Find Out Where Balikbayad Added Two More Branches

Are you an OFW who is currently in need of funds to put up your business? Do you need additional working capital for your inventory needs? Don’t worry. Balikbayad is here to help.

Balikbayad was launched with one thing in mind: YOU. 

Banks could provide you a lending hand in case you need to borrow money for your business. Apparently, this could mean sending tons of documents to prove your earning capacity and potential to pay the loan. We want to make this easier for you by providing you with options sans the hassle of coming up with a lot of documents.

Because of that need, we are happy to announce that aside from the Adriatico office, Balikbayad launched two more branches to better equip your growing needs and demands in the business.

Below are the addresses and contact details of our two more branches:

Makati Balikbayad - Makati5/F Salustiana T. Dy Tower, Paseo de Roxas Legaspi Village, Makati City (near Greenbelt 1).

You can contact us at 0977-7796594 or 0949-5777040. 

Kalaw 9/F TM Kalaw Center, 667 TM Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila

You can also contact us at 0977-7796594 or 0949-5777040. 

To our OFW friends in Cebu and nearby provinces in Visayas region, our Cebu branch is still ready to serve you. Don’t hesitate to call or visit in case you of your financial needs.

Keep in mind that Balikbayad wants to see every OFW succeed in life. We are here and more than ready to provide you and help you with your financial needs. We’ll be waiting for you.

How to Apply for Calamity Loan with SSS or PAG-IBIG

Last September 15, 2018, Northern Luzon were punished by Typhoon Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit this year, thereby destroying houses, farmlands, public and private buildings and establishments, and even electric posts. While the typhoon lasted for only a day, it left thousands of displaced families and millions-worth of damages.

Unfortunately, Ompong is just one of the many typhoons that will visit the Philippines. While you and your family will be able to recover in time, which also means you need to work extra hard overseas, rehabilitation entails costs.

The good news is the government is willing to help through SSS or PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan. This loan facility is available to Filipinos who were affected by a calamity as declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and suffered loss and damages as a result of the calamity.

Here’s what you need to know between the two:

SSS Calamity Loan 

Features:

  • Loan Amount – One monthly salary credit (MSC) based on the average of the last 12 MSCs or total amount of damage, whichever is lower
  • Interest Rate – 10 percent per annum
  • Penalty Fee – One percent per month until fully paid
  • Loan Repayment – Payable within two years in 24 equal monthly installments
  • Waiver of one percent service fee
  • Must be availed within three months from the happening of the calamity

Who can apply? 

  • Has at least 36 months of contribution, six of which must be posted within the last 12 months prior to application of Calamity Loan
  • Resident of calamity-declared area and suffered losses or damages to the property
  • No outstanding loan with SSS (Loan Restructuring Program and  Calamity Loan Assistance Program)
  • Applicant must not have been granted any final benefit (retirement, death, total permanent disability) at the time of the application

How to Apply for SSS Calamity Loan (procedure is enumerated for OFWs only)

  • Fill out Calamity Loan Assistance application form. You can get a copy of the form here.
  • Personal appearance in the nearest SSS branch is required, but for OFWs, submit an Authorization Letter to certify that person transacting with SSS was authorized by you.
  • Submit scanned copies of IDs or documents that proves your status as OFW as well as original copies of IDs of your authorized representative.
  • Submit Barangay / City / NDRRMC / LDRRMC Certification that you were affected by the calamity. You can also get a copy here.

You can visit the nearest SSS branch, send email at member_relations@sss.gov.ph, or call SSS Call Center Hotline at 920-6446 to 55 for more details.

PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan

Features:

  • Loan Amount – Up to 80 percent of the Total Accumulated Value (TAV)
  • Interest Rate – 5.95 percent per annum
  • Repayment Period – Equal monthly installments payable for 24 months with grace period of three months. This means if you apply on January, you may start paying the loan on April or on the fourth month. Payment must be made every 15th of the month.

Who can apply?

