Licensed moneylenders are not allowed to solicit loans via text messages, phone calls or social media platforms.
Moreover, licensed moneylenders are required to meet the borrower in person at the approved place of business to conduct physical face-to-face verification of his identity before granting any loan.
A loan transaction performed fully online, and at locations other than the approved places of business, is also disallowed.
Before visiting a licensed moneylender’s website, you are also strongly encouraged to verify the physical and website address of the lender. Check the list of licensed moneylenders and blacklisted lenders found below.
Unlike Licensed Money lenders, Blacklisted moneylenders in Singapore are lenders who go against the rules under the MoneyLenders Act. Typically, they were suspended and blacklisted under the Registry of Money Lenders.
Here is a list of the blacklisted money lenders in Singapore. The list of the blacklisted money lenders in Singapore is at the bottom of the page and is constantly updated by the Ministry of Law (Minlaw).
What Should You Know About Licensed Moneylenders?
Before taking a loan from any moneylender, knowing the difference between licensed and unauthorized or unlicensed ones is essential. Here is a look at some of the most important things you should consider when looking for a licensed money lender.
1. Check If the Moneylender Is One of the Ministry of Law (Minlaw) Registry
The best way to check if a money lender is licensed is to check if it’s on their website’s list of licensed moneylenders in Singapore. The Registry of Moneylenders updates the list of licensed moneylenders every month. This way, you can easily avoid blacklisted moneylenders in Singapore when taking a loan.
Besides checking if the money lender’s license is still valid, you should also read through their reviews on the website to know if it is a good fit for you.
2. The Moneylender’s form of Advertisement
It is important to note that licensed money lenders do not offer you loans through text messages or phone calls. If you received a text message or a call to get a loan, you are probably dealing with an unlicensed money lender, often referred to as ‘Ah Long’ in Singapore, or you might be dealing with a licensed money lender who is breaking the rules.
The MinLaw’s website allows moneylenders to advertise using the following channels:
- Websites belonging to the moneylenders
- Consumer or business directories
- Ads placed on the inside or outside the moneylenders’ business premises.
It is important to seek clarification from a money lender in case you see their advertisement but do not only rely on their advertisements. You also need to fully understand the loan contract terms before you borrow from any licensed moneylender in Singapore.
3. Fees and Interest Rates Offered
Licensed money lenders follow exclusive standards on fees and interest rates imposed by the Registry of Moneylenders. Here are some of the red flags you should be on the lookout for:
- Interest rates are higher than 4% on the loan principal.
- Late interest rates of more than 4% on each late installment.
- Late fees of more than S$60.
- Administrative fees of more than 10% of the personal loan.
- Not explaining the interest rates and fees.
4. Moneylenders Physical Address
The Registry of Moneylenders provides an updated list of licensed lenders every month. Alongside the licensed moneylender’s name is the physical address of their business. Here is where you will need to go for the verification process.
Therefore, if you are dealing with a money lender without going to their physical business premises, you might be dealing with a loan shark. It is also a huge red flag to meet up with your loan agent in an unknown place.
5. Face to Face Verification
The advances in technology have allowed moneylenders to provide loans online. However, it is still a significant requirement to go to the office for the face to face verification. Verification is required before the licensed moneylender disburses the loan.
If you only received emails and text messages from a moneylender to tell you that your loan has been approved, it is best to do away with them. It is always a red flag if the money lender does not require face-to-face verification.
6. Ensure They Return All the Relevant Documents
Licensed moneylenders will return your documents, including the NRIC, after you evaluate them. They will also issue you a loan contract; before you sign it, they will explain every critical point. The loan contract also contains important details, including the repayment terms, interest rates, and the repayment period.
Here are some differences between a licensed moneylender and an unlicensed/unauthorized moneylender:
Advertisements on their website, directories, or their business premises
Advertise through emails, texts, or call
Registered on the Moneylender registry
Not registered on the money lender registry or blacklisted from the list.
They return all the essential documents
They tend to keep the NRIC
Regulated interest rates and fees
Charge unreasonable fees and interest rates
Requires face-to-face verification
Do not ask for a face-to-face verification
Have a physical address
No physical address
How to Report Unlawful Lender
If you find yourself in any of the circumstances where the lender is treating you unlawfully, you must complain to the authorities.
