Every morning, as soon as I arrive in the office I usually do some light reading. I go to news websites like Gulfnews.com, Inquirer.net or Khaleejtimes.com just to know what’s happening around me. I also check business websites to see how the stock market is doing, and know about the latest in the business world. Then I go through LinkedIn to check for updates, new leads, and some random stuff. I usually read posts from Francis Kong, one of the most respected speakers in the Philippines, for some Positivity and Motivation, Artin Eskander for Spiritual and Biblical Insights, and Oleg Vishnepolsky for his insights on Managing People, and some light stories related to people and the workplace. Today, as I opened my office computer and started on my daily routine of morning reading I came across this story and thought of sharing it. It’s a very short story, but very meaningful. So please bear with me, and enjoy reading.
“I’m coming home.”
“Uuwi na ako.”
“Ayoko na mag abroad.”
Whether it be due to homesickness, poor health, or just tired of being away for so long, we all have to come home at some point. One cannot be an OFW forever, unless he/she plans to become an immigrant in another rich country. The question however is, are we ready to come home? Some of us have been here in the UAE, or worked abroad for over five years, some even more than a decade. We all left our home country for the same reasons. To seek greener pastures, to earn more, and be able to save more for our future, and that of our loved ones who are waiting for us back home. But with the current global uncertainties, and economic crashes happening around us we may not have much time left to work abroad. So once again, let me ask you. Are you ready to leave everything behind and come home? I’m not. And for most Filipinos working abroad it’s also the same. Not every one has an Exit Strategy in place, yet. Some, if not most, don’t have a strategy at all! So if you’re one of those who STILL doesn’t have an exit strategy or even thought about it, this is for you.
Debts- who doesn’t have any? Is it wrong for a person to have debts? Does it make you a bad person if you have a lot of debts? Well, if you’re the type who likes to borrow money and not pay it back- then people probably don’t like you that much. I know I wouldn’t. So is it wrong for a person to have debts? It depends. It depends on why you’re in debt and what kind of debts you have.
If you’re an OFW in the UAE or other countries like the US you’ve probably heard of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau (UAE), or the Credit Bureau in the US. Centralized credit bureau offices like the two mentioned above are agencies responsible for collecting credit information from financial and non-financial institutions. The information is then used to calculate for a person or company’s credit score.
For this entry, we will be discussing mainly about the Al Etihad Credit Bureau.
What’s a Credit Score and Why is it important?
As defined by the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, a Credit score is a three-digit number that predicts the likelihood that you will make your loan and credit card payments on time, based on your previous credit and payment behavior.
The number ranges from 300 to 900. A low score indicates a higher risk, whereas a higher score indicates a lower risk.
The Credit Score will help financial institutions make better-informed decisions, process credit card and loan applications faster and provide preferential benefits for those with high scores.
Whenever you apply for a credit card or a loan, the banks will use the information about your credit score to determine if they will approve your application or not, as well as the interest rate that you will get or the Credit Limit on your Credit Card. If your score is high, then you have a better chance of getting your loan or application for a credit card approved. If it’s low, then your application will be declined, or you will probably get a very small credit limit, and a higher interest rate.
How can one improve his or her Credit Score?
If you’ve already had your Credit Score calculated by the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, and you have a low score, you can improve it by making sure that you pay all your bills on time. Pay your credit card and loans diligently. Minimize using your credit card, and work on having a positive bank balance at the end of each month.
Be more responsible when it comes to your finances and your Credit Score will surely improve as well.
For more information, you may check their website.
After more than a year of paying for late payment charges, interest and for my outstanding balance, I am finally free from Credit Card debt! I’m finally out of the deep financial hole I got myself into, and I certainly don’t want to go back there again. It was a very tricky situation, and at some point I felt like it was going to set me back by at least 10 years! Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to attend several talks on Personal Finance, including debt management that equipped me with the knowledge, and helped me to develop a better mindset and behavior when it came to managing my finances. I also didn’t have a lot of credit cards which helped, A LOT. In fact, I only had 2, and I only used 1. The other one was sort of “mandatory” after securing a loan from one of the lending banks here for a major expenditure back home that I needed to settle immediately.
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I can’t afford it.”
Sounds familiar to you? I’ve heard people say this so many times, and not too long ago, so have I. It’s not uncommon for a lot of people to be in a situation where CASH is scarce, and they end up borrowing, or foregoing certain wants, or even needs just because they do not have the money to pay for it. Sadly, in most cases people actually end up borrowing money NOT because they wanted to, but because they had to. In my previous blog, I wrote about Randell’s 5 No Non-sense Steps in Personal Finance, and the first step is Improving your Cashflow.