  • Must made at least 24 months contribution with at least one monthly contribution in the last six months prior to the date of application. In case you haven’t made at least 24 months contribution, then you must show proof that your total savings is equivalent to 24 months of contribution.
  • A resident of the area that was declared as calamity-stricken
  • In case there is an existing PAG-IBIG Housing Loan, MPL, or calamity loan, existing loan must NOT be in default
  • Has sufficient proof of income

How to Apply 

  • Submit duly-accomplished application form in any PAG-IBIG branches near you. You can get a copy of the application form here.
  • Submit supporting document such as Proof of Income and photocopy of two government-issued IDs
  • Accomplish and submit Declaration of Being Affected by Calamity. You can try using this form.
  • For OFWs, your family member might be required to submit a Special Power of Attorney to transact on your behalf. You can use this SPA form.

Keep in mind that these facilities can only be applied for within three months from the happening of the calamity. In case you were affected, the calamity loans could be helpful in getting your family back on their feet.

Types of Business Loans that Best Suits Your Business

What do you plan to do when you get home from the Philippines? Most OFWs will look for a new job overseas to be able to finance and sustain a good life for their family. If you are wiser with the way you handle money and finances back home, then applying for a new job abroad every two years won’t be necessary. In fact, you might be having your own business after three to five trips overseas.

We know that putting up your own business is not as easy as it seems. You need to ensure that your business idea is sustainable to make sure that it will go on for years. Then there’s the financial side. Even if you have the brightest idea that will surely change the Filipino way of life, you need to have money or capital to make this idea happen.

This is where business loan comes in. It gives you additional working capital to make your business dreams happen. Apparently, business loans come in different types as well, each of them catering to specific needs.

Here’s what you need to know about the different kinds of this type of facility:

Secured Business Loan 

From the name itself, you can easily tell that this type of business loan requires collateral. In case of default, lender may use the collateral to pay for your existing loan obligation.

Don’t worry. The good thing about this type of loan is that you can enjoy higher loan amount, lower interest rate, and longer loan terms since your loan is secured by a collateral and risk is reduced. This is why going for a secured business loan is ideal, especially for those who are still starting with their business.

Loan amount varies per lender. Maximum amount you can borrow will also depend on the security you will offer. Lenders impose a limit and percentage for maximum loan amount based on your collateral. For instance, if you offer real property, you can only borrow up to 60 percent of the property’s appraised value.

What type of collateral, you might ask. Anything that is under your name. Real estate property is the most common type of collateral used, although you have to pay for appraisal fee and make sure that your real estate tax payment is updated. Aside from this, you can also use your car (chattel mortgage) or time deposit (Deed of Assignment) when you apply for a secured business loan.

Term Loan 

In case you wanted more manageable payment terms, then this type of business loan is ideal for you.

Term loan offers short- or long-term business funding while keeping your own funds intact. You can avail of this facility if you want to get into franchising, expand your existing business, purchase of new equipment, or even purchase, construction, or renovation of business space. You can get minimum of P50,000 and maximum of P20 million, payable within one (short-term loan) to 15 (long-term loan) years.

In terms of payment, this would vary per lender. Term loans are typically paid monthly, which includes both principal and interest (rate is either fixed or based on prevailing market rate), but some would allow quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment.

READ: What You Need to Know about OWWA Loan 

Credit Line

There are instances when you don’t really need a big amount, but you just want money available at your disposal. In that case, credit line is your best option for your business loan.

Credit line is a type of facility that offers short-term loan and quick access to money whenever you need, which is usually good for one year. You can use this for purchase of additional supplies or inventory, contract financing, additional working capital, or accounts receivable among others. Minimum loan amount is P100,000 to P20 million, but the amount varies depending on the nature of the loan. You can pay the loan every month, but if you have additional funds, paying off the loan can be made.

Don’t worry because you will only pay interest based on the amount you used. For instance, the lender approved P1 million credit line on January. Come February, you only need P300,000 because you fell short in your payroll and promised to pay it after a month. You will only be charged interest on P300,000 and you also have the option to repay the loan without consuming the entire one month.

