There are always unexpected situations where you might need cash immediately. You never know when there could be a rainy day.
For example, you might face unexpected problems such as a car breakdown, an urgent medical bill, or that you’ve simply run out of savings.
There are ways to get through these tricky financial situations, and one of them is via personal loans.
Personal loans can be a quick and easy way to get the money you need, fast. Most people turn to banks and other financial institutions for personal loans.
However, many borrowers are turned down because they have poor credit scores or insufficient income to allow them to take on new loans.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you can turn to licensed money lenders to get your loans with better terms than you would find elsewhere.
What Does A Licensed Money Lender Do In Singapore?
Licensed money lenders lend borrowers an agreed amount of money based on their income or collateral within minutes of applying.
In Singapore, licensed money lenders are regulated by the Ministry of Law. They provide instant legal loans to Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and foreigners with a valid employment pass.
If you are looking for an alternative loan provider to banks, licensed money lenders might be able to provide you with the money you need quickly.
In general, licensed money lenders are less stringent as compared to other financial institutions.
Before you get a loan from a licensed money lender, you will need to do the following:
- Decide on the type of loan you need (e.g. secured or unsecured)
- Prepare the documents you need during the application such as your NRIC and payslip
- Check whether the lender is on the Ministry of Law’s list of licensed lenders
- Review the terms of the loan. Confirm the interest rates, tenure, admin fees, and late payment fees
Where Can I Find 24-Hour Money Lenders In Singapore?
In Singapore, there are no money lenders that work round the clock. If you find one, it is likely they are illegal lenders that are pretending to be licensed.
However, most licensed money lenders have an online loan application portal that operates 24 hours. You can easily apply for the loans through the online portals at any time of the day or night.
Note that it is a must for licensed money lenders to carry out face-to-face verifications before they lend you the money.
After the physical verification, the lender will take a short time to disburse the money. For the borrower, a physical verification is one of the best ways of assessing the lender’s authenticity.
The biggest benefit of choosing licensed money lenders is that they are able to disburse the money almost instantly. Most lenders have real-time credit data from the credit bureaus and other information sources, which makes it possible for them to evaluate your loan application on the spot.
Before you visit the lender, make sure you have the documents they require before they approve the loan.
The lender will require documents such as identitfication documents and payslips. You can bring along your monthly electricity bill as well so they can verify your address.
How Do We Differentiate Between A Licensed Money Lender And An Unlicensed Money Lender?
Many illegal lenders masquerade as licensed money lenders, and it can be difficult to discern them from the legal lenders.
However, to protect yourself, you must be able to tell the difference.
Licensed money lenders are regulated by the Ministry of Law. Here are some ways to differentiate between licensed and unlicensed money lenders.
Terms And Conditions
Before you sign up for a loan, a licensed money lender must make sure you understand the terms and conditions. They are expected to explain in a language that the borrowers can understand.
By law, the lender is supposed to issue a loan contract with all the conditions and terms. The interest rates, repayment period, and details about fees should be clearly stated in the contract.
Unlicensed money lenders will not issue any contracts. In fact, they will likely send you an SMS for your loan and that does not contain all the terms.
Make sure you receive a contract from the lender of your choice that clearly states all the terms of the loan.
A licensed money lender will not ask you for any payment before they lend you the money.
Interest Rates And Late Payment Fees
Licensed money lenders can only charge an interest of 4% per month for loans. In the event of a default, licensed lenders can only charge late fees of 4% per month.
Licensed money lenders are only allowed to advertise on these channels:
- Consumer or business directories
- Licensed money lenders’ websites
- Adverts placed within the lender’s premises
Licensed money lenders are not allowed to use any other channels. Any advertisements you see from SMS and emails are most likely sent by unlicensed lenders or loan sharks.
Don’t entertain the idea of borrowing from unlicensed lenders because it seems convenient. It won’t be worth it in the long run.
What Are The Signs Of A Loan Scam?
Illegal money lenders put up loan scams online all the time. All they need is a website and a fake mobile number.
Here are some tell-tale signs of a loan scam:
Remote Application And Disbursement
While licensed money lenders will allow online applications, they must carry out a physical verification at their office premises before disbursement.
On the other hand, unlicensed money lenders allow online application and disbursement. They do not have offices and don’t carry out verification.
Unlicensed money lenders will approve loans through SMS or emails without providing a loan contract or any form of verification. They are likely to transfer the money directly to you without meeting you.
Make sure the lender you are dealing with has a business location and provides a legal contract that states its terms and conditions clearly.
Fees And Interest Rates
A licensed money lender is allowed to charge 4% interest per month and 10% admin fees when the loan is approved. Your admin fee will be deducted from your principal loan amount.
