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The latest and the best financial news, tips and tricks.

How Do I Get a Copy of My Credit Report Online?

Your credit report gives you an idea of your financial health, much like how your annual physical exam results reveal important details about your physical health. Checking your credit report once a year is good for your financial wellness. It lets you know if you’re creditworthy enough to be approved for loans and credit cards. This way, you’ll never have to wonder whether you’ll get an approval or denial from the bank each time you borrow money. The steps on how to get credit report in Philippines is easier than you might think, especially now that the Credit Information Corporation (CIC) and its accredited credit bureau, CIBI Information Inc.[1], has launched the CIBIApp where you can register and create an account online, either through your desktop or mobile phone. With this, Filipino consumers no longer need to travel physically to the CIC main office in Makati City to get a credit report. This move is also in line with the CIC’s goal to ensure everyone’s safety amid the pandemic. How to Get Credit Report in the Philippines 1. Access the CIBIApp on Desktop or Mobile To request for a copy of your credit report, you first have to download the CIBIApp via the Google Play Store. This is for Android smartphone users only. For desktop users, you may access the app via your web browser at cibiapp.cibi.com.ph/#/login. 2. Create an Account with CIBIApp Register by entering your personal and contact information and by creating a username with password. You would also be asked to upload the following documents: One primary…

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Where to Live and Invest in the Philippines? Here are Our Top Picks

When buying a property, the age-old wisdom on real estate investment that says “location, location, and location” still holds true today. While it’s seemingly redundant, the intention is there—to make investors understand the value of location in the home purchase decision. Properties with direct access to essential amenities and facilities, such as schools, workplaces, hospitals, churches, and transport terminals, provide convenience. This is why a lot of us are drawn to big cities and metropolitan areas. The struggle when it comes to purchasing a home, however, lies in one fact: prime properties are expensive. Property developers have been creating communities outside of Manila. This move gives you a chance to find properties that are not yet that expensive. Moreover, it will benefit everyone in the long run: major cities will be decongested, and provincial cities and towns will be put in the spotlight. If you’re looking for the best places to live in the Philippines, here are some of your top considerations. 9 Best Places to Live in the Philippines Best Places to Live in Luzon Bulacan Located at the edge of Metro Manila, Bulacan is one of the ideal places for your real estate purchase. The province’s economy is on the rise, and it provides that much-needed breather while still making sure you can easily head back to Manila whenever you need to. San Jose del Monte City is one of the best places in Bulacan that will satisfy your dreams of leading a suburban lifestyle. Major real estate developers, such as Ayala Land, are building townships here. One…

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What is the Best House Type for My Family?

House-hunting can be stressful. Sometimes, it’s nothing like what you see on home improvement channels where buyers visit fancy properties. As a house buyer, you face lots of concerns, from picking the right developer to budgeting and to dealing with the closing costs. Ultimately, it gets stressful when you don’t actually know what you’re looking for, especially when looking for a property that will suit your family. There are zillions of house types to pick from, such as a bungalow, a duplex, a condo, a townhouse, and even a beach cottage. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Online mortgage broker Nook advises that every house search should always start with this question: What does my family need? Once you have a concrete idea of your family’s lifestyle, that’s when you can easily picture the right home for you and your loved ones. Since you’re looking for the best house type for your family, we’ve narrowed down some important pieces of advice that will help you refine your search. The Best House Type for Your Family There are many kinds of homes, and real estate terms and jargons may confuse you. But for your benefit, we have listed the four basic types of homes based on the lot structure and how each will complement the needs of your family. Single Detached Property Among the best house types for families is a single detached property. This house type is basically a home sitting in the middle of a lot. This means that you have open space on the four sides of your land. Also, you…

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5 Best Reasons Why OFWs Should Invest in Real Estate