Unsecured Business Loan 

Let’s say you badly need additional funds, but you don’t have collateral to offer. That’s fine. There are lenders who offer unsecured business loan, which means collateral is not mandatory for the approval of your loan.

Although this sounds ideal for you, unsecured loans typically have lower loan amount, higher interest rate, and shorter loan terms to reduce risk of non-payment of loan. Applying with a co-maker who is in good financial standing and providing sufficient amount of income are recommended when you plan to go for this facility.

Banks don’t normally offer this type of loan because of the risk involved, but private lenders like Balikbayad offers unsecured loan to help starting entrepreneurs like you to start your own business.

In case you’re interested, make sure to fill out our online loan application for pre-approval and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

9 Tips to Get Your PAG-IBIG Housing Loan Approved

We get a lot of inquiries about PAG-IBIG Housing Loan for OFWs. This post is intended to boost your chances of approval, although not 100 percent guarantee. 

Are you planning to buy a new home for your family? What about extending your home to the recently acquired lot and have your house renovated? These situations entail cost, which also means big money is involved. In case you don’t have extra funds to do so, you rely on PAG-IBIG, the government agency responsible for providing accessible funds for housing for every Filipino.

According to the latest news from PAG-IBIG, the agency released more than P32.7 billion worth of housing loans for the first half of 2018 alone. This is not surprising since interest rate range from 5.35 percent to 10 percent with up to 30 years repayment terms. Compared to banks, PAG-IBIG offers the most affordable housing loan facility for all its members, including OFWs.

Here’s the challenge: how to get that much-needed approval.

Read up as we share tips that, although won’t guarantee 100 percent approval, but could boost your chances of getting that housing loan:

1. Prove that you have a stable source of income. 

This is a must. Despite the affordable rates to help you become a homeowner, it is important to show the agency that you are capable of paying.

When applying, make sure you provide a copy of your employment contract as well as other income documents that will prove how much you are earning. If you have an existing business, submit financial statements that reflect how much you earn. This will give PAG-IBIG an idea that you can pay the loan no matter what happens.

2. Any PAG-IBIG loans must be settled first. 

This is another must. In case you have previous and unpaid loans from PAG-IBIG, whether it;s a housing loan or multi-purpose loan, then make sure you pay up. Otherwise, this could be a good reason for the agency to deny your loan application.

3. Set a realistic loan amount. 

This is another mistake made by many loan applicants – aiming for the maximum loan amount to borrow. While PAG-IBIG offers up to P6 million, this doesn’t mean you will automatically qualify for it.

This is why it is important to submit proof of income to show the agency that you are capable of paying the loan, regardless of the amount. Don’t expect to get approved for P6 million when you are earning less than P100K every month. More importantly, use the online loan calculator in PAG-IBIG’s website to give you an idea on how much you need to earn to cover for the housing loan.

4. Pay for a higher down payment. 

Do you want to know a secret? If you want a housing loan approval from PAG-IBIG, then make sure you can pay a higher down payment.

PAG-IBIG could help you buy your dream home, but don’t put the burden on the agency. As much as possible, provide at least 20 percent equity or the value of the property. If you can pay more than 20 percent, then much better and higher chances of approval as well.

5. Apply with a co-borrower. 

Many people ask how they can avail of any type of loan when they don;t have property for collateral. The answer is simple – apply with a co-borrower. Still, it’s not just any co-borrower. S/he should be someone who is regularly employed and with excellent credit history if you want to increase your chances of approval.

“Can I apply with more than one borrower?” The answer is yes. In fact, PAG-IBIG allows up to two co-borrowers who are up to second-degree relatives to apply for a housing loan.

Tip: Consider getting a co-borrower who lives with your family. This way, s/he would be more willing to help you out.

6. Buy a home that is within your budget. 

You might want to buy that penthouse in a posh location in Makati, but can you actually afford the monthly amortization?

