Pag-IBIG’s multi-purpose loans may be used for vacations, stress-relieving activities

By: Ronnel W. Domingo, July 2nd, 2012 09:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Stressed out? Depressed, maybe? Why not take a loan with the Pag-IBIG Fund and get away from it all?

In an apparent effort to encourage members from availing of the fund’s various programs aside from housing loans, Pag-IBIG chief executive Darlene Marie B. Berberabe has taken to describing the multipurpose loan (MPL) as an “anti-depressed loan.”

Berberabe said members could use proceeds of their MPL to relieve stress from work by going on a vacation, shopping or even enrolling in a gym for workouts.

Sometimes referred to as “personal loan,” the MPL is one of two short-term loans available to Pag-IBIG members as the need arises. The other one is the calamity loan.

According to Pag-IBIG Fund guidelines, the MPL was designed “to help finance members’ immediate medical, educational or livelihood needs; minor home improvement, purchase of appliance and furniture, and ‘other related needs,’” including the refinancing of an existing loan with the fund.

Berberabe’s new term for the long-existing MPL seems to have perked up some members’ interest and spawning other names for the loan.

Pag-IBIG member Rona Herco, asking through Facebook, wondered whether she could take out a “stress loan” even while still paying for an older loan. [The answer is yes, for a housing loan, provided that the arrears are not more than nine months.]

While Pag-IBIG does not seem to have strict rules on what proceeds of the loan should be used for, not all members can avail of the program.

Based on the MPL guidelines, only those members who have made at least 24 monthly contributions can apply.

For those who have up to 59 monthly contributions, they are qualified to an MPL of as much as 60 percent of their savings with Pag-Ibig.

In technical terms, this is refered to as the TAV or total accumulated value, which is the sum of the members’ contributions, the counterpart contributions of his or her employer, and the total dividend earnings.

Those who have made 60 to 119 monthly contributions may borrow up to 70 percent of their savings while those who have 120 or more contributions can borrow up to 80 percent.

But hold your horses, the MPL – which is payable over a period of up to 24 months – will cost you 10.75 percent per year. That’s P1,075 per year for a loan of P10,000.

If the borrower fails to pay on time, he or she will also have to pay a penalty of 0.5 percent of the unpaid amount for every month of delay.

Some say the interest rate is competitive, but others may find it stressful, even depressing.

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