While Filipinos are known to be tight-knit, one cannot deny the fact that a lot of us need to leave home to seek greener pastures. Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs are indeed modern-day heroes as they sacrifice a lot of things to give their loved ones a comfortable life. Some will miss their kids growing up while waiting for their contracts to be over before they can finally fly home. OFWs have to brave loneliness and homesickness to secure their family’s future. And because the future is at stake, they plan things carefully to make sure that the money they send does not go to waste. OFWs like you have surely been thinking of investing. Chances are, you have already put your money in investments such as mutual funds, VUL, stocks, bonds, and even dollar funds. But if you’re looking for another long-term investment, you have to consider buying a real estate investment in the Philippines. When you buy a house and lot or a condominium, you are not just buying an asset. You are actually getting an investment, knowing that the value of these properties appreciates given favorable market conditions. If you want to know more about why real estate makes a great investment choice for OFWs, we’ve got you covered. Why Consider Real Estate Investment in the Philippines? Real estate is considered as one of the top assets to invest in. Your parents and even relatives might have been reminding you to prioritize securing a property for good reason. Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf…

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10 Sulit Ways to Use a Cash Loan in the New Normal

Why do people get personal loans? In the broadest sense, Filipinos borrow money for various loan purposes —whether good or bad — when they need to buy or pay for something but are currently short of cash. You might be thinking of getting a personal loan and wondering if it’s the best option right now. Borrowing from a licensed and legitimate lender is a good idea if you’ll use the funds for one of these two general loan purposes:  Cover emergency expenses during an unexpected life event Invest in your career, business, or education In particular, here are personal loan purposes where borrowing money makes sense in the new normal. 10 Good Personal Loan Purposes in the Philippines 1. Buy Groceries and Other Basic Necessities Having a reduced income is one of the harsh realities many Filipino families are dealing with during the COVID-19 crisis. A cash loan saves the day when you’ve run out of household necessities like groceries and baby care essentials—and payday is several days away. You can instantly borrow money to stretch your budget and provide for your family until you receive your next paycheck. 2. Pay Your Bills Don’t have enough money to pay all your bills for the month? Avoid getting your electricity, water, internet service, and other utilities disconnected. With a cash loan that’s quick to avail like the Tala loan, you can settle your unpaid bills and have nothing to worry about. 3. Pay for Unexpected Medical Expenses Even if you and your dependents have PhilHealth, HMO, and/or health insurance coverage, you…

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How Home Loan Refinancing Can Help You Save Money

Bills, bills, bills. There’s no way to eliminate them, but you can reduce what you’re paying every month. Assess your monthly expenses. If you discover, for example, that you’re paying too much on your home loan, consider switching to a new loan that will help ease your financial burden. Rather than making you sink deeper in debt, home loan refinancing can help you save money, as long as you go with a loan that offers the most favorable terms. The benefits of refinancing couldn’t come at a better time when everyone is reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, such as unemployment and business losses. Read on to know what refinancing a mortgage means and how you can use it to reduce your debt. What is Home Loan Refinancing? Home loan refinancing is the process of paying off an existing mortgage by replacing it with a new loan from a different lender. Ideally, the new home loan has a lower interest rate and better terms than the first one. The goal is to make your monthly or total loan repayment cheaper and easier on the budget. Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Housing Loans in the Philippines 5 Ways to Save Money Through Home Loan Refinancing in the Philippines Refinancing a mortgage means borrowing money to pay off your current home loan. But there’s another compelling reason to switch to a new home loan: It can lead to significant savings in the long run. Here are several ways you can reduce your mortgage payments through refinancing your…

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How Much Do I Need to Buy a House in the Philippines?

How much does it cost to buy a home? Can I afford it? A house is the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so the expenses you’ll incur should be a major consideration in your home-buying decision. Understanding the house construction cost, taxes, and other fees you have to pay for a home purchase will help you create a realistic budget and give you ample time to get your finances ready. This also helps you avoid any unpleasant surprises and unplanned expenses. Here’s a general guide to the costs involved in buying a house in the Philippines. Note that the cost estimates here are just ballpark figures to give you an idea of how much you’ll spend as a homebuyer. What are the Upfront Costs of Buying a Home? Certain fees have to be paid outright before acquiring a home. Here are the initial expenses you should save up for to buy a home in the Philippines. 1. Reservation Fee / Earnest Money Deposit Cost: Reservation fee: PHP 15,000 to PHP 50,000 (as much as PHP 100,000 for a high-end home), depending on the property’s value Earnest money: 1% to 5% of the property’s selling price (or whatever amount the buyer and seller agree on)[1] If you plan to purchase a house or condominium unit, you have to pay a reservation fee and/or earnest money. To secure the unit you want to buy, you pay a deposit to the property developer or seller. This shows you’re serious about purchasing the property and ensures that it won’t go to another buyer. For…

