Believe it or not, not all money lenders in Singapore are the same. Some companies ensure the welfare and protection of their costumers while others do not. For those planning to submit a loan application, it is crucial that you find a reliable licensed money lender that gives you the best loan deal possible.
You must then take your time in choosing the lending company that could give you the kind of service you are looking for. This article helps you determine which of the many money lenders in Singapore should be your top pick.
Surely, it is difficult for many to identify the best money lender in Singapore. There are tens of licensed money lenders in Singapore. Finding which of these companies to trust is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Here are five key qualities that a great money lender in Singapore possess.
1. Make sure the Moneylender is Licensed
Probably the most important quality of a great money lender is for it to have a license. A licensed moneylender is required to abide by the rules and regulations of the country’s Ministry of Law. This means that borrowers are protected by the law. If you are borrowing from a licensed money lender, you are somehow assured that they will not take advantage of you.
Unlicensed of illegal money lenders in Singapore has caused a lot of damage in the past. In the past, the police have arrested tens of suspected shark loans for committing illegal activities. These unlicensed moneylenders in Singapore, otherwise known as ‘Ah Long” would often give too high interest rates as well as hidden and additional charges. Also, if a borrower finds it difficult to pay, these illegal money lenders would use threats and violence to intimidate the customers.
The best way to separate licensed moneylenders in Singapore from unlicensed ones is to check out the list called Registry of Moneylenders from the Ministry of Law. Currently, there are 156 licensed moneylenders in Singapore today listed down in the Registry of Moneylenders. Be sure that you only deal with one of them. Take note that the Registry of Moneylenders gets updated regularly, which means that you must follow the postings of Ministry of Law to make sure that you see the actual list.
2. No Hidden Charges & Low-Interest Rate
Your loan application should not bear any hidden charges. Remember that money lenders are legally allowed to charge three types of fees which include: (a) A fee of not more than $60 for each month of repayment, (b) A fee of not more than 10% of the principal of the loan which will only be paid once the loan is granted, and (c) the legal costs ordered by the court for a successful claim by the moneylender for the recovery of the loan. Also, the credit company should explain to the borrower any fee needed to be paid.
Meanwhile, a Singapore money lender can only charge as much as 4% per month as an interest rate. This maximum limit is applicable to all types of personal loans. You can find a credit company that offers lower interest rates. Lower interest rates mean that you to pay the credit company less.
3. Flexible Loan Terms and Tenure
While banks are rigid in their credit terms, the best credit company would be willing to offer flexible loan terms and tenure to its customers. As a customer, you should be able to negotiate how long you can pay back the loan. A great credit company is considerate to the specific needs and situation of a borrower. Flexible credit terms and credit tenure is particularly important for customers who have a bad credit record or those who are facing financial difficulties.
4. Transparency to Customers
The greatest moneylender Singapore could offer is someone who is open and transparent to its customers. The customers should be fully informed and knowledgeable about the deals they are entering into. The representative of the credit company should be able to explain the loan terms in simple words so that the customer knows every detail of the agreement. Also, the customers should never feel intimidated by the customer service of the credit company and must instead be comfortable enough to raise questions and ask for clarifications.
5. Protects Your Personal Data
Many of the moneylending transactions in Singapore are done online today. This means that customers are sharing their private and personal information to the licensed money lenders digitally. Given this, it is extremely important that a credit company be capable of providing a secure website to do these transactions. Borrowers must only transact to credit companies with secured websites.
In order to assess the security of a credit company, you can visit their website. Make sure that there is a padlock icon beside the website’s URL page. Also, you can look at the records of the credit company. If it has served thousands of customers in the past, it has proven its capability to protect the personal data of the borrowers.
What a Licensed Moneylender Can Do Under the Law
Remember that Singapore’s Moneylenders Act strictly regulates the activities which licensed money lenders are allowed to do. These credit companies are allowed to do certain steps to ensure that you are a trustworthy borrower. Here are two of the activities allowed to be done by a licensed money lender.
1. Talk to your family, relatives, or friends about the money you owed
Representatives of credit companies in Singapore are legally allowed to contact your family, relatives, and close friends and speak to them with regard to your loan. They can also contact you through your home or office numbers. This does not mean though that credit companies can harass you or the people you know. They should reach out in a professional and non-intimidating or non-threatening manner.
It is important to remember, though that not all licensed money lenders do this. Fortune Credit Pte Ltd ensures to its customers that they are treated with the utmost respect. You have to look for a credit company in Singapore that would respect your privacy. One way to do this is to read the reviewers that the credit companies have received in the past years. They would show whether the customers are satisfied with the service they have received.
2. Negotiate repayment terms within your means
The representative of the loan company is legally allowed to negotiate with the borrower in terms of repayment and other loan terms. In this negotiation, both the credit company representative and the customer can propose instalment plans and repayment deals. You just have to make sure that the loan terms offered by the credit company representative is reasonable to you and abused to the rules of the Ministry of Law of Singapore.
It is best to look for a moneylender that is willing to communicate with its clients. Remember that a loan agreement happens between the credit company and the client. If you feel like the lending company has the monopoly of making the decisions, confront them immediately. Also, if you do not agree with the repayment terms, they should not force you to sign the contract.
What A Licensed Money Lender Cannot Do Under the Law
On the other hand, there are activities that are illegal for a licensed moneylender in Singapore to do. These are some of them. Take note that if you have experienced any of the following, do not hesitate to contact the Singapore government so that necessary action can be done against the credit company violators.
