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24-Hour Money Lenders Singapore: First-Time Borrower’s Guide

24 hours Money Lender Singapore
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24-hour money lenders in Singapore are NOT a thing.

The only 24-hour service that a licensed money lender can provide is through their website. Borrowers may apply for fast cash loans online, but the transaction is only completed on the following business day due to verification procedures.

Additionally, licensed money lenders cannot disburse your cash directly to your bank account. Licensed money lenders in Singapore may only disburse money in person. So, if you apply in the middle of the night and are offered an urgent loan outside of money lender office hours, you might be dealing with a loan shark. 

What is a Money Lender?

A money lender is an individual or a group whose primary service is lending money as a form of business. Often, these loans come with high-interest rates due to the risks involved. They usually cater to borrowers with no bank accounts or those with bad credit scores and do not qualify for bank loans and credit lines. 

However, illegal moneylenders, or Ah Longs, are lurking everywhere in Singapore and prey on vulnerable borrowers. Easy targets are gamblers, those in too much debt, or those who need emergency cash and have no one to turn to. Borrowers should be vigilant and ensure they only deal with a licensed moneylender.

In Singapore, licensed moneylenders are approved under the Ministry of Law and are made accessible to Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners. If you suddenly need a fast cash loan, you can find the complete list of licensed moneylenders here

Are Licensed Money Lenders Open on Weekends?

Luckily, yes. Licensed money lenders in Singapore CAN be open on weekends. 24-hour moneylenders are not a legal setup in Singapore. This is especially true for licensed moneylenders, as they can only operate during their set business hours. However, you can access their official websites and apply for a loan online 24/7. 

These online platforms speed up the application process through pre-filled information and real-time data from Credit Bureau Singapore. Thus, the application may be processed and approved within minutes.

Remember, however, that processing and approval are still subject to the money lender’s operating hours. Moreover, loans will only be released after a face-to-face verification.

How to Find a Licensed Money Lender For Your Financial Needs?

Money lenders are a go-to for many borrowers when faced with emergencies and dead-end financial situations. Still, many unlicensed ones or loan sharks continue to prey on these vulnerable individuals. And so, you need to be keen on finding only credible and reputable licensed money lenders in Singapore. 

Unlike traditional banks, money lenders require less stringent documentation and requirements. But finding the best one for your financial needs could be challenging as Singapore has several money lenders. 

Here are a few essential tips to consider:

1. Do a Background Check on the Moneylender’s Reputation in the Market

Illegal money lenders may also appear to be legal and conduct business like a pro. The best way to confirm is by checking that the entity is included in Ministry of Law’s list. A few other crucial things to do regarding this task are:

  • To inquire about their license and make sure that they are operating legally
  • Check how long they have been in the lending industry
  • Check for google reviews and ratings

2. Decide on the Type of Loan that you Need

Licensed money lenders are ideal for an instant cash loan but you should also know where you are going to use the money. Is it for an urgent bill, a wedding, or a down payment for a new home? This process will also help you determine if it is really essential to borrow and if your cash flow will be able to pay for the monthly repayments. 

3. Compare Interest Rates Across Various Competitors.

Each money lender may offer different interest rates. Make sure to diligently compare interest rates before making your final decision and signing the contract. Aside from interest rate, check also for late payment fees, and other fees or hidden charges.

sassy handsome asian guy pointing at himself

Types of Loans Offered by Licensed Moneylenders

Licensed moneylenders make a good option when faced with unexpected situations and the need to increase cash flow. Aside from the less-stricter requirements, they also offer different loans for various purposes. Below are the common loan types offered by money lenders and their features:

  Eligibility Minimum Income Loan Amount Interest Rate Repayment Terms

Personal Loans

  • At least 18 years old
  • Singapore Citizen: S$1,500
  • Foreigner: S$2,000

Up to six times your monthly salary

1 to 4%

Up to 12 months

Business Loans

  • Business must be registered in Singapore 
  • Operational for at least one year
  • Has a minimum turnover of S$60,000
  • No minimum salary required

Up to S$200,000

5 to 15%

Up to 24 months

Bridging Loans

  • At least 18 years old
  • Must exercise the Option to Purchase (OTP) 
  • Singapore Citizen: S$1,500
  • Foreigner: S$2,000

Up to six times your monthly salary

1 to 4%

One month or until the property’s completion date

Payday Loans

  • At least 18 years old
  • Singapore Citizen: S$1,500
  • Foreigner: S$2,000

Up to 1x your monthly salary

1 to 4%

Within one month or next payday

1. Personal Loans

Personal loans are the most common type of loan you’ll find with many licensed money lenders in Singapore. Borrowers can use it for various purposes, such as weddings, vacations, home renovations, etc. You can get a personal loan of up to six times your monthly salary with licensed moneylenders.

2. Business Loans

Business loans are best for starting a business or expanding an existing one. It can be used to maintain operations or to purchase inventory and equipment. Typically, these loans have a defined repayment date and a more extended repayment period.

