Loan Sharks: OFW’s Resort on Money Matters

Most Filipinos view the opportunity to work abroad as an easy way out of poverty and the start of the fulfilment of their dreams. That is why, despite high placement fees required by some agencies, some Filipinos still try to raise the money needed for them to be issued a working visa and a plane ticket.

There are Filipinos who sell acres of land in the province, have their house mortgage, pawn jewellery and appliances, and some even borrows money from relatives, with a promise of paying them on their first salary.

But for some, approaching financing companies that offer different kind of loans is the easiest. At first, they may seem like a help from above but on the contrary, loan sharks are illegal financing companies that usually take advantage of people in desperate need of money that they would agree to sky-high interest rates.

Illegal financing companies charged interests in advance so the loaned money would already have deductions from the start. When debtor fails to return owed money and the interests in time, loan sharks may often harass the debtor by intimidation, violence or blackmails.

Loan sharks prey on individuals who do not have access to legal financial institutions like banks and lending companies. In the case of Filipinos who want to work abroad, one of the common reasons why they resort to loan sharks is to have money to pay for the placement fees.

Resorting to Loan Sharks is Not Advisable

Whether we admit it or not, we Filipinos are patriotic of money lenders. We run to them whenever money is needed immediately for emergencies, for paying rents, bills and even for things we want to have.

Though it seems to be the only way, OFWs and other financially vulnerable individuals are advised not to resort to loan sharks. Loan sharks may provide immediate relief from current financial predicament but in the long run, the debtor may have to face bigger money problems because they will have to pay much more than they actually owe.

If you need money for placement fees, one option is to turn to the POEA agency that handles your application. The agency may be able to offer easier payment schemes such as salary deduction. They may also inform you of government programs that provide loans for OFWs.


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