Unlike licensed money lenders, loan sharks and scammers will charge you much higher interest and fees. Scammers will ask you to pay a fee of some sort before they can approve your loan.
Before you choose a lender, confirm its terms of payment and ensure you choose one with the lowest interest rates.
Licensed money lenders are required to do a credit check before they lend you any money. They will also need to meet you physically to confirm your identity.
If a money lender does not have an office, it could be a sign that they are illegal. Check the Ministry of Law website for the physical address of your preferred lender.
Does the message below look familiar to you?
“0FFER MONTHLY ASSISTANCE
Wh@tsapp for loan!”
If you have ever received such an SMS, it is 100% a loan scam. Illegal money lenders will send you emails and SMS advertising their loans.
Such unlicensed lenders will try to entice you to borrow from them. In desperate moments, victims will fall prey to these loan traps.
It is important to remember that licensed money lenders are not allowed to advertise their services using SMS and emails.
Instead, licensed lenders are only supposed to advertise on their websites, on their premises, and in business directories.
Licensed lenders will follow the limit set by the Ministry of Law. Any lender who offers higher loan amounts than allowed limits will be prosecuted.
Blackmail Or Threats
Unlicensed money lenders will do anything to get your money.
Some of their tactics include harassment and threats. A licensed money lender will never threaten, seize your items, or blackmail you.
How Much Can I Borrow?
The Ministry of Law in Singapore has set the amount a lender can give a borrower depending on their income.
This is to prevent Singaporeans and foreigners from overborrowing.
The below table shows how much you can borrow from a licensed money lender.
|Annual Income||Singapore citizens and permanent residents||Foreigners residing in Singapore|
|Less than $10,000||$3,000||$500|
|Between $10,000 to $20,000||$3,000||$3,000|
|Above $20,000||6x the monthly income||6x the monthly income|
A licensed lender should not offer you more than the set limits. To borrow from a reliable licensed money lender, click here.
What Are The Fees That Licensed Money Lenders Can Charge?
Licensed money lenders are allowed to charge up to a 4% interest rate per month. Interest is charged on any amount of money borrowed, whether secured or unsecured.
For instance, if you take a loan of $3,000 and repay $2,000, the interest charge will be on the balance remaining.
They are allowed to charge 4% interest per month for late repayment.
Licensed money lenders can also impose the following charges:
- Fees not exceeding $60 for late repayment
- They should not charge fees more than 10% of the principal amount
The total charges a lender charges should not exceed the principal amount. Total charges can include the interest, admin fees, and late payment fees imposed by a lender.
What Are Credit Scores?
In Singapore, a credit score is a four-digit number assigned to you based on your credit history. It ranges from 1,000 to 2,000.
Your credit score shows how well you pay your loans. If your score is 2,000, there is a low risk of default, and your finances are considered healthy.
A credit score of 1,000 is a poor credit grade that suggests you are likely to default on your loans.
Your credit score will be used by lenders to assess whether they should lend to you or not. Your credit score depends on your credit history. Here are the factors that contribute to your credit score.
- Immature credit history: This is when you don’t have enough credit history. You have never taken a loan.
- Credit Exposure: The more you borrow, the greater your credit risk.
- Not Enough ‘Clean’ History: If you don’t have a positive loan history, then your history is considered unclean.
- Adverse Credit History: This is where there is the presence of negative credit history.
- Too Many Inquiries: This refers to when you keep enquiring about loans.
Your credit report will have a section showing the factors that contribute to your score.
If you have a bad credit score and still need money urgently, you can apply for a customised bad credit personal loan.
More on this Topic:
What Should I Consider Before Taking Up A Personal Loan?
How To Improve Your Credit Score Quickly In Singapore?
Compare Effective Interest Rates VS Simple Interest Rates For Loans
What Should I Do If A Licensed Money Lender Is Harassing Me?
Harassment or threats from licensed lenders are considered unfair practices. If it happens to you, please report it to the registry of money lenders. You can also report it to the police.
If you would like to report a licensed money lender to the Registry of Moneylenders, you will need the lender’s business name, license, and contact number. You can make a report by calling or visiting its website and filling out the complaint form.
The details you give to the Registry of Moneylenders will remain confidential. You may be required to attend an interview with the Ministry of Law to provide the information they require for an investigation.
Where Can I Borrow Money Fast And Safely?
If you need quick cash from a legal money lender, CreditMaster may be your best option.
CreditMaster is one of the best licensed money lenders in Singapore that has been offering help for urgent financial situations over the years.
Best of all, you can apply for a loan online, 24/7, on our website.
Whether it is a question about your loan amount or loan rates, our loan officers are always ready to help you.
Rest assured that we abide strictly to the rules set by the Ministry of Law and our loan process is fair and transparent. Get your personal loan with CreditMaster now.