Report possible unlicensed moneylending activities to the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Members of the public may also call the National Crime Prevention Council’s X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664.
Types Of Loans You Can Apply For From A Licensed Money Lender
Here are the common types of loans you can apply for from a licensed money lender:
1. Personal Loans
Personal loans are prevalent in Singapore. You can get one from your credit union, bank or a licensed moneylender. The main advantage of getting your loan from a licensed money lender is it takes less time to get approval than it would take in a bank.
You can use the personal loan for anything, including auto financing, rental, renovations, credit card and debt consolidation: medical procedures, holidays and new electronics.
2. Fast Cash Loan
Also known as Instant cash loans, Fast cash loans are used to help you through any emergency you might have before facing the next paycheck. Usually, a fast cash loan is less than a personal loan. They are usually approved and disbursed in 30 minutes, and you can borrow up to 6 times your salary.
You can use a fast cash loan to pay late loan instalments, pay your bills, secure rent, or an emergency medical procedure.
3. Business Loans
If you need additional funding to upgrade your inventory or help with the cash flow of scale your business, you can get a business loan. Business loans help business to achieve their business goals and just like any other types of loan you can pay it in monthly instalments, with the agreed interest on the agreed loan tenure.
4. Emergency Loan
An emergency loan is usually taken due to unforeseen events. They are very flexible and popular with many people to help them deal with any pressing needs. Emergency loans come with affordable interest rates of as low as 1%, and approval and disbursement are within 30 minutes.
5. Home Renovation Loan
Home renovation loans allow you to make improvements to your home. These loans have a large borrowing limit and help increase the value of your home. The loans are used for flooring, fittings, carpentry, exterior work, redecorating, tiling and any other activity you might need to improve the condition of your home.
See Also: Myths of Licensed Moneylender
Other Things to Be Aware Of
1. What Happens If You Don’t Pay Moneylender?
Sometimes you can find it hard to make your loan repayments on time. In case of such circumstances, you can talk to your money lender to develop a more flexible payment plan that will allow you to repay the loan with your current circumstance. You can also seek the help of credit counselling Singapore to learn how to deal better with debt.
2. Can I Borrow from Multiple Money Lenders?
Yes! However, the money lender will analyze your financial situation to assess if you can make the installments. If you are eligible for another loan, you should carefully consider if you should take another loan and avoid snowballing.
3. How to Apply?
Every licensed money lender has a different method of how you can apply for a loan on their platform. Check their website, and they always have instructions on how to apply for a loan. If you cannot understand it, use the ‘Chat bot’ to have a loan officer help you through the entire process.
4. How to Ensure That You Do Not Fall for Loan Scams
There are many scams, and every day seems like a new scam. However, when it comes to money, there is nothing as bad as a loan scam. It cannot only leave you in a lot of debt, but it can also ruin your personal life.
It is, therefore, important to ensure that you stay away from illegal moneylenders. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from loan scams:
- Be wary of unsolicited loan offers.
- Do not pay any upfront fees
- Do thorough research on the lender
- Read through the terms of the loan carefully
- Keep all documentation on the loan
- Be aware of all the red flags when taking a loan
- Keep away from lenders who offer loans without a credit check
Money lending has become very popular in Singapore. This has led to an increase in unlicensed money lenders in the industry who go against the code of ethics placed by the Ministry of Law. Legal money lenders who do not follow the rules are blacklisted by the Registry and are not allowed to offer loans to people in Singapore.
- Blacklisted moneylenders in Singapore are listed on MinLaw’s website.
- Licensed money lenders follow the rules of the Ministry of Law and are found on the Registry of money lenders.
- Licensed moneylenders do not send text messages or call to advertise their loans.
- An Illegal money lender does not have a physical address and does not ask for face-to-face verification.
If you are looking for a loan to fund your goals, Loan Advisor got your back! Fill out our quick form or contact us now tp receive up to three free loan quotes from top licensed money lenders in Singapore that match your needs. No obligation to apply is required.