are durable. More than the brand, look closely into the material and how it was made. Check the size and if there is enough room for all of your kid’s stuff. .


In this digital age, there are only few people who print pictures and actually write about what happened to them. Bring it back by giving your son or daughter a journal. Plain journal is recommended so they could personalize it according to their own liking.


Speaking of digital age, kids these days can practically do anything after making clicks on the keyboard. As your graduation gift, consider giving your son or daughter his or her own laptop.

Before you say “ang mahal naman,” you should know that there are laptops that are within the budget. In fact, you can get a new laptop without shelling more than P20,000. Simply settle for basic laptops especially if s/he will use it for school or work.

If budget permits, you can buy a laptop bag too.

A Nice Watch 

Mobile phone will tell you what time it is, but does your child have to get the phone all the time to check the clock?

It could be tempting to buy a smart watch, but we know how technology is these days and how fast it involves. Sure, you can do a lot with it, but nothing beats the classics. We suggest that you go for a timeless, classic piece that your son or daughter can use at any occasion.

Coffee Maker

Who doesn’t like coffee? If you noticed that your son or daughter loves coffee, give him/her a coffee maker for a cup of fresh brew every morning. 3-in-1 coffee is packed with sugar and going to Starbucks or any other coffee shops for a cup of Joe is not recommended and costly.

Don’t forget to add the beans.


Aside from his/her own bank account, starting an investment portfolio for your kid is also recommended.

Compared to savings account, investment options like mutual funds or stocks earn more. In a few years, you could already double or triple your money. This could also be a good start for your kids to consider investing as early as now.

So, what are you planning to give to your graduating kid?

6 Excuses that Stop You from Saving More

Before you leave for your job overseas, you promised yourself and your family that savings, among many others, will be on top priority. After all, you need to save for the rainy days and having a dedicated account for savings will really help a lot.

Let’s face it: saving money can be challenging. Even if that is your goal, you always come up with tons of excuses that stop you from saving. These excuses echoed by many OFWs include:

Excuse No. 1: My family needs money. 

Whatever happens, you will always be responsible for the finances back home. You feel that it is your responsibility being the family member who earns more. Blame it on the family culture as well wherein members of the clan feel responsible and obligated to help everyone, even if they are your extended relatives.

Unfortunately, this excuse is the most common and most abused excuse uttered by many OFWs. No matter how much you feel the urge to save, it’s just too hard to say no to your family. Still, there is something you can do about it. It will only take a lot of courage and commitment to say NO to all their demands.

Excuse No. 2: It’s still to early to save. 

You’re only down to your first month overseas. Since your contract is for two years, you still have 23 months more to save, which means you still have time. The next thing you know, your contract ended and you barely have money on your account to help you and your family sustain for at least three months.

There’s no such thing as “too early to save.” The best time to save is now and only now. As soon as you stepped into foreign soil, saving should be on top of your mind.

Excuse No. 3: “My kids / spouse will love this.” 

Being overseas can be tempting. Apart from earning in dollars, you have access to beautiful things that you can’t find back home – most of the time, sold at a cheaper price. You want to share a piece of your life to your family so you always end up buying tons of stuff for them.

It’s okay to spend, but do you always need to send balikbayan boxes every quarter? Limit your spending on material things since these won’t last anyway.

Excuse No. 4: Enrolment Season

Apparently, education in the Philippines is not cheap, especially if you are aiming to send your kids to reputable schools. Once the enrolment season starts, your commitment to savings is forgotten because this “expense” must be paid first.

This is why it is important to save early. You give yourself enough buffer when the time comes and you need money. You don’t need to take tons of jobs in between just to cover tuition expenses since you were able to save early.

Excuse No. 5: Calamity happened back home. 

The latter half of the year is when the Philippines is plagued with tons of typhoons. If your family lives in low-lying, typhoon-prone areas, then it’s not surprising when you always have to send money back home to help with the repairs.

Believe it or not, you can avoid this. Buying a house in a better location may be the best solution, but we know how heavy this is on the pocket. The best you can do for now is to set aside a Calamity Fund that will cover expenses back home. Government agencies like PAG-IBIG also offers Calamity Loan, which you can avail of – in the meantime.

Excuse No. 6: “I need to start Christmas shopping.” 

