Meet Emanuela, 41. She owns a 680 square meter property in Antipolo, Rizal. A product of her decades of relentless performance of her duties as a teacher, this is an investment she fully paid for in 2010. A foodie at heart, she also established a restaurant in 2017, but life challenged her when she got hospitalized due to a rare medical condition. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened in 2020.
Traditional at heart, the veteran professor is lucky to have siblings who supported her for nearly two years of hospitalization. Her inactivity to financial services almost made her an underbanked Filipino. What options does she have as she decides to get her life back on track?
Unbanked or Underbanked: Are you one of them?
Did you know that 51.2 million from the 72 million adult Filipinos remain unbanked, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)? Globally, there are 1.7 billion adults that do not have full access to mainstream financial services based on a 2017 Global FINDEX report.
Unbanked individuals are those un-served by financial institutions, specifically banks. Simply put, these are individuals whose income does not get deposited directly to a bank account. Additionally, they do not use ATMs or credit cards. Unbanked individuals are present in every socio-economic group, but mostly prevalent in developing countries. This is largely due to the fact that bank account ownership is “nearly universal” in high income countries.
On the other hand, underbanked individuals have bank accounts but choose to use alternative financial services when making their purchases and managing their finances.
There are various reasons why people remain unbanked, or why some choose to be underbanked. One of the most popular reasons is the lack of sufficient funds to open a bank account. Others say they do not trust banks at all.
Options. Options. Options.
Luckily for Emanuela, the availability of a fully-paid property is one good way for her to maximize her investment through a collateral loan in the Philippines. Once funds are released, she’ll continue working on her restaurant that was affected by the pandemic. She said that she aims to innovate the business to make it relevant in a post-pandemic season.
Most of the time, we feel empty and ungrateful of the many blessings given to us. For some, a major blow in life is what it takes to make them realize all these. Just when life can get too hard, always remember that it is only YOU who can help yourself.
We all have a share of Emanuela’s unpleasant experience. In a world that is too fantasized, has it really become difficult to be true to ourselves? Forget about what people have to say about you or the decisions that you have to make. In the end, they will realize that you did the right thing.