3.Bridging Loans

Bridging loans help pay for the down payment of a home purchase while waiting for the sales proceeds of an existing property. It is ideal for raising quick short-term funds. You can obtain a bridging loan from licensed money lenders with no collateral.

4. Payday Loans

Payday loans, also known as cash advances, are relatively small loan amounts that borrowers must repay over the next payday. These loans are ideal for unexpected expenses like vehicle repairs or medical financial emergencies. 

How to Confirm the Legitimacy of a Licensed Money Lender in Singapore

The easiest and fastest way to confirm that an institution is an illegal money lender is by checking the Ministry of Law’s Registry of Licensed Moneylenders.

Plus, despite the fact that that there are no actual laws that regulate the money lending business, this industry is still closely managed by the Singapore government and monitored by various government agencies. There are clear lines that cannot be crossed and here are some do’s and don’ts to note.

The Dos and Don’ts of Licensed Moneylending in Singapore

Note that being aware of those guidelines can mean the difference between getting scammed and having a pleasant lending experience.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the dos and don’ts of money lending services

  DOs DON’Ts

Advertisements

Advertises on approved channels only

Uses emails, SMS, flyers

Contacts and Listed Addresses

With physical business address

Uses only online or website in providing their services

Verification

Face-to-face

Purely online

Loan Contract

Complete terms and agreement

Incomplete or blank contract

Interest Rate

Within the approved limit

Exorbitantly high rates

Other Fees

Follows government-approved guidelines

With additional fees and hidden charges

Loan Amount

Follows MAS’ guidelines on maximum loan amount

Unrealistic or large sums

Requirements and Documentation

Has a distinct set of eligibility and income requirements

Lend money and approve loans without proper documentation

Disbursement

Releases fund in person

Done through bank transfers

1. Advertisements

DO: Uses only approved channels for advertising their services.

Licensed moneylenders are only allowed to advertise their lending service through channels required by the Ministry of Law. They are:

  • Business or consumer directories in print media
  • Websites belonging to the licensed money lender
  • Banners, flyers, and other physical ads are placed on the exterior or within their approved place of business.

DON’T: Uses SMS, emails, or flyers away from their office for advertising their services.

A licensed money lender in Singapore is not allowed to advertise using SMS messages, calls, emails, WhatsApp, and flyers outside the vicinity of their approved place of business.

If you receive solicitations and ads from a money lender using these methods, be wary, as they might be a loan shark.

happy businessperson looking suspiciouis

2. Contacts and Listed Addresses

DO: Have a physical address for their place of business.

Face-to-face verification is a crucial part of the loan process and is required by the Registry of Moneylenders to complete loan transactions. Because of this, a licensed money lender in Singapore must have a physical location for borrowers to visit.

DON’T: Only use websites for their services.

Loan sharks have adjusted to the digital age. They often lurk on the internet or base their operations on places that are not registered. If you are in contact with a lender with no landline or physical address, you are likely working with an unlicensed money lender. 

Registering a landline number online is also one way to check legitimacy.

3. Verification

DO: Verifies their borrowers in person before a loan is approved.

Even if disbursing an instant loan, loan providers must have borrowers come in for face-to-face verification to complete the transaction.This process is essentially part of the approval process and also ensures that the borrower understands the loan contract for their financial safety.

DON’T: Verifies their borrowers online.

If you get your loan approved by a loan provider through a digital channel, you are likely dealing with an illegal lender. Loan sharks may press you to continue with this convenient method, but it may be the modus operandi of an online loan scams.

4. Loan Contract

DO: Clearly explains the terms of the loan.

A legal money lender must meet with you face-to-face for verification to complete the loan application.This procedure includes clarifying all aspects of the loan, including terms, interest rates, and loan tenure.

Singapore’s policy is designed to prevent individuals from taking on too much debt and worsening their financial difficulties. As such, licensed moneylenders are mandated to let you know what you’re signing up for.

DON’T: Provides borrowers with a “blank contract.”

In a blank loan contract, there are no written terms. A blank contract may give you a verbal agreement on the terms of the loan, but without a legally binding document, loan sharks may trick you to borrow money fast but with unfair terms that might jeopardize your financial security.

Unlicensed money lenders can convince you to accept the loan by telling you how convenient it is to get the money immediately without undergoing the formality. They may skip the formalities and proceed directly to disbursement to surprise you with unfair terms.

5. Interest Rates

DO: Imposes interest rates within the required limit.

The interest rates on any loan should not exceed 4%, and licensed money lenders in Singapore are expected to follow it to the letter. The government enforced this maximum rate to ensure that borrowers do not overestimate their repayment ability and bury themselves in debt.

DON’T: Imposes interest rates higher than the limit.

To scam borrowers out of more money, loan sharks and illegal money lenders will increase their interest rates beyond the limit. Scams may often not do this immediately and spring it up at a moment’s notice.