In the Philippines, Christmas starts as early as September – and this is something you brought with you abroad. You started filling out those boxes just in time for Christmas. While there is nothing wrong with this, do you always have to splurge just because it’s the Season of Giving?

One or two gifts for every member of the family is fine. More than material things, the best gift that you can give them is the gift of stability. Don’t let this take a backseat and constantly give in to your family’s needs and demands. You need to prepare for everyone’s future and the best time to start it is now.

Savings Account for Your Kids You Should Apply For – Now

There’s no such thing as “too early” when it comes to saving for your kids’ future. In fact, the earlier you prepare, the better because you can get ahead. By the time your kids start school or in the event of an emergency, you already have sufficient amount to cover for these expenses. This is why it is also important that you make the most out of your time overseas where you can earn more money.

Aside from preparing for their future, having a bank account for your kids teaches them the importance of responsibility. At an early age, you are also able to instill the value for money on them and how starting early in savings could benefit them later in life.

Thankfully, banks recognize this demand and came up with facilities that cater to children. That being said, here are the best savings account for your kids:

BPI Jumpstart Savings 

This is ideal for kids between 10 and 17 years old. With initial deposit of P100, you can get a savings account for your child in BPI and BPI Family. If you want the account to start earning interest at 0.25 percent, then make sure the account has at least P1,000 for BPI Family and P2,000 for BPI accounts.

Why BPI Jumpstart Savings?

  • Low maintaining balance of P500 and P1,000 for BPI Family and BPI, respectively.
  • Comes with Guaranteed Savings feature, which protects the funds from unplanned withdrawal.
  • The Allowance Transfer facility allows you to deposit money for allowance according to your schedule.
  • Cellphone reloading is available.

BDO Junior Savers Account

If you really want to start early on savings, then BDO Junior Savers Account might be of help. This can be availed of kids between zero and 12 years old. Similar to BPI, the minimum initial deposit is P100 – and you only need this amount to maintain the account as well. To ensure that you will earn interest at 0.25 percent, P2,000 is required.

Why BDO Junior Savers Account?

  • Comes with ATM card and passbook.
  • In case you have an existing BDO account, you can easily transfer money to your child’s account through online banking.
  • In case your child is seven and above, s/he can already request for a personalized EMV debit card as long as the balance is P2,000.

Metrobank Fun Savers Club

Many savings account for kids are limited to a particular age and will require you to “upgrade” or change by the time your child reaches the maximum age limit. If you want something longer, then Metrobank’s Fun Savers Club is ideal for you. Age limit is between zero and 18 years old and minimum initial deposit is P100. The minimum maintaining balance is at P500 but if you want the account to earn interest at 0.25 percent, then the account must have at least P4,000.

Nonetheless, this account only comes with a passbook and has no ATM option.

Why Metrobank Fun Savers Club?

  • Welcome gift for kids
  • Discounts and privileges from partner establishments like Active Fun and Tom’s World
  • May come with free educational trust benefit worth P50,000 IF you met minimum ADB requirement

Security Bank Junior One Account 

Similar to Metrobank, Security Bank’s Junior Savers facility for kids can also be extended up to 18 years old. Initial deposit is also P100, but minimum maintaining balance is P5,000. The best part is this P5,000 could already start earning interest at 0.5 percent, which is twice higher than the other savings account for kids.

Why Security Bank Junior One Account?

  • It comes with a passbook.
  • Debit card option is available.
  • Easy and convenient account opening since you can get the card and apply for online access on the same day.

PS Bank Kiddie and Teen Savers Account

Kiddie Savers Account is available for kids between zero and 12 years old while the Teen Savers Account is for those between 12 and 18 years old. Maintaining balance is at P2,000 to allow you to earn at 0.25 percent.

Why PS Bank Kiddie and Teen Savers Account? 

  • There is no minimum initial deposit and maintaining balance, thereby giving you more flexibility on the account.
  • It comes with passbook and ATM for In-Trust-For account.
  • Free Personal Accident Insurance equivalent to five time the account’s monthly average daily balance.

Did you notice anything? Savings account for kids are easy and convenient to avail. Go to your trusted bank now to apply – and give your child the gift of security.

