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How to Find a Reliable Money Lenders in Singapore

How Reliable Are Money Lenders in Singapore
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With the inflation level and rising cost of living, it’s not surprising for some families to tighten their budgets and find different ways to save money. However, our spending is still not keeping pace with our earnings according to experts in a recent Singapore study. No matter how much we save, there may come a time when we face financial difficulties.

That’s why most Singaporeans and foreigners living in Singapore turn to traditional bank loans. But what if it doesn’t work out? You can consider taking out a loan with a licensed money lender. Borrowing from legal lenders in Singapore is 100% safe.

Licensed money lenders in Singapore are approved lenders under the Ministry of Law. Since they are strictly regulated by the government, it ensures that they offer fair rates to their clients.

See Also: Licensed Moneylender Open Public Holiday and Myths of Licensed MoneyLender

What Is a Licensed Moneylender and How Does It Work?

Licensed money lenders in Singapore are regulated and registered under the Ministry of Law. All individuals or institutions in the money lending business must obtain a license from the ministry. Plus, the license must be renewed regularly so they can continue to operate.

These legal money lenders must abide by the rules and regulations set in the Moneylenders Act. This includes keeping to a stipulated maximum:

  • Interest rates
  • Loan amount one can borrow depending on their income
  • Administrative fees and other additional fees

You can find the complete list of licensed moneylenders on the Ministry of Law’s website. Lastly, licensed money lenders are prohibited from using threats and harassment tactics in any manner.

So How Does it Work?

A licensed money lender provides instant cash loans to Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners with a valid Employment Pass. They are an excellent alternative to traditional bank loans, especially when applying for urgent loans.

For secured loans, you can borrow any amount. On the other hand, the maximum loan amount you can borrow for unsecured loans is 6x your monthly income if you’re earning an annual income of at least S$20,000.

Borrower’s annual income Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents Foreigners residing in Singapore

Less than S$10,000



At least S$10,000

and less than S$20,000


At least S$20,000

6 times monthly income

6 times monthly income

Additionally, licensed money lenders can only charge interest rates up to 4%. The cap is applied regardless of whether the loan is secured or unsecured, the loan amount, and your income level.

Keep in mind that there are no 24-hour legal money lenders. However, you can apply through the lender’s official online loan application portals.

How To Avoid Unlicensed Moneylenders?

Unlicensed money lenders are known as loan sharks. They operate a moneylending business illegally and are notorious for charging exorbitant interest rates. These illegal money lenders often resort to sending unsolicited emails, SMS, WhatsApp messages, phone calls, and other means to coerce unsuspecting victims into taking out a loan.

If the victim fails to repay the loan, they resort to threats and harassment tactics. So how do you avoid falling prey to illegal money lenders?

  • Make sure that the money lender is registered and on the list of licensed moneylenders on the Ministry of Law’s website.
  • Never sign an incomplete or blank loan contract.
  • Never provide your SingPass ID or password
  • Ignore and block unsolicited phone calls or messages via SMS, WhatsApp, or social media. Report such advertisements to the Registry at 1800-2255-529.
  • Never deal with a money lender who approves loans remotely. Licensed money lenders are obligated to perform a face-to-face verification before granting a loan.
  • If a lender charges more than a 4% interest rate on personal loans, you may be dealing with a loan shark.
  • The money lender must not retain your NRIC card, employment pass, passport, and other identification documents

Loan sharks may seem friendly at first, but they will resort to threats and harassment. They may resort to stalking, vandalizing, or threatening to harm your family. That said, it’s best to watch out for red flags to avoid dealing with them.

shocked young asian pointing two sides


What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting a Loan From Money Lenders?

Just like any financial institution, there are advantages and disadvantages to borrowing money from a licensed money lender. To help you make an informed choice, here are a few pros and cons to consider:


  • Fast, easy, and hassle-free online loan application.
  • Approval of applications is faster than banks, typically less than 30 minutes.
  • Disbursal of cash is faster than banks, typically done within the day as soon as you sign the contract. 
  • Requirements are less stringent than banks, typically gives more weight to your income level than your credit score.


