Own Your Dream Home with SSS Direct Housing Facility Loan

You know that PAG-IBIG offers Housing Loan facility to all its OFW members. Did you know that if you are a member of SSS, you can also apply for this type of facility?

Read on to learn more about SSS’ Direct Housing Loan Facility for OFWs.


The Direct Housing Loan Facility for OFWs is among the many services offered by the Social Security System. Its main goal is to support the shelter program of the government, which aims to provide low cost and socialized housing to Overseas Filipino Workers.

Who are OFWs? 

To avail of this type of loan facility, OFWs are private sector worker who is:

  • Currently deployed abroad whose contract was processed through POEA or authenticated by the Embassy abroad where you are working
  • Has employment contract, which is subject to renewal or deployment
  • Filipino national who is currently an immigrant or a citizen of another country, but wishes to buy a property for his/her family who are still in the country.
  • Overseas Filipinos living in other countries for a long time but wants to avail of housing packages when they retire or for their families.

Loan Details 

Purpose: Construction of a house or new unit, purchase of a lot and construction thereon, or purchase of an existing residential unit.

Loanable Amount: Maximum of P2 million for low-cost housing loan. For socialized housing loan, loanable amount is up to P450,000.

Terms of the Loan: SSS home loan is payable in multiples of five years but not exceeding 15 years.

Interest Rate: 8% per annum for P450,000 and below, 9% p.a. for loans above P450,000 but not exceeding P1 million; 10% p.a. if the amount is over P1 million but not exceeding P1.5 million; and 11% p.a. for loanable amount more than P1.5 million to P2 million.

Allowable Collateral: TCT/OCT/CCT issued by the Registry of Deeds in the name of the principal borrower. Consequently, the property must be free from liens and encumbrances. The said property will be secured by Real Estate Mortgage (REM), which will also be annotated on the title of the property held for security. A pre-selling property is likewise accepted as a collateral.

Insurance Coverage: This includes fire insurance, mortgage redemption insurance, and home guaranty corporation coverage, which will be paid for by the borrower.

SSS Home Loan Requirements:

1. Borrower must be a certified OFW, voluntary member of SSS with at least 36 months contribution and 24 months continuous contributions. Consequently, he/she must not be more than 60 years old at the time of application.

2. Borrower must not have a previous grant of SSS home loan or final SSS benefits.

3. Borrower must submit the following documents upon application:

  • Application for Housing Loan with attached 1×1 picture of the borrower.
  • Certification from POEA/DOLE/OWWA/SSS to prove that you are an overseas Filipino worker
  • Certificate of Loan Eligibility, which you can get for a fee of P100
  • Deed of Sale or Contract to Sell of the property you are applying for
  • Appraisal Report from accredited appraising companies of Home Guaranty Corporation
  • Certificate of Acceptance and Occupancy signed by the borrower in case the property is 100 percent complete
  • Photocopy of Tax Declaration and Real Estate Tax receipts
  • Certified true copy of the title of the property to be mortgaged
  • Lot plan with vicinity map
  • Blue print of the building home
  • Notarized Special Power of Attorney if the filing of application is made via representative
  • Tax mapping or subdivision plan
  • 12 post-dated checks to cover the fees

You may submit your application at the nearest SSS cluster branch or in Housing and Business Loans Department in SSS Building in Diliman, Quezon City.

Loan Sharks: How to Spot Them and Tips to Avoid Them

Have you seen the Filipino TV series On the Wings of Love? There was a scene there when a man went to Clark’s (portrayed by James Reid) apartment and demanded for money. Threats were even made in case Clark is unable to pay on time.

Believe it or not, that scene happens in real life, especially in the lives of OFWs. Difficult times and immediate need for money will lead migrant workers to people known as loan sharks to be able to send money back in the Philippines or finance certain expenses.

The good news is you can avoid that – and save yourself from stress and harassment. Who are Loan Sharks?

Loan sharks can be a person or entity that allows you to borrow a certain amount of money and charge with higher interest rate, usually above established legal rates. They are also illegal financing companies that usually targets people who are in desperate need of money.

Apparently, sky-high interest rate is just one thing you have to deal with. When you borrow money, say P10,000, you can’t get the entire amount. Interest rates are already deducted at the beginning of the transaction. If you are unable to pay on time, loan sharks often harass you through blackmail, intimidation, and threats.

