5 Convenient Ways to Borrow Money for an Emergency

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated August 05, 2022

"Utang" is so strongly embedded in the Filipino culture that 41% of adults have outstanding or previous loans, according to the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) financial inclusion survey.[1]

There are many options for pautang in the Philippines, the most common of which are emergency loans and personal loans. These instant pautang options can be very useful when you need immediate cash, especially during this pandemic and this financial crisis. Or during typhoon season when flooding can happen in minutes, or basically anytime a natural disaster strikes.

However, it’s important to understand both the benefits and risks of each loan option before getting one for your immediate need. Here are just some of them.

Pautang in the Philippines: 5 Ways to Borrow Money for an Emergency

Do you have an emergency that needs urgent cash? Don’t panic. There are ways you can borrow money quickly and easily. Here are some types of pautang in the Philippines that can be very good for emergencies. 

1. Emergency Loans

What is an Emergency Loan?

An emergency loan is an unsecured personal loan that you can borrow to cover the costs of unexpected expenses.[2] It's a quick and easy way for cash-strapped Filipinos to fund unplanned expenses. And it's particularly helpful when you need money to rebuild your home or repair your car after flooding, fire, earthquake, or any disaster.

Most emergency loans in the Philippines come from three sources: private lenders, government agencies, and employers.

Emergency Loans from Private Lenders

pautang in the Philippines - emergency loan from private lenders
Photo from US Special Operations Command Pacific

Of the three common emergency loan providers in the country, private lenders have the simplest application process, as well as the fastest approval and fund release as they usually don't require a bank account.

Many emergency loan applications can be filed online nowadays, after which you'll know if you're approved for the loan within 5 to 10 minutes. With online pautang, you can also receive funds on the same day or even in a matter of minutes.

This is why emergency loans appeal to the unemployed and those with low income or poor credit history. Emergency loans for unemployed Filipinos are ideal for when you need cash ASAP but are likely to get declined by banks because you don't have proof of income. Online lenders require only valid IDs and don't usually ask for as many income documents as banks do.

Great as they may seem during dire financial situations, emergency loans are a notoriously expensive way to borrow money in the Philippines. Interest rates are between 1% and 1.5% per day, which translate into an annual percentage rate[3] of around 500% to as much as 3,000%.

Moreover, loan amounts are small. The highest amount you can borrow is ₱20,000. Emergency loans also come with very short terms, usually 30 days, so you've got a very limited time to return the amount you borrowed plus the interest.

Pros of Emergency Loans
  • Quick and easy way to get cash 
  • Easy requirements 
  • Simple online application process
  • Fast approval and loan disbursement
Cons of Emergency Loans
  • Small loan amounts
  • Short repayment terms 
  • Higher interest rates
Where Can I Borrow Money ASAP? 

Want to know where to loan 50k or more? These loan providers are great options for emergencies because they have few requirements and can disburse the loan ASAP. Whether it’s for emergency home repairs or quick pocket money for an unexpected trip, you can get any of these loans for emergencies. 

📌 RFC Multi-Purpose Loan

Thinking of where to loan 20K in the Philippines that’s quick and easy? Get additional cash for emergency expenses like medical bills, car or house repairs, or money to spend if you suddenly lose your job. With an RFC Multi-Purpose Loan, you can fund both emergency and even non-emergency expenses like trips, celebrations, and furniture or appliance upgrades. 

Because there’s no collateral required, RFC loan application processing and disbursement may be as fast as 24 hours. It’s legit and reliable, especially if you’re looking for where to borrow money safely.

  • Loanable amount: ₱10,000 to ₱250,000
  • Interest rate: 4%
  • Loan tenure: Up to 12 months
  • Minimum monthly income: ₱18,000
  • Processing time: As fast as 24 hours 
  • Loan application fee: None 
Apply now

📌 GLoan 

Do you use GCash a lot? Well, this can be an advantage in a cash emergency. As long as you have a fully verified GCash account and you meet the GScore requirement, you can qualify for the GLoan. If you're a pre-qualified GCash user, you can see GLoan on your dashboard and apply right away. 

