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Personal Loan Fees and Charges to Consider Before Borrowing Money

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated July 23, 2021

Choosing the best loan for personal use isn’t as simple as comparing interest rates and monthly installments. You also need to consider the personal loan fees and charges that add up to the cost of borrowing money. Some of these fees are avoidable while others aren’t.

Taking all these factors into account gives you a better idea which of your options will fit your budget and won’t charge you with expensive fees. Ultimately, this will keep you from incurring debt over time.

Personal Loan Fees in the Philippines

Effective Interest Rate: 10% to 30%

personal loan fees - interest rate

The effective interest rate (EIR)[1] is “the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash flows through the life of the loan to the net amount of loan proceeds,” as defined by the Philippine Accounting Standards. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) uses this EIR definition as well. Put simply, it’s the rate that measures the actual cost of borrowing money.

Read more:

Loan Fees and Charges Included in the EIR Computation

Personal loans with low interest rates in the Philippines have EIRs ranging from 10% to 30%. The EIR includes monthly interest charges and service fees such as personal loan processing fees and documentary stamp tax. Here’s a closer look at these personal loan fees.

1. Monthly Interest Charge: 1.2% to 2%

This is the interest rate applied to the total amount due or outstanding balance and any unpaid personal loan fees and charges. The interest is compounded monthly, and borrowers continue to pay it until the loan balance is fully paid.

2. Processing Fee: PHP 1,500 to PHP 3,000

Lenders charge a fixed service fee to cover the cost of processing the personal loan application, including credit checks and administrative costs.

The personal loan processing fee is deducted from the loan amount. When computing how much to borrow, take this fee into account to make sure you’ll get exactly the amount to cover your financial need.

Banks in the Philippines charge loan processing fees ranging from PHP 1,500 to PHP 3,000. SSS deducts a 1% service fee from the SSS salary loan amount while Pag-IBIG doesn’t charge this fee for its multi-purpose loans.

hanapin ang tamang personal loan para sa iyo

3. Documentary Stamp Tax: PHP 1.50 for every PHP 200 for loans exceeding PHP 250,000

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) requires a Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) of PHP 1.50 per PHP 200 of a loan amount over PHP 250,000 for personal use or any loan amount for business purposes. Like the processing fee, the DST is deducted from the loan proceeds. Loans under PHP 250,000 for personal use are exempted from the DST payment.

Read more: What is the Best Type of Loan for My Business?

4. Disbursement Fee: PHP 1,500 to PHP 2,500

Disbursement fees aren’t as common as other personal loan fees in the Philippines. One of the lenders that charge such fees is Citibank. Every time the loan amount, or a portion of it, is disbursed to you, a PHP 1,750 disbursement fee is taken out of your proceeds. To save money on this fee, simply cash out your loan proceeds once.

Read more: Moneymax Reviews: What to Know About Citi Personal Loan

5. Notarial Fee: PHP 125 to PHP 150

Also called attorney's fee, this personal loan fee covers the cost of collection and litigation when a borrower defaults on a loan.

Sample EIR Computation

Here's a sample EIR calculation from the BSP[2] you can check to see how the effective personal loan interest rate is computed:

personal loan fees - effective interest rate computation

Late Payment Fee: 3% to 8% of overdue amount or PHP 500 per month

Missing a due date can cost you more in personal loan fees. Lenders charge a personal loan penalty fee of 3% to 8% of the overdue amount or PHP 500 per month, whichever is higher.

For example, you have a BPI personal loan and missed a payment for a month. You’ll be charged a late payment fee of 5%. If your unpaid balance is PHP 1,000, your loan penalty charge is PHP 50.

Avoid this fee by making sure you always pay your monthly amortization on or before the due date.

Early Payment Fee: 4% to 8% of outstanding balance

It’s great to fully repay your personal loan before its term ends. However, some lenders charge a penalty fee for paying off a loan before its maturity date. This is called an early payment fee, pre-termination fee, prepayment fee, installment acceleration fee, or closure handling fee. Banks charge this personal loan fee to cover the interest they would’ve collected if you paid your loan off until it matures.

If you think you’ll have the means to pay off your personal loan earlier than its maturity date, it’s best to choose one that doesn’t charge an early payment fee. BPI and PSBank personal loans don’t come with this fee.

On the other hand, other banks like Citibank, PBCom, and Security Bank charge an early payment fee of 4% to 8% of the outstanding balance.

Returned Check Fee: PHP 1,000 to PHP 2,000 per returned check

Will you pay your monthly amortizations through check? If your checking or current account has insufficient funds or is closed, or there’s erasure or alteration on your check, the bank will return the check. Also, you’ll be charged a fee of PHP 1,000 to PHP 2,000 for every returned check.

Be careful when issuing checks to avoid this fee. Better yet, use other loan payment channels such as auto-debit arrangement and online banking.

Amendment Fee: PHP 500 per amendment

You may also have to pay a fee each time you have your personal loan details changed. For example, HSBC charges a PHP 500 amendment fee for each modification of loan details.

Related reading:

Final Thoughts

Knowing a bank's lending computation and personal loan fees helps you choose the right loan and manage it to avoid uncontrollable debt. Read the fine print—no matter how time-consuming it is—before you apply for a personal loan.

Compare Personal Loans Today!

Finding the right personal loan for covering your financial need need not be complicated. We make it easy and quick for you to compare loan features and fees from reputable lenders in the Philippines. Compare personal loans at Moneymax now!

Personal Loan 
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Maximum Loan Amount
Minimum Annual Income
Approval Time
Metrobank Personal Loan
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₱20,000 ₱1 million ₱350,000 7 days
Citibank Personal Loan  
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₱20,000 ₱2 million 250,000 As fast as 24 hours
Note: This product is sold by Union Bank of the Philippines, using certain trademarks temporarily under license from Citigroup Inc. and related group entities.
BPI Personal Loan
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EasyRFC Multi-Purpose Loan
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10,000  ₱150,000 120,000 As fast as 24 hours
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50,000 ₱1 million 300,000 Apply online in just a few clicks
RCBC Bank Personal Loan
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SB Finance Personal Loan

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₱30,000 ₱2 million ₱180,000 5 banking days
CIMB Personal Loan
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HSBC Personal Loan
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30,000 ₱500,000 or 3x gross monthly salary, whichever is lower 168,000 5 to 7 banking days
CTBC Bank Personal Loan
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₱20,000  ₱1 million 180,000 3 to 5 banking days


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.