Published: May 4, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Personal Loan
This article was published on July 17, 2019 and was updated on May 4, 2020.
Being a freelancer in the Philippines has its downsides, and one of them involves getting a loan for freelancers.
Formal lending institutions in the Philippines like banks and government agencies are strict when it comes to loan approvals. They require borrowers to provide their payslips, income tax return (ITR), certificate of employment, and other financial documents to prove their ability to repay a loan on time.
If you don’t have proof of a stable income, you have a slim chance of getting approved. Worse, you can get downright rejected for a loan. Even though you’re earning more than an average employee, lenders will still see you as a credit risk because of the usual unpredictability of freelance income—unless you have documents to prove otherwise.
However, don’t let your self-employment status stop you from borrowing money to cover your financial needs. It takes some effort and patience. But you can definitely improve your chance of getting approved for a loan with the following tips.
To get a loan in the future, one of your must-dos as a freelancer is to register as a professional or business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Once you’re a registered taxpayer, you can start filing your ITR.
Aside from being a proof of paying income taxes, the ITR shows how much you earn in a year. It’s one of the documents that lenders use to decide whether to approve or decline a loan application.
Tedious as the process may be, filing your ITR will help you in getting not only a loan for freelancers but also credit cards and visas. So start doing it as soon as you can.
Running a small business on top of your freelance gigs? You need to register with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and secure business permits from different government offices.
Your business registration papers will help boost your chance of approval for a loan for freelancers. These documents prove you have other sources of income aside from freelancing.
Another way to make yourself creditworthy and likely to be approved for a loan for freelancers is taking steps to build and maintain a good credit score.
A credit score is what lenders use to evaluate loan applicants. By looking at a prospective borrower’s payment history, a lender will have an idea on that person’s capacity to pay back a loan.
As a freelancer, having an excellent credit score will work to your advantage. Pay your insurance premiums and credit card bills in full and on time. If you don’t have a credit card yet, you can easily qualify for a secured credit card and use it responsibly to build a good credit history.
Lenders need assurance that their borrowers will repay what they owe, which is why they ask for several income documents. Even if you are not employed by a company and have no payslips as proof of income, you can try submitting other documents to prove your capacity to pay.
Take a look at all your sources of income and see if you can get documents as proof. Here are the documents that some lenders accept:
Contact the bank where you have a long banking relationship with (at least one year) to check if you can get a personal loan for freelancers. The bank may consider lending you money if you’ve been receiving payments from your freelance gigs into your bank account and maintaining a large amount of deposit for a long time.
Need to borrow cash immediately but don’t have any financial documents? The easiest way to get a personal loan for freelancers in the Philippines is to borrow from informal lenders. These companies offer salary loans, payday loans, online cash loans, instant loans, and quick cash loans.
However, be sure to deal only with legitimate lending companies. They should be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, like Tala Philippines and Loan Ranger. These lenders allow freelancers and other Filipinos who don’t qualify for bank loans to apply online for their respective personal loans. Unlike formal lenders, private lenders only require borrowers to submit valid IDs and meet the minimum age requirement (18 years old).
Below are the top options for freelancers who are seeking for a personal loan. This list is based on loans with requirements that long-time freelancers can presumably provide.
While getting a loan for freelancers in the Philippines is challenging, it doesn’t mean its impossible. If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, you’re better off waiting for a few more years—at least a year or two—before applying for a personal loan. This enables you to do the steps discussed above to increase your chance of loan approval.
Venus Zoleta is a personal finance writer who started investing and bought a home in her early 20s. This crazy cat mom works hard to feed her furbabies. She eats ramen like there’s no tomorrow. You can reach her on LinkedIn (bit.ly/2yFSlhE).