24 hours money lender singapore

No matter how much we have saved, there may be instances where you will need a boost in your cash flow. However, financial emergencies become doubly stressful when you are a foreigner living in Singapore. Fortunately, Singaporeans and foreigners have plenty of options to choose from, such as banks and licensed money lenders.

What if you’re faced with restrictions when applying for bank loans? You can turn to a credible and licensed money lender for financial assistance. But is borrowing from a legal money lender really safe?

This guide will help you spot illegal money lenders and where to find the list of licensed money lenders. Plus, we’ll also list tips on how to choose the best loan provider for your needs.

How Can Licensed Moneylenders Help Singaporeans and Foreigners?

Licensed money lenders in Singapore are approved lenders under the Ministry of Law. These licensed lenders can provide loans to Singaporeans, permanent residents, and foreigners. MinLaw regulates and checks all the legal lenders’ activity so they will never offer unreasonable loan rates nor use deceitful tactics.

Licensed money lenders will cater to your needs by offering customizable personal or emergency loan packages. Additionally, their application process is quicker and less stringent compared to banks. That said, if you need an instant cash loan, a licensed money lender may provide you with fast cash disbursement.

But don’t immediately deal with the first money lender that offers you a loan. Make sure that they are licensed and registered under the Ministry of Law. 

But don’t immediately deal with the first money lender that offers you a loan. Make sure that they are licensed and registered under the Ministry of Law. 

How To Spot Illegal Moneylenders

Unlicensed money lenders are widely referred to as “ah long” or loan sharks. They are notorious for charging ridiculously high interest rates. Worst of all, they use abusive language and harassment tactics. To avoid dealing with loan sharks, here are a few tips to spot unlicensed money lenders.

1. Not on the List of Licensed Money Lenders

The easiest way to verify the credibility of the money lender is by checking the list of licensed moneylenders in Singapore on the MinLaw website. The Registry of Moneylenders provides an updated list of licensed lenders every month.

So before dealing with any lender, make sure that they are on the list and that their license hasn’t been suspended. Additionally, avoid blacklisted money lenders in Singapore when taking out a personal loan.

2. Unreasonable Rates and Fees

Legal money lenders are only permitted to charge an interest rate of up to 4% per month. This cap applies regardless of your monthly income and whether you’re taking out a secured or unsecured loan. So a lender that charges over 4% per month is a red flag.

Additionally, licensed money lenders are also only allowed to charge the following fees:

  • An administrative fee of not more than 10% of the principal loan. This fee is charged upon loan disbursement.
  • A late fee not exceeding S$60.
  • Legal costs ordered by the court for a successful claim during recovery of the loan.

If a lender asks you for payment before loan disbursement, then you may be dealing with a loan shark. Remember, licensed money lenders will not charge any fees before your loan is granted. Lastly, they will not deduct admin fees from your principal loan amount.

3. Sends Unsolicited SMS and Emails

According to the Singapore police, loan sharks are using text messaging and online platforms to send unsolicited loan advertisements. Aside from that, they may trap unsuspecting victims into an online loan scam through unofficial websites, masquerading as a legal money lender.

To avoid falling for such deceitful tactics from an unlicensed money lender, make sure to verify the website address of the legal loan provider. It must be the same as the one registered on the list of licensed money lenders.

Keep in mind that a licensed money lender can only advertise through these three channels:

  • Business or consumer directories, both in print and online media
  • Official money lender’s business website
  • Within or on the exterior of the money lenders’ business premises.

All other channels are prohibited.

4. Abusive Language and Harassment Behavior

All activities of a licensed money lender are regulated under the Moneylenders Act. That said, they are not allowed to harass or threaten borrowers. They will also prioritize the borrower’s confidentiality, privacy, and integrity.

Unlicensed money lenders, on the other hand, are the complete opposite. They will use abusive language and behave threateningly towards you. In fact, there was a recent report about a loan shark sending S$1,000 worth of food deliveries to harass debtors.

5. Shady or Non-Existent Contract

Licensed money lenders are required to provide you with a printout of the loan contract. The document must state all the terms and conditions of your agreement, including loan amount, interest rates, tenure, fees, and more.

Loan sharks are more likely to disburse cash after a verbal or text agreement. They will not provide you with a loan contract or will have you sign an incomplete document.

