MANILA, Philippines - It's not just housing loans you can avail from the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), but also education, livelihood and even vacation loans.
Pag-IBIG chief executive officer Darlene Berberabe said members who are feeling depressed and want to go on a vacation can get a short-term loan, which she dubbed as an "anti-depression" loan.
"Ang tawag ko nga jan (vacation loan) ay 'anti-depression loan'. Ano yang anti-depression loan? Sabi ko, pag nabibigo ka sa buhay, pumunta ka sa Pag-IBIG at umutang para magbakasyon or saan man gamitin," Berberabe said, in an interview with ANC's Headstart.
However, these short-term loans would depend on the amount of one's savings in Pag-IBIG.
"May requirement kami na 2 years na mag-aambag ka sa pondo, para may ma-utang ka. Parang it's a loan against your savings. Kung P20,000 (savings) -- it's 80% of P20,000 or hanggang P16,000 ang puede niyong utangin. The interest rate is 10.75% a year, maliit pa rin yun kesa sa credit card," she said.
As for housing loans, members of Pag-IBIG Fund can now borrow as much as P6 million from the previous limit was P3 million.
"Last week we had our board meeting and we have been approved to raise the maximum loan package to P6 million... We have a credit scoring system. We will evaluate the borrowers' capacity to pay but the maximum loanable amount is P6 million," Berberabe said.
The Pag-IBIG board also agreed to lower the interest rate to 7.98% with 3 years repricing, from the previous 11.5% so it can compete with private banks.
Pag-IBIG recently launched a socialized housing program where minimum wage earners can borrow money at a subsidized interest rate of 4.5%. The maximum loanable amount for the socialized housing program is P400,000.
"Ang ating mga household workers, transport workers, mga minimum wage earners ay puede na umutang at 4.5 % interest rate. Sinusubsidize ng Pag-IBIG ang interest rate kasi ang market rate ay nasa 8%," Berberabe said.
For instance, the monthly amortization for a P400,000 loan at 4.5% interest is P2,000 a month.
Berberabe acknowledged that for some minimum wage earners, paying P2,000 a month is still too much.
"Issue kasi di pa rin kaya (ng minimum wage earners). Pero kung mga P100,000 (loan) nasa P700 or P800 a month yan... Puede rin may co-borrowers, pag-samasamahin niyo ang income capacity and puede kayo ma-approve ng Pag-IBIG loan," she said. - With ANC