How to Deal with Loan Sharks

Let’s say you are really in need of cash and loan sharks are your best option at that moment. Here are tips on how to deal with them:

  • Try your best to repay them as soon as you can. It is still your responsibility to pay what you owe and at the same time,  save you from their harassment and threats.
  • Know your rights not just as a consumer but also as a person – and make sure you let them loan sharks know that you are aware of such rights.
  • Seek help from authorities in case you or your family’s well-being is being affected.

Tips to Avoid Borrowing from Loan Sharks

Thankfully, there are ways available to help you avoid dealing with loan sharks. Here’s what you can do:

  • Always set a budget for everything – your daily expenses, money to be sent to the Philippines, and savings – and make sure to stick to it.
  • Try your best to save. You will never know what will happen and in case of emergencies, you have something to use for you or your family.
  • If borrowing money is needed, check the licensed and reputable lenders near you, compare their rates and payment terms, and determine which of them is more helpful.
  • Consider borrowing from a credit union or closest friends – and make sure you pay them back as soon as you can.
  • Encourage your family to save instead of spending. Set up a savings account and make sure the funds in it will only be used for emergency purposes.
  • Grow your money through various investment channels. It can be time deposit, UITF, mutual fund, or stock market.

The bottom line is with proper money management, you will have enough for the rainy days in case something happens.

OFW’s Guide on How to Get a Housing Loan from PAG-IBIG

There are many reasons why you work abroad. At the end of the day, it’s about providing a better and secure life and future for your family. To achieve this, you have to put your money in the right investments, including a home you can call your own.

If OWWA has an OWWA Loan to help all Overseas Filipino Workers to put up their own business, PAG-IBIG has a Housing Loan designed specifically for every bagong bayani. 

Here’s what you should know about PAG-IBIG Home Loan eligibility, requirements, and everything in between:

Get to Know PAG-IBIG Home Loan for OFW

The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) is a program of the government established to provide affordable housing loan schemes for OFWs. As a member of PAG-IBIG, you can borrow as much as P6 million, depending on your housing needs and your capacity to pay.

  • Keep in mind that the PAG-IBIG home loan is obtained for the purpose of acquiring a housing property, improving an existing unit, or refinancing an existing loan. The property can be a residential area, condominium unit, or unit that calls for further construction. Consequently, you can use the funds to pay for brand-new, previously mortgaged with HDMF, or under a rent-to-own program.

OFW as an Eligible Borrower

In case you want to avail of the Home Loan of PAG-IBIG, you should be able to present the following:

  • Employment Contract, with English translation if the contract is written in foreign language
  • Original Employer’s Certificate of Income. In case you don’t have the original, photocopy is acceptable provided it is duly validated and certified by HDMF Information Officer assigned in the country where you work.

PAG-IBIG Home Loan Requirements

Make sure you have the following documents when applying for a Home Loan:

  • PAG-IBIG Home Loan Form or Application with attached recent ID picture
  • Membership Status Verification Slip (must have remitted at least 24 months contribution or pay in lumpsum if you are a new member who wants to avail of housing loan)
  • Proof of Income such as employment contract, original employer’s certificate, or any other documents to prove such income as long as duly validated and certified by HDMF Information Officer assigned in the country where you work
  • Photocopy of one valid ID of the borrower. A photocopy of one valid ID is likewise required on spouse, co-borrower, or Attorney-in-Fact, whichever is applicable
  • Duly signed Authorization to Conduct Credit Background Investigation
  • If abroad, Special Power of Attorney notarized before the date of departure or duly certified and authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are working
  • Health Statement Form and Full Medical Examination for borrowers above 60 years old or loan amount of more than P2 million – This form is available at any PAG-IBIG Regional Branch, Members Services Support Division – Servicing Department if you are from Metro Manila, or downloadable online
  • Marriage Contract, if borrower is married
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR), if you are single
  • Birth Certificate or any proof of relationship if you have co-borrowers

Apart from the documentary requirements, you also have to prepare the following technical requirements:

  • Certified true copy of the latest TCT/CCT by the Registry of Deeds
  • Location Plan and Vicinity Map of the property
  • Photocopy of Tax Declaration and latest Real Estate Tax Receipts

Depending on your loan purpose, you must also present the following requirements:

