If you’re one of the many thousands of Filipino nationals living and working abroad, you might be able to advantage of an Overseas Filipino Worker / OFW loan. Many financial institutions and lending companies in Philippines offer special arrangements tailored to the unique needs of those working in foreign countries.
The Difficulties of Working Overseas
It’s not an easy thing to do, to work in another country. You’re separated from your family and your friends by distance (and more often than not, in a different time zone too). You become suddenly immersed in a strange culture where maybe you don’t even have a firm grasp of the language yet. You can feel scared and alone from the moment you land.
So why do people do it? Well, the rewards can be quite beneficial. Some people are willing to undergo these temporary hardships in order to provide a better-than-decent income for their loved ones back home. For them, the benefits and the disadvantages of being an OFW balance each other out, mostly.
Even so, sometimes the money sent back to the folks at home is insufficient. We never know when something foreseen is going to impact on our lives, after all.
Imagine a scenario in which a family member becomes suddenly ill and needs an expensive operation. What is the family vehicle breaks down, leaving your household members without transport? Or any of a dozen other situations arise, from damage to the home to unplanned educational expenses. Whatever the reason, your family needs cash – maybe more cash than you can raise or send in a hurry, especially if you’re overseas.
That’s when it’s handy to be aware of a lending company with an OFW lending program you can make use of.
Criteria for OFW Loans
There are certain requirements that must be met to qualify for an OFW loan, of course.
First and foremost, the borrower must be a Filipino citizen living and working overseas.
Also, he or she must be 21 years of age or older. If the borrower will be older than 60 when the loan matures, a Special power of Attorney will be required as well.
Accurate contact details, including current telephone numbers, will be required as in all loans.
The lending firm may also require the loan to have a co-maker to guarantee repayment.
The following documentation is also requested from the OFW/borrower, by the lender, in almost all cases:
- A recent photograph of the OFW, 2” x 2”
- A copy of the OFW’s Contract of Employment
- A signed Certificate of Employment from the employer
- A Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) information sheet.
- A copy of the OFW’s working visa, issued by the country in which they are employed
- A copy of the OFW’s passport
- A copy of an Overseas Employment Certificate or e-receipt for same
- Proof of purchase or billing for the purpose of the loan.
Depending on the lender’s policies, you may not need to submit all three of the Contract of Employment, Certificate of Employment and POEA information sheet; some firms are satisfied with any one of the three.
You may also be asked to provide proof of residency if the due accounts are made out to a family member or other householder instead of in your name.
Other Things To Consider About Your OFW Loan
The length of time for processing an OFW loan can vary, depending on how long it takes to verify documents and the purposes of the loan.
You should also be aware that interest rates may vary, depending on your income, your assessed capacity to make repayments, and the length of term of your loan.