Other red flags you should watch out for:

  • Asking for your SingPass user ID and/or password
  • Refusal to give back your NRIC card or other personal IDs
  • Withholding a part of your principal loan amount for any reason

Are There 24-Hour Open Lenders in Singapore? Is It Legal?

Despite the continuous advancement in digital financial services, there are still no legal money lenders in Singapore that operate physical offices 24 hours a day. If a lender advertises a 24/7 loan service through their physical offices, this should raise a red flag as they are likely operating outside legal boundaries.

Online Applications: A 24/7 Solution

However, the landscape for urgent financial needs is not devoid of legitimate options. Almost all licensed moneylenders in Singapore have sophisticated online platforms. These websites operate around the clock, ensuring that you can initiate a loan application at any hour, even during the late-night hours. Your personal loan application will be processed and approved the next business day.

If you were to apply on a Sunday morning, you may be able to receive your cash loan on Sunday afternoon. It’s best to check the operating hours of the money lender of your choice.

This accessibility helps meet urgent cash requirements effectively, with the promise that your application will be processed the next business day.

Recognizing Legal from Illegal Lenders: Licensing and Advertising

The Registry of Moneylenders is responsible for the supervision and regulation of moneylenders within Singapore. To see a full list of all the licensed moneylenders in Singapore, please click here.

As of the advertising guidelines updated on November 1, 2011, licensed moneylenders in Singapore are strictly allowed to advertise only through three channels:

  • Business or consumer directories (both print and online media),
  • Their own official websites,
  • Advertisements placed within or on the exterior of the moneylender’s business premises.

Any advertisements received via flyers, SMS, email, or other channels not specified above are likely from unlicensed lenders or licensed lenders violating advertising regulations. 

It’s crucial not to respond to such advertisements. Instead, you should report them to the Registry at 1800-2255-529 or through their official website. Violations by licensed moneylenders will prompt investigations by the Registry, while unlicensed activities are handled by the Police.

Operating Hours and Online Presence

While physical offices are not available 24/7, the online presence of moneylenders provides a reliable and secure avenue for managing your loan applications and inquiries outside typical business hours.

Interest Rates and Fees

The regulatory cap on interest rates charged by moneylenders is set at 4% per month. This rate applies irrespective of the borrower’s income and whether the loan is secured or unsecured. Additionally, in cases of delayed repayments:

  • A maximum late interest charge of 4% per month can be levied for each month the loan remains unpaid,
  • A fee not exceeding $60 for each month of late repayment,
  • A one-time fee not exceeding 10% of the principal amount when a loan is granted,
  • Legal costs as ordered by the court for a successful recovery claim by the moneylender.

Consumer Protection Measures

To ensure safety and legality in your financial dealings, always verify the licensing status of a moneylender through the official Registry of Moneylenders. Be wary of lenders who do not require a signed contract, request personal passwords, or retain personal IDs as these practices are illegal and unethical.

List of Registered or Licensed Moneylenders in Singapore

Taking out a personal loan from a licensed money lender is a good alternative to bank loans, especially when you’re facing restrictions. However, this is only a viable option if you’re dealing with a credible and licensed money lender.

The best way to verify the credibility and license of a money lender is by checking out the list of registered licensed money lenders in Singapore.

Click here to view the list of licensed moneylenders.

Guide in Choosing the Best Loan Provider for You

As of April 2022, there are around 154 licensed money lenders in Singapore. Choosing the right one for your financial needs can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help narrow down your choices:

  • Credibility: Aside from verifying that the licensed money lender is on the MinLaw list, you should also read customer reviews and feedback. Take into account the reputation of the company in the market. Use Google Reviews or look into money lender forums.
  • Interest Rates: As previously mentioned, legal lenders are only allowed to charge up to 4% interest rate per month. So choose a loan provider that offers competitive interest rates. Use loan comparison tools to compare the interest rates between different money lenders.
  • Fees: Choose a licensed money lender who follows the stipulated caps on fees. Additionally, the legal lender must also clearly disclose all the fees you’re going to be charged with. Some lenders keep fees to a minimum so make sure to compare different loan plans.
  • Flexible Repayment Schedule: Legal money lenders are open to discussing your financial needs. Choose a loan provider who offers flexible personal or emergency loan plans that will suit your financial capacity. The loan repayment plan must be feasible and it shouldn’t cause additional financial strain in the long run.
woman using calculator and pointing at table

Example of Loan Calculation

For this illustration, let’s assume that your principal loan amount is S$2,500. The loan provider charges a 4% interest rate per month and your monthly installment is S$250.

