If you find yourself stretching your budget to meet your daily needs, you’re not the only one.
Singapore’s key core inflation gauge jumped to the highest level in almost 14 years, according to the latest Bloomberg report. As such, the costs of goods are at an all-time high, leading to financial crises in many households. Some Singaporeans turn to licensed money lenders for financial assistance.
But how do you find the best and most credible money lender in Singapore?
What You Should Look for When Choosing a Money Lender
There are more than 150 licensed money lenders in Singapore. Plus, loan sharks are masquerading as legal money lenders. How do you sift through your options to find the best licensed money lender in Singapore?
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Licensed: Make sure that the money lender is licensed and registered in the Registry of Moneylenders. The fastest way to verify is to check the complete
- list of licensed moneylenders on MinLaw’s website. You can also check the list of licesned moneylenders on our website.
Each month, the Registry of Moneylenders updates the list so you can avoid blacklisted moneylenders in Singapore.
- Follow the law: The money lender should charge fair rates and terms. For instance, they should not charge interest rates more than 4% per month.
- Excellent reviews: It’s equally important to read customer feedback. Take into account the number of positive reviews across major review websites. Be wary of lenders with relatively low reviews online from forums, directories, Google reviews, and licensed money lender review sites.
- Fast application process: Most licensed money lenders can approve loans in only 30 minutes. Additionally, cash is typically released within the day.
Best Licensed Moneylenders in Singapore By Location (2023)
Bugis – Bugis Credit
With more than a decade of experience, Bugis Credit has established an excellent reputation as a credible, go-to money lender in Bugis. They offer personal loans, foreigner loans, business loans, and payday loans. Best of all, they offer customized loan plans to suit each client’s needs.
Raffles – Raffles Credit
One of the top 10 licensed money lenders in Singapore, Raffles Credit boasts more than 10 years of experience. With 5-star ratings across major review websites, they have become a renowned personal loan money lender in Raffles Place. You can get your personal loan, payday loan, and other types of loans within an hour with customized monthly repayment plans.
Raffles – 1 Fullerton Credit
Formerly known as GM Creditz, 1 Fullerton Credit Pte Ltd was established in 2009. With more than 10 years of experience, they offer a wide array of loan options at the lowest possible interest rates. They are the best legal money lenders in the heart of Singapore and are known for their customer-focused approach and excellent reputation.
Chinatown – A1 Credit
Established in 2011, A1 Credit is known to provide excellent service as proven by its numerous excellent reviews. Boasting 4.9 stars out of 5 stars on Google reviews, this licensed money lender has become the go-to for short-term personal loans. Best of all, A1 Credit guarantees that all its clients will receive immediate financing to get through tough financial situations.
Bras Basah – Fortune Credit
Since 2010, Fortune Credit has established an excellent reputation in Singapore’s Bugis area. Thanks to their friendly and accommodating staff, their clients can’t help but sing praises for their comfortable and efficient service. Fortune Credit is an excellent choice if you’re looking for customized repayment plans.
Orchard – 365 Credit Solutions
With more than a decade of experience, 365 Credit Solutions have established an excellent relationship with clients. They are known for their unparalleled customer-centric approach. 365 Credit Solutions specialize in offering personal loans, foreigner loans, payday loans, business loans, and bridging loans.
What Is a Licensed Moneylender?
In times of financial difficulties, most people turn to banks for loans. Unfortunately, Singapore banks have strict eligibility criteria and a stringent approval process. Additionally, getting your bank loan approved may take a few business days before cash is disbursed which might not be helpful when you need urgent cash.
This is when a loan from a licensed money lender becomes a viable alternative to banks. Licensed money lenders have a less stringent approval process, resulting in faster cash disbursement.
Is Borrowing From a Money Lender in Singapore Legal?
Licensed money lenders in Singapore are approved lenders under the Ministry of Law. They are allowed to provide instant cash loans to Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners. Additionally, they are required to abide by the set of rules and regulations related to the Moneylenders Act.
All licensed money lenders are registered under the Registry of Moneylenders. You can find the complete list here.
Are There 24-Hr Open Licensed Lenders in Singapore?
There is no 24-hour money lender in Singapore. If a lender claims to be open 24 hours, you might be dealing with a loan shark. However, you can visit the licensed money lender’s official website where you can submit your online loan applications at any time.
If you submitted during the lender’s operating hours, you can get your personal loan within a few hours. But if you submitted on a Sunday morning, the earliest you can get your loan is on Monday morning.
Pros and Cons of Borrowing From Licensed Money Lenders vs. Banks
In Singapore, you will find a wide variety of financial assistance – from traditional bank loans, government grants, and instant cash loans from reliable money lenders. Both money lenders and banks offer personal loans, business loans, and other types of credit facilities. However, you must understand the pros and cons of these loan options.