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Home Renovation 101: How to Renovate Your Home on a Budget

Everyone deserves their dream home at a price they can afford. But can you really renovate a home on a shoestring budget? Home renovation doesn’t have to be costly. Think strategically about the materials, design, and timing of your renovation project. To stick to a tight budget, do simple tasks yourself, collaborate with a contractor, and be on the lookout for sales. Read on to get more money-saving home renovation tips and ideas. Tips to Save on Home Renovation Cost in the Philippines 1. Set a Budget and Stick to It Start with a well-defined budget that covers all home renovation costs. This ensures you will not overspend on renovating your house. Take stock of all the things you need to pay for, such as labor, materials, tools and equipment, permits, and cleanup service. Also, set aside a contingency fund—around 10% to 20% of your total budget—for unforeseen expenses. Put your home renovation cost breakdown in a spreadsheet that will also serve as your house renovation checklist[1]. Refer to this file from time to time to check if your spending is on track with your budget. 2. Start the Planning Early on By leaving everything at the last minute, you risk overspending on mundane things. To stay within your budget, start lurking the aisles at various home improvement centers and hardware stores, so you can compare prices of various appliances and fixtures. 3. Find the Right Home Renovation Loan Ideally, you have cash savings to pay for all the costs of remodeling your space. However, the home renovation cost in…

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XM Global Guide to Start Your Trading Journey

Looking to diversify your investment portfolio? Consider trading currencies in the world’s largest, most liquid financial market: the foreign exchange or forex (FX) market. While the idea of making money in the FX market sounds intimidating for the novice trader, it can now be done more conveniently online. Trade forex online in the comfort of your home with the help of a broker like XM Global. Before you participate in the forex market, learn more about this online forex broker and what it can do for you. What is XM Global? XM Global Limited is a globally licensed, multi-awarded online broker that makes trading forex and contract for differences (CFD)[1] easy and efficient through its full-featured platforms. For more than 10 years, XM has been sharing its expertise in global financial markets with over 3.5 million traders from 196 countries, including the Philippines. As one of the industry-leading brokerage firms, XM enables clients to trade forex and CFDs on a wide variety of instruments—stocks, stock indices, commodities, metals, and energies—using a single trading account. XM Global Review: Is XM a Good Broker? XM Global Limited is a legitimate broker with a global reputation for reliability and client fund safety. Authorized to operate and provide brokerage services worldwide, the company is licensed by the following government regulatory bodies: Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission International Financial Services Commission in Belize Financial Conduct Authority in the UK Australian Securities and Investment Commission Dubai Financial Services Authority This means the online forex and CFD broker is fully compliant with strict consumer protection standards and…

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Here’s How You Can Buy a Home in Your 30s

Your 30s is the best age to buy a home. By now, you have a clear idea of what home-ownership means to you—whether it’s living independently, raising a family, or investing in real estate. You’re more or less financially ready to own a house. You’ve likely built a stable career or business that brings in steady income. You’ve probably established a good credit history, which can help you get a home loan. You’re old enough to make a life-changing decision like buying a house, yet still young enough to have time to pay off a home loan. As such, it’s hardly surprising that more Filipino millennials buy properties nowadays. Data from online mortgage broker Nook shows that 44% of home loans on its platform are acquired by millennials[1]. Ready to make that long-term financial commitment? To successfully buy a home in your 30s, understand how the usual home-buying process works in the Philippines. How to Buy a Home: 7 Steps for First-Time Home Buyers 1. Decide on Your Home-Buying Budget Many first-time home-buyers immediately start shopping for properties without setting a budget first. That’s a common mistake you’d want to avoid because it’ll tempt you to spend your money on something you can’t afford. It’s easy to fall in love with a stylish house with a breathtaking view. But what if it turns out to be expensive? So that your home purchase decision won’t be driven by emotion, determine a budget for buying your first house. How much can you really afford to buy a home? The rule of thumb…

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Getting to Know the Credit Information Corporation in the Philippines

