The goal of life is for us to work to live and not live to work. We always want to provide the best for ourselves and for our loved ones. Thus, many Filipinos choose to work abroad and become Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
Life as an OFW is not as easy as it sounds. Even if you’re earning bigger income, it will still take some time to save up for life’s most important purchases like home, car, education, and starting your own business. For this reason, a loan could be the answer to your needs.
However, when we hear the word loan, we think of it negatively — but that is not always the case. There is such a thing as good debt and bad debt.
Good debt is debt that increases its value over time and generates long-term income, while bad debt is debt that quickly loses its value and does not generate income.
With that said, let’s go over what you can use your OFW loan for.
OFW Loan Purposes:
Getting the cash to buy a house is not easy. You would need years of savings to buy a house with cash. Fortunately, government institutions and banks offer housing loans so that your dream home will just be waiting for you whenever you decide to settle down.
Just like housing, paying straight cash for a car is not possible for most. Car loans make it very easy for you and your loved ones to avail one with manageable monthly payments.
The price of education today is very expensive. Educational loans help your children get into a good school without you worrying about their tuition fees.
Working in another country is not easy. Sometimes, you need to cope up with stress alone because you are far from your family. This is why many of you would want to put up your own business. Luckily, you can avail a Business Loan so that you can start out your plans and come home earlier!
5. Emergency Funds
It is always good to be prepared for emergencies back home. You can avail of Personal Loans to build up your emergency funds. Or, you can try some quick cash loans online that offer fast approval.
Where can OFWs get loans?
Banks — Banks have all kinds of loan products. Housing loans, Auto loans, Personal Loans, etc.. Although it offers attractive interest rates, it may require you to submit lots of documents which may take longer time to process.
Since banks offer different loan products, it is very important to know the specifics of each and identify what sets them apart from the others, so you can get the most value from your loan.
Here are some of the banks that offer loans for OFWs:
1. BDO — as one of the biggest banks in the Philippines, it comes to no surprise that BDO has loan products that cater to OFWs. Their BDO Kabayan Program provides multi-purpose loans for OFWs without any collateral. They also offer other products such as Home loans and Auto loans.
To apply for a loan, you should be employed at least 3 years for domestic helpers, and 2 years for other professionals and skilled workers. You should have a minimum monthly income of P10,000 for Personal and Home loans, and P50,000 for Auto Loans.
2. BPI — BPI also grants Personal, Housing and Auto Loans to OFWs working at least 2 years. You will need a minimum monthly income of P30,000 to be qualified for a Personal and Auto Loan, and P40,000 for Housing Loan.
3. Landbank — Landbank offers variety of loan products for OFWs such as OFW Reintegration Program (OFW-RP) and Bahay Para sa Bagong Bayani Program (3B Program). The OFW-RP Program is aimed to provide you with opportunities to start your own business back here in the Philippines as an alternative to working abroad. While the 3B Program is a Housing Loan that helps you buy or improve your own house to a more comfortable living.
4. Chinabank — Chinabank, although does not offer personal loan products, does have Housing and Auto Loans for OFWs. To qualify, you should have a minimum monthly income of P50,000 and no negative credit findings.
5. PNB — True to its name, PNB is really a bank for the Filipinos. They offer 3 loan products for OFWs such as PNB Pangarap Loan, Own a Philippine Home Loan, and Global Filipino Auto Loan.
If you’re working in Italy, Singapore, or Hong Kong, you may apply for a PNB Pangarap Loan which is a multi-purpose loan.
If you’re based in Singapore, Japan, New York and Los Angeles then you can apply for a home loan with the Own a Philippine Home Loan product.
Whereas if you’re working in Hong Kong or Saudi Arabia, you can avail of the Global Filipino Auto Loan.
Note: that for all these loans, you should be at least 21 years old and not more than 65 years old upon loan maturity.
Private Lending Companies – Aside from banks, there are also private companies that offer loans for OFWs. They have less requirements and have faster processing. Make sure to check out this list first before getting a loan!
Here is a list of Private Lending Companies that offer loans to OFWs:
1. Global Dominion Financing Incorporated (GDFI)
GDFI offers loans to both land-based and sea-based OFWs while currently abroad. The whole process is done online, and you need an immediate relative here in the Philippines as your co-borrower. You may borrow up to 2x your monthly income with an interest rate of 1.75% per month and a loan term of up to 24 months with mode of payment via payment centers.