  • Purchase of Lot / Residential Unit – Contract to Sell or similar agreement between the buyer and seller
  • Construction of House / Home Improvement – Building plan and Specification and Bill of Materials signed by licensed architect or civil engineer
  • Refinancing – Statement of Account on outstanding loan balance and indicating loan purpose, and any of the following: official receipt for the last 12 months, valid proof of payment for the last 12 months, or subsidiary ledger

PAG-IBIG Home Loan Process

Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to apply for PAG-IBIG Home Loan:

1. Attend a Loan Counselling with a PAG-IBIG Information Officer in the PAG-IBIG Office near you.

2. Fill up application forms like Housing Loan Application (HLA) and Preliminary Loan Counseling Questionnaire (PLCQ). You will also be asked to fill up a medical questionnaire if you are above 60 years old or applying for a loan amounting to P2 million above.

3. Submit the required documents and pay the non-refundable fee of P1,000

4. PAG-IBIG will review your loan application within 20 days. This period will also cover property valuation and credit investigation.

5. If approved, you will received a Notice of Approval or Letter of Guaranty. You must give any of the documents to the property seller and pay the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) at the BIR within 90 days. A Certificate of Authorizing Registration (CAR) will be released upon payment of CGT.

6. Pay for the Transfer Tax in the local government where the property is located.

7. Proceed to the Registry of Deeds (RD) to transfer the title. An updated tax declaration and Occupancy Permit will be given by the Assessor’s Office and Engineering Office, respectively. In case you are using the funds for refinancing, present the Letter of Guaranty and Loan and Mortgage Agreement to the bank where the loan was initially coursed through before going to the Registry of Deeds for annotation on the title.

8. Submit the following documents to PAG-IBIG: Original TCT in the name of the borrower and with mortgage annotation on it, Deed of Absolute Sale with stamp from RD, new tax declaration in the name of the owner, updated Real Estate Tax receipts for land and improvement, Occupancy Permit, and Assignment of Loan Proceeds (will come from PAG-IBIG).

Now that you survived the documentation and loan process, make sure you pay the monthly amortization on time. Congratulations!

4 Common OFW Money Mistakes (And Tips on How to Avoid It)

According to POEA’s latest OFW statistics, more than 1.8 million workers were deployed in 2015, which is higher compared to 2014. With millions of workers working overseas and earning in dollars for a living, how come more and more Filipinos are willing to seek for greener pastures and leave the country for better employment?

There are various factors for this phenomenon and one of this is poor money management. Blame it on the “culture,” but not all OFW families are able to put remittances in savings or investments.

Here are common money mistakes committed by OFWs – plus tips on how to avoid it: 1. Over-remitting

Most OFWs do their best to minimize spending and send a big chunk of their salaries to their families back home. Unfortunately, you don’t know where the money is going and yet, you keep on sending. In case something happened to you, you only have little left on your savings since almost everything is sent to your family.

How to solve it: Set a budget for yourself, your savings, and remittances – and stick to it. Don’t feel obligated to cover the medical or educational expenses of your mother’s cousin’s daughter. More importantly, encourage your family to invest the money or put up a small business you can all manage to reduce your remittances.

2. Keeping up with the Joneses

Working overseas increases your purchasing power. You are earning more than what you can earn in the Philippines, which means a new pair of sneakers or buying that watch you’ve been eyeing for years won’t make a big dent in your salary. Unfortunately, this mentality will lead you nowhere and before you know it, you are unable to save something for yourself.

How to solve it: Take it easy on your spending even if you are earning more. You don’t need a new pair of shoes or send Balikbayan boxes full of signature brands to your family every month. Remember, budgeting is key, so make sure you stick to that.

3. The pasikat mentality

Every time you go home, it’s a celebration. All your family, friends, and relatives will show up and ask you about life abroad. The harm starts when you always pay for everything – restaurant bills, tickets, and shopping with the family.

How to solve it: Being man of the hour is great, but you don’t need to answer for all the expenses while you’re in the Philippines. Go back to setting a budget before going home and make sure that all expenses are accounted for. You don’t need to treat everyone just because they get to see every two years only.

4. Wrong investment choices

Putting your money in a savings account is fine since cash is readily available. Nonetheless, placing your hard-earned money in savings alone will not yield extra income.

How to solve it: Don’t put all eggs in one basket. Explore various investment options such as UITF, real estate, or stock market, and know the corresponding risks and returns to help you find out the best ones for your money.

