It’s still not as good as its counterparts in “first world” countries, but a membership to the Philippines’ Social Security System is still a handy thing to have.
Aside from providing a much-needed safety net in case of emergency, SSS — through its loans — also provides financial assistance for a variety of needs. If you think it’s time to move out of your parents’ house and into your own abode, for example, the SSS Housing Loan is your best bet.
Since its ceiling doubled and its interest reduced back in 2012, individual borrowers can get up to Php 2 million — an amount that places SSS Housing Loans at par with those offered by other institutions such as banks.
The fixed 15-year interest rate of anywhere between 8% and 11% is also attractive. The lenient maximum payment terms — up to 30 years — is also another selling point.
What are the different types of SSS Housing Loans?
Direct Housing Loan Facility for Workers’ Organization Members
If you are a member of an official workers’ organization (union, federation, etc.), you would be eligible for this. By “official”, we mean an association that is registered with the DOLE, the SEC, or the CDA (Cooperative Development Authority).
Those who wish to avail this kind of loan may apply at the nearest SSS Cluster Branch or at their Main Office in Diliman, Quezon City (proceed to the Housing and Business Loans Department, 5th floor).
Direct Housing Loan Facility for OFWs
This initiative is meant to support the OFW shelter program of the Government. If you are a bona fide OFW (with a POEA-processed contract or one that is authenticated by an Embassy), you will be eligible for this loan. Those who have already shed their Filipino citizenship but still wish to buy a house for the family they left behind will also be eligible.
Note, however, that if you are a former OFW still awaiting deployment/contract renewal, then you will have to wait for the renewal and/or deployment before the loan is released.
Those wishing to apply for this may also proceed to the nearest SSS Cluster Branch, or to their Diliman Main Office. If abroad, the borrower can also look for the nearest Foreign Representative Office.
Housing Loan for Repairs and/or Improvements
If your home has been ravaged by a storm and flash floods but you cannot avail of a calamity loan, this is the next best thing. This can also be used if you have plans to extend a portion of your house, or do any significant improvements. With a maximum loanable amount of Php 1 million, you can easily add a room or two for a growing family (before the 2012 ceiling increase, this was a measly Php 300,000).
Note that SSS will only allow for improvements that will be attached permanently to the house — such as gates, fences, and even deep wells and motor pumps. Accessories such as nipa huts and the likes are not covered by this loan.
Take note, also, that when applying for this loan, the SSS will be appraising the borrower’s need for the money. If you will be selling the house after the improvements, the SSS will look at the contract to sell. They will also be asking for the bill of materials and the scope of the work — so you better have everything planned even before you submit your application.
This loan can be given directly by the SSS (through its cluster branches of Main Office) or by participating financial institutions (PFIs). Below, you will find a list of all PFIs that can accept and approve your loan application. These PFIs may be subject to change at any time, so make sure to check their accreditation first before filing the application. Payments are to be made via Post-Dated Checks.
Assumption of Mortgage
This is a program of the SSS that allows members to assume the principal balance of any existing housing loan. This loan needs a collateral — the house and lot, which will be the subject of the mortgage one wishes to assume. The loan pertaining to this house should also be protected with a Fire Insurance and a Mortgage Redemption Insurance — whose premiums should be shouldered by the borrower.
Who can borrow SSS Housing Loan?
Each type of loan has a list of eligibility requirements that are different from each other. However, here are the basics:
- Employees, OFWs, and self-employed individuals
- Must have at least 36 months (3 years) of contributions, with 24 months (2 years) of continuous payments
- Must have no delinquent SSS loans
- If married, spouse must not have any delinquent SSS loans
- No retirement or total disability claims
How to get approved with your SSS Housing Loan Application?
Filing an application is one thing, getting approved is another! While reviewing your papers, SSS will be looking into a lot of things before they decide whether or not they will let you borrow — and how much they will let you. Depending on the loan type, everything from your employment history to your credit line will be put under scrutiny.
Having as many of the following as possible will help get your loan approved — the proverbial “preferred but not required” things:
- Staying in one bank for as long as possible. Switching banks often is usually a red flag.
- Complete transparency (i.e., you gave every single information needed when applying for the loan). This includes any issues that you might be encountering.
- Clean credit. If SSS checks your credit line and finds it riddled with unpaid overdrafts and whatnot, it will decrease your chances of getting approved.
- A stable income source. This is a very important factor, as you will be less likely to skimp on payments if you have funds rolling in regularly.
Applying for something as big as a housing loan can be a cumbersome affair — but it becomes a lot less so if you have all the information you need. And as shelter is one of our primary necessities, knowledge on how to obtain it should be right on top, too! Share this info to your friends — you’ll never know when this is just the help they need.
Source: SSS Philippines