Owning a home is one of the main goals of many Filipinos, which is why getting a Pag-IBIG housing loan is more popular than ever. Even OFWs can avail this benefit, allowing accessible housing for Filipinos here and abroad, whether during Christmas break or any time of the year.
Overseas Filipino workers flock to other countries to find greener pasture, usually so their families at home can have better lives. This not only includes sending money over from abroad but also investing in a property they can retire to once the time comes.
In order to achieve this, OFWs need to put their money in the right investment. For Filipinos based locally, Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industria at Gobyerno (Pag-IBIG) has the very famous Pag-IBIG Fund – more formally referred to as the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF). However, they also have a housing loan specifically for OFWs.
OFW Eligibility and Requirements
The HDMF program has specific housing schemes for OFWs, which is mostly similar to what’s available for locally-based Filipinos. You can borrow a maximum of Php 6 million, but this will all depend on both your needs and your capacity to pay.
Normally, OFWs have a bigger capacity because of the foreign exchange (FOREX) rate in proportion to what they earn abroad. In addition, sometimes it’s easier to handle these documents in person, so OFWs on vacation may want to smartly use their Christmas/holiday break from work and do the requirements while in the Philippines. However, there is an option to apply for a loan from abroad.
To be eligible, an OFW applicant should present the following:
- An employment contract. If written in a language other than English, it should have a translated version attached as well.
- Original Employer’s Certificate of Income. In cases when the original copy is unavailable, a photocopy may be allowed as long as it has been validated and certified by the HDMF Information Officer assigned in the OFW’s country of employment.
Additionally, the other OFW Pag-IBIG Housing Loan requirements are:
- Pag-IBIG Home Loan Form with attached recent ID picture.
- Membership Status Verification Slip. Applicant must have remitted at least 24 months in contribution, or pay in a lump sum for new members.
- Proof of income. An original employer’s certificate, employment contract, or any document to prove income as validated by the aforementioned HDMF Information Officer.
- Photocopy of one valid ID. If the borrower has a co-borrower, spouse, or Attorney-in-Fact, that person should have a photocopy of their valid ID as well.
- Signed Authorization to Conduct Credit Background Investigation.
- For OFWs applying from abroad, Special Power of Attorney. It has to be notarized before the OFW’s date of departure, or certified and authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the OFW’s country of employment.
- For borrowers over 60 years old or want a loan worth over Php 2 million, Health Statement Form and Full Medical Examination. This form is available online and at any Pag-IBIG Regional Branch, Members Services Support Division – Servicing Department.
- For married borrowers, Marriage Contract.
- For single borrowers, Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR).
- For borrowers with co-borrowers, Birth Certificate or any proof of relationship.
There are also technical requirements to prepare:
- A certified true copy of TCT/CCT from the Registry of Deeds
- Location plan and vicinity map where the property will be located
- Photocopy of Tax Declaration, as well as the latest Real Estate Tax Receipts
For certain loan purposes, an OFW applicant may also need the following:
Contract to Sell – Purchase of lot or residential unit, or any similar contract/agreement between the buyer and seller
Building plan, specification and bill of materials (BOM), signed by a licensed civil engineer or architect
Statement of Account on the outstanding loan balance, which indicates the loan purpose, as well as the official receipt for the previous 12 months along with valid proof of payment or ledger.
Applying for the OFW Pag-IBIG Home Loan
The process for this loan is as follows:
- Attend a Loan Counseling at the nearest Pag-IBIG Office.
- Fill up the necessary application forms such as Housing Loan Application (HLA), Preliminary Loan Counseling Questionnaire (PLCQ), and medical questionnaire if necessary.
- Submit the requirements along with a non-refundable Php1,000 fee. Please note, there is also a non-refundable Php2,000 appraisal fee.
- There will be a 20-day wait as Pag-IBIG reviews your OFW home loan application, which also covers credit investigation and also property valuation.
- Once the loan is approved and ready for release, Php2,000 will be deducted from the loan proceeds. The OFW applicant receives either a Notice of Approval or a Letter of Guaranty. Regardless, you must give this to the property seller and also pay the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) within 90 days to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). They will then give a Certificate of Authorizing Registration (CAR).
- Pay the Transfer Tax – this is done in the local government of the property’s location.
- Transfer the title through the Registry of Deeds. The Assessor’s office will give an updated tax declaration while the Engineering Office will give an Occupancy Permit.
Note: For OFWs using the loan for refinancing, present the Letter of Guaranty and Loan and Mortgage Agreement first before proceeding to the Registry of Deeds.
- Submit these requirements to Pag-IBIG:
- Original TCT – in the name of the borrower along with the mortgage annotation
- Deed of Absolute Sale, stamped from RD
- New tax declaration – in the name of the owner
- Real Estate Tax receipts – updated
- Occupancy Permit
- Assignment of Loan Proceeds (which will come from Pag-IBIG)
Locally or from afar, getting an OFW Pag-IBIG Housing Loan may seem like an intimidating task. However, when broken down into simpler steps, applying for a home loan and getting it approved is pretty simple. If you need help finding out how much you can borrow based on your OFW income as well as the estimated value of the property, preferred repayment term, and fixed pricing period, a Pag-IBIG Fund Housing Loan Affordability Calculator tool is available online.
It’s easy to get distracted and forget about the monthly amortization when you live far from your homeland, but make sure you pay this on time. This can be especially hard during the holidays when you are busy buying gifts and pasalubongs to bring or add to your balikbayan box. Whichever the case, make sure to make smart moves—while it is important to keep loved ones happy, prioritize any and all necessary payments on your investments (housing or otherwise) before making purchases for you’re the people you care about, in order to not risk losing the home you’ve been working so hard for.