PiTaKa: A Financial Literacy Program for Overseas Filipino Workers

Did you know that OFW remittances is accountable for 10 percent of the country’s GDP? In 2018 alone, OFW remittances were as high as USD 26 billion. This is why OFWs like you are considered as modern day heroes because of what you can do for the country and as among the huge economic driving force.

Here’s the surprising part: despite earning in dollars, many OFWs are still struggling financially – and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas noticed that. In fact, some still go home with little to empty pockets, thereby forcing them to look for another job abroad.

To address this issue, BSP, in partnership with BDO Foundation and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), launched PiTaKa, a financial literacy program for OFWs that will, hopefully, give them a happy ending – at least in the financial aspect.

What is PiTaKa? 

PiTaKa, which stands for Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman, is a forged partnership with OWWA and BDO Foundation, which aims to improve financial literacy of OFWs as well as their families. According to BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr., the PiTaKa program “aims to change sad stories” of financial struggles into “happy endings.”

For OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, the PiTaKa program also aims to change “cultural perspectives about money” as well as “improve the financial standing Filipinos and contribute to the country’s economic growth.”

This program helps OFWs on financial issues such as:

  • Better management of remittance
  • Effective savings techniques
  • How to get out of debt
  • Where to invest your money
  • How to become a business owner

Consequently, the program will emphasize on values formation, which helps in the development of better behavior and positive attitude towards money to improve one’s financial standing.

Unlike other financial programs, PiTaKa helps not just the OFW but also extends its training to OFW families. In fact, they will be taught and encourage how to spend and save wisely and the things they could do to help augment OFW’s income.

What is the mode of teaching? 

Videos will be used as tools, which will be shown during financial literacy lessons. Since the program is intended for OFWs, PiTaKa will be part of the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar (PAOS). The videos will also be used and shown during the General Orientation for OFW families.

PDOS/PAOS and OWWA training providers will also undercover necessary training to ensure that financial literacy will be taught effectively and efficiently to all OFWs.

Why include financial literacy in the list of programs for OFWs? 

The purpose is clear: to properly educate OFWs and their families on how to be regular savers and investors as well as how to handle money wisely and effectively. This way, every OFW will be able to enjoy financial freedom as well the fruits of their labor.

More so, not all understood terms like bonds, investment, or dividends mean. Through PiTaKa, OFWs and their families will have a better understanding of the concepts and be better equipped with knowledge they need to help them improve their financial condition without a family member going away.

When you attend PDOS, make sure you pay attention to this as well. Take notes and don’t hesitate to ask questions in case something is unclear to you. The more financially knowledgeable you are, the better it will be for you in making financial decisions.

How to Get that Dream Home this 2019

One of the many things OFWs save up for is their dream home. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a house they can call their own, right? Plus, shelter is a basic human need and your family deserves it.

Apparently, buying a house is not the same as buying a shirt. For starters, house is more expensive and will entail you to spend at least a million. Second, buying a house means you need to take a lot of adjustments to accommodate this additional expense. Third, don’t even get started with maintenance and real estate taxes.

More than that, at least you have a place you can call your own, no matter what happens. If you intend to make that dream happen this 2019, then you can and you will.

Here are tips to help you buy that dream home this year:

Tip No. 1: Determine the logistics for your new home.

This is the first thing you need to do. Sure, it is the people who makes a house a home, but what kind of house do you plan to buy?

At this point, you need to narrow your choices as to whether you’ll get a house and lot, condominium unit, or a land where you can build your house. Is previously-owned house okay for you as well? Do you want to live in a gated subdivision or non-guarded locations will do?

Consequently, you need to establish the location of your dream home. The price of houses in Metro Manila is expensive compared to settling in nearby provinces. Scout for locations that are near schools or hospitals for added accessibility. Ask around whether the location you are eyeing for is prone to flood or within the fault line, which are important factors to consider.

Also, outline your plans on how you can save and earn more so you could buy your dream home by the end of the year. This way, you can make necessary adjustments and avoid falling short off cash.

Tip No. 2: Create a budget. 

This is a must. You may find the perfect location and the perfect size for your dream home but can you afford it?

This is why it is important to create a budget. This should outline how much are your expenses as well as the money you earn every month. The expenses column is crucial, so look into it closely and see which ones you could forego, say weekly shopping for your family or eating out every Friday night. This way, you could make room for expenses like amortization, especially if you plan to borrow money.