Borrowing From Licensed Money Lenders
|Easy to obtain. You can get cash loans within the day.||High interest rates up to 4% per month|
|Fast approvals and a less stringent approval process.||Amount you can borrow will depend on your annual income|
|Lower annual income eligibility requirement||Penalties for late or missed payments|
|Flexible loan repayments to suit your financial capacity||Typically has a shorter repayment period of up to 12 months|
|Borrow up to 6x your monthly income||Quick cash loans can lead to your debt getting out of control|
Borrowing From Banks
|Most banks charge a flat rate of around 5.6% per annum on the principal of the loan||Strict eligibility criteria and thorough credit history check|
|Enjoy longer loan tenure of up to 7 years||Lengthy application process and may take a few days to a week.|
|Higher maximum loan amounts compared to licensed money lenders||High minimum annual income requirement, especially for foreigners|
|Some banks may waive processing fees or offer benefits for certain credit facilities||Interest rates will depend on several factors, including credit history, income, other debt obligations, and more.|
How Much Can You Borrow From a Licensed Money Lender?
There are two types of loans that you can borrow from licensed money lenders:
Secured Loans: This type of loan requires collateral, such as a house or car. With a secured loan, you can borrow any amount. The catch? If you fail to repay your loan, your collateral will be repossessed to settle the debt you owe.
Unsecured Loans: This type of loan is not backed by any collateral. As such, you can only borrow up to 6x your monthly salary.
Here’s how much unsecured personal loans you can borrow based on your monthly income:
|Borrower’s annual income||Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents||Foreigners residing in Singapore|
|Less than $10,000|
|At least $10,000and less than $20,000||$3,000||N/A|
|At least $20,000||6 times monthly income||6 times monthly income|
What Are the Interest Rates and Fees?
All licensed money lenders in Singapore are required to abide by the rules set by the Ministry of Law. That said, money lenders need to follow the caps on interest rates, late fees, and other costs. This protects borrowers from incurring debt that is beyond their capacity to repay.
The maximum interest rate that licensed money lenders can charge is 4% per month. This cap applies regardless of the type of loan and the borrower’s income.
If a borrower fails to repay the loan on time, the maximum late interest that money lenders can charge is 4% per month for each month the loan is repaid late.
Additional Fees and Charges
- Late repayment fee: Maximum of S$60 per month of late repayment
- Administrative fee: Up to 10% of the principal loan amount when a loan is granted
- Legal costs
How To Avoid Unlicensed Money Lenders?
Unlicensed money lenders, also known as loan sharks or “ah longs” in Singapore, are notorious for lending huge loan amounts at sky-high interest rates. The interest rates are typically above the cap set by the Ministry of Law.
Worst of all, they are infamous for their harassment tactics. That said, it’s best to avoid dealing with illegal money lenders. Here are a few tips to avoid them.
1. Verify the Money Lender’s License
The best and easiest way to avoid loan sharks is to check their license before doing any loan transactions. Verify their authenticity and credibility by checking the complete list of licensed moneylenders on MinLaw’s website.
Along with their license number, you will also find the lender’s business address, contact information, and official websites.
2. Check The Lender’s Advertising Channels
Loan sharks are now moving digitally. They use social media and emails to advertise their loan services to unsuspecting individuals. Some may also send unsolicited text messages.
For instance, there have been reports of people being added to WhatsApp group chats before receiving advertisements about money lending services.
These are prohibited by the Ministry of Law. If you happen to encounter such ads, immediately block and report the number or social media page.
Licensed money lenders are only allowed to advertise through three main channels:
- Business or consumer directories both in print or online media
- The licensed money lenders’ official website
- Advertisements placed within or on the exterior of the money lender’s office premises
3. Understand the Terms of the Loan
Licensed private money lenders are required to properly explain the terms and conditions of a loan to you. Additionally, it must be explained in a language you understand. Some of the details you should know about include:
- Loan amount
- Interest rate per month
- Loan tenure
- Repayment schedule
- Late fees
An illegal loan provider will immediately grant you the loan without explaining the terms.
4. Requires Face-to-Face Verification
As previously mentioned, you can submit applications online via the legal lender’s official website. As part of the approval process, a loan officer will reach out to you to schedule an appointment. This is for a face-to-face verification. During the appointment, the loan officer will also go through the loan terms in person.
Unlicensed money lenders will approve loans remotely. They will approve your loan application through email, SMS, or phone call without providing any documentation. Plus, they will not even do due diligence through face-to-face verification.
That said, if your loan is approved without a face-to-face meeting with a loan officer, it’s time to turn your back and report the incident immediately. You may be dealing with a loan shark.
5. Get a Copy of the Loan Contract
Another surefire way to avoid loan sharks is to get a copy of the loan contract. Licensed money lenders in Singapore are required to provide you with a complete loan contract that details the interest of the loan, loan amount, loan tenure, and repayment schedule.
Note: A loan shark may try to get you to sign a blank or incomplete loan contract. If you’re not given a loan contract, immediately cancel your application and stop communicating with them.
MinLaw’s Reminder to Borrowers
Before you start looking for legal money lenders in Singapore, consider other options first. Aside from traditional bank loans, you can also apply for Government grants. There are available government schemes and assistance that may help you tide over tough financial situations.
If you do not qualify for these options, borrowing from legal money lenders may be your next best option. However, keep these in mind:
- You are obligated to fulfill any loan contract you enter with a licensed money lender.
