5 financial fitness habits for frequent borrowers

Loans can work against you instead of for you if you’re not careful. It’s easier to rack up debts if you aren’t financially responsible.

Digitalization has made it easier to release money at any time or location, but it still needs restraint to be used appropriately. It can be liberating to have all that access, but before you get spending-happy, there are a few habits you should keep in mind:

1. The PoT (Pay on Time) Principle

One truth about loans is that they must be repaid on time. Late payments will not only mean you’ll incur penalties but will also reflect poorly on your credit score and adversely affect your future finances.

For example, credit scores show how often you pay on time. The more punctually you pay, the higher your credit score is. Lenders readily lend to borrowers with good credit scores. Tala makes it easier for borrowers to repay by offering flexible payment options. Tala’s Loans Your Way was created to allow customers to choose their repayment date better to align it to their income cycles.

2. Stop the Whim Purchases

One kind of loan that can be hard to pay is when it’s made on a whim. If a loan is taken in the heat of the moment, it can set buyer’s remorse if you’re not careful. Always check if you have enough funds to pay for this loan and where the money will come from. Tala’s microloans are designed to be affordable and are not intimidating to borrowers.

3. Track your expenses

Remembering what you’ve spent at the end of the month can be difficult. But when you have a loan to repay, it’s a must. Making a list of the loans you’ve borrowed and all the rest of your expenses can keep you on track. It will be a guide for you as to when you should borrow again. Tala’s app helps you keep track of the microloans you’ve borrowed on your smartphone.

4. Save up

No matter how hard it seems at the moment, learn to save. Start with a hundred pesos every day and then increase the amount slowly. The amount that financial coaches usually advise is 10 percent of your total income every month. For example, if you are earning P40,000 a month, then make it a goal to save P4,000 monthly.

While borrowers usually don’t save from their loans, it would be wise to optimize it. Maximize every peso. See if you can retain a small amount to save after using up the loan for its original purpose.

5. Comb through the T&C

One habit you have to practice is reading the fine print in your loan agreement. Unscrupulous actors may try to defraud you, or you may find out too late the consequences of the terms. Keep an eye out for the interest rates, payment dates and hidden fees you might not have noticed.

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