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The Disadvantage of Working as an Online Freelancer / Virtual Assistant

Don’t think of becoming an online freelancer / Virtual Assistant if you have plans of applying for a housing loan, car loan, bank loan or even have plans of availing a Credit Card – it won’t work.

Well, it may… but generally, banks will ask for necessary documents such as Income Tax Return (ITR), income documents (pay slips), Certificate of Employment, Company ID, and others.

And…

If you are a Virtual Assistant or an Online Freelancer, one big issue would be you – lacking the above-cited documents.

Just take this story of mine; I decided to open a bank account in one of the Government Banks here in the Philippines, unfortunately, I was turned down. They asked if I am employed here and that I needed to provide a Certificate of Employment and copies of my Pay Slips – in which I answered “I am employed but not here; internationally. I also do have Pay Slips, but do you honor Paypal pay slips?” After that instance, I sadly walked out of the bank, feeling deprived of my rights to own a passbook.

One incident as well, was when I applied for a housing loan. I actually was able to, however, since I do not have an active Pag-ibig account (and banks won’t lend me some funds due to the lack of documents) I had no choice but to accept the higher fees and shorter terms of the realtors’ in-house financing scheme.

Another issue would be the answer to the question (and I always encounter this one); “Freelancing… so, you have your own business, right?”

Well, if I will say “Yes.” they will look for the registration documents (SEC, BIR, and alike) and I definitely don’t have those. So I will say “I don’t have a business. I am employed.” and I will see a puzzled look on their faces.

It is indeed difficult to explain, especially here in the Philippines where Online Freelancing is (personally) not yet taken seriously. Even if you are earning more than enough as a freelancer, and has a high monthly gross income – without the proper documents, your application may it be for a bank or for a loan, would probably be declined.

On the other hand, if you really want to pursue Virtual Assistance, then I would suggest to voluntarily continue paying your Social Security System (SSS) and Pag-ibig monthly dues. When time comes and you can no longer work, you will receive retirement fees, as well as if you have plans of pursuing a housing loan, you will have Pag-ibig to assist you. It is more difficult to comply with all of the documents needed once you have transitioned from being an employee to being a freelancer, so it would be better to arrange them first hand.