Most of us dream of having a place to call our own, not just because we've been primed by Maslow's pyramid to aim for one, but because it's a pretty good investment (especially for those who have the means to make it). However, for the rest of us who aren’t born with silver spoons, we turn to housing loans, which the Pag-IBIG Fund is known for. But what exactly is the Pag-IBIG Fund? What do we need to submit to avail of the government's housing loan? Here, we give you a brief rundown based on their website.

1. How can I be a Pag- IBIG fund member?

If you’re working for a legitimate company, you should already be a Pag- IBIG member. If you have misplaced your documents, check your monthly payslip for your Pag-IBIG number or call their hotline for verification.

2. How much is my monthly contribution?

If your monthly compensation is more than P1,500, your mandatory contribution is two percent of your salary. However, since the compensation cap is at P5,000, your monthly contributions should not exceed P100. Double-check your payslip to see how much your HDMF (Home Development Mutual Fund) contribution is.

3. Can I also use the loan to buy land or is it exclusive for homes?

In previous years, you could only use the housing loan to build or buy houses. Thanks to a few changes, however, you can now use the housing loan to buy land--as long as it is a fully developed lot within a residential neighborhood and doesn't exceed 1,000 square meters.

4. What do I need to do to avail of the housing loan?

First, you need to check if you are eligible for a loan. Have you been conscientiously paying your contributions for at least 24 months? If you've been a member for at least 12 months, and you're willing to pay a lump sum to catch up to your contributions, then you can also eligible to apply. Do you have any outstanding housing loans? Are you almost 65 years old? Tick off the full checklist here.

If you're qualified to apply for a housing loan, go to the nearest Pag-IBIG branch and ask the mortgage loans specialist for a Membership Status Verification Slip (MSVS), which is also available for download here. Once you’ve filled up the form, secure a copy of your MSVS, an acknowledgement receipt, a Pag-IBIG Housing Loan Application Form, and a checklist of requirements.

Submit all the necessary documents to the Pag-IBIG branch that presides over the location of the property that you want to ask the loan for. Afterward, input your data on their On-Line Membership Registration System and receive a Registration Tracking Number (RTN). Get a payment order form, which you will then give to the cashier along with a P1,000 processing fee. Photocopy the Pag-IBIG Fund Receipt that you’ll get, and submit it, along with a photocopy of your acknowledgement receipt to the mortgage loans specialist.

5. How do I know if my loan has been approved?

To find out whether your housing loan has been approved or not, wait for a call from Pag-IBIG. Once you’ve been notified of your approval, you will be asked to sign a few documents, which you will need to notarize. On the day you go back to the branch, make sure to clarify everything with your mortgage loans specialist.

(Illustration by Sabrina Lajara)

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