Remember that life as an Overseas Filipino Worker will not last forever. Take note of these mistakes and make sure you follow the how to avoid tips to help you save for the rainy days.

8 Business Ideas for OFWs (Even While Working Overseas)

Working overseas may promise you a better life since you are earning more than what you can earn in the Philippines. Still, this doesn’t mean you should be complacent. After all, what you earn from working overseas is only as good as the effectivity of your employment contract.

The good news is there are some things you can do to ensure continuous and steady income for your family. Check out these simple start-up business ideas you can try and who knows, you don’t need to go work overseas anymore: 

1. Online Shop / Store

One good thing about technology these days is the ability to reach out to people and make them aware of your product or service at the comfort of your home. Take advantage of Internet and social media, and put up your own online store.

What to sell is endless. You can start monetizing your hobbies or interests and sell or showcase them in various online selling channels. The good thing about this is that you are able to do something you love and make money out of it.

2. Buy and Sell

If you don’t have time to do crafts or offer your services, buy and sell can be a great option to help you earn extra income. You can do this by buying items from the Philippines such as Filipino delicacies and selling them to the country where you are working or buy imported products and ship it in the Philippines.  The more unique or authentic the products are, the better.

You might need some extra hand from your family or relatives to help you with the inventory, coordinating of orders, and shipping.

3. Food Cart Franchise

This is a great startup business because you don’t have to worry about what dishes to whip and a big space where your customers can sit.

The good thing about food cart franchising is that you can start small. In fact, P25,000 investment allows you to start your own food stall and at the same time, helps you develop and experience entrepreneurial and managerial skills while earning a steady income. Still, location and food stall to manage are crucial, so make sure you choose wisely.

4. Rent a Room

If you happen to have extra room in your apartment, consider renting it to fellow OFWs. The rental income you can get will help defray your expenses while allowing you to earn something extra.

5. Sari-Sari Store / Mini Grocery 

You might say it is common, but sari-sari store could be helpful in case you are looking for additional income. This cash-generating business is easy to manage and you or any member of your family can run it at the comfort of your home.

Tip: Sell imported goods in your sari-sari store at an affordable price. This will differentiate your stores from many others and may attract more customers. 

6. General Cleaning Services

If you worked in hotels or resorts, consider putting your housekeeping skills to good use by offering general cleaning services.

You can start with something more manageable such as laundry services. Eventually, move on to housekeeping such as cleaning, vacuuming, window washing, and mopping. If you are able to generate enough income, hire one or two people to help you or train any of your family members or add cleaning tools that will make your job easier.

7. Food Retail

Franchising can be a good startup, but if you prefer making your own dishes, then that’s fine.

For starters, set up your own carenderia or consider delivering food to various business establishments. Baking goodies can be another option, especially if there is someone in the family who loves to bake. If you are willing to take a risk, venture into food business by opening your own stall or restaurant.

8. Stock Market

Believe it or not, investing in stock market is not that complicated. You might have to read some materials to help you better understand how the system works. Over time, you will be able to see the results of your investment.

Similar to other businesses, just be patient. Make sure you won’t invest all of your hard-earned money in stock as well.

These business ideas can help generate additional income. Still, you will get to enjoy these benefits if you are able to manage it properly. Choose a business that you or your family can handle, give the business some time where you can earn, and be patient. Return of investment don’t happen overnight.

OFW Loan Guide: Banks that Offers Loans for OFWs

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, OFW remittances in 2016 amounted to $2.4 billion. This is why the government is continuously providing programs and services that could make their lives and that of their families better, including OWWA Loan.

The good news is there are other financial institutions that offer various loan facilities specifically for Overseas Filipino Workers. Whether it is a business loan, a personal loan, home loan, or car loan, these banks are willing to extend their helping hands to you:

1. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

BPI offers variety of loan facilities for both land-based and sea-based migrant workers. This includes Personal Loan up to P1 million, Housing Loan, and Auto Loan designed for OFWS.

To apply, you must be a Filipino citizen and 21 years old and above and not more than 60 years at the time of loan maturity. You must also submit government-issued IDs and your latest and unexpired POEA contract or current employment contract with boarding date.

Visit www.bpiloans.com to apply online.