  • Loan amount is relatively smaller than banks– up to 6x your monthly salary. Banks offer up to 10x your monthly income. 
  • Repayment period is relatively shorter than banks–up to 12 months. Banks offer a tenure of up to 5 years. 
  • Tendency to snowball when repayments are not properly managed

Should You Choose a Bank or Licensed Money Lender?

In Singapore, you have plenty of options when you need financial assistance. For instance, there are government-assisted loans available. You can also consider taking bank loans if you need bigger loan amounts or turn to licensed money lenders for urgent cash loans.

Take a look at the key differences between banks and licensed money lenders.

  Banks Licensed Money Lenders

Eligibility Criteria


Less strict

Documents Required

Extensive documents are required; depends on the bank

Minimal documents required

Minimum age

21 years and above

21 years and above

Principal loan amount

Up to 10 times your monthly income

Up to 6 times your monthly income

Interest rates

Between 3.5% and 11% per annum

Up to 4% per month

Repayment period

Up to 5 years or longer; depending on the type of loan

Typically up to 12 months

Approval Time

Longer; usually up to 2 weeks

Less than 30 minutes

Processing fee

Between 6.5% and 20% per annum

Upfront fee not exceeding 10% of the principal amount

If you need immediate cash for emergency expenses, taking out a loan from a licensed money lender in Singapore is a good option.

First, they have lenient eligibility criteria so it’s easy to qualify. Secondly, the application process is quick, easy, and simple. You can get your application approved within 30 minutes and receive your cash immediately after approval.

Loans You Can Apply For

When borrowing from a legal money lender, you can borrow a secured loan or an unsecured loan.

  • Secured Loan: This type of loan requires collateral, such as your car or property. With this type of loan, you can borrow any amount. However, failing to repay the loan will result in your collateral being repossessed to settle your debt obligation.
  • Unsecured Loan: This type of loan doesn’t need collateral. As such, there is a limit to how much you can borrow.

Here are the different types of unsecured loans provided by licensed money lenders:

Type of Loan Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Tenure Processing Fee

Personal Loan

Up to 6x your monthly income

Up to 4%

Up to 12 months; subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement

Not exceeding 10% of the principal loan amount

Foreigner Loan

Up to 6x your monthly income

Up to 4%

Up to 12 months; subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement

Not exceeding 10% of the principal loan amount

Payday Loan

Up to 1 month’s salary

Up to 4%

Within a month or on the next payday

Not exceeding 10% of the principal loan amount

Monthly Loan

Up to 6x your monthly income

Up to 4%

Up to 12 months; subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement

Not exceeding 10% of the principal loan amount

Business Loan

Up to S$200,000

5% to 15%

Up to 24 months; subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement

No processing fee

Bridging loan

Up to 6x your monthly income

Up to 4%

Up to a month only or until the property’s completion date

Not exceeding 10% of the principal loan amount

How To Apply

Before you send a loan application to the first legal lender you find, it’s best to compare loan packages first. You can use loan comparison platforms to find the best interest rates, tenure, and terms. Make sure to choose a loan plan with affordable repayment terms.

Step 1: Submit your Loan Application

Once you’ve chosen a licensed money lender, visit their official website and submit your loan application.

Step 2: Visit their Office

A loan officer will reach out to you to schedule your appointment. Licensed money lenders are obligated to perform face-to-face verification. Plus, they are required to thoroughly explain the terms and conditions of the loan in person.

Step 3: Sign the Contract

If you agree to the terms and conditions of the loan, the loan officer will print out the contract for you to sign. Make sure that you receive a copy of the loan contract.

Step 4: Get your Cash Loan

After signing the loan contract, you will immediately receive the cash.