2. 123 Lending
You may apply for an OFW Loan with 123 Lending if you are a first-time OFW or you are a returning OFW. You can borrow up to 3x your monthly income with an interest rate of 5.5% – 10.4% per month and a loan term of up to 12 months. Application can be done online, or you can visit one of their branches.
3. Balikbayad – OFW Loans Made Simple
Balikbayad is a new name in the industry and they offer loans for land-based OFWs and seaman loans. Applications are done online, and you get the approval only within 24 hours! You only need one co-borrower to take out your loan for you. You may loan up to 2x your monthly income with an interest rate of 4.99% per month and a loan term up to 18 months. Post Dated Checks and Bank Deposits are accepted for payment.
4. PJH Lending
PJH Lending Corporation is the premiere lending company for OFWs. There are no income requirements needed and application is done online. They also allow you to make your payment after 2 months! With PJH, you may borrow up to 3x your monthly income with an interest rate of 8% per month and a loan term up to 12 months. Payment can only be through Post Dated Checks. PJH prides itself in the service it gives OFWs. They will guide you through the whole process.
5. Zazu Lending
Zazu also offers OFW Loans even before you start your new job abroad. The process is all done online and will ask you to submit minimal requirements. With Zazu, you may borrow up to 4x your monthly income with up to 3 years to repay.
Government Institutions – Quite possibly the best institutions to loan from, Government agencies offer the best interest rates and most affordable payment terms. Although the process is very long and requires a lot of documents, it is still nice to know that you will benefit from your contributions to the government.
Pag-ibig housing loan has some of the lowest interest rates among housing loans in the Philippines. To qualify for a Pag-ibig loan, you must be a Pag-IBIG member for at least 24 months and must be able to show proof of your contributions for that period. You can verify your contributions here.
Since Pag-ibig is a government institution, you need to prepare a lot of documents as requirements for the loan. You may go through the requirements on this link.
SSS offers Salary Loans and Housing Loans for OFWs. To be qualified, you need to have at least 36 monthly contributions, with the last 6 contributions paid within the last 12 months before the month of your loan application. You can loan an amount equal to your one-month salary up to P15,000. If you have 72 contributions, you can loan two-month salary up to P30,000.
Unlike Pag-ibig, SSS has lesser requirements and you can do the whole process online. You may also choose to process it in any SSS branch or through an SSS Foreign Representative.
3. Overseas Workers Welfare Association
This loan product is for OWWA Members currently working abroad who wish to venture into a business. This is a project under the reintegration program of OWWA to help you establish your own business here in the Philippines and generate enough income that you won’t need to work overseas.
Unlike personal loans from banks, this loan requires a collateral and a lot of government documents for you to be approved. You can loan up to P2 Million for your business.
See table 1.0 for Personal Loan comparison
Here in the table, we can see that banks offer lower interest rates than private lending companies. Although it is not surprising that government agencies like SSS offers the lowest of them all with only 10.75% per year.
Despite that, some still choose to loan with Private Lending companies as they require less documents and have faster processing than government agencies and banks.
It is important that you do research before choosing where to loan. Some of them may have other fees when processing the loan proceeds and some may have higher interest rates depending on the loan terms.
Always plan how to repay the loan so that you avoid getting stressed over collection agencies. If ever you miss some payments, here are some tips to cope up with the stress due to unpaid loans.
Before taking out a loan, stop and think of good debt versus bad debt first. If you’re taking out a loan for something that will increase its value over time, then it will be worth it.
Given all the choices for a loan, you are sure to find one that suits your needs. So, take the leap and start building your dreams now!
Sources:1. www.bdo.com – Personal Loan
2. www.bpiexpressonline.com – Land-based Overseas Filipinos
3. www.landbank.com – OFW Reintegration Program
4. www.landbank.com – Bahay Para sa Bagong Bayani
5. www.chinabank.ph – Home Loan
6. www.chinabank.ph – Auto Loan
7. www.pnb.com.ph – Loans & Investments
8. www.gmanetwork.com – News on Personal Finance
9. gdfi.com.ph – OFW Cash Loans
10. www.moneymax.ph – SSS Salary Loan for OFW
11. www.moneymax.ph – Pag-IBIG / SSS Loans