If you want approval from PAG-IBIG, then make sure you go for a house that you can afford to pay every month. It may not be your dream home, but going for a home that you can pay is much better than living in that dream home for only a few months because you can no longer pay for it monthly.

7. Improve your credit score. 

This is important. Your credit score will tell lenders like PAG-IBIG regarding your capacity to pay and how responsible you are as a borrower. If they see that you miss payments, then how do you expect the agency to approve your loan application?

Don’t worry. You can do something to improve your credit score by following these tips.

8. Submit all the requirements.

It sounds simple, but believe it or not, this could spell a big difference in your loan application.

What you can do is to make a checklist of all the requirements and use it as your guide before you submit your loan application. Compile everything in one envelope and make sure it is complete upon submission.

9. Attend the PAG-IBIG Housing Loan Program Orientation. 

Did you know that this orientation was mandatory before you apply for a loan? At present, the agency conducts free seminars to anyone who wants to apply for PAG-IBIG Housing Loan. This is a good opportunity for you to learn more about this facility and at the same time, get answers directly from PAG-IBIG officials.

Below are the schedules:

  • First and third Saturday of the month at 2/F, Jelp Business Solutions Building, 409 Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City
  • Every second Saturday of the month at 3/F Lecture Hall A, Legislative Building, Quezon City Hall
  • Every third Saturday of the month at Rizal Provincial Capitol, Multi-purpose Hall, Antipolo City

Seminar is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. If you want to join, make sure you’ll call them first at (02) 724-4244.

What You Need to Know about Collateral Loan

In a previous post, we shared what non-collateral loan is and why this type of loan can be beneficial for you, especially if you don’t have assets under your name. On the other hand, there is another type of loan that you will come across and it goes by the name collateral loan. 

What is this about? How is it different from non-collateral loan?

Keep reading to find out.

Collateral loan, defined

From the name itself, collateral loan is a type of loan that is secured by an asset, preferably under your name, the borrower. This means the loan is guaranteed by an asset and will be transferred in the name of the lender in case you are unable to pay after several demands. This way, the lender is assured that no matter what happens, the loan obligation will be paid and will not lose the entire amount borrowed.

Assets you can use as collateral include property or real estate, vehicle, jewelry, cash account such as time deposit, collectible items, or investment like stocks or mutual funds.

Why apply for a collateral loan? 

You are at risk of losing your property. Why should you go for this type of loan?

First, keep in mind that you will only (possibly) lose the property or any asset you used as a collateral IF you failed to pay your loan obligation. Before that happens, lenders often give borrowers a chance to pay for loan by coming up with an arrangement that is beneficial for both parties.

In case you are still unable to pay despite the arrangement and (the many) chances given to you to be able to pay, then that’s the time when lenders will go after the secured property to cover for the loan. This can be a tedious process, which is why foreclosing an asset is often the last resort.

Nonetheless, the good thing about collateral loan is that you can get a loan regardless of having a bad credit. Your credit score is a crucial factor in determining your credit-worthiness, but lenders are willing to bend the rules and approve your loan application IF you can present any asset for collateral.

Interest rate is often lower compared to non-collateral loan because in collateral loan, there is a security attached to the obligation. There is no better assurance than an asset itself; hence lower interest rate.

What if the value of the collateral is lower than the loan amount? 

Unfortunately, you still have to pay for the entire loan amount. For instance, your loan value is P100,000 and the value of the asset you used as collateral dropped to P80,000. You still need to pay the remaining P20,000 plus interest charges up to the day of payment to fulfill the entire loan obligation.

Does Balikbayad offer collateral loan? 

Apparently, we don’t, although we require you to have a co-maker (who receives remittances from you) when applying for a loan with us. We want to keep loan application and processing simple and straightforward by not asking too much documents from you.

What are you waiting for? Send your loan application now and let us be your partner to help you achieve financial freedom.

Get Approval in Your OWWA Loan with the Help of These Tips

We understand your need and the demands of everyday living. This is why aside from earning in dollars (or any other currency), you still want to put up your own business, regardless of how small it is, to contribute to the growing needs of your family.

