In a previous post, I mentioned my plans to have my unit renovated this year. As the second half of the year is about to begin, I suddenly felt the urge to start looking at my options and make this plan happen.
And because my savings is not enough to cover the expenses, I decided to apply for a personal loan. I looked at several banks and made comparisons through their online personal loan calculators.
I went for BPI first. They have one of the lowest interest rates, and because they approved my home loan application two years ago (but I eventually declined the offer), I was confident that my personal loan will also be approved.
Surprisingly, BPI denied my application. I never received a call, just a rejection text message.
I took this as a sign that I should not pursue my planned interior renovations yet. But I wanted to check on how weak or strong my credit history is (two years after I got cleared of my credit card debt with HSBC), so I submitted another personal loan application this time with Citibank. If I get declined again, that will confirm my fears.
Citibank approved my personal loan application. And it came with a credit card too!
So how was it like applying for a personal loan with Citibank?
It was very quick! The 24-hour approval is, of course, a myth, but everything happened so fast within three days. Here’s how the process went:
Day 1: I received a call a day after submitting my online application. The agent went over my personal details and she asked me to submit the required supporting documents.
Day 2: I got another call from the same agent. She confirmed that the documents have been received and were submitted for final assessment.
Day 3: I was informed via text and call that my loan has been approved. I was asked to prepare post-dated checks to be submitted upon delivery of the manager’s check.
All payments need to be done with a PDC. Which means you have to prepare several checks prior to the delivery of the manager’s check. In my case, the term was 24 months, so I signed 24 checks!
Day 9: I received the manager’s check. The courier also has to take the 24 PDCs that I prepared. He did double-check everything before handing me over my check. So I got the manager’s check after nine business days. I believe it would have been faster if I opted for a branch pickup. I wasn’t in a hurry so the slow courier is not an issue for me.
However, the delivery of the credit card took over a month. From what I’ve read from online forums, delayed card deliveries have been an issue with Citibank ever since; the posts that I saw were dated as far as 2009 and 2010.
I had to call Citibank a few times to confirm that I am actually getting a card. Apparently, their courier never attempted to deliver the card to my address so when I called again after nearly a month, the agent suggested that we request for a new card instead. The new card was delivered to me after four business days.
Nonetheless, it has been a good experience with Citibank overall. Their personal loan application process is seamless, and getting an actual feedback after three days is the icing on the cake!
So I used the money for a minor interior renovation. I will be sharing how I maximized my budget, with a goal to provide tips on how to save on renovation costs.