GM Creditz Pte Ltd is a licensed moneylender (License No. 102/2020) listed in the Registry of Moneylenders, under the Ministry of Law in Singapore.

How to Take a Loan Safely from Singapore’s Licensed Moneylenders

How to Take a Loan Safely from Singapore's Licensed Moneylenders

Financial emergencies happen without warning. In times of financial need, you have several options to obtain the cash you need. For one, you can take out a loan from banks. However, banks tend to have a long, stringent approval process which isn’t helpful when you need urgent cash.

Another alternative is to borrow from licensed moneylenders in Singapore. But is borrowing from an accredited moneylender safe? Licensed moneylenders are governed by the Ministry of Law and are required to follow its rules and regulations.

Before you start applying for a personal loan, here are a few tips to safely loan from Singapore’s licensed money lenders.

Know the Difference Between Licensed Moneylenders And Loan Sharks 

Unlicensed moneylenders, also known as loan sharks, are notorious for their harassment tactics. They also charge unrealistically high-interest rates. That’s why Singaporeans are wary of borrowing from money lenders – even when they’re licensed.

However, licensed moneylenders are governed by the Ministry of Law. They also follow the rules and regulations under the Moneylenders Act. Additionally, licensed money lenders are restricted by: 

  • The amount they can lend
  • The fees they can charge
  • The maximum licensed money lender Singapore interest rate they can charge

So how do you know if the moneylender is licensed or not?

The first thing you need to do before engaging with a moneylender is to check if they’re on the Ministry of Law’s Registry. Check out the full list of licensed moneylenders here.

As of May 2021, there are 156 licensed moneylenders in Singapore. The list changes time and again, so make sure to check it out to determine if the moneylender’s license is still valid. 

According to the Ministry of Law’s website, a licensed money lender is required to:

  • Thoroughly explain the terms of a loan to you, including the loan term, interest charges, as well as the applicable fees and charges.
  • Provide you with a copy of the loan contract.

Additionally, licensed moneylenders can only advertise through these channels: 

  • Business or consumer directories (both in print and online media)
  • The moneylender’s website
  • Advertisements are placed within or on the exterior of the moneylender’s office, such as the side of the wall, gate, or window.

Licensed moneylenders are prohibited from advertising their loan services through SMS or phone calls, social media, or flyers.

What are the red flags you should watch out for?

Under the Moneylenders Act, licensed moneylenders are prohibited from performing these practices: 

  • Use of harassment, threats, and abusive language
  • Ask for your SingPass ID and password details
  • Refuse to give back important personal identification documents such as NRIC, ATM cards, or passport
  • Ask you to sign a blank or incomplete loan contract
  • Approve your loan application without doing due diligence.
  • Issue a loan without properly explaining the terms and conditions of the loan.
  • Issue a loan without a detailed and complete loan contract
  • Withhold a portion of your principal loan amount for any reason.

Remember, these practices are prohibited by Singapore law. If you encounter an unlicensed moneylender or an errant licensed money lender, immediately report them to the Registry of Moneylenders at 1800-2255-529 or through their website.

Factors to Consider Before Taking A Loan

Before you start looking into licensed moneylenders in Singapore, consider other alternatives first. For instance, you can look into financial assistance schemes. Another option is to borrow money from family and friends (IOU or Personal Loans).

If none of these options appeal to you, then consider these factors before approaching a credible moneylender.

Your Ability To Repay The Loan 

Will you be able to make monthly payments?

Loans with licensed moneylenders are considered to be unsecured loans. Meaning, they do not require any collateral to approve one, hence its name. It’s crucial to know whether you can abide by the loan terms and conditions. Just like when you’re borrowing from a bank, you are legally obliged to fulfill your loan obligations from a licensed moneylender. This includes repaying the loan and any other interest charged on loan.

That said, before applying for a personal loan, take into account factors such as:

  • Your own income
  • Other financial obligations
  • The loan repayment schedule
  • Other applicable loan fees and charges

Here’s a tip: Borrow only what you can repay given your personal circumstances. Remember, the late repayment fees and interest payments may add to your financial strain.

Is There A Limit To How Much You Can Borrow?

You can borrow any amount for secured loans. However, you can borrow up to 6x your monthly income for unsecured loans if your annual income amounts to at least $20,000.

Please refer to the table below:

Borrower’s annual income Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents Foreigners residing in Singapore
Less than $10,000 $3,000 $500
At least $10,000

and less than $20,000

$3,000
At least $20,000 6 times monthly income 6 times monthly income

Additionally, the maximum interest rate moneylenders can charge is 4% per month. This limit applies regardless of the type of loan or your income.

Lastly, all accredited moneylenders are only allowed to charge the following fees:

  • A late repayment fee not exceeding $60.
  • An administrative fee not exceeding 10% of the principal loan amount. This is charged when a loan is granted.
  • A maximum late interest rate of 4% per month for each month the loan is repaid late.
  • Legal costs are ordered by the court for a successful claim for the recovery of the loan.

The total charges, including the interest, late interest, late fee, and administrative fees, must not exceed the total amount of the loan.

Make Sure You Understand The Terms and Conditions of the Loan, Including Caveats

The law requires licensed moneylenders to thoroughly explain the terms and conditions of the loan. That said, make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into. This means you need to know the payment schedule, the interest rate charges, and all the other fees.