This is why OWWA Loan is here to help. It is designed to aid Overseas Filipino Workers in their entrepreneurial dreams by allowing you to borrow as much as P2 million. At the same time, this facility encourages you to stay in the country for good through a sustaining and profitable business.

Here’s the thing: it’s not easy applying for an OWWA Loan. OWWA wants to make sure that they will extending credit to the most deserving workers where the money will be used for a legitimate purpose. More importantly. OWWA wants OFWs who are not only willing but also capable of paying the loan.

Here’s what you need to do to boost your chances of approval:

Verify your OWWA and OFW Status

One of the requirements for OWWA Loan is that the OFW-borrower must be an active OWWA member, as shown through your proof of contribution.

In case you are still working abroad, you can still get your membership certification from OWWA through the Welfare Officer in the Philippine Embassy in the country where you are working. Don’t forget to get your membership certification in OWWA Office once you are back in the Philippines.

Complete the documentary requirements

Once you verified your status as an OFW, it is time to complete documentary requirements needed by OWWA and Land Bank (partner bank) to determine your credit-worthiness.

Below are some of the requirements needed:

  • Certificate of Attendance proving that you completed the Enterprise Development Training (EDT). Read more about EDT here.
  • DTI Business Registration Certificate (if sole proprietorship) or SEC Registration (if corporation)
  • Two (2) valid government-issued IDs
  • Biodata
  • A formal business plan or contract growing, service contract, feasibility study, or purchase order.
  • Business permit
  • Income tax return (ITR) for the last three years
  • Financial statements submitted to the BIR for the last three years
  • Latest interim financial statement
  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA) authorizing your spouse or any immediate family member to transact on your behalf in case you have to go back to the country where you’re working.

Don’t forget your collateral

This is required. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, OWWA and Land Bank want any form of assurance to make sure that they will still be paid in case of default.

Ideally, collateral is any piece of land under your name, the borrower. In case you don’t have a property under your name, you can submit the following as collateral:

  • OR/CR of a vehicle under your name
  • Proof of receivables
  • Lease rental contract where your business is situated
  • Contract agreements such as Deed of Assignment of goods or Purchase Order
  • Apply with a co-borrower with good credit standing

Few more thing to remember

There is a higher chance of approval if you already have a ready market for your product or service. If the business you plan to put up has a projected monthly income of P10,000, then much better. EDT is also crucial, so make sure you call the OWWA Regional Office near you and ask for the schedule for the training.

OWWA Loan may be strict, that’s true. In case you want more relaxed application to help you grow your business, Balikbayad is here to help. Send your loan application now and we’ll help you grow your business – at the most affordable rate.

5 Tips on Asking Someone to be a Co-Maker

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, a co-maker is a person who, by virtue of a contract, promises to pay the principal borrower’s loan in case the he or she failed to do so. A co-maker does not receive the proceeds of the loan, but he or she is equally responsible for payment in case of default.

Here’s the thing: it’s not easy finding a co-maker, let alone making him or her say yes to be one. There is a risk involved and surely, the people you are eyeing for will not want to be part of any form of loan that they weren’t able to enjoy. On the other hand, there are lenders who require a co-maker, especially when you don’t have an impressive credit standing or you are applying for a non-collateral OFW loan.

How can you make someone say yes? You can try these techniques:

1) Choose your co-maker wisely. 

You can’t just pull someone to be a co-maker. This is why ideally, a co-maker must be your spouse, an immediate family member, or a trusted friend you had for years. Before you ask someone to be your co-maker, you need to make sure that your chosen one is also financially capable and willing to pay in the event that you can’t.

2) Ask nicely without being too pushy. 

Getting a loan can be risky, especially for your situation. There is a possibility that you may not be able to finish your contract due to unforeseen events, thereby affecting your cashflow; hence the need for a co-maker.