Keep in mind that good saving and wise spending habits are important in making your dreams happen. Set up a budget now and make sure you stick to it.

Tip No. 3: Make those tiny sacrifices. 

It’s okay if you won’t be able to send money every three days or a balikbayan box every other month. That doesn’t mean you love your family less.

It’s okay if you just cook meals at home or refuse to go out with friends every Friday night. You simply know your priorities and that’s what matters.

The point is everyone in the family must do something and contribute to help maximize savings. A little sacrifice goes a long way, which means you might be able to buy that dream home by the end of the year.

Tip No. 4: Look for additional sources of income. 

Your job overseas may be paying you well but don’t just rely on that, especially now that you’re planning to buy a house. At this point, you need to look for additional sources of income to help you fill the Dream House fund.

Your family back home should take responsibility as well. There are tons of businesses they could try without shelling out too much money. This way, raising money for your dream house won’t just be on your shoulders.

Tip No. 5: Try financing. 

Despite the changes in your lifestyle and cooperation of your family back home, the fund doesn’t seem enough.

This is where financing comes in. Banks offer Housing Loan with priority given to Overseas Filipino Workers. Government agencies like SSS and PAG-IBIG also offer housing programs, who have lower interest rates.

The point is explore your financing options, compare rates and other features of the housing loan program, and ask for recommendation before you say yes to one.

Are you ready to get that dream home? Yes you are – and you will.

5 Reasons Why OFWs Borrow Money

You heard it countless times already – save, save, and always save. OFW life is uncertain and there is always a risk that you might be forced to go home due to unforeseen events. There could also be issues back home that could force you to take three or four jobs to cover the expenses.

No matter how hard you budget and save, your account doesn’t seem to grow. Yet, needs (and wants, which should not always be prioritized) never seem to end. You will always need a house, a new car that will replaced the decades old you have on the garage, prepare for your kids’ education, and the list goes on.

What do you do when your funds are not enough? You borrow money.

Check out the common reasons why OFWs borrow money:

Your family back home needs it. 

This is the most common reason why many OFWs borrow money, sometimes even resorting to loan sharks. As harsh as it sounds, OFWs became the instant ATMs for their family – and even extended family – back in the Philippines. They assume that since you are earning in dollars, you earn a lot. Little do they know the sacrifices you need to make just to fulfill their needs and capriciousness. After all, this is your way of making up to them and the time lost.


Tuition fee doesn’t come cheap. When it comes to your kids’ education, you are willing to make necessary sacrifices, including borrowing money, to ensure that they will get quality education.

The good news is you can prepare for this early. The earlier you save up for your child’s education, the easier for you once your child starts schooling.

Medical Emergencies

Nobody wants to get sick. No one wants to get into an accident. Even if your hospital expenses will be covered by your employer, that benefit does not extend to your family members. There is also a chance that the expenses will not be fully covered, which means you need to shell out your own money as well. In case one of your family members are sick, you have to pay for the expenses straight from your pocket.

In case you don’t have enough funds to cover for the expenses, you tend to resort to lenders. It could be a good way to augment expenses,

In other words, applying for a loan is not all that bad, especially if there is a legitimate reason to borrow. When you do, make sure you could pay on time. Otherwise, it could destroy your credit score, thereby affecting future loan applications.

Purchase of Home, Vehicle, or Any Other Asset

A decent house in Metro Manila will cost you millions. Depending on the model you chose, a car will also have a tag price of millions. In other words, buying possible assets will cost you a lot of money – and applying for a loan is a good way to get that.

You have to be careful on this. Since this involves millions, you have to prepare yourself in paying monthly amortization. It is advisable that you make a bigger down payment so you could reduce the costs every month.


One of the best products of your hard work overseas is by having your own business. Regardless if you go back overseas or not, having a business, no matter how small it is, gives additional income to your family. You can use the earnings to cover monthly expenses.

Apparently, putting up your own business means you need funds to make it happen. If you don’t have sufficient amount yet and you believe that your product or service could help make the world, then getting a loan would be feasible to make that entrepreneurial dream happen.

Speaking of loan, Balikbayad is here to help with your cash needs. Simply fill out our online application form or download the Balikbayad app on Google Play Store to apply.