Follow the instructions and fill out the online application form. Once completed, you’ll receive the GLoan proceeds in your GCash instantly. There’s no need to prepare and submit more loan requirements, making this a quick and convenient option for an emergency loan in the Philippines. 

If you’re not yet eligible for a loan from GCash, that’s okay. Just keep using GCash for all your transactions to raise your GScore and unlock GLoan. 

  • Loanable amount: ₱5,000 to ₱50,000
  • Interest rate: 1.59%
  • Loan tenure: 5 to 12 months
  • Minimum monthly income: None
  • Processing time: Instantly
  • Loan processing fee: 3% of the principal amount

Emergency Loans from Government Agencies

pautang in the Philippines - Calamity Loans from Government
Photo by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via Flickr, Creative Commons

Looking for available government pautang? The SSS, GSIS, and Pag-IBIG Fund assist survivors of natural disasters in the Philippines through their respective emergency loans or calamity loans. If you live in an area officially declared under a state of calamity, you can apply for an emergency loan from one of these government offices.

Compared to private lenders, the SSS, GSIS, and Pag-IBIG Fund offer longer repayment terms and significantly lower interest rates. However, you must be an active member of these agencies with consistent contributions of at least six months to qualify for a loan.

Here's a table that shows the key features of emergency loans from the three Philippine government agencies. For more details on how to apply for these emergency loans from Philippine government agencies, check out this primer.[4]

Emergency LoansGSIS Emergency LoanPag-IBIG Calamity LoanSSS Calamity Loan
Loan AmountPHP 20,000Up to 80% of the member's Total Accumulated ValueOne monthly salary credit (MSC) up to PHP 20,000
Loan Term36 months24 months24 months
Annual Interest Rate6%5.95%10%

Emergency Loans from Employers

Some companies in the Philippines offer emergency loans to their employees affected by calamities. Others provide these loans as part of their employee benefits package, which their workers can avail of any time they need cash for emergencies.

Emergency loans from employers are cheaper compared to other lenders, as they don't typically charge interest. Repayments are also convenient and flexible since they're deducted from an employee's succeeding paychecks or from their 13th-month pay.

The company you're currently working for may be offering an emergency loan program. Check with the HR department and take advantage of it.

2. Personal Loans

pautang in the Philippines - Personal Loans

If you need a bigger amount, you can always apply for a personal loan. Banks have strict loan requirements and credit investigation processes for borrowers who need cash for an emergency. Processing of loans takes longer than other lenders, typically from three to seven days. Personal loan providers need that much time to assess a borrower's ability to repay a loan.

Applying for a personal loan is a safe, legitimate, and affordable way to borrow money in the Philippines with their low interest rates and long repayment terms.

Personal Loan Providers Minimum Loan Amount Minimum Annual Income Approval Time

Citibank Personal Loan  
(This product is sold by Union Bank of the Philippines, using certain trademarks temporarily under license from Citigroup Inc. and related group entities.)

Compare Now

100,000 250,000 Fast approval time in as fast as 24 hours
Maybank Personal Loan

Compare Now
50,000 300,000 Apply for a loan online in just a few clicks
RCBC Bank Personal Loan

Compare Now
50,000 360,000 Get approved within 5 to 7 banking days
PBCOM Personal Loan

₱10,000 N/A Get approved within 1 to 2 days
SB Finance Personal Loan

Compare Now
₱30,000 ₱180,000 Get approved within 5 banking days
CIMB Bank Personal Loan

Compare Now
30,000 180,000 Apply within 10 minutes and get approved in 24 hours
HSBC Personal Loan

Compare Now
30,000 168,000 Get approved within 5 to 7 banking days
EastWest Bank Personal Loan

Compare Now
₱25,000 ₱180,000 Get approved within five to seven banking days
BPI Personal Loan

Compare Now
20,000 300,000 Get approved within 5-7 banking days
CTBC Bank Personal Loan

Compare Now
₱20,000 180,000 Get approved within 3 to 5 banking days
EasyRFC Multi-Purpose Loan

Compare Now
10,000 120,000 Fast approval time in as fast as 24 hours

Read more:

Pros of Personal Loans

  • Higher loan amount 
  • Safer, more legitimate, and more affordable way to borrow money
  • Lower interest rates 
  • Longer repayment terms 

Cons of Personal Loans

  • Longer processing time (for most banks)
  • More stringent application process

To help get you started, use an online comparison platform to find the best option on where to loan money in the Philippines. Below is a list of trusted personal loan companies and their loan features. Compare your options and apply through Moneymax!