The key here is to ask nicely and properly. Bring the topic as casually as you can, starting with your intention to get a loan and then the need for a co-maker. Explain the importance of having a co-maker as well.

Avoid being pushy or forcing someone to say to be a co-maker. Don’t bring up the concept of “utang na loob” just to make someone say yes to be your co-maker since you are leaving them with no choice.

3) Respect your potential co-maker’s finances. 

Everybody needs money. Everybody has their own set of financial issues as well. In asking someone to be your co-maker, make sure you consider his or her financial standing. Don’t expect your friend to say yes to you if that friend is struggling with debt too.

Therefore, consider your potential co-maker’s financial standing. If s/he doesn’t owe anything to anyone, then s/he could say yes and help you secure your loan.

4) Provide assurance to build trust. 

One of the main reasons why people don’t want to be a co-maker is because of the risk that comes with it. Can you imagine being responsible to pay for a loan you didn’t enjoy?

This is why it is important to provide assurance to “guarantee” your potential co-maker that you will do everything you can to pay off the loan. If you can, strike a deal that will assure him/her that he will not pay a single cent. This could help him/her say yes to you.

Tip: Seek for a lower amount of loan to make it easier for you to pay the loan.

5) Explain the parameters, terms, and conditions of the loan. 

One of the reasons why people don’t want to be a co-maker is because they don’t understand what it means to be one. This is why instead of forcing, explain what the loan is about. Discuss the terms and conditions of the loan, including the role of a co-maker. It is imperative that you explain everything and make the person understand what being a co-maker is all about.

It’s okay if your potential co-maker said no to you. It’s never okay to force, don’t you think?

Frequently Asked Questions about OFW Loan (Which are Asked by OFWs)

Every year, the total amount of remittances sent by OFWs is worth billions of dollars. This created a positive impact in the Philippine economy, which is why OFWs like you are regarded as modern heroes or “bagong bayani.” 

Here’s the thing: despite earning in dollars, there are still instances when you need to borrow money to finance big purchases such as purchase of a car or your dream home. Before you apply, we list down the common questions asked by many OFWs when it comes to applying for an OFW loan:

1) What is an OFW Loan? 

An OFW Loan is a type of loan facility specifically designed to meet the financial needs of OFWs. It can range from business to personal loans, but the common denominator is that it is intended for the benefit of OFWs.

2) Who is qualified to apply for OFW Loan? 

Since it is specifically geared for OFWs, the individuals qualified to apply for this type of loan are the following:

  • First-time OFWs
  • OFWs with existing contract abroad but are only here in the Philippines for vacation
  • Returning overseas workers or Balik Manggagawa

Take note that some lenders require minimum monthly salary, so make sure you inquire about it first before submitting your loan application.

3) What are the requirements I need to submit when applying for an OFW Loan? 

Every lender has their own set of requirements. Nonetheless, make sure you prepare these documents to facilitate faster approval of your loan application:

  • Philippine passport or Seaman’s Book for seafarers
  • Employment contract validated by the POEA
  • Working visa
  • Overseas employment certificate (OEC)
  • At least one government-issued ID (in lieu of the upcoming OFW ID)
  • Ticket or flight details

4) How much can I borrow?

The loan amount depends on the lender. Many lenders set a minimum amount of P1,000 and a maximum amount of as much as one million. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you can get a maximum amount every time you apply for a loan. Lenders still look at your credit history and capacity to pay, which they will use as a basis for your credit amount.

5) How long can I pay for the loan? 

That will also depend on your agreement with the lender. You can borrow money and pay it after 30 days. On the other hand, you are allowed to pay the loan for up to 12 months.

6) I’m about to leave the country. Can I still apply for an OFW Loan?

Of course! In fact, lenders prefer that since you are still here in the Philippines and capable of physically signing the loan documents. A small request, though. If you can, please apply at least 15 days before your scheduled departure to make sure that the application process will proceed smoothly and you can get your money before you leave.

7) Can I apply for a loan while I’m working overseas? 