7 Simple but Effective Ways to Increase Your Savings

Imagine working overseas for 10 years. By now, you should have your own house, sufficient savings to keep you covered during rainy days, and started investing your money to make it grow. Like most Filipinos and despite earning in dollars, you haven’t reached your P100,000 mark yet.

That is not a good sign.

You might argue that a big chunk of your money goes to your family back home and their never-ending expenses. Sure, you want to provide for them and ensure that all their needs (and demands) are met, but this doesn’t mean you should not set aside at least five or 10 percent of your monthly earnings.

Don’t worry. You still have time to fix this situation. Here are simple and effective ways to help you boost your savings:

Tip No. 1: Train your self to be in Saving Mode. 

Saving is about discipline and commitment. If you want to be successful in boosting your savings, then you need to train yourself and your mind to make saving part of your system. It’s difficult at first, especially when your family calls you because they need this and that, but you need to be firm in your decision to embrace saving as part of your lifestyle.

Tip: Immediately set aside five to 10 percent of your monthly income every month. Place it in a container that is difficult to open. This will serve as your savings or Emergency Fund.

Tip No. 2: Know where your money goes. 

This is also important. Your commitment to savings is the first step, but you also need to know where your money goes so you can make necessary adjustments.

Everyday for the rest of the month, make a list of where your money goes, regardless of the amount. By the end of the month, review your list of expenses and see which ones you can get rid of and what expenses are non-negotiable.

By doing this, it will be easier for you to make adjustments in your lifestyle, which eventually leads to bigger savings. This also leads you to this next tip.

Tip No. 3: Live within your means.

We understand that you want to give the best to your family. Does this mean ending up with zero every month to fulfill their wants? Definitely not.

Therefore, live within your means. It’s normal to feel jealous every time you see fellow Filipinos making it big or showering their loved ones with material things. Instead of trying to keep up with them, use this as your motivation to work harder. Don’t let envy get over your system and think long-term.

Tip No. 4: Involve your family in saving. 

Savings should not solely be the responsibility of the OFW. If you want to increase your savings, then this must be a collective effort.

That being said, talk to your family about your financial goals and make sure everyone will do their part to contribute. Explain to them that not being able to send balikbayan box every month or saying no to their request of having a grand birthday party does not necessarily mean that you don’t love them. There are more important things than material possessions and short-term happiness. When you make saving a collective effort, it will be easier for you to increase your savings and reach your goals faster.

Tip No. 5: Monetize your skills. 

Are you good at something, say baking, cooking, or photography? Take advantage of those skills by monetizing them.

Offer your services, sell your works online, or ask your friends to refer you to those who might need. Who knows, this could be a start of something big for you.

Tip No. 6: Learn more about investments. 

Sadly, many Filipinos are not financially literate. Apparently, lack of access is no longer an excuse. Now that you can find information online, make use of it to educate yourself more about investments, especially during downtime. If there are free seminars about investments, then try attending one.

The more informed you are, the better you will be in making sound financial decisions, which could lead to bigger savings as well.

Tip No. 7: Don’t always resort to loans. 

Applying for a loan will make things easier for you. Apparently, there are loans that you don’t really need and push you in the debt pool.

Before you resort to loans, ask yourself if you really need it. Make sure you identify the purpose of the loan. If the money will be used to start a new business or for investment, then that is a good deal. Otherwise, borrowing money to buy new gadgets or so your family could afford shopping is a big no-no.

Speaking of loans, Balikbayad is here to help. Submit your online application now and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. In case you are an Android phone user, Balikbayad now has an app, which you can download at Google Play Store. The app is a more convenient way to apply for a loan when you really need it.

5 Things OFWs Wish Their Families Know about Their Life Overseas

We said this several times and we’ll say it again – OFW life is not easy. Yes, earning money is easier, but this means you will be thousands of miles away from your family, staying in a country you’re not familiar with, learning a new language for the first time, and embracing a new culture. Plus, there is always a risk of abuse or getting an unreasonable employer that could make “running away” impossible.

Of course, your family back home are not aware of the sacrifices you make. As much as possible, you try to sugarcoat your situation and make it seem that you’re doing fine when in fact, you are eating twice a day and scrimp on almost everything so you could send them more money.

