Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are considered as one of the biggest drivers of the Philippines economy. They keep it afloat with the money remittance that they send back to the country monthly. That is why they deserve to have access to the best financial services in the Philippines, like personal loans.
With the prestige that comes with the title “OFW” comes a wide array of loan options. Despite that, OFWs who apply for personal loans still undergo rigorous screening. Certain criteria must still be met, but compared to home loans and car loans, personal loans for OFWs are the quickest and easiest to apply.
There are two types of establishments that offer this type of loan to OFWs, the bank and private lending companies. Both have pros and cons, knowing which will work towards your advantage better actually depends on your status as a borrower and as a worker.
Banks provide personal loans with very attractive interest rates and flexible payment terms. The only downside when applying for a loan from a bank is that there’s going to be a lengthy screening process and tedious paper works.
BPI’s OFW loan – personal loan
The personal loan option from BPI for OFWs is a collateral-free loan. That means, if you get approved for this type of loan, the bank will lend you the money without any bond.
They have two types of OFW personal loans: for land based OFWs and personal loan for seafarer. The requirements vary on the employment type of the OFW; the computation and basis of the amount approved for the loan are also different for land-based and seafarers.
|Land-based OFW Loan||Seafarer’s Loan|
|Loan amount||₱20,000 - ₱1,000,000 (three times the amount of your salary)||maximum of ₱300,000|
|Interest per month||2% or more depending on the assessment||2% to 3%|
|Payment terms||Flexible payment term: 12, 18, 24, 30, or 36 months.||9 months maximum|
|Requirement||1. Government-issued photo-bearing ID (Passport, Driver's License, SSS, PRC, etc.) |
2. Agency based: POEA contract or Employment contract with boarding date
Direct hire: Proof of remittance, POEA OFW Information Sheet or POEA Overseas
Employment Certificate and Work Contract
|Two (2) valid government-issued photo-bearing IDs
Proof of income documents:
- Latest and unexpired signed POEA contract; OR
- Employment contract with boarding date
BDO asenso kabayan loan
A multipurpose personal loan for OFWs that doesn’t require any collateral. This loan option is part of their aggressive initiative in empowering OFWs in managing their remittance to the Philippines and their savings.
- Am I qualified?
This loan is offered only to those OFWs with a joint or individual account that have maintained deposits consistently. That’s why if you have an account with BDO Kabayan, you are automatically eligible to apply for this loan. The good thing about this is that the application is very convenient because it does not require excessive paper works and documents.
- How much can I borrow?
An existing kabayan account with a running balance is the primary requirement for this loan from BDO. The minimum loan amount is P10,000 to P1,000,000, depending on the existing balance of the applicant’s deposit account.
For peso accounts, 90% of their existing balance is the maximum amount of loan that will be granted when it’s approved. Dollar accounts on the other hand are entitled to a maximum loan amount equivalent to 80% of the account’s existing balance.
- What is the maximum loan tenure?
Loan repayment is very light to the pocket, the payment can be as short as 3 months (for unsecured) or as long as 12, 18, 24, or 36 months. The payment will be automatically debited from the existing balance of the borrower. Should the existing personal loan get a good standing, it is immediately qualified for re-availment.
2. Private lending companies
Private lending companies are great alternatives for people needing a loan, especially for OFWs. They’re financial establishments that grant all types of loan to people. They are more straight forward with their loan services and their requirement, making them a good alternative for OFWs needing a quick loan.
- Are they legit?
They are also regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which makes them as credible lenders as banks. Most of the private lending companies provide a loan amounting to a minimum of ₱20,000 and a maximum of ₱1,000,000, depending on the assessment.
- How much can I borrow?
Private lending companies determine the amount of approved loan depending on the monthly salary of the applicant. Most of them approve twice the amount of the applicant’s monthly salary and their interest rates are usually between 2% to 4% per month.
- How do I pay them and how long is the loan tenure?
Compared to a personal loan from a bank, their payment terms aren’t as flexible. The majority of these private lenders only offer 12 months repayment. Payment method is usually done in a more conventional way – over the counter in the company’s office.
The good news is, they process loan applications faster, even though there are more paper works involved compared to a bank loan.
Bank or a private lending institution?
The absence of a unified ID system in the Philippines (like SSN in the US and other countries) makes it difficult for banks to check a person’s credit rating if he or she hasn’t established a credit record with them yet.
According to a survey done by BSP in 2014, 86% of Filipinos don’t have bank deposits; this means that majority of the population (even OFWs) will be automatically disqualified for any types of bank loans.
A personal loan from banks is the best loan option for OFWs, that is if they have already established a good credit record with their bank. If you can meet this criterion, know that you have the option of applying for loan services from the banks if the need arises. The same cannot be said to people who doesn’t have a bank account, though.
Private lending companies come in when bank loan requirement can’t be fulfilled by the applicant. This can also apply to people who are still starting out in building their credit record. If you have a stable flow of income but can’t fulfill the requirements asked by banks, private lending companies are the best option for you.
A personal loan can be a good way to achieve your financial goals if you know how to manege your repayments well. However, as with any credit facilities, you need to consider all aspects — from the interest rates to your ability to pay it — before you apply for one.
While a personal loan is meant to help you manage your finances better; at the end of the day, it is still a form of debt. So, make sure that you put it to good use and not just fund your #VacationGoals. Use it carefully and see to it that your loan lives up to what it’s supposed to do – make your finances a little bit better.