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Financial awareness

Manage your finances wisely

We are here to help

As one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organization, HSBC’s objective is to help you manage your financial affairs smoothly and without problems. Maintaining a balanced financial position can help you to have trouble-free loan repayments and sufficient savings to buy the things you and your family want.

By carefully managing your financial affairs, you can achieve your goals. You can make it happen! Know your financial goals and create a plan to forecast your expenses. Develop the discipline of planning and good financial stewardship. Know your limitations and priorities. Be focused.

Check the articles below for other tips like a guide to help you balance your budget, manage your credit card, and pursue your personal financial health:

 

Your credit record

It takes time to build up a good credit record. Making all your card payments on time, avoiding defaults on loans, not filing for bankruptcy, or not having any court action taken against you for non-payment of debts all adds to a good credit history. Long years of managing your finances well helps build up a good repayment record, and, if you have a record of good repayment, a lender is more likely to offer you credit, and you may find they will also offer it at lower rates of interest.

Treat your credit record like a precious commodity that's hard to replace once you lose it. You need to protect it carefully as it will affect your chances of getting a loan / credit card application approved when you really need it. Credit can help you manage your financial affairs and your ability to fulfill your dreams, and managing your financial affairs well will help you improve your credit record.

If I need extra money, is it better to use credit or just wait and save for it?

Credit

You can buy a car on installment terms, use a credit card to buy clothes, take out a loan to pay for a holiday, or a mortgage to buy a house. But never forget: if you borrow money, you have to repay it sooner or later, and you will pay back more than you borrowed in the first place.

Before you borrow, or use your credit card, always ask yourself the following:

  • Do I really need this item?
  • How much do I already owe?
  • How much extra will all of these repayments really cost me?
  • Can I really afford this?

Use a budget planner to see how much you are already spending of what you've got coming in. And remember to leave a margin for emergencies. Put this in an account where you have easy access to it. If you really can't afford to save, it's unlikely that you can afford to repay a new loan.

Be tough with yourself. You might want a new TV set, but will you really be able to keep up the monthly repayments? Try saving the amount of the monthly payment each month for a few months first. If this doesn't cause you any problems, you can probably afford the loan.

Top tips

  1. Always keep track of what you've bought with your credit card
  2. Taking regular cash advances is generally not a good idea - it's still money you will have to repay and, if you use it to repay other loans, or to top up your salary, all you are doing is increasing your debt, which will not help you to get your finances in order
  3. Never use a loan or a credit card to repay the monthly repayments on other loans, or to meet regular household expenses if you regularly have no cash left

If these kind of events happen regularly, your budget could get out of control and you must talk to your creditors about restructuring or refinancing your debts.

Savings

Some people will save over time in order to buy the goods or build up the savings they need. The cost to these people is the time they have to wait until they have enough money to obtain what they want. Many ways of saving are available, from simple deposit accounts for easy access, to term investments for higher returns, and long-term pension savings.

Top tip: Always try to have some money set aside for the future. It will help if something unexpected happens. If you only have loans, it will be much harder to manage. If you have money left over each week or month, always aim to put some aside for savings for you and your family future emergencies. Aim for an emergency fund up to 6 months of your salary.

A bit of both

In most cases, people do a little of both, saving and borrowing for the things they want - this is certainly the best way of managing your financial affairs. The challenge is to get the balance right. And if you're going to borrow, you need to know how it works, and what it will cost you. This will help you to budget successfully.

What will borrowing actually cost me?

The price of the loan is the interest you have to pay on a monthly basis that will affect the amount of money that you have available at the end of the day. To compare the cost of different types of loans, look at the annual interest rates and any additional fees.

The annual interest rates -sometimes shown as an EIR (effective interest rate) - are a guide to the cost of the credit deal. As a general rule, if the period of the loan is the same, the lower the annual interest rate, the better the deal.

The longer you take to repay a loan or credit card, the more it will cost you in interest.

Top tips

You should always aim to finish repaying a loan before you need to replace or pay again for what you have bought.

The price of the loan is the interest you have to pay. To compare the cost of different types of loans, look at the annual interest rates and any additional fees.

The annual interest rates are a guide to the cost of the credit deal. As a general rule, if the period of the loan is the same, the lower the annual interest rate, the better the deal.

A reminder about credit agreements

You have to know:

  • How much will the monthly payments be and how long will you have to pay them?
  • Are there any other charges besides the interest?
  • What happens if you can't keep up the repayments?
  • Can you settle an agreement earlier without penalties?

Make sure that when you take up a loan / credit facility, that you fully understand the charges as well as the terms and conditions.

How do I know what I can afford?

The first step is to know exactly where you stand financially. All of us sometimes spend more than we intend to, or save less than we should. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Can I achieve my financial goals?
  • Can I afford to save for my, and my children’s, future?
  • If I borrow money now what position will that put me in?
  • I already have a lot of debt, do I need to do anything about it?

To know what answers you can give, you need a clear picture of how you budget, and you need to know the difference between your income and your expenditure:

Income MINUS Expenditure EQUALS Surplus or (Shortfall) 

You probably have a general idea of how much money you get each month and know it all gets spent, but working out a detailed budget will help you to see exactly where your money is going. It’s easier to see then where you can make savings if you need to, help balance the books, or to give yourself some spare cash.