1. Harass, threaten, or intimidate the customer
The Moneylender’s Act of Singapore strongly forbids licensed money lenders to harass, threaten or intimidate borrowers. Borrowers should never feel threatened when they are asked to pay their loan. Also, credit companies should not embarrass the borrowers when they fail to repay their credit. There are legal ways to ask borrowers to pay their personal loans and other types of loans, but harassment or intimidation is not one of them.
Take note that even verbal harassment is illegal. Credit companies should not speak with the borrower in a threatening or violent manner. If you feel like you are experiencing or have experienced any form of harassment from a licensed money lender, do not hesitate to contact the authorities for help.
2. Vandalize and damage property
Licensed money lenders should not destroy the property of the borrower just to force them to pay their debts. Singapore laws ensure that credit companies should not cause damage to the property of the borrowers. There have been cases in the past where loan sharks hired individuals to commit arson and vandalism in the property of their customers. Know that despite failing to pay your loan on time, credit companies should not treat you and your property badly.
Moreover, even simple damage to your property is illegal. A dent in your car or paint in your doorway is considered as vandalism. If you encounter a situation like this, you have to report the matter immediately. The police will conduct their investigation and would provide you with the necessary help you need. Beware that instances like this have happened in the past, which means that there is a possibility that you can experience this if you choose to deal with unlicensed credit companies.
3. Seize or Control your property
Another practice done by illegal loan companies is that they would take away the properties of borrowers like a house or a car as a form of loan repayment. Remember that only a Singapore court could order the seizure of a person’s property. Also, credit companies cannot force you to take away your business or other properties as a payment for what you owe them. If this happens to you, report the loan company immediately so that the authorities can help you take back your property.
Action from a loan company as severe as seizure or control of property must undergo through proper channels. In many cases, such form of repayment is done only as a last resort. If you encounter a loan company that gives you this as an option, tell them that this is an illegal activity. You must be firm in asserting that this is a violation of your rights as a borrower.
4. Engage in an unlawful assembly
Under the Singapore law, a big group of individuals from the credit company should not be allowed to ask you for loan repayment. A group of five or more individuals asking you you to pay your debt is considered as an “unlawful assembly.” This style of asking for loan payments can be punished by a jail term. Thus, if you experience a situation like this, report the involved individuals immediately.
Being attacked by a mob is surely not the best way for credit companies to ask their clients to pay loans. It is stressful for borrowers to be bombarded by a group of unknown individuals. Also, this mob-style loan collection is a form of harassment against borrowers. This does not really help borrowers from raising the money they need to pay back their loans.
The Guideline for Licensed Moneylenders from the Ministry of Law
The Singapore government has a long list of dos and don’t when it comes to dealing with money lenders. If you wish to know more about your rights as a borrower, you can check the materials published by the Ministry of Law here. This details common situations encountered by borrowers when dealing with credit companies.
Also, licensed money lenders in Singapore are bound by certain rules and regulations. They are expected to provide professional service to their patrons or clients. Aside from providing reasonable interest rates, charges, and fees, they should treat their customers with the utmost respect. While many borrowers are facing financial difficulties, their dire condition should not be an opportunity for loan companies to treat them badly.
Note that once you have submitted a loan application, you already have a right as a borrower. Do not hesitate to report any illegal or fraudulent activity you observe done by credit companies. These activities should not be tolerated. The money lending industry is helpful to thousands of people in Singapore. A few illegal businesses should not ruin it.
Protect Yourself from Unlicensed Moneylenders
As discussed thoroughly in this article, most of the problems encountered by borrowers come from their dealings with unlicensed money lenders. These illegal credit companies do not abide by the strict rules and regulations of the Singapore government. As a result, despite the presence of laws that aim to protect the borrowers, borrowers are treated unfairly.
The best way to protect yourself from such forms of abuses and exploitation is to only deal with licensed money lenders in Singapore.
Another way to protect yourself from unlicensed credit companies is to report them to the authorities. In doing so, you are ensuring that they will no longer cause a problem in the future.
It is a way to contribute to ensuring that the money lending industry of the country is free from criminals and illegal businesses. Notifying the police or other authorities is a good way of protecting yourself and others from unlicensed moneylenders in the country.
If you are planning to apply for a personal loan in Singapore in the near future, it is best that you get acquainted with the guideline for licensed credit companies. Read about your rights as a borrower so that no loan company would exploit your or your loved ones. Applying for a personal loan can be scary for many. One way to get prepared for the process of applying for a personal loan is to research the guidelines that must be followed by
Finding the best money lender Singapore could offer can be a difficult job. For individuals trying to apply for a personal loan, the process can be scary and tiring. The discussion above can give you an initial insight on which factors and qualities you can look for in finding the best credit company in Singapore.
If you wish to know more, you can read more articles here that explain the process of applying for a personal loan.
If you are overwhelmed with the idea of applying for a personal loan, you can check out Fortune Credit Pte Ltd. We are a licensed money lending company that offers personal loan and other types of loan.
Fortune Credit Pte Ltd is included in the Top 10 licensed moneylenders in 2020 of Loan Advisor. The company is proud of having as high as 4.9/5 Googe review rating. If you are to know more about Fortune Credit Pte Ltd and its offerings, do not hesitate to contact us here.