Heroes can come from the unlikeliest of places, and often, it is the unsung ones that deserve the biggest rewards. Gina Coy, a 45-year-old housekeeper, is a good example. And as the five millionth customer of Home Credit Philippines, the reward she received was bigger than she could ever have imagined.
A Cebu local, Gina packed her bags eight years ago and took the chance to find work in Manila to support her four kids. She didn’t have any other plans other than going door-to-door to look for a job. Thankfully, her long-time friend helped her connect to a family looking for household help.
“Masakit po talaga. Yung iwan mo yung pamilya mo. Pero kailangan kasi paano sila mabubuhay? [It was a really painful decision to leave your family behind. But you have to do it, because if not, how will they survive?],” Gina shared. Every week she would send money back to Cebu, leaving very little for herself.
Constant communication was the only way that made her cope. Even with the distance, she kept updated with her family by calling them every day. So when her phone broke down, she had no other choice but to get a new one. The only problem was that it was way out of her budget, so she has to cut down her personal allowance and the money she can send back to her family.
A chance encounter
That was when she came across Home Credit. “Pumunta po ako sa mall para bumili tapos nilapitan ako nung taga-Home Credit. Friendly po sila kaya nakinig ako dun sa offer. Kinuha ko na po yung [smart] phone kasi maliit lang yung babayaran. [I went to the mall to get a new phone and there was a Home Credit sales associate who approached me. She was really friendly and talked to me about their offer. So I decided to get the smartphone because it was affordable.]”
Little did Gina know, a new smartphone wasn’t the only thing that she got that day. Home Credit, which has made shopping easier and more affordable for customers with its tech-driven, financially inclusive loans, was waiting for their five millionth customer that day. Gina was lucky number five million.
The company—which reached the three million customer mark just a year ago—wanted to do something special to celebrate serving its five millionth customer. Home Credit reached out to Gina to tell her that she was chosen to be featured in one of their videos, an excuse to cover up the bigger surprise waiting for her. Gina said she would be more than happy to share her story.
An unexpected gift
When the day for the interview shoot finally came, it was obvious that she was nervous but willing. She openly talked about her story, how just a day ago she had to borrow a thousand pesos because her daughter called her asking for new shoes. Hers was already splitting at the seams and Gina had to send the rest of the money she has to her family. “Bahala na, [Come what may],” she said, when asked about how she would survive until her next payout. “Nanghiram ako ng isang libo sa kaibigan ko. Sana kasya na iyon. [I borrowed a thousand pesos from a friend. I hope that would be enough.]”
It was when Home Credit gently broke the news that there was more to their visit that the tears started flowing. Guided outside of her home, she soon broke down when she saw representatives from the company waiting for her in the rain. Bags of groceries were on the ground. In the hands of Home Credit’s Chief Executive Officer Annica Witschard and Chief Marketing and Product Officer Franchette Cardona was a blown up check with the words “100,000 pesos” written on it.
Gina was speechless. Neighbors flocked around her, and Witschard and Cardona offered their congratulations. “No, thank you,” Witschard said when Gina finally managed to express her gratitude. “You deserve all of these.”
She couldn’t believe her luck when she finally sat down to take everything in. When a day ago she was worried about her daughter’s torn up school shoes, she now has P100,000 pesos in cash, 10,000 worth of groceries, and the rest of her loan waived. When she shared the good news to her family using the phone she managed to afford through Home Credit, her daughter did not believe it at first as well. But her mother’s cries of joy convinced her.
“Maraming maraming salamat po. Hulog kayo ng langit. Hindi ko akalain. [Thank you so much. You’re a gift from heaven. I did not expect this at all.],” she said again and again.
When asked about her plans for the windfall, Gina quickly answered that she will deposit the money to a bank. She doesn’t have a bank account yet, but she will open one and put the money there for her children’s education.
“Lahat po talaga para sa kanila. Malaki po ang tulong nito. [Everything is really for them. This is such a big help for all of us,]” she added.
Home Credit has been making things more affordable and accessible for the market since entering the Philippines five years ago. Known for their in-store loans for gadgets and other goods, Home Credit now also offers other financial products like cash loans for new customers and credit cards for existing customers, all while improving the ease of application to their products: two valid IDs, mobile app application, and less than one minute approval time thanks to the technology they use.
Gina’s story is a perfect example of what Home Credit is all about—to give everyone a chance to experience financial options. “It’s about the experience, and of course helping our customers live better by giving them all these kinds of choices,” shared Cardona.
“Bilang nanay, wala ka talagang hindi kayang gawin para sa pamilya mo. [When you’re a mother, there is nothing you can’t do for your family.] Gina added.
“Sana wag po kayong tumigil sa ginagawa nyo, Home Credit. Napakadami nyo pong naitutulong para sa mga katulad namin. [I hope Home Credit doesn’t stop what they’re doing. They’ve helped a lot like us in so many ways.]”