2. BDO Unibank (BDO)

BDO established the Asenso Kabayan Program to provide financial assistance to OFWs who wish to apply for a home, auto, or personal loan.

BDO bank loan requirements are: borrower must be at least 25 years old but not more than 65 years by the time your loan matures and employed for at least two and three years for skilled workers and domestic helpers, respectively.

You can also download BDO application form for loan on their website, www.bdo.com.ph

3. Chinabank 

Chinabank offers Overseas Kababayan Services, which provides secure, reliable, and competitive products that allow you to manage your remittances, investments, and personal needs. This includes home loan, car loan, and personal loans as well.

To apply for China Bank OFW loan, requirements include age of borrower between 21 and 65 years old upon maturity of loan and should not have any adverse credit findings like unpaid loans, cancelled credit cards, or bouncing checks among others.

Visit www.chinabank.ph for more information about their loan facilities.

4. Philippine National Bank (PNB) 

“You First” is PNB’s tagline. True to its promise, PNB came up with Global Filipino program for OFWs. They offer auto loan and home loan for your family and avail of any of the facilities even when you are working overseas through their branches outside the Philippines.

Similar to other banks, you must be at least 21 years old to avail of any of the loan facilities and must not exceed 65 years old at the time of maturity. You must also be working abroad for at least two years to qualify.

Know more about PNB’s Global Filipino program here.

5. Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)

PSBank is also committed in providing overseas Filipino workers with facilities that could enhance your life. Aside from the savings account and remittance facilities, PSBank also has home and car loan products for OFWs.

Apart from the basic requirements such as age and term of employment, don’t forget to submit your Job Contract, proof of remittances for at least three months, and consularized Certificate of Employment.

Check out PSBank’s loan facilities in their website.

6. RCBC Savings Bank (RCBC) 

Whether it is a housing loan, car loan, personal loan, or a loan to help you start your business, RCBC got you covered. They provide flexible terms as well to make payment easier and more convenient for you.

You can learn more about RCBC’s consumer loans by checking out their website.

Check the loan facilities offered by various banks and ask about their interest rates and payment terms to help you decide which bank is the best one for you.


Get to Know the OFW Reintegration Program A Little Better

One of the programs and services provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association or OWWA is the Reintegration Program. This program aims to help returning overseas Filipino workers and their families through livelihood opportunities and other income-generating means.

Hence, the birth of OFW Reintegration Program. Understanding the OFW Reintegration Program

Also known as OWWA Loan or OFW Loan in the Philippines, this program is a loan facility and an enterprise development intervention of OWWA in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines. It aims to support enterprise development among migrant workers and their families as an alternative to overseas employment.

Loan Features:

  • Only OFWs who are active members and are certified by OWWA can apply for the OFW Reintegration Program. Eligible borrower can either be individual (single proprietorship) or by group (partnership, cooperative, or corporation).
  • Purpose of the loan must be for working capital or fixed asset acquisition.
  • Loanable amount is between P100,000 to P2,000,000
  • Short term loan is for maximum of one year, while long term loan depends on the cashflow, but most not exceed seven years and inclusive of two years grace period.
  • 7.5% interest rate per annum
  • Proposed business must generate at least P10,000 net monthly income. It could be a franchising business, transport service, trading or service business, construction or rental, agri and non-agri production or manufacturing, or contract tie-up with Top 1000 corporations.
  • Loan security is required such as real estate mortgage, chattel on equipment or machinery, Deed of Assignment on inventory or receivables, or hold-out on deposit

Below are the requirements for OFW Loan  you need to submit in case you want to avail of this facility:

  • OWWA certification as proof that you are a bona fide member
  • Certificate of Completion of Enterprise Development Training (EDT). Read more about it here.
  • Bio-data of the applicant
  • Business-related documents and permits such as business plan, Certificate of Registration with DTI, and Mayor’s Permit
  • If applicable, at least three years Income Tax Return, BIR-filed Financial Statements, and latest Interim Financial Statements
  • Statement of Assets and Liabilities

How to Apply for OFW Loan:

1. Visit the OWWA Office near you to undergo the required training. You will be asked to undergo trainings in relation to this loan facility.

2. Secure the EDT certification then submit the other requirements to Landbank for evaluation and processing.

3. Wait for at least 45 days upon submission of complete loan requirements to know the status of your loan application.

It is important that you submit complete requirements to avoid any delay and for faster processing of loan application.