OFW Loans 101: How and what you need to get a loan

Are you planning on getting an OFW or Seaman loan from a lending company for the first time? If you want to know the process and requirements you should be bringing with you, then you certainly have come to the right place. After numerous visits to different lending companies and interviews with OFWs and Seaman that went through the whole process of borrowing money, we are pleased to share the information that we have gathered with you.

The process of applying in every lending company involves 3 major steps.

  1. Inquiry and Application

For this step, you (the borrower) will call or visit the branch of the lending company. You will ask the lending company regarding the details on getting a loan such as the documents you need to submit, the interest and fees that they charge, and the estimated monthly payment given the loan term. The documents that all lending companies ask for are found below. Do take note that there are lending companies that ask for more documents so check our document comparison page to see which requirements each lending company asks for.

-Valid ID                                                            -Airplane Ticket

-Passport                                                          -Overseas Employment Certificate

-Working Visa                                                  -Proof of Billing

-Employment Contract                                  -Co-maker*

*documents of co-maker vary depending on the lending company

If you have all these requirements ready with you, you may now visit the lending company to apply. You will be asked to submit these documents to the loan officer. After submitting, you have finished step 1!


  1. Credit Investigation

The second step won’t involve you for the most part, unless there are some additional findings from the credit investigation. During this step, lending companies will verify information that you have submitted including your employment status, your departure date, the validity of your documents, your home address and many more. If you are hiding anything from these companies, most likely they will figure this out and have a negative effect on your application. Because of this, it is best to inform them from the start regarding any potential problems.

The credit investigation process usually takes a day to be completed, so just wait for a call from the company regarding the decision on your application.


  1. Loan Release

The third and last step of the process is the disbursal step. This is the time when you will get your loan and sign promissory notes with the company. Common practice of lending companies is to only disburse the loan 5-7 days before your departure. (If you have urgent needs and your departure date is not anytime soon, we suggest that you find other ways and not go to lending companies to save time.)

On disbursement day, you will be asked to sign post-dated checks for each of your payments. In the event that you do not have a checking account, the lending company will endorse you to a partner bank to open one. (View our features comparison page to see how much each company will charge you for maintaining the minimum balance). You will also be signing your promissory note on this day as well as the disclosure statement which shows you all the interests and fees. Take note that some companies have hidden charges which they deduct to your loan amount that they did not tell you about, and these charges will be seen on the disclosure statement.

Once you have signed all the contracts and post-dated checks, the company will give you the loan either in cash or check. For the repayment of your loan, you have to fund the checking account that you have opened on or before your due date as they will deposit the check on that day. One tip is that if you have problems with your payment, it is best to contact the lending company ahead of time to avoid a lot of penalties.


If you fear that you won’t completely understand the terminologies used by lending companies, read our loan terminologies page to be more familiar with the terms and to avoid getting exploited.

8 thoughts on “OFW Loans 101: How and what you need to get a loan”

  1. Hi,
    I am an ofw based in UAE.
    I would like to avail OFW loan .
    If my co-maker is a friend instead of a family member, is it allowed?
    And if ever, Am i eligible to avail it even if I’m outside philippines?
    Need your reply soonest. Thanks

    1. Hi Maricris,

      it really depends on the lending company you are applying to. However, in most cases you will be required to sign post dated checks,
      so you will probably need to apply on your next visit to Philippines. But we encourage you to contact the lending companies directly
      to learn more about their requirements.

  2. Hi,
    I would like to avail a loan and it’s actually my first time. I’m already here in KSA. My question is can my wife represent me to avail the loan?

    many thanks

    1. Hi Paulo,

      What you are looking for is an allottee or abroad loan. Some companies will consider these on a case by case basis.
      Best to contact a few like PJH Lending, Balikbayad or Global Dominion and describe your situation.

      Hope this helps!

  3. global dominion is asking to sign the blank promissory note straight away, when I mean blank there’s no figure or whatsoever, like how much is the loan, fees.

    Is this their actual policy?

    1. Hi June,

      we don’t know Global Dominion policy, so we can’t really comment on it.

      However, signing any blank document or check always carries a big risk for you, so we would advise to be careful.

  4. If I apply to take a loan, all documents are complete but my flight is before 70 days, it is possible to have that money?

    1. It really depends on the lending company. Usually you will receive the funds a week or so before departure,
      but you can request for early disbursal.

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