Were you ever tempted not to pay a loan or a credit card bill? You probably thought you can get away with it and you can just apply for another loan after a few years. If that’s the case, this Credit Information Corporation (CIC) primer will convince you otherwise. In a nutshell, that’s the primary function of a credit registry: to monitor loan transactions by every individual and financial institution with credit facilities. In the Philippines, the CIC does exactly that and more. Let’s get to know the Credit Information Corporation a little better. What is a credit registry? The World Bank[1] defines the function of a credit registry as the following: “Credit registries are generally developed to support the state’s role as a supervisor of financial institutions. Where credit registries exist, loans above a certain amount must, by law, be registered in the national credit registry. In some cases, credit registries have relatively high thresholds for loans that are included in their databases. Credit registries tend to monitor loans made by regulated financial institutions.” Basically, a credit registry makes sure all loan transactions are accounted for. Banks and loan providers can’t just loan large amounts of money to anyone. Likewise, an individual can’t just avoid paying credit card balances and apply for another loan instead. From the date of application down to the amount of loan transactions, credit registries will keep track of every detail of everyone’s credit records—loans, credit cards, installment plans, and even utility bills. They will then use the data to provide you a better look…

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How Mortgage Brokers Can Help You Secure a Home Loan

The first few steps to buying your dream home can be the most difficult. With so much information you have to know and documents that need preparing, the process can definitely stress you out. You may even fall into traps that might hurt you and your pocket in the long run. Finding the best home loan that fits your needs and budget can also be frustrating, especially when there are many mortgage products in the market. You may spend hours browsing through mortgage deals, memorizing financial jargon, and still end up with nothing. However, there are professionals out there, such as mortgage brokers, that can make obtaining your dream home a little bit easier. What is a Mortgage Broker? A mortgage broker is a professional who gives financial advice to individuals wanting to purchase a home. He or she can guide you through all the complexities of a mortgage application. A mortgage broker can help you prepare the paperwork and documentation needed for your home loan application. As a middleman, a broker also connects borrowers to lenders, taking care of the steps that come with buying a home. Mortgage brokers partner with various lenders and have access to different home loans, which makes it easier to identify mortgages that best suit your financial needs. Read more: Should I Borrow Money from Private Lenders? The Benefits of Working with a Mortgage Broker Working with a mortgage broker has many benefits, including the following: They help you assess your financial health Before preparing your home loan application, it is best to check…

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5 Ways to Pay for Your Etiqa Car Insurance – All Online!

Did you know that you can get your car insurance purchase done in just one sitting? Etiqa Philippines offers a fully online process for car insurance policy applications. No need to leave your home because you can complete every step—from getting a quote to paying for your premium—all in one place through the Etiqa website. Also, you can choose from an array of convenient online payment methods, with a 0% interest installment option using a BDO or Maybank credit card. Buy your car insurance online in the comfort and safety of your home. Here’s a simple guide to help you get your Etiqa car insurance policy fast. How to Get an Etiqa Car Insurance Policy Online Access the Etiqa Auto Insurance page on the Etiqa Philippines website. Click the Apply Now button. Get your Etiqa car insurance quote based on your vehicle’s brand, model, and make. If your model is not among the options, send an email request for quotation (with your full vehicle information and contact details) to generalinsurance@etiqa.com.ph. Select your vehicle’s value and coverage limits. Indicate whether you will add an Acts of God coverage to your policy. Choose your preferred payment type. If you plan to pay via credit card installment, you should also pick a payment term (the number of monthly installments you can afford to pay). Fill out the required fields with your vehicle information. If you purchased your car through a loan, provide the necessary details about your auto loan. Enter your personal information and click the Submit button (We recommend that you choose…

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Etiqa Car Insurance: Customize Your Policy According to Your Budget