  • Age: at least 21 years old and above
  • Minimum monthly salary:
    • Singaporean or Permanent Resident: S$2,000
    • Foreigner: S$3,000


  • Copy of your NRIC card
  • Copy of passport for foreigners
  • Proof of residence such as a utility bill or tenancy agreement
  • Proof of employment such as 3 months’ worth of recent payslip, certificate of employment)
  • Work Permit or Employment Pass for foreigners
  • SingPass (to log into CPF, HDB, IRAS website)
Corporate business handshake between partners


What if I Am Unable To Pay Money Lenders in Singapore?

If, despite your best budgeting efforts, you are still unable to pay off your loan, do not default. The first thing you should do is reach out to the licensed money lender. Legal lenders in Singapore can help create a tailored repayment plan that will suit your financial situation, including negotiating for an extension of the plan.

What Happens if I Default on My Loan Repayment?

Defaulting on your loan will negatively impact your credit score. This results in a harder time getting your loan approved in the future. On top of that, the licensed money lender can take you to court and sue you. Remember that the loan contract you signed is legally binding.

If you borrowed a secured loan, you might lose your collateral to pay off your debt.

What Are the Fees and Charges That a Licensed Money Lender Can Charge?

Licensed money lenders can only charge the following fees:

  • Processing fees not more than 10% of the principal amount upon granting the loan
  • Late fees of not more than S$60 for every month the loan is repaid late
  • Legal costs

Note that the total charges imposed by the licensed money lender, including interest, late interest, processing fee, and late fee, must not exceed the total amount of the loan.

To illustrate, if Mr. X takes a loan of S$20,000, then the interest, late interest, 10% processing fee, and S$60 monthly late fee must not exceed S$20,000.

Things To Consider When Borrowing From Licensed Money Lenders

  • Borrow only what you can afford to repay.
  • Before signing the loan contract, make sure you understand the terms of the loan.
  • Read the contract and make sure that all details are listed, including the interest rate, loan amount, and repayment schedule.
  • Create a budget to ensure that you can make repayments on time. Late repayments can lead to late interest and late fees.
  • Ask for receipts when you make payments towards the loan.
  • Keep all necessary documents, including the loan contract and repayment receipts as proof of payment.
  • Do not turn to loan sharks no matter how desperately you need cash.

All licensed money lenders in Singapore are required to provide you with a cautionary statement in writing before granting your loan. You will be informed about where you can file a complaint if necessary.

How Do I Lodge a Complaint Against a Money Lender?

Not all moneylenders are the same. Some may even be loan sharks disguised as licensed lenders. If you encounter strange behaviors and questionable loan processes, you are advised to stay away.

Additionally, you can lodge a complaint to the Registry of Moneylenders at 1800-2255-529 or via their website. You will need to provide the money lender’s business name, license, and contact number. Rest assured that your personal information is kept confidential.

However, you may be required to attend an interview with the Ministry of Law officers to provide relevant information and documents relating to your transaction with the money lender.


When you need financial assistance, you have plenty of options. Borrowing money from licensed money lenders is a safe alternative if traditional bank loans don’t work out. But make sure that you are dealing with a licensed and reliable money lender.

Key takeaways

  • Licensed money lenders in Singapore are regulated and registered under the Ministry of Law.
  • You can find the complete list of licensed moneylenders on the Ministry of Law’s website.
  • Licensed money lenders can provide unsecured personal loans of up to 6x your monthly income if annual earning at least S$20,000
  • The interest rate that a legal lender can charge is 1-4% per month.
  • Loan application and processing are much faster with licensed money lenders compared to banks.

In need of urgent cash to settle an unexpected expense? Shop for the best loan plans with the help of Loan Advisor. A one-stop loan comparison portal, Loan Advisor provides free, unbiased information about the top licensed moneylenders in Singapore. Request up to 3 loan quotes today to find the best terms and affordable rates.

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