That being said, here are some of the things OFWs wish their families know about their lives abroad:

It’s a Lonely Life 

Yes, OFWs are in a foreign land and see places they once saw on pictures and postcards. Yes, they earn in dollars, which is way more than what they earn in the Philippines. Amidst all these, it’s usually a lonely life for OFWs.

For starters, being in a foreign land means they don’t know anyone. They have to get used to being invisible since finding a “friend” they could count on all the time. Second, even if there is a strong Filipino community, they don’t get to see them as much as they can, except on scheduled day offs. Most Filipinos they’ll bump into are rushing on their way to their job number two (or three).

This is why it is important to maintain constant communication with their loved ones back home. Somehow, it eases the feeling of homesickness and loneliness.

It’s Not All Glitter and Gold 

Sure, you receive tons of balikbayan boxes as often as you can. Apparently, what you don’t know is the sacrifices OFWs need to make just to fill those boxes.

OFW life is not a glamorous life, unless they’re really lucky with their employer. There are many who are abused and treated inhumanely by their employers. There are many who are considered as professionals and board passers in the Philippines but work as factory workers or household service workers overseas. OFWs won’t tell you that they ate once or twice a day or that they have to endure the heat at night so they could save on electricity. You won’t hear them complaining that much because what matters to them is to provide for the family.

Money Doesn’t Grow in Trees 

The advantage of working overseas is earning in dollars or any other currency. With how the peso is doing, it’s safe to say that OFWs are earning big and earning more.

Still, this money is a product of their hard work. This money is a result of two or more jobs they have to take to ensure that you get to pay the bills on time, kids go to school, and make everyone happy.

That being said, avoid asking them to spend on unnecessary things. Don’t force OFWs to sponsor your every baptism, birthday, and whatever celebration in the family. There are more important things OFWs have to worry about and they’ll do that by making the most out of their stay there, which leads you to this next concern.

They Don’t Prioritize Themselves

Every OFW you will meet have different reasons why they want to work overseas. Still, the most common answer is they’re doing it for their family. This is why when it comes to their Priority List, their own selves are on the last.

Most OFWs will do whatever it takes to earn more money that they could send back home – even if it means sacrificing their selves. This includes still coming to work despite being sick or take multiple jobs even if their body could no longer handle it.

There’s No Place Like Home

There are countries that are way better than the Philippines in terms of government services, roads, and overall way of living. Still, OFWs would forget about that in exchange of being back home. Like what many always say, iba parin sa Pilipinas.

What’s the bottom line? Recognize the efforts of OFW family members and be more reasonable. They’re doing their part in ensuring your family’s future. Do your part as well.

Heads Up and Say Hello to Balikbayad App

Smartphones are important these days. Aside from making calls and texts, you can do almost everything on your phone – send emails, take pictures or videos and upload them on your social media accounts, communicate with other people outside the Philippines, and even apply for a loan.

Yes, you read that right. With the increasing number of smartphone users in the Philippines, First Digital Finance Corporation, the company behind Balikbayad, decided to launch its very own Balikbayad app.

What’s Balikbayad app? 

Not everyone has immediate access to computer. This is why the Balikbayad app was launched on end of January of 2019 to help address financing needs of OFW.

By downloading the app, you can easily apply for a loan from us even without being in front of the computer. The app is also for pre-approval, which means as soon as you completed the online application form, your details will be submitted for review. Thereafter, you will be contacted by Balikbayad representatives within 24 hours and ask you to submit additional documents.

Why download Balikbayad app?

  1. Minimum Processing Time – You will be contacted within 24 hours from the time you submitted your loan application form.
  2. Easy and Convenient to Use – All you need is to download the app from Google Play Store and you’re good to go. There’s no need to upload documents on the app as well.
  3. App is Free – Yes it is and it will stay that way.

How to Apply:

Step 1: Download the app from Google Play Store (Android devices). Don’t worry. It’s free.

Note: The app is not yet available in App Store (for iPhone users).

Step 2: Open the app. Navigate the arrows for the amount you plan to borrow as well as the term of the loan. Click Apply Now. 

Step 3: The app will ask for your permission to access your mobile phone such as contacts and location. The data gathered will be used to compute your score and will determine whether or not you will get past the pre-approval stage. Click Agree. 

Note: Balikbayad values security and privacy of our borrowers. The information you shared is strictly confidential.