You should keep track of the loan repayments you have to make in the contract. Ensure it remains consistent with what you have agreed to pay monthly during your repayment schedule.

6. Upfront Fees

DO: Follows the guidelines for processing fees.

Money lenders must adhere to regulations regardless of whether they charge fees to process loans. Loan agents are only permitted to charge specific fees. Other fees that have not been agreed upon before the loan contract cannot be charged. 

When the loan is delinquent or there is loan default, the agent can only charge specific fees.

You will be charged the following:

  • Admin fees not exceeding over 10% of the principal loan amount after the loan extension
  • The late repayment fees, not exceeding $60 per month, and court costs and interest after the claim is successful.

DON’T: Charge more fees during the loan application.

Money lenders who don’t follow the abovementioned regulations are likely to violate the law. Illegal money lenders will charge administration fees before processing a loan, which is a way to trick you into paying extra cash. The lender may not charge you fees before accepting your loan application.

It is also possible that they will attempt to do the same before releasing the funds to you. If a loan agent increases their charges outside of regulations, it’s best to avoid further contact. 

7. Approved Loan Principal

DO: Assess your loan requirements before deciding on the amount.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulates the maximum loan amount depending on your income and citizenship status. You may borrow based on 12x your monthly income. Generally, borrowing money will require you to consider your debt-to-income ratio, credit history, and other factors besides your monthly income.

Banks and legal money lenders must adhere to this requirement to protect you from falling into deep debt. Moreover, this limitation prevents you from borrowing far above what you can comfortably pay.

DON’T: Promises you unrealistic sums.

You should be wary when a lender presents you with an offer that seems too good to be true, even if they offer to allow you to get your desired loan with few requirements.

Unless you at least have a solid credit standing and stable income, many illegal lenders will present you with a large loan principal. Be cautious of falling into a debt trap, even if it is an unsecured loan, and they provide attractive offers, loan packages, and other perks. 

8. Loan Approval and Security

DO: Sifts through your requirements and ensure the proper security measures are in place.

Various types of loans have distinct eligibility requirements. The annual income, Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners, are all considered prior to approval of legal personal loans. If you wish to obtain a personal loan, a licensed money lender must determine your eligibility based on many factors.

To qualify for a personal loan from moneylenders, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18 is required 
  • Monthly income of S$1,500 a month for permanent residents; foreigners residing in Singapore must earn at least S$2,000
  • NRIC
  • Documents proving income and employment, like an employment contract
  • A valid proof of residence
  • Using SingPass to access the CPF, IRAS, and HDB websites

Keep in mind that money lenders are also forbidden from keeping essential documents on hold.

DON’T: Approves your loan without proper procedure and retain your documents.

Getting approved for a loan quickly with a bad credit score might sound like a blessing. But it’s still worth looking into the matter further on how a lender decided you are eligible.

Loan sharks will want to get you the loan as part of their modus operandi; as such, they won’t try to look into your ability to repay. 

9. Loan Disbursement

DO: Observes the correct loan disbursement procedure.

A licensed moneylender will, in most cases, disburse the loan in person, along with the process of application for a loan.

DON’T: Directly transfers the loan amount to your bank account.

You may receive an online loan scam from a money lender intending to make digital disbursements. While you can make online loan applications, the disbursements must be done through face-to-face meetings with money lenders.

Following the above advice, you should avoid further contact with loan sharks and report the harassment to the authorities.

You may either phone the Singapore police or the X Ah-Long hotline at these numbers:

  • You can call Singapore police at 1800-255-000 or 999 in case of emergencies and for immediate police response.
  • Alternatively, if you have information on loan shark activity, you can report it to National Crime Prevention Council’s “X Ah-Long” hotline at 1800-924-5664.

Keep Your Borrowing Journey Safe and Scam-free

In addition to the warning signs listed above, people should verify the legitimacy of a supposed licensed money lender through the Registry of Moneylenders run by the Ministry of Law, which lists all licensed moneylenders in the country.

The Bottom Line

Licensed money lenders are one of the best options in securing fast cash in Singapore. Rest assured that these lenders are safe and are regulated by the Ministry of Law. Still, be sure to do diligent research and take responsibility in these types of financial decisions.

Key Takeaways

  • Weekend money lenders are doing legal business, whereas 24-hour money lenders are breaking the law.
  • You can apply for an emergency loan online 24/7 and get an approved application from loan officers on the next business day.
  • Choosing a personal or emergency loan that is not convenient but safe is the best option.
  • Licensed money lenders are ideal for borrowers with less-than perfect credit scores.
  • Finding the right money lender for your needs entails comparing the best rates and loan repayment terms.

Looking for the best personal loan options that are both safe and convenient? Loan Advisor got you covered. Our loan comparison service offers loans from only trusted and licensed moneylenders in Singapore. Call us today and receive three free quotes – commitment-free!

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