Monday, April 22, 2024

Pay Your Overseas Loans

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Islamic banks in the Middle East deserve praise for giving a helping hand to many migrant workers. Firstly, they offer low-interest loans: about 8 to 10 % interest per annum, or even lower. They charge little interest because it is against their religion to charge so much. Mode of payment is usually monthly installment through salary deduction. Payment period can stretch up to five years.

Secondly, not only do Islamic banks charge little, they also ask for minimal requirements even from foreign borrowers who are in the country on a contractual basis. These banks are so trusting. Requirements vary but in many cases, they just ask for a certificate of employment, copies of your passport and”iqama”or resident card, and contract with your landlord. In almost all of these banks, there is no need for collateral, co-borrowers, co-makers or character investigation.Processing period is usually three to four days. It’s that easy.

No wonder, many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) — as well as other foreigners — are availing of loans from Islamic banks. The loanable amount depends on the salary. Some OFWs can borrow an amount equivalent to a million pesos or more. They use the loan for various purposes : purchase real estate, repair a house, start a business or pay for medical treatment. Indeed, Islamic banks have helped quite a number of OFWs. On the other hand, which bank in the Philippines would loan you that amount without collateral, co-maker and a long list of notarized paper requirements?
Unfortunately, some Filipinos have taken advantage of the system. Some of our kababayans —“the estafadors, the scammers, the swindlers “— have found loopholes in the system and have run away from their loans. Some Pinoys who have gotten loans went back to the Philippines on their scheduled vacations, and never came back. Obviously, they have no intention of paying. They are confident that the bank officials will not and can not run after them, or sue them.

How do these criminal acts (Yes, they are crimes !) affect other OFWs? First, this will tarnish our image (which is already somewhat tarnished for reasons we know). This will create the impression that we are not trustworthy, that we don’t have integrity and that we are a big credit risk.

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Some banks have already blacklisted companies where these “estafadors” used to work. Thus, other employees from those companies could no longer avail of loans, no matter how honest and honorable they are. And if this criminal act continues to happen, it is not entirely far-fetched that one of these days, Islamic banks will be blacklisting the entire Filipino workforce from loans.

Because of the wrongdoing s of a few, many Filipinos and other migrant workers from other countries are being deprived of precious opportunities. What if the money is needed for tuition fee? So, a student will not be able to graduate because someone chose not to pay his loan? What if the money is needed for life-saving medical procedures like a surgery, dialysis or chemotherapy? So, a loved one will die because a thick-faced kababayan swindled the bank?

Abusing the trust and generosity of any entity, be it a single person or a big corporation, is a condemnable act. If a bank gave you a loan, without burdening you with so many requirements, and you turn your back on your obligation —- you are a shameless swindler. If you were able to use the money to buy a home or send your children to school —- and you refuse to pay —- you are a crook with no conscience and sense of gratitude. You should go to jail. I wish that officials of these banks, as well as their government officials, find you. I hope that they find a way to communicate with the appropriate Philippine agencies such as the embassies, DFA, OWWA and POEA — and run after you.

Eventually, the long arm of the law will catch up with you. With the use of modern communication technology, you will be found. And your entire family and all your friends will know what you did. You will lose your face. But before that happens, why don’t you take the initiative to get in touch with the bank ? Apologize and explain what happened to you. Tell them how you intend to pay. They will understand. But if you really have no plan to pay —you have to brace yourself for the consequences. Just wait. You will pay whether you like it or not. And you will pay dearly.

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Marily Sasota Gayeta is currently an English lecturer in Salalah City, Oman . She has held this job since September 2013. Before coming to Oman, she was also an English lecturer in Sebha City, Libya for three years. Marily studied Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English at Tomas Del Rosario College in Balanga, Bataan (her hometown) and earned her MA in English Language Teaching from the Philippine Normal University. Her career, which spans more than 20 years, also includes teaching Vietnamese refugees in a training camp in Bataan , and teaching collegiate English in three private colleges in the same province. She enjoys watching action movies, listening to rock songs, reading and writing. Her articles and poems are available on and Marily is married and has two children.

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  1. Wag na kayong mag isip ng loan at mahirap iwan ang utang sa bangko at once na di nyo mabayaran ay naka blacklist ang pangalan sa immigration at hirap at laking abala, Kaya isip isip at pagkasyahin ang buwanang kita. ..

  2. duda ako jan sa 8%-10% interest. Ung ibang banks d2 sa uae ay mi pakulo pa nga na 6% eh. The banking system in the UAE is controlled by the central bank. Ang mga banks ay hindi pwede bumaba sa guidelines ng CB. Kanya kanya na lang silang diskarte na kunyari mababa ang interest. Pero hindi po yan totoo kasi reducing balance ang style dito. Ung interest na 6%, 8% or 10% ay maramdaman mo yan doon sa sa mga last 3 motnhs bago mo matapos ang bayad ng loan. Compute nyong maiigi ang interest bago mag loan. Tsaka mi mga charges pa yan – processing fee, insurance, etc… Kagandahan nga lang dito sa uae ay madali lang kumuha ng personal loan. Tsaka, hindi lang mga kababayn nating mga pinoy ang tumatakas pag nakakuha ng maliking loan, meron din mga ibang lahi gumagawa nyan.


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