StepCalculationExample CalculationResult
Calculating Initial InterestPrincipal Loan Amount × Interest RateS$2,500 × 4%Monthly Interest = S$100
Deducting Interest from Your PaymentMonthly Installment − Monthly InterestS$250 − S$100Repayment Towards Principal = S$150
Calculating New Outstanding BalanceInitial Loan Amount − Repayment Towards PrincipalS$2,500 − S$150New Outstanding Balance = S$2,350
Calculating Subsequent Month’s Interest4% of New Outstanding Balance4% × S$2,350Second Month’s Interest = S$94

How is your interest rate calculated?

S$2,500 x 4% = S$100

Your first month’s interest rate is S$100. At the next installment, you’ll have to pay 4% of the outstanding balance and so forth. To illustrate:

S$250 – S$100 = S$150 will go towards repaying your principal loan amount.

S$2,500 – S$150 = S$2,350 is your outstanding balance after the first-month installment.

So, the second month’s interest is 4% of S$2,350, meaning S$94.

What if you’re late in repaying your monthly installment?

The maximum fees that a money lender can charge is a S$60 late fee and a 4% late interest rate for every month the loan is repaid late. Using the example above:

S$250 (monthly installment) x 4% = S$10

S$10 (late interest) + S$60 (late fee) = S$70

Note: The licensed money lender is not allowed to charge a late interest of 4% out of your principal loan amount.

Raffles Credit offers a user-friendly loan calculator, enabling customers to accurately estimate their monthly payments and interest charges before committing to a loan.

Loan Amount
$500
$500 $100000
$
Loan Duration
1 Month
1 Month 12 Months

Loan payment breakdown

Your Monthly Payment

Total Interest Paid

Total amount you pay in payments

Ready To Apply?

Eligibility

  • Age: 21 years old and above
  • Minimum Monthly Income:
    • Singaporean: S$2,000
    • Foreigner: S$3,000

Requirements

Singaporean and Permanent Residents

  • Identity card/NRIC
  • Proof of residence such as utility bill, tenancy agreements, or letter addressed to you
  • Recent 3 months payslip and employment letter if your current employment is less than 6 months
  • SingPass to log into CPF, HDB, IRAS website

Foreigners

  • Passport
  • A valid work permit/S-Pass/Employment Pass
  •  Proof of residence as a utility bill, tenancy agreements, or letter addressed to you
  • Proof of employment, such as staff pass or company pass
  •  Recent 3-month payslips and employment letter
  • Latest bank statement of account to which yearly or monthly salary is credited
  • SingPass to log into the IRAS website

Step-By-Step Procedure

Step 1: Call or Apply Online

Begin your loan application by visiting the lender’s official website. For instance, at Raffles Credit, you can complete an online form or directly call us at 6235 1788 for initial inquiry and application.

Step 2: Complete The Necessary Information

The application process will require you to provide details such as:

  • Full Name
  • Citizenship or residency status
  • Proof of Income (e.g., recent payslips, CPF contribution history statement, or tax notice of assessment)
  • Employment Information
  • Desired loan amount

Documentation to Bring

Ensure to have these documents ready for your in-office visit:

Singaporean and Permanent Residents

  • Identity card/NRIC
  • Proof of residence such as utility bill, tenancy agreements, or letter addressed to you
  • Recent 3 months payslip and employment letter if your current employment is less than 6 months
  • SingPass to log into CPF, HDB, IRAS website

Foreigners

  • Passport
  • A valid work permit/S-Pass/Employment Pass
  •  Proof of residence as a utility bill, tenancy agreements, or letter addressed to you
  • Proof of employment, such as staff pass or company pass
  •  Recent 3-month payslips and employment letter
  • Latest bank statement of account to which yearly or monthly salary is credited
  • SingPass to log into the IRAS website

Should you need to obtain your credit score report from the Credit Bureau Singapore, you can request a soft copy online or obtain a hard copy at Select SingPost outlets or the CBS office.

