My OFW Story

I come from a family of OFWs. My father was an OFW Seafarer for most of his life, so were some of my uncles from both sides of the family, some of my aunts used to work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and as an office worker in Bahrain. When I was growing up, friends and family asked me if I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a seafarer like him. My answer was always no. I had no desire whatsoever to work overseas or be away from my family. Fast forward many years later, here I am- an OFW.

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VAT is this?!

In the first quarter of 2017, talks about VAT being introduced in the UAE, and other parts of the GCC caused quite a stir among the residents- expats and locals alike- and for good reason. The GCC has been tax free for a very long time, making it one of the most competitive regions in the world to do business. Personal Income tax is also inexistent in this part of the world making it one of the most attractive places for expat workers since they get to have a higher take-home pay at the end of each month.

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Debt- The Good and The Bad

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.

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What’s your Score?

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.

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For more information, you may check their website.

https://www.aecb.gov.ae/credit-report