📌 Citi Personal Loan 

With a high loan amount, low interest rates, and quick loan approval and disbursement process, it’s easy to see why a Citi Personal Loan is a great emergency cash loan in the Philippines. There’s no need for collateral, so losing your car or your home because of this loan is one less thing to worry about. And with a reasonable minimum income requirement, a lot of working Filipinos can qualify and apply for a loan. 

Here are some things you need to know before you send that Citibank personal loan application:

  • Loanable amount: ₱20,000 to ₱2 million
  • Interest rate: 2.42%
  • Loan tenure: 12 to 60 months
  • Minimum monthly income: ₱20,833
  • Processing time: As fast as 24 hours 
  • Disbursement fee: ₱1,750
Apply now

Note: This product is sold by Union Bank of the Philippines, using certain trademarks temporarily under license from Citigroup Inc. and related group entities.

Get a Free Gift from Moneymax Citibank Personal Loan Promo 

moneymax citibank personal loan promo jan 2023

Apply for a Citi Personal Loan via Moneymax (and get approved subsequently) to receive a welcome gift worth up to ₱10,990 upon loan disbursement. Promo runs only until January 31, 2023, so hurry and apply now! 

📌 CIMB Personal Loan 

Since this is a fully digital personal loan, you can quickly and easily finish your loan application with CIMB in minutes. Loan disbursement to your CIMB account is as fast as one day, and up to two days if to other bank accounts. As such, the CIMB Personal Loan offers one of the fastest loan processing times in the country, which is perfect for funding your emergency expenses.   

  • Loanable amount: ₱30,000 to ₱1,000,000
  • Interest rate: 1.12% to 1.95% 
  • Loan tenure: Up to 36 months
  • Minimum monthly income: ₱15,000
  • Processing time: 1 to 2 days
  • Loan disbursement fee: 1% of the principal amount if disbursed to a non-CIMB account
Compare now

3. Salary Loans

Another form of pautang in the Philippines is a salary loan. It’s quite similar to emergency loans from private lenders as it also provides borrowers quick and easy access to cash online. The interest rates are also higher than personal loans from banks.

Salary loans have slightly higher loan amounts and stricter application requirements. Some lenders can lend you up to ₱50,000 and require fewer income documents such as payslips and bank statements.

Pros of Salary Loans

  • Quick and hassle-free access to cash online
  • Higher loan amounts

Cons of Salary Loans

  • Stricter application requirements
  • Shorter repayment periods

You can apply for a salary loan online through the following salary loan providers: 

📌 Cash Mart

When it’s petsa de peligro and something urgent comes up that requires you to have cash, there’s no choice but to look for an emergency cash loan in the Philippines. Salary loan providers like Cash Mart can give you instant cash of up to ₱50,000. 

But since it’s a salary loan, the due date can be every 7 days, 14 days, or 28 days. This means that it’s really for people who want to know where to borrow money and then plan to pay it off right away.    

  • Loanable amount:  ₱3,000 to ₱30,000
  • Interest rate: 0.0571 % per day
  • Loan tenure: Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly
  • Minimum monthly income: None
  • Processing time: 1 to 2 days
  • Loan processing fee: 10% of the principal amount

📌 Vidalia

When times are hard, you probably ask yourself “Where can I borrow money?” on a regular basis. Well, wonder no more because you can always borrow from Vidalia Lending Corp. The company has been providing salary loans, personal loans, as well as business loans, since 2008. 

