After 2020 ended, I was thinking of boosting my online selling business by taking a business loan so I can buy additional supplies, storage bins, inventory, etc. However, I was still hesitant because of a variety of financial factors such as low sales turnover, cash flow, etc. It seems that the universe was reading my mind and I received a Viber message from BPI last month about BPI SIP Loan and I’m here to share with you guys the process and what I think about it.
Before we continue, please be advised that this is not financial advice nor a recommendation to make a loan and this is also not a sponsored post. I’m just simply sharing my experience with making a loan via the BPI SIP Loan program.
Table of Contents
Things I Considered Before I Made the Loan
Prior to arriving at the decision of making a loan, I listed down a variety of considerations to ensure that I’m aware of the risks that I’m taking. Some of those considerations are:
My mortgage will end next month. Yey! That means I wouldn’t have to pay for that anymore moving forward and the cash that I use to pay it with can be allocated to some other things. This is one of the reasons why I’ve decided to make the loan.
Additionally, the sales of my online selling business are slowly coming back, and also, I’m a frugal person, and being stuck at home also minimized my personal expenses.
Loan Amount and Monthly Amortization
The loan amount is very small and the monthly amortization is also very small. Since I’ve been with BPI (I have a BPI Amore Visa Card) for almost 5 years and never had any single late payment, I was offered an amazing interest. Perhaps they know that I’m a paying customer. More of this as we discuss BPI SIP Loan later.
Lowest Interest Amongst the Loan Facility Available to Me
My business is registered with DTI and also it’s also a BMBE business, thus, I’m eligible for the loans available to micro-businesses. However, after checking their interest rate, what I got offered with BPI is way lower.
Business Growth Trajectory
Even though my online sales performance is lower compared to pre-pandemic performance, I’m still bullish and optimistic about this business due to the following reasons:
- This business has a low overhead cost and over the years I have amassed a huge inventory already.
- I have a very small business-related debt
- The resale market is a booming industry across all countries.
Payment and Terms and Conditions
I also took into consideration the amount of payment that I know I will not have any trouble with. And I also asked them about early repayment options to minimize the interest that I have to pay.
I called BPI’s Hotline and I got assisted by the customer service rep that I talked to in computing my balance in case I avail of their Early Repayment option. The computation can actually be found here. However, since we don’t see the remaining Principal balance on the BPI app/website, it would be best to give them a call so they can walk you through the computation.
What is BPI SIP Loan
BPI SIP (Special Installment Plan) Loan is the loan facility of BPI to its credit cardholders. There are some varieties of BPI SIP Loans and these are:
- BPI SIP Balance Transfer
- BPI SIP Credit to Cash
- BPI SIP for School
- BPI SIP for Hospital
- BPI SIP Balance Conversion
I have only tried their BPI SIP Credit to Cash option and have never tried the other variations of BPI SIP.
BPI SIP Credit to Cash is basically a loan product pegged on your BPI credit card balance.
My BPI SIP Loan Experience
After a few weeks of contemplation, I have decided to go and take the loan offer with BPI. Prior to the call confirming my loan, I’ve made numerous calls also to BPI to ask for more information and to clarify some things that I have in mind.
BPI SIP has a dedicated hotline and the wait time is almost non-existent compared to their customer service hotline which is known to have a long wait time.
The representative that I’ve talked to was very polite and answered all of my questions. Some of my questions include:
How much can I loan?
Since they have the Bonus Madness Limit, I’m eligible to make a loan that is way higher than my credit limit. I opted NOT to take this offer and only made a loan based on the amount of monthly amortization that I know I will not have trouble paying.
How long is the processing time?
The call all in all including the pre-recorded Terms and Conditions took less than 15 minutes including all my questions to the phone banker.
After the call, my loan was confirmed and I was told that it will be processed/released within 5 – 8 banking days. Since the loan was way below my credit limit, no additional documents were also asked from me.
How much are the interests and other fees?
I was able to avail myself of the promotional interest rate of 0.59% since I availed of the 36 monthly repayment period. The shorter your repayment period is, the higher the interest rate.
The processing fee is also just P100.
Please note that the interests might vary depending on the promotions and what is applicable to your account. Before making a loan, give them a call so they could check what interest rate will apply to your account.
Aside from the promotional interest rate, I was also able to avail myself of their Pay Later option. This means that I will only start paying my loan amortization two months from the date I filed the loan.
How will I get the loan?
Since I also have a BPI Savings Account, they will deposit my loan to my savings account. I don’t know though what would happen if you don’t have a savings account with them. I suggest that you give them a call to confirm this.
How will you pay your BPI SIP Loan?
It will appear on your monthly credit card statement together with your other charges. So, to avoid incurring additional credit card interests, I suggest that you don’t charge more than what you are capable of paying for.
Some Helpful Tips Before Making a Loan
In case you really need a loan, here are some tips on how you could save money on fees/interests and how to minimize the risks of drowning in debt.
Know Why You Are Making a Loan
Be clear about your reason why you’re making a loan. A loan is a financial responsibility and an obligation that you have to meet until the date that it gets fully paid.
I highly suggest that you only make a loan for something that is really important such as using a loan to leverage your business. If you’re only going to use the loan to pay for an unnecessary expense such as a new mobile phone, I highly suggest that you think about it very carefully.
Compare Available Options
If making a loan is really necessary and that you have already exhausted your other options such as making interest-free loans from family and friends, then I suggest that you compare whatever loan facility is available to you.
Be sure to compare their interest rate, processing fee, repayment period, and early repayment option.
In my case, I compared the loans available via my credit cards and via government programs from micro-entrepreneurs.
Have a Clear Repayment Plan
Prior to making the loan, you also have to be very clear on where you’ll be getting the money to pay for your loan. This is to ensure that you don’t end up drowning in debt.
Do you have additional sources of income aside from your salary?
If you’re unclear on where you’re going to get the money for your loan payment, I suggest that you think this very carefully.
Some Helpful Tips After Making a Loan
Here are some things to consider once you’ve made a loan.
Use it Accordingly
If you’ve made a loan to help grow your business then be sure that you use the loan to do so and not spend it on personal stuff. This will ensure that you get to maximize the amount of money that you will be paying for the loan.
Account Every Single Cent
Taking into account every single cent might sound like overkill, but in business, it’s really how it should be done. You should know where your loan is spent so you can identify if it really helped your business grow or not.
Consider Building Additional Sources of Income
I highly suggest that you also consider building another source of income to ensure that you will continuously have money to pay for your loan.
It’s very difficult and unwise to depend on one source of income especially during the pandemic era when job security might be at risk.
In my case, aside from my online selling business, I’m using this blog as a platform to teach myself how to make money online. There are numerous ways on how to earn money both offline and online and we should all take advantage of this opportunity that previous generations didn’t have.
Personally, I always want to think of loans as my last resort. Having a steady cash flow and ample emergency fund should cushion you from any financial blow that you will encounter in your life.
In my case, I’m a bit late in the personal finance game and I have not built yet a healthy emergency fund. And also, when the pandemic hit, I was in the middle of growing my online selling business. Thus, for now, taking a loan to grow my business makes so much sense to me.BPI SIP (Special Installment Plan) Loan Review Click To Tweet