“Is Etiqa car insurance good?” Whether you’re shopping for your first policy or switching to a new car insurance provider, Etiqa Philippines is one of the options that would pop up when you search online. You’re probably wondering if Etiqa car insurance is worth considering. Etiqa offers plenty of benefits and innovations that make getting a policy and filing a claim so much easier for its clients. Here’s everything car owners should know about this insurance company in the Philippines. What is Etiqa Philippines? Etiqa Life and General Assurance Philippines, Inc. or Etiqa Philippines (via AsianLife and General Assurance Philippines), has been in the industry for over 40 years. Etiqa’s headquarters is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and currently has presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines. Etiqa Philippines offers Group Life, Non-Life and Retail (Individual) products that cater to protection, savings, insurance, and investment needs for various segments in the Philippines. They offer a wide range of products, including endowment, term, education, investment-linked, and medical insurance for Life and personal accident, fire, motor, aviation, fleet management, and engineering policies for Non-Life. The company is a member of the Maybank Group. Etiqa Car Insurance in the Philippines Etiqa Car Insurance, one of Etiqa Philippines’ insurance products, provides financial protection for policyholders whose vehicles are lost or damaged due to accidents, theft, fire and lightning, and natural disasters. It also provides coverage for liabilities resulting from bodily injuries and death or damage to third-party properties. Etiqa Car Insurance Coverage and Benefits What Does Etiqa Auto Insurance Cover? You can have your…

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Moneymax and Nook Sign Partnership to Make Housing Loan Applications Easier

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – MAY 2020. Nook, the Philippines’ first online mortgage broker, partners with Moneymax to help Filipinos find and get approved for the right home loan. Nook was founded in 2018 and its partnership with Moneymax is a first for both online platforms. Making home loan applications simple and free Online mortgage brokers may be new to Filipinos, but their role in the Philippine housing market can sure make an impact. So how does a platform like Nook work? Similar to Moneymax, Nook partners with leading banks in the country to act as an intermediary between them and borrowers. Through its website, Nook helps Filipinos choose the right home loan, ultimately guiding them from application to approval. Apart from making the home loan process faster and more convenient, Nook also helps users save money by allowing them to compare and apply for a loan without charge. Nook’s services are all free and online. Read more: What is the Best House Type for My Family? Working together to help Filipinos with their home financing needs It only makes sense for Nook to partner with Moneymax as both companies aim to educate Filipinos on how to make smarter financial decisions. “Getting a home loan is a major financial decision in someone’s life. Moneymax and Nook will make it easy for every Filipino to compare and apply for the best home loan with a click of a button,” shares Munmun Nath, Moneymax’s Managing Director for Marketing. “We are excited about this strategic partnership with Moneymax and to drive our common mission of…

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Credit Report vs Credit Score: Understanding the Difference

What’s the difference between a credit report and a credit score? It’s hard to tell because the two terms seem very similar. They’re both important for lenders in determining how responsible you are as a borrower. You also need to access both for building your creditworthiness. Not to mention that they sound pretty much the same. That’s where the similarities end, though. To help you distinguish one from the other, we’ve broken down for you the key differences between a credit report and a credit score in the Philippines. Read on as we break down credit report vs credit score in the Philippines. What is a Credit Report? A credit report is a detailed summary of your borrowing and repayment activities. It contains your personal and/or business information, as well as pertinent details of your loans, credit cards, mortgage, and other financial transactions. In a nutshell, here’s how credit reporting works in the Philippines: Banks and other financial institutions submit their clients’ credit information (both positive and negative) to the Credit Information Corporation (CIC), the public credit registry and repository of credit information in the Philippines. The CIC compiles the collected credit information into in-depth credit reports. The CIC shares credit reports of borrowers to lenders that are official accessing entities (submitting financial institutions authorized by CIC to access basic credit data), and to their accredited credit bureaus. Lenders use the information in credit reports to assess whether to lend money to a borrower or not. Read more: What is a Credit Report and Why Do I Need it? What…

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5 Best Ways to Grow Your Extra Savings

Have you ever found a PHP 100 bill tucked inside your favorite jacket’s pocket by chance? There are moments in life where you sometimes get more than what you need. Have you thought about where you can save your extra money instead of spending it immediately? It’s okay if you haven’t. After all, you deserve to treat yourself once in a while. But in the spirit of being practical during a crisis, you can always choose to save and grow your extra money lying around. If you don’t know what to do with it, here’s a list of money saving ideas. Money Saving Ideas to Grow Your Extra Cash Keep It in Your Savings Account Say you saved a few bucks from your recent grocery run. Instead of doing your next online lockdown shopping spree[1], why not keep it in your account? One of the several money saving ideas is to keep your extra money in your low maintaining savings account so it can at least grow a little. Regular savings accounts can earn you up to 0.25% per annum. Open a High-Interest Savings Account But if you want your extra savings to grow faster so you can navigate the new normal better, you need to put it on a high-interest savings account. It’s one of the best money saving ideas because digital banks in the Philippines offer the highest interest rates out there. These rates can go as high as 4% per annum, which will definitely fast track the growth of your money. Take for instance the ING Savings…