Additionally, you must also be wary of caveats that may be lodged against your property. What does this mean?

For example, you default on a loan. If you decide to sell your property, the moneylender will have the right to obtain repayment for the loan from the sale of your property.

What Happens When You Default On A Loan?

Depending on what is stipulated on the loan contract, you may incur late interest charges per month you failed to make payment. These charges are imposed as a penalty for not abiding by the contract. 

This means your debt may snowball the longer you are unable to repay the loan. 

Although licensed moneylenders are prohibited from harassing borrowers, they can still send debt collectors your way. Professional debt collectors are in charge of defaulted repayments.

These collectors abide by the standards set by the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS). They legally comply with the debt collection procedures.

So what can you do? 

Renegotiate The Repayment Schedule 

First, try negotiating with your creditor. Reputable licensed moneylenders are open to discussing a payment plan that is suitable for your current financial situation. For instance, they can offer you a lower interest rate. 

The debt collectors may act as a mediator between you and the moneylender. Of course, you may also speak directly with the lender involved.

Seek Assistance of Social Services

You may also look into seeking the assistance of social services. They can provide credit counselling and debt management. These social service agencies can help you recover from debt problems.

Consider reaching out to these agencies:

Social Service Agency Contact Information
Adullam Life Counselling

 

Address: 151 Chin Swee Road #08-04 Manhattan House Singapore 169876

Tel no.: 9423 8832

E-mail: [email protected]

Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) Address: 1 Pasir Ris Drive 4 #05-11 Singapore 519457

Tel no.: 6416 3960

E-mail: [email protected]

Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP)

 

Address: 1 Pasir Ris Drive 4 #05-11 Singapore 519457

Tel no.: 6416 3960

E-mail: [email protected]

Arise2Care Community Services Address: No. 5 Harper Road #02-01A Singapore 369673

Tel no.: 6909 0628

Email: [email protected]

Blessed Grace Social Services Address: 18 Arumugam Road, #05-01 [email protected] Singapore 409962

Tel no.: 8428 6377

Email: [email protected]

Credit Counselling Singapore Address: 51 Cuppage Road #07-06, Singapore 229469

Tel no.: 6225 5227 / 6338 2663

Email: [email protected]

 

One Hope Centre Address: 8 New Industrial Road #04-04B LHK 3 Building Singapore 536200

Tel no.: 6547 1011

Email: [email protected]

Silver Lining Community Services Address: (East) 11 Playfair Road Singapore, (West) Jurong Spring CC, 8 Jurong West St 52 Singapore 649296

Tel no.: 6749 0400

E-mail: [email protected]

 File For Bankruptcy

If you really don’t have the ability to pay back your debt, consider filing for bankruptcy. In Singapore, an individual can file for bankruptcy if they are unable to repay debts greater than $15,000.

This option voluntarily stops interests from snowballing on debts. That said, you can easily repay using a debt repayment scheme. However, declaring bankruptcy will put you at risk of losing assets, such as your car or property.

What Happens After The Loan Has Been Approved?

  • First, make sure that they charged you with the correct approval fee amount. As previously mentioned, licensed moneylenders can only charge up to 10% of the principal loan amount.
  • Next, make sure that the moneylender issues a receipt every time you make a repayment towards your loan. Double-check the accuracy of the details, including name, amount, and date.
  • The licensed moneylender must also provide you with a statement of account for all your loan(s) at least once every January and July for all outstanding loans.
  • Keep documents safe, including the statement of accounts and receipts of payments. These documents will serve as evidence of payments.
  • Lastly, pay your loan installments on time. In doing so, you’ll avoid incurring late interest and late payment fees.

How To Apply?

Eligibility

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Minimum salary of $1,500 for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents
  • Minimum salary of $2,000 for Foreigners

Requirements

For Local and Permanent Residents

  • Identity card
  • Proof of residences such as utility bill, tenancy agreement, or a letter addressed to you
  • Proof of employment. If your job is less than 3 months, bring a certificate of employment
  • Recent 3 months payslip
  • SingPass to log into CPF, HDB, IRAS website
  • Credit report- for your credit rating, this may be required, but licensed money lenders do not scrutinize borrower’s credit history

For Foreigners 

  • Passport
  • Work Permit / S-Pass / Employment Pass
  • Proof of residence such as utility bill or tenancy agreement
  • Proof of employment. If your job is less than 3 months, bring a certificate of employment
  • Recent 3 months payslip
  • Proof of income such as bank or account statement
  • SingPass to log into IRAS website

Remember, licensed moneylenders will not ask for your SingPass username and password. Most importantly, they are prohibited from retaining personal IDs and other identification documents.

Conclusion

There may come a time when you’ll need financial assistance. Although there are other options available for you, borrowing from a licensed moneylender can be the most feasible solution. But before dealing with any moneylender, do your due diligence.

Determine your capacity to repay the loan as well as the legitimacy of the moneylender. All licensed moneylenders in Singapore are listed on the Ministry of Law’s website. Remember, you are legally obliged to fulfill any loan contract you enter. So don’t make these decisions lightly.

If you are in need of emergency cash, you can rely on GM Creditz. You can choose from our personalised financial products, including personal loans, foreign, business, monthly, and payday loans. Send us a loan application form today!

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