Step 3: Schedule an In-Person Consultation

After reviewing your application, a loan officer will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting at the office. This step is essential for a personalized discussion of your loan requirements, terms, and repayment plans.

Step 4: Loan Contract Review and Signing

During your office visit, the loan officer will explain every clause in the loan contract, including the repayment schedule, interest rates, and any applicable fees. You’ll receive a printed copy for thorough review. Ask any questions you may have to ensure full understanding before signing.

Step 5: Receiving Your Funds

Upon signing the agreement, and provided all documentation is in order, you will typically receive your funds on the same day, completing the transaction.

Remember, a reputable moneylender will ensure transparency throughout the process and will never ask for your SingPass user ID or password, retain your personal documents, or ask you to sign a blank or incomplete contract.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Can I Borrow Money Instantly?

For secured personal loans, you can borrow any amount.

For unsecured loans, the loan amount you can borrow will depend on your annual income and citizen status. Please refer to the table below

Borrower’s annual incomeSingapore Citizens and Permanent ResidentsForeigners residing in Singapore
Less than $10,000
$3,000
$500
At least $10,000 and less than $20,000$3,000$3,000
At least $20,0006 times monthly income6 times monthly income

2. How Do I Lodge A Complaint Against A Money Lender?

If you encounter a legal money lender who participates in unfair practices, you must immediately report them to the police or contact the Registry at the telephone number 1800-2255-529.

You may be required to tell the agent the money lender’s details, including the business name, license number, and contact details. Rest assured that the Registry will not disclose your details to the money lender without your consent.

Additionally, you may need to attend a meeting with a licensed officer from the Ministry of Law to provide all relevant information, such as:

  • Loan transactions
  • Illegal paperwork
  • Recording of harassment or illegal behaviors.

3. What Should I Do Once My Loan Has Been Approved?

  • Receive Your Loan Amount in Full: Ensure the lender provides the complete principal sum as they can only legally charge a maximum of 10% of this for admin fees.
  • Document Safeguarding: Retain these crucial documents:
    • A copy of your loan contract
    • Receipts of all payments you’ve made towards the loan
    • Statement of accounts for all your outstanding loans
    • Copies of statement of accounts, receipts, and other necessary documents
  • Timely Repayment: Adhere to the due dates for your installments to avoid additional late fees and interest, preventing debt escalation.

4. Is There A Way To Get A Lower Interest Rate?

Your interest rate will depend on several factors, such as your annual income, credit score, and your previous records.

For instance, if you have a good credit score, the licensed money lender can offer lower interest rates. Rest assured that licensed lenders will take into account your ability to pay and will offer an amount that you can safely borrow so you will not suffer additional financial difficulties.

5. What Happens If You Are Unable To Pay Money Lender Singapore?

If unable to pay a moneylender in Singapore, you may face late fees and increased interest. It’s essential to communicate with the lender for a possible repayment plan to avoid legal consequences.

6. Who Can I Borrow Money From In Singapore?

You can borrow money from banks, licensed moneylenders, or credit unions, ensuring they are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

7. How Fast Can I Borrow Money?

Loan approval times vary; banks may take days to weeks, while licensed moneylenders can offer fast cash loans – approved within 30 minutes, potentially providing funds on the same day of application.

Conclusion

In case of financial crises that require urgent cash, personal loans are an ideal choice. Taking out a loan from a licensed money lender will help you pay off a home renovation, car repairs, emergency hospital bills, and more. However, make sure that you are dealing with a licensed money lender.

Key Takeaways:

  • Licensed money lenders in Singapore are approved lenders under the Ministry of Law.
  • MinLaw regulates and checks all the legal lenders’ activity so they will never offer unreasonable loan rates nor use deceitful tactics.
  • There are no 24-hour legal money lenders in Singapore. Legal money lenders have an official website that is accessible 24/7 where you can send your online loan application.
  • Verify the credibility and license of a money lender by checking out the list of registered licensed money lenders in Singapore on the MinLaw website.

Strapped for cash? Apply now with Raffles Credit with over 504 excellent 5-star reviews on Google. Established in 2011, Raffles Credit is a distinguished licensed money lender in Singapore. We offer the best selection of loan packages that will surely suit your financial needs.