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Moneymax and CIC Partner to Promote Consumer Rights Amid COVID-19

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – APRIL 2020. The Credit Information Corporation (CIC) partners with Moneymax to educate Filipinos about the importance of having access to one’s credit history. CIC is the Philippines’ government-owned and controlled central credit registry. This is the first partnership between the two companies as they aim to promote financial literacy on credit information in the Philippines. Pushing the importance of accurate credit information CIC tapped Moneymax to help increase awareness of CIC’s role in helping consumers get access to their own credit data and history. Moneymax will publish customized articles, videos, and infographics to educate Filipinos about the importance of credit reports and their right to accurate and reliable credit information. “Our mission is to help Filipinos lead a healthier financial life. Access to credit is an important pillar of a healthy financial life. Financial institutions rely on CIC’s credit reporting database to make decisions on who gets approved for credit. It’s very essential that Filipinos understand what goes into their credit history and improve transparency on credit reporting,” shares Munmun Nath, Moneymax’s Managing Director for Marketing. “The CIC is the only government agency tasked to undertake a continuing nationwide educational campaign to promote the benefits of a credit information system to the economy. As we continue to combat the economic backlash of COVID-19, we need to reach as many Filipinos as possible about the value of responsible borrowing and credit data sharing. This is why we look forward to working with Moneymax on this financial literacy initiative,” says Aileen L. Amor – Bautista, CIC’s SVP for Business…

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What are Bank Interest Rates and Why Do They Matter?

When choosing a bank, do you pay close attention to its interest rates? While they seem to barely make any difference, interest rates are not insignificant at all—they’re a crucial part of banking, whether you’re saving or borrowing money. To make the most of your savings, it’s important to understand how bank interest rates work. Here’s everything you need to know about the interest rate on savings accounts, including why you should go for a high-yielding account. What is the Meaning of Interest Rate on a Savings Account? An interest rate is the percentage of your savings that determines how much the bank pays you to keep your money on deposit. When you deposit money in your savings account, you’re lending it to the bank. Your funds are then invested through loans, credit cards, and other financial products. In return, you earn interest on your savings. How to Compute Bank Interest Rates on Savings Generally, banks use the principle of compound interest[1] based on the amount saved and all accumulated interest. Simply put, you’re paid interest on top of the interest you earned previously. To know how bank interest rates work, here’s the general formula for a savings account interest computation: A = P x (1 + R ÷ n)n Where: A = Amount of money in the savings account after interest is paid P = The principal or original account balance R = Interest rate in decimal format (e.g., 0.25% = 0.0025) n = Number of times the bank calculates interest in a year (e.g., interest calculated daily =…

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What is a Credit Report and Why Do I Need it?

Are you serious about getting your finances in good shape? If the answer is yes, a document you should be checking is your credit report. If you’ve never seen yours, it’s time to understand what a credit report is and why it’s important in your adult financial life. Here are the basics of credit reports in the Philippines every Filipino needs to know. What is a Credit Report? A credit report is a document that sums up your credit history including your loans and credit card accounts. An objective measure of your ability to repay a debt, it shows how much you owe and how much and when you’ve paid off the debt. What is the Difference Between a Credit Report and a Credit Score? Although they’re both used to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness, a credit report and a credit score are two different things. Don’t confuse one with the other. Your credit report is a detailed account of your credit history, while your credit score is a three-digit number that represents the data in your credit report. Your credit score is calculated based on your credit report. Read more: What is a Credit Score and Why Should I Improve It? How Credit Reporting Works in the Philippines How Your Credit Information is Collected Companies and financial institutions you do business with submit information on your financial transactions, including your payment history, to the Credit Information Corporation (CIC). The CIC is the public credit registry and repository of credit information in the Philippines. Republic Act No. 9510[1] or the Credit…

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