This will depend on the lender. Here in Balikbayad, we require you to be physically present to be able to sign the documents. Other lenders accept Special Power of Attorney where you will assign any of your family member as your attorney-in-fact. If possible, you can execute the document before you leave and have it notarized, otherwise, the SPA must be consularized.

Read more about Special Power of Attorney here.

8) How long is the application process?

Lenders understand the urgency of your cash needs. That is why many lenders like us are committed to processing your loan application within one banking day. On the other hand, some lenders, especially commercial banks, look into your credit history first before they can extend credit. This will take days to a week or two, depending on the lender.

9) What if I don’t have a property under my name. Can I still apply for a loan? 

The answer is yes. There is a facility called non-collateral loan, which allows you to borrow money even without property under your name. This could mean higher interest rate as a form of guarantee.

Another option would be applying with a co-borrower. A co-borrower is someone who will guarantee your loan and will be contacted by the bank in case you are unable to pay your loan.

10) What should I do to guarantee loan approval? 

  • The information you provided in your loan application must be complete and correct.
  • No history of past due debts, negative findings, and other money-related court cases.
  • Borrow money that is within your salary or capacity to pay.
  • You must provide all documents needed to prove your capacity to pay the loan.
  • Establish your beneficiaries of the loan.

11) What are the modes of payment? 

You can pay your loan via post-dated check or direct deposit to account. If you will apply in banks, most of them will recommend (if not impose) automatic debit arrangement since it is easier and more convenient. No reminders will be sent since the system automatically deducts the amount from your account (so make sure you have sufficient funds every month).

12) Where can I use the proceeds of my OFW Loan? 

Ideally, it will depend on you and your needs. You can use the proceeds of your loan to start a small business, finance immediate and emergency needs, renovate your home, or even use it as a downpayment for a major purchase. Nonetheless, you have to be clear on your purpose. Some lenders don’t allow the funds to be used to pay for placement fee and other fees related to applying for a job abroad. Ask your lender first to be sure.

Got more questions? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

Travel Loan: Should You Get One to, uhhh, Travel?

We all have our own personal needs. For every need, there is a type of loan that specifically addressed that need. One of them is the need to travel; hence the travel loan.

Travelling is a luxury. Aside from being able to go to a different place and experience different things (including food), you spend certain number of your days not working. Nonetheless, it’s a time well-spent with the family and you are only making the most out of your stay here in the Philippines.

Here’s the thing: can your budget allow you to travel? Even if you can, will you still have sufficient funds by the time you go back abroad? This leads you to the next question: should you apply for a travel loan in order to travel?

Check out these factors you need to consider to help you decide whether getting one is worth it:

Travel Factor No. 1: The need to borrow

This is the first factor you need to look into before you apply for a loan.

Travel loan can be convenient because it allows you to increase your buying power when going somewhere. On the other hand, do you have sufficient funds and steady income to pay for the loan? If not, perhaps it is best to postpone the trip instead and save up for it later.

Travel Factor No. 2: An existing credit card

Let’s say you really want to travel with your family even if it’s only here in the Philippines. Fine. Instead of getting a loan, do you have an existing credit card you can use to finance your travel expenses?

Travel loan may have lower interest rate compared to credit cards, but keep in mind that credit card companies give out perks and benefits to its clients. Check out their partner establishments for hotels, restaurants, and other recreational facilities and take advantage of them.

Travel Factor No. 3: Current financial situation 

Apart from your credit card, if any, you also have to look into your current financial standing. This means you need to check and evaluate how much you are earning and spending every month. You also need to take note of any existing loans and employment status in relation to the current situation of the country where you are working to make sure you can pay off your travel loan.

This is why it is important to create a budget. It will make it easier for you to check how much money is going to specific expenses and help you decide whether you can still accommodate another loan.

Travel Factor No. 4: The loan terms

Assuming that your salary allows you to get a travel loan on your next trip back to the Philippines. This doesn’t mean you will automatically apply for a loan.

