Finding reliable money lenders in Singapore has been causing for worry because most of them turn out to be loan sharks and fraudsters. Unsuspecting customers will be charged high fees and interest rates on late loan repayments, or they will point out something minute in the contract and capitalize on it, to the detriment of the unsuspecting customer.
Due to illegal money lender activity, the Ministry of Law took charge and cracked down on money lenders, enforcing rules and regulations that monitored their activities and greatly reduced fraud. The Ministry created a set of guidelines in 2015 that required money lenders to be licensed and verified and capped the amount of interest customers had to pay in loans. Still, customers may not be aware of these guidelines, so it will do you good to visit the website of the Ministry of Law and check out the list of licensed money lenders and the guidelines that protect you from fraud.
Do Your Homework And Research For A Trusted Money Lender
Finding a trusted money lender in Singapore may be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. When researching for a trusted money lender that you can do business with, first of all, you need to search for one by looking at directories of money lenders and financial companies that have obtained their licenses.
Any money lender without a license, or listed as having a license, is most likely a fraud. Finding out if they have licenses by looking at the directory is the first thing to do. Searching online could also get you names of trusted money lenders, though after your search you should look them up in the directory of licensed money lenders. You can search financial groups on the internet for names of money lenders, or go to financial management groups that have a list of money lenders based on their previous track record.
When selecting a money lender, be conscious to look out for the following things:
- They should be strictly licensed money lenders
- Do they provide insurance facility
- What is their previous record of a financial institution, etc.
There is a guideline for customers who want to borrow money from money lenders on the website of the Ministry of Law. Check those guidelines when looking for a money lender, and compare those guidelines to what the money lenders you have found are offering. If the interest rates are different, then they are frauds.
Look For A Licensed Moneylender In The Government Directory (The Moneylenders Act, Chapter 188)
There is a list of licensed money lenders in Singapore, certified by the Ministry of Law. Any money lender that is not listed in the directory is not a certified one and, therefore, is not legitimate. Alternatively, our website provides you with the most reliable money lenders in the market so you can rest your mind.
Steps To Verify A Reliable Money Lender
There are steps that you can follow to verify a reliable money lender. Following these steps ensures that you stay out of harm’s way by avoiding anyone out to get you into a financial crisis.
- Verify Their License
As said earlier, there are 170 certified money lenders registered with the Ministry of Law. This list can be found on the Ministry’s website, and the list is approved by the Ministry. Getting a loan from a money lender excluded from this list is completely at your own risk.
- Process Of Loan Application
A legitimate money lender should be transparent about their activities and their process. The conditions of the loan you are about to take need to be expressly explained to you before you sign off on it: this is mandated by law. The conditions need to be explained to you in a language you understand, and you are required to have a copy of the loan agreement with you, including the settlement agreement, interest rates, and other loan fees clearly stated in the agreement.
- Loan Limits
Money lenders offer two types of loans: secured, which require collateral; and unsecured, which use your credit records. Unsecured loans have limits, such as:
- With an annual income of less than S$20,000, you can borrow up to S$3000
- With an annual income of less than S$30,000, but more than S$20,000, you can borrow up to two months’ salary
- For an annual income that is more than S$30,000 but less than S$120,000, you can borrow up to four months’ salary
- You can borrow any amount if your income is more than S$120,000
Rates Of Interest
Legitimate money lenders are required by law to charge a maximum of 4% interest per month. The money lender is allowed to charge an interest fee on a defaulted payment, but not on money that has already been repaid.
- Statement Of Accounts
Once you have acquired your loan, you are to make sure that the moneylender gives you the correct amount agreed upon. Remember that you signed a contract with the moneylender, so the money stated in the contract is what you should be given. Whenever you make a payment on your loan repayments, make sure that the money lender gives you a receipt that shows the date, the amount you have paid, your name, and a signature. Also, you are to get a statement of account in the middle of every year and ensure to keep all these documents with you in a safe place in case you need to refer to them or present them in the future.
While money lending may be a legal activity in Singapore, it is also a highly abused activity, with money lenders defrauding unsuspecting customers and leaving them high and dry. Before you get a loan from a moneylender, make sure you check that they are a trusted source of loans by looking them up in the government directory of certified moneylenders.
Their process of setting up the agreement and informing you about the loan conditions need to be transparent, and you need to be given a copy of the agreement to hold. All moneylenders are required to charge a flat interest rate of 4% per month, and the interest charged for late payments is charged to the late payments. Make sure you get a receipt for every payment you make and keep your records straight in case you need to present them.