Step 4: Input Employment Information by choosing appropriate details from the drop down arrow. Once completed, click Next. 

Step 5: Input your Personal Information.

Step 6: Click and input your current employment status.

Step 7: Complete the details required for Loan Information.

Step 8: Choose a Balikbayad branch – Cebu, Adriatico, Kalaw, and Makati. This is the branch where you will submit your loan documents.

Once you’re done, Balikbayad will check and review your information within 24 hours from submission. If approved, you will be contacted and asked to submit additional loan documents in your chosen Balikbayad branch.

Tips in Using Balikbayad App:

  • Complete all the details needed, particularly those with asterisk.
  • Make sure to allow Balikbayad app to access your mobile phone. Otherwise, the app won’t be able to check and compute your score properly.
  • Apply for an amount that you can pay on time.
  • Be honest. Don’t put information that does not reflect who you are or your current employment status.

What are you waiting for? Download the app now and apply for a loan with just a few clicks.

First Time OFWs: 6 Tips in Applying for a Job Abroad

Do you plan on working overseas? You’re not alone.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are seeking greener pastures for bigger earnings that will help secure their family’s future. If you’re new in this kind of world, then you need to be careful. There are a lot of fly-by-night recruitment agencies who take advantage of first-timers like you for their own gain – and you don’t want to be part of their victims list.

Don’t worry. In this post, we will enumerate tips and things to remember to ensure smooth sailing application for your first job abroad:

Tip No. 1: Three Words – Reputable Recruitment Agency 

This is the first thing you need to remember when applying for a job overseas.

The good news is POEA is active in going after unlicensed recruitment agencies and ensuring that the same people won’t operate again. There are several agencies who entice people to apply to them by placing high salary rate or compensation package, which could be tempting for ordinary Filipinos. When you pass your application form and requirements, they will ask you to pay the placement fee upfront, which is not allowed. Do not easily fall for that.

Before you apply, start by checking whether or not the agency is licensed or among those who are blacklisted in the POEA website. This way, you are sure that all of your efforts and money won’t go to waste.

Tip No. 2: Apply on Jobs Approved by POEA

This is why it is important to apply to reputable recruitment agencies. Every job order is approved by POEA, which means the government is aware that such job is needed overseas.

Since you are already browsing through the POEA website, you might also want to check their latest job offerings. From time-to-time, POEA posts job vacancies for certain countries and you might want to try that.

Tip No. 3: Transact Directly with the Agency 

You saw this job ad on Facebook and decided to apply. When you contacted the agency who posted the ad, you were told that you’ll just meet somewhere, say Starbucks or fast food restaurant. That is a red flag.

Reputable recruitment agencies don’t send out a representative to meet a prospective client somewhere outside the office. If you were told to meet somewhere, then there is a higher possibility that the job ad is a sham.

Tip No. 4: Tourist Visa is a No-No 

You apply because you want to work overseas. If you were told that you will be given a “Tourist Visa first” and then they’ll fix it “once you’re there in the country of destination,” then don’t push through with your job application.

There is a higher chance that the agency is not licensed. There is also a higher possibility that Immigration won’t allow you to leave the country. Even if you got past through Philippine Immigration, there is a risk that you will be deported in the country where you’ll be working.

Tip No. 5: Placement Fee is Worth One Month of Your Salary 

One of the expenses you need to pay for when you apply for a job overseas is the placement fee. It’s how recruitment agencies make their money, so this expense is inevitable.

How much, you might ask. One month salary and should not go beyond that. Some countries like Canada don’t even require you to pay placement fee, so make sure you are aware of that.

You might ask when should you pay the placement fee. You can pay only when there is a valid employment contract. There must also be a corresponding receipt that indicates the amount you paid for.

Tip No. 6: Say No to Fixers

Admit it. Sometimes, you are tempted to go to fixers to get tickets or for “faster transaction” when dealing with government agencies. Don’t even think about it when you plan to work abroad.

Processing of documents does take time. This is why it is important to prepare all necessary documents needed and ensure that these are complete before submitting your documents. This could minimize waiting time too.

Applying for a job overseas is similar to looking for a job in the Philippines. The difference is that there are more documents you need to secure, which could take time. Just be patient, remember these tips, and soon, you’ll be flying to a different country to help you secure your family’s future.