You’re probably at that point in your life when you get excited about the arrival of the shelf you ordered from Lazada, and while small adjustments aren't as financially draining, home improvements can sometimes be costlier than expected, especially when you realize that before you can set that shelf up, you need to repaint the wall behind it—or actually repair the wall (and the rest of the room) before you can do any shelf assembling.

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Major renovations call for bigger budgets, and in case you didn’t know, SSS provides loans for home repairs and improvement. They’re offering a maximum loanable amount of P1M with an interest rate of 9 percent a year, and is payable in multiples of five years to a maximum of 20 years. Take note, though, that you’ll have to present a collateral, which is the “Transfer Certificate of Title/Original Certificate of Title/Condominium Certificate Title (TCT/OCT/CCT) registered under the Torrens System issued by the Registry of Deeds in the name of the principal borrower and/or his spouse free from liens and encumbrances.”

Still interested? Granted that you’re an SSS member with at least 36 months of contributions (24 of which are continuous) and are not more than 60 years old, here are the first things you need to prepare:

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  • SS ID card (If your married, you have to include your partner’s. If you don’t have an SS ID, provide two valid IDs with photo, as well as photocopies of them.)
  • Application for Direct House Repair and/or Improvement Loan document (2 copies)
  • Your Income Tax Returns and your financial statements for the last three years or two of your latest monthly payslips, whichever apply. If you work abroad, you’ll need your Contract of Employment and Certification of Employment and Compensation duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate or SSS Foreign Representative.
  • Certified true copy of the Original/Transfer/Condominium Certificate of Title (OCT/TCT/CCT) issued by the Registry of Deeds together with your (the owner's) duplicate copy
  • Latest Tax Declaration of Real Property (land and building) with the Official Receipt of Realty Tax Payment (original and one photocopy)

From here, you’ll have to get the help of a licensed geodetic engineer to provide blueprints. You’ll also need source building plans, etc. For the full list of requirements, click here.

Once you’ve completed all requirements (don’t forget to double check, since that’s a lot of paperwork), you can file your application in an SSS cluster branch, or the Housing and Business Loan Department in the SSS Building along East Avenue in QC. Paying off your loan is through post-dated checks. As the SSS website notes, “borrowers shall submit a set of 12 months PDCs representing loan amortization payments and to be replenished every year thereafter until the account is fully paid.”

The whole process may seem intimidating, but if you manage your finances right, you’ll be able to improve your nest—and finally install that Lazada shelf—without worrying about cash flow.

Happy renovating!

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For more information, visit the SSS website.

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