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When you’re considering a personal loan or a salary loan in the Philippines, you need to make sure that you’re dealing with reputable lenders who are operating well within the law. Interacting with criminal organisations who are not regulated can spell disaster. The authorities work tirelessly to close down loan sharks or companies who take advantage of vulnerable people, but the consumer also has a responsibility to be as vigilant as possible. Here’s Asteria’s guide to identifying reputable lenders in the Philippines.

Check they are registered

The security and exchange commission or SEC is the governing and regulatory body that checks financial organisations in the Philippines. All reputable lenders are registered with the SEC and will have their information clearly displayed on the website. If you are in any doubt that the loan provider you are considering dealing with is not registered, take a couple of minutes to check them out before you go any further. You can also report illegal lenders via this platform. The government of the Philippines takes fraud and illegal activity extremely seriously and will shut down anybody who they think is operating outside of the limits of the law. Checks like this should be your first port of call when looking for potential creditors. The SEC website can be found very quickly and easily and is available in multiple different languages. This means expats and locals alike can take advantage of the service.

Look for customer reviews

Unfortunately, the practice of paying for fake reviews is commonplace among some online businesses, so always check to make sure the comments in the feedback section look genuine. A couple of glowing reviews on a website belonging to a lender that is only a few weeks old should naturally arouse suspicion. Pay close attention to any replies to negative feedback. All professional lenders will deal with negative criticism professionally, so any hostile, offensive or otherwise inappropriate comments should serve as a red flag.

Reputation and History

The most successful and well-respected lenders in the Philippines have been established for a long time and will have clearly displayed information about when they were founded. They should also clearly display their accreditations or affiliations with other businesses on their sites. A quick search will usually give you enough information to make a decision, providing you pay attention to both positive and negative stories about any companies you are considering borrowing from. Any articles on news sites or posts on forums that mention illegal activity should be taken as a red flag, even if the company themselves claims to be legitimate.

Check the terms and conditions carefully

Though all loan providers in the Philippines can offer slightly different terms and conditions, there are usually some similarities between the most popular lenders. It is commonplace for default or penalty charges to be enforced when payments are late or absent, however, these should not be unreasonable and should not significantly alter the amount you owe overall. If the lender you are considering borrowing from states that they will dramatically increase your rate of interest or continue to charge you at an inflated rate after a missed payment, our advice is to steer clear and use somebody else.

Check for Physical Premises

It is perfectly legal to have a virtual address and this practice is quite common, especially in the world of online finance, however, many well established lenders will have a physical premises where customers can go and discuss their needs on a face to face basis. If you have the opportunity to do so, check out any premises in person so you can get a feel for the company before you decide to make a final decision about agreeing to borrow. If you find the environment unprofessional or oppressive in any way, this is usually a good indicator that the company are not legitimate.

Advertising Campaigns and Online Presence

The most professional and successful lenders in the Philippines will have a solid online presence and the kind of advertising campaigns that fill you with confidence. Look for good production values, clear, unambiguous language and a well maintained, modern looking website. Though these things are not necessarily a guarantee that a lender is legitimate or has a particularly good reputation, they can be good indicators to help guide you.

Quality of Customer Service

Whether you get in contact via email, live chat or telephone, it makes sense to try out the customer service of any organisation you intend to use as a means of borrowing money. Any reputable lenders in the Philippines will provide you with polite, professional interactions as standard and you can usually expect a response within 24 hours. If you notice any rude or unprofessional behaviour, or a delay in the response to your initial contact, think twice before going any further.

Word of mouth, Friends and Family

If you are a resident of the Philippines, it makes sense to ask friends and family about loan providers they have dealt with in the past. As borrowing is now commonplace for many people, the chances are that they will be able to make recommendations of companies that can be trusted. They may also be able to warn you about organisations that should be avoided at all costs. Though online feedback and other elements are good indicators, the opinion of real people you know and trust can never be underestimated.


When searching for reputable lenders in the Philippines, its important to take your time and make a decision when you feel as if you have all of the information you need. Never allow yourself to feel rushed into a decision and always resist the temptation to go with the first provider you find, even if you need cash quickly. There are many reputable lenders to choose from and most will be more than happy for you to consider other options before deciding to use their services.

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