Check out the interest rate and consider the lender that offers low rates. Clarify whether the loan is secured or unsecured, since unsecured ones may have higher interest rate, although it will protect your assets against possible foreclosure. Aside from this, make sure to ask about repayment terms. As a rule, travel loan must be repaid in less than a year, so make sure you negotiate the terms well.

Travel Factor No. 5: Your destination

Where do you plan to go with your family? Many OFWs opt to travel in the Philippines with their families to cure homesickness while there are still others who prefer bringing their family overseas.

Regardless of where you plan to go, it is a must to anticipate your expenses to help you determine whether getting a travel loan is necessary. If you plan to go overseas, how much is the air fare, hotel accommodation, food, exchange rate, and transportation expenses when going around the city. If you wish to stay here, gauge how much are the transportation costs, hotel accommodation, and food among others. Make sure you have enough cash to cover for these expenses.

So, is it advisable to get a travel loan? That depends on you. No one can stop you from borrowing money to give your family a grand vacation, but make sure to remember these three things:

  • The amount you will borrow should cover only the essential costs.
  • There will be an interest on top of the amount you will borrow.
  • Despite the availability and accessibility of travel loan, make sure to travel within your means.

After all, you don’t want to waste few years paying for a one-week vacation, do you?

5 Tips on How to Get the Best Deal on Your OFW Loan

Most people think that if someone in the family works abroad, life is easier and better. After all, someone is earning in dollars (and we know how much the exchange rate is now, which is currently at P50 mark as of this writing). When you earn in dollars, this could mean you and your family can easily afford anything you like, or at least according to their expectations.

On the other hand, lenders, both commercial banks and private financial institutions, realize that not all OFWs are living the good life. In fact, there are still many who are having a hard time, especially in the financial aspect. This is why they offer various products specifically for OFWs – with perks.

Here’s the challenge: finding the best deal on your loan, regardless of the kind of loan you are getting.

Here’s what you can do to make sure you get the best deal every time you apply for a loan – and make the loan work for you:

1) Always submit the requirements needed. 

You have the tendency to blame the lender for not immediately processing your loan. Aside from processing tons of loan applications in a day, one of the reasons why there is delay is because you did not submit all documents required.

If you want to speed up the processing of your loan application, then make sure you submit everything they ask for. The same goes for online application.

2) First, compare and then decide. 

It’s okay to ask recommendations from friends about the best lenders in town. Before you say yes to a specific lender, make sure you explore your options first.

Use the Internet and look for lenders that offer the loan facility you are looking for. Many lenders post their rates and charges, so make sure to take note of that. Don’t forget to check the “Review” section to see what other clients are saying.

Tip: Look for loan comparison charts or tools similar to this one. Through this, you can easily see how much every lender charges and help you decide which lender you can afford.

3) Know how much is your capacity to pay.

One of the common mistakes made by OFWs when applying for a loan is asking for too much. This means when you are earning P40,000 every month and owns a property worth P300,000, you will ask for a million-worth of loan. That is outright rejection since lenders will be concerned on how you can pay for the loan.

Before you apply for a loan, make sure you check on your finances and savings first to determine how much you are worth. Any existing debt, whether from credit card or other loans, must also be included since they could affect your cash flow and capacity to pay the new loan.

In other words, be realistic. Don’t ask for too much when you don’t have enough assets to back it up to avoid loan rejection.

4) Go for the right type of loan and according to your needs. 

The good news is loan comes in various types that will match your specific needs. Even if they have a common denominator, which is loan, loan products are designed in such a way that could work for you. The rates and charges vary too, so look into that as well.

Know what you need first then check if your lender offers a facility specifically for that need.

5) It’s okay to negotiate the rates and loan terms. 

Yes, you read that right. Lenders follow the rate prescribed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and adjust it to make sure they can earn. Nonetheless, try negotiating the rates and terms of the loan to make it favorable to you, without compromising the bank’s standing.

Still, this would depend. Improve your savings account, prove your ability to pay, and maintain a good credit score. This is no guarantee, but these three factors could help.