- Make sure that you can abide by the contractual terms.
- When borrowing money, take into account your income and other debt obligations.
- Borrow only what you need and can afford to repay.
- Ask questions to ensure that you fully understand the loan details, in particular, the interest rates charged, repayment schedule, and other fees.
- Read the fine print. Be careful in agreeing to any contractual term that allows a legal lender to lodge a caveat on the sales proceeds of your real estate property in case you fail to repay the loan.
- Compare loan packages between the top licensed money lenders to find the most favorable terms.
How To Apply
- At least 18 years old
- Singaporean, Permanent Resident, or Foreigner
- Minimum Salary:
- Singaporean or Permanent Resident: S$1,50
- Foreigners: S$2,000
Singaporean or Permanent Residents
- Identity card
- Proof of residence such as a utility bill, a letter addressed to you, or a tenancy agreement
- Proof of employment, such as a certificate of employment or a recent 3 months’ worth of payslip
- SingPass (to log into CPF, HDB, IRAS website)
- Work Permit / S Pass / E Pass
- Proof of residence such as a utility bill, a letter addressed to you, or a tenancy agreement
- Proof of employment, such as a certificate of employment or a recent 3 months’ worth of payslips
- Recent 3 months’ worth of payslips
- Proof of income, such as bank or account statement
- SingPass (to log into IRAS website)
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Red Flags I Should Watch Out For?
Loan sharks are notorious for resorting to threats and harassment. However, they are now using new tactics to pretend to be a licensed money lender. That said, make sure to verify the money lender’s license before dealing with them.
Aside from that, you must also watch out for these red flags:
- Refusing to return your NRIC card or any personal identification documents, such as passport or employment pass
- Asking you to disclose your SingPass username and/or password
- Asking you to sign a blank or incomplete loan contract
- Granting you a loan without receiving your loan application or doing due diligence
- Contacts you through SMS, WhatsApp, emails, or social media
- Resort to threats, harassment, or abusive language
- Withholds a part of your principal loan amount for any reason
- Charges fees before the loan is granted
What Should I Do After Being Granted A Loan?
- Make sure that you received the correct principal loan amount. The money lender can only deduct an upfront approval fee of 10% of the total principal amount.
- Pay the monthly loan installments on time. Late repayments will lead to late interest charges and fees.
- The money lender must issue a receipt for every repayment made towards the loan. Check it for correctness, such as the name, amount, and date of payment.
- The money lender must also provide you with a statement of account for all your loan(s) at least once every January and July. Check the details for any discrepancies.
- Keep all the receipts and statements of accounts as documentation and evidence of repayments.
I’m Not Taking Out a Personal Loan, But I Am Standing As Surety. What Should I Look Out For?
- Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a surety
- Get a copy of the loan contract when the loan is granted to the borrower
- The loan officer must also explain to you the terms and conditions of the loan.
- The licensed money lender is not allowed to retain your NRIC card or any other personal identification documents
- The licensed money lender is not to ask for any information that contains passwords to your user accounts, such as the SingPass account or internet banking account.
Can Debt Collectors Come to My Place of Work?
Yes, it is legal for debt collectors to call or come to your place of work.
However, if they behave threateningly which causes you distress and makes you feel unsafe, this act is considered “unlawful harassment”. Additionally, if a debt collector keeps monitoring your movements –taking photos, or emailing you at work constantly, they can be charged with “unlawful stalking”.
What Should I Do if I Am Being Harassed by Loan Sharks?
If you find yourself in a dire situation where you realize that the lender you’re dealing with is a loan shark, don’t panic. Here’s what you can do:
- Do not make any further repayments to the loan shark
- Secure your personal information and contact number, especially if you’ve given them to the loan sharks
- Call the police hotline on 1800-924-5664 (1800-X-AH-LONG) or 999 for urgent cases
- Do not give in to the loan sharks’ threats
What if I’m dealing with a licensed money lender but their actions and words are unreasonable?
If the licensed money lender’s actions are legal, you can:
- Try to negotiate repayment terms
- Seek external assistance to resolve the debt, such as government financial assistance.
Remember, the Registry of Moneylenders is not in the position to assist you in negotiating with money lenders. That said, you may wish to approach social service agencies that help consumers recover from serious debt problems. These agencies offer general credit management information, credit counselling, and assistance in negotiating a debt repayment plan with creditors.
There may be situations where you find yourself in dire need of cash. While traditional bank loans may be the first choice of others, some turn to licensed money lenders for faster approval. Licensed lenders are a viable alternative, but safeguard yourself against loan scams.
- Choose to deal with licensed money lenders who abide by the rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Law.
- Compare loan plans from top licensed money lenders and check whether the lender has excellent reviews across review websites.
- The legal money lender must not charge more than a 4% interest rate per month.
- When borrowing from a licensed lender, you must have a copy of the loan contract complete with details.
In need of urgent cash? Moneylender Review has everything you need to find the top licensed money lenders with the best loan terms. Use this one-stop platform to compare and find the most favorable loan plan that will suit your needs today.