So if you ever find yourself short on cash and need it as soon as possible, consider a salary loan from Vidalia. Whether it's to pay off your credit card or a major expense, this salary loan offers flexible installment payments for your urgent financial needs. More importantly, you don’t need a guarantor to take out and get approved for a loan.

  • Loanable amount: ₱20,000 to ₱50,000
  • Interest rate: 6%
  • Loan tenure: Two to 12 months
  • Minimum monthly income: ₱15,000 for employed and ₱30,000 for self-employed 
  • Processing time: One to two days
  • Loan processing fee: 5%

📌 Tala Loan

When there’s a cash emergency, it’s better if you can apply for a short-term loan and get the cash ASAP using your mobile device. And that’s exactly what you can expect from a Tala Loan. 

Borrow as much as ₱15,000 by filling out the online application from the Tala app. Make sure you have one valid ID.  And in minutes, you’ll get a loan decision! 

Download the Tala app from the Google Play Store to get your Tala loan application started. It’s a trusted and secure app, so you don’t have to worry about your data falling into the wrong hands. What’s more, you can choose your repayment date from one to 60 days so you’re always on top of your finances.  

  • Loanable amount: ₱1,000 to ₱15,000
  • Interest rate: 14.54% to 15%
  • Loan tenure: Up to 60 days
  • Minimum monthly income: None 
  • Processing time: As fast as 24 hours
  • Service fee: 9.48% to 27.03%  
Compare now

4. Pawning or Sangla

pautang in the Philippines - Pawning or Sangla
Photo by Joelaldor via Wikimedia Commons

Like the 5-6 pautang, pawn loans or sangla is a popular way to get quick cash in the Philippines. This is especially true in rural areas where pawnshops outnumber banks and ATMs. If you need a source of quick cash for emergencies, all you have to do is to give collateral such as jewelry or gadgets.

No need for credit checks and income documents—just make sure your collateral is authentic and valuable. Pawnshops charge interest rates as low as 1% over a one-month term. Note that pawning your valuable items can be risky. You might not get it back if you fail to pay the amount you borrowed within the loan term.

Pros of Pawning or Sangla

  • No credit checks and income documents required
  • Lots of pawn shops everywhere

Cons of Pawning or Sangla

  • Requires collateral 
  • Risk that you can't get back your pawned item if you default on payments

5. Pautang from Family and Friends

pautang in the Philippines - borrow from family and friends

"Pautang naman. Bayaran kita sa sweldo." It's that easy to borrow money from your loved ones when you need it. Your ever-reliable tita, brother, BFF, or teammate in the office is just a phone call or text message away.

With this kind of pautangan, there are no documents required, no collateral needed, no interest to pay, and no payment due dates to worry about. You can just pay back what you owe when you can. No wonder the majority of Filipinos are indebted to their family, relatives, and friends.

Of course, this type of pautang in the Philippines comes at a cost. Break your promise to return the amount you borrowed, and you'll easily lose their trust and the chance to borrow from them again.

As much as you can, avoid being too dependent on your loved ones to save you from financial problems. Making them your go-to pautangan isn't worth all the conflict, drama, and stress that can ruin any relationship.

Pros of Pautang from Family and Friends

  • Just a text or phone call to avail
  • No application forms and income documents required
  • Usually interest-free and flexible repayments

Cons of Pautang from Family and Friends

  • Can cause stress and anxiety when you default on payments 
  • Loss of trust when you can't return the amount borrowed 

Final Thoughts

Have you tried any of these options for pautang in the Philippines for an emergency? There's no shame in asking for financial aid when the going gets tough. As long as you hold your end of the bargain and pay back what you owe, you'll come out of these hard times unscathed. Start applying for emergency loans and personal loans the right way by being a realistic and responsible borrower.

Related reading:

Personal loan in the Philippines



Venus leads the blog content strategy and optimization at Moneymax as the Head of Editorial Content. She has 15+ years of experience in content marketing, corporate communications, and public relations. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Before joining Moneymax, Venus had written informative guides and articles, specializing in personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she enjoys bingeing K-dramas on Netflix while bonding with her rescued cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.