borrowing money from licensed money lender

Are you tired of coming across the same old money lending advertisements? Are they scamming your mobile phone all the time? Then look here. In Singapore, there are some strict commercial regulations for certain business industries. And the cash lending industry is certainly one of them. 

It’s here so that the authorities can protect the Singaporeans from getting scammed by the illegal moneylenders or loan sharks. The Government has set rules for marketing and advertising of the licensed moneylender. Illegal lenders use all forms of prohibited methods of advertising to lure customers. But the Government has licensed moneylender counts that you can check accordingly. So, you can be aware before dealing with the illegal ones.

Advertising Rules For Licensed