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Monday, October 12, 2009

SSS eases requirements for loan renewal

The Social Security System (SSS) cut down further the requirements and procedures on renewal of salary loans to provide members affected by recent typhoons easy access to emergency credit, a ranking official said.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Romulo Neri said the agency has removed the 50 percent payment of an existing loan as a requirement for renewal.

"Under our new guidelines, a member can avail of early renewal even with only a net loan of at least P1,000 after deducting the balance of a previous loan," he said.

SSS salary loans range from a minimum of P1,000 to a maximum of P24,000 payable in two years with a two months grace period. Applicants must have at least 36 posted contributions, six of which within the past 12 months.

The pension fund received nearly 45,000 applications for early loan renewals after it liberalized its loan policies as part of its measures to help members in calamity areas. In the past, only members who have fully paid their loans were allowed to apply for renewal.

Neri said SSS also waived its one percent service fee and incorporated the loan interest for the first year into the monthly amortization instead of its regular practice of deducting it in advance from the loan proceeds.

He said members can directly get their checks at the Office Services Department at the 2nd floor of the SSS corporate headquarters in Diliman, Quezon City starting Monday, October 12.

"SSS normally mails the checks to members, but we believe it would be faster and more secure if we release it directly to the members," he said. "Many of our members lost their homes and stay with relatives. Their checks might get lost or returned to SSS."

Neri advised members to verify if their checks are ready for pick up by calling the SSS hotline at 917-7777.

"We also set up a Special Assistance Counter at the lobby of the SSS main office where members can inquire if their checks are ready," he said. "The checks will be given only to members and letters of authorization will not be honored."

Members must bring their SSS biometric card or identification documents such as TIN ID, driver's license, passport, NBI clearance, permit to carry firearms, marriage contract and PRC ID. Those without IDs must present a barangay and police clearance.

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