Key dos and don'ts of credit

  • Don’t ignore your debts: They won’t go away – and the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to resolve.
  • Don’t make the situation worse: Do not be tempted to borrow more money or use your credit cards to pay off existing loans or make your monthly repayments. Your debts will only get worse. If you are already having difficulty repaying existing loans, do not borrow more money, this includes using your credit card.
  • Do complete a personal budget plan: Don’t underestimate your spending to make the situation appear better than it is. You need to be realistic about your expenditure and include an allowance for costs that may not always occur predictably, such as doctor’s bills.
  • Do speak to your creditors: Do not ignore phone calls or letters from your creditors. Speak to them and be honest. Explain the situation you are in and take them through your budget. They may be able to arrange a debt relief scheme.
  • Do be realistic: When you make an offer of payment to your creditors, make sure you can maintain the payments.
  • Do keep your promises: Always make the payments you have promised, in the agreed amount and on the agreed date. If anything changes and you cannot make a repayment for any reason, speak to your creditors and explain why.
  • Do keep a record: Make a note of every telephone conversation and name. Keep copies of the letters you send and receive. Note down all agreed payment arrangements, including the amount, the dates payments should be made, and when the payment arrangement will come to an end. This will help you when speaking to your creditors.
  • Don’t panic: Whatever problem you have, there is a solution. These tips are designed to assist you in helping yourself.

Credit card security

For your security, immediately sign at the back of your credit card upon receipt.

Do not freely divulge your credit card details such as card number or expiry date to any person or means without verifying the legitimacy of the person or manner. Do not fall victim to phishing websites or emails or prank calls asking for your credit card details. Be smart in determining the need to divulge these information and the manner it will be done. Your issuing bank will never call you to ask for your credit card or your account information. Should you receive such calls or letters, always call your issuing bank on the number at the back of your credit card for verification. 

Keep your credit card in a secure place. Personally hand over your credit card to the cashier when paying. 

Be alert when your card is not returned to you after an unusually long period. Always make sure that the amount on the transaction slip is the actual amount of your purchase before you sign. Never sign a blank transaction slip. 

Secure your card while shopping. If your card gets lost, immediately call your issuing bank to avoid paying for fraudulent transactions. 

Memorize your PIN for ATM Cash Advance Transactions. Don't use PIN combinations that could easily be guessed, such as your birthday. 

Source: Credit Card Association of the Philippines.

Use your credit card wisely

Pay your credit card bills on time

Maintain your credit card standing by paying the total outstanding balance or at least the minimum amount due on or before due date to avoid penalties.

Avoid penalty charges

Always pay your bills on time to avoid penalties. Check your statement of account for payment details and payment due date. Remember that you will not be charged for any interest if you settle your balances in full on or before your due date.

Finance charges will only be imposed when balances are not settled in full on due dates. Always check your statement of account for payment details.

Do not overspend

Charge to your credit card only what you can afford and pay. Maintain your credit card in good standing by paying the total outstanding balance or at least the minimum amount due on or before your due date to enjoy your credit card's full benefits.

Communicate with your card company

Keep a list of your credit card numbers and card company's hotline numbers. Immediately notify your issuing bank in case of disputes, questions or to report a lost or stolen card. 

Majority of issuing banks have invested in 24*7 customer service helpdesks to assist you locally or internationally. Always call them for any credit card concerns. They appreciate your feedback in order to serve you better. Their hotline numbers are normally indicated at the back of your credit card. 

Always notify your issuing bank of any changes in your contact details and address. 

If you have any concerns or problems with a collection agent, please report it right away to your issuing bank. Make sure to take note of the name of the collection agent, the name of the collection agency and the date and time of the call. 

Always check the details of your statement of account. For any error, immediately call your bank's customer hotline number usually indicated at the back of your credit card. 

Before travelling abroad, advise your issuing bank so your credit card transactions can be safely monitored. Keep a record of your credit card numbers, expiration date and contact numbers of your issuing bank for emergency cases such as the loss of your card.

Safely shop online

To ensure that you are not logged on to a spoofed website, check that the URL address starts with "https". Moreover, there should be padlock icon located at the lower right portion of the webpage to indicate that it is secured website. 

When making purchases over the internet, deal only with reputable websites. Use your internet browsers and not hyperlinks to access websites. 

 

Source: Credit Card Association of the Philippines

Money worries? Let us help you find a solution

At HSBC, we’re committed to helping you overcome any financial difficulties that you may be experiencing. We will work with you to manage your payments as you go through difficult times whether that’s due to an illness, a death in the family or other personal reasons. 

If you are unable to pay the overdue amount for your credit card, personal instalment loan or mortgage, contact us as soon as possible. 

If you would like to apply for a payment plan, download and complete the Payment Plan Application Form below and email it to collections@hsbc.com.ph to help us better understand your financial situation and find the right solution for you. Our Collection Associate will respond promptly to discuss your payment options.

Contact us:

Credit Control Services – Collections Department 
Phone: 85-850 (credit card) or 85-858 (loan) 
Email: collections@hsbc.com.ph 
Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m -5:30 p.m, Monday-Friday

For inquiries or complaints, please call HSBC's Customer Services at +63(2) 85-800 from Metro Manila, 
+1-800-1-888-8555 PLDT domestic toll-free, +63(2) 976-8000 from overseas, (country code) + 800-100-85-800 international toll-free for selected countries, or send an email to hsbc@hsbc.com.ph. If you want to find out more about HSBC's customer feedback procedures, please visit hsbc.com.ph/feedback.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is an entity regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Bangko Sentral). You may also contact the Bangko Sentral Financial Consumer Protection Department at 
(02) 708-7087 or consumeraffairs@bsp.gov.ph.

Note: Do not provide your account or credit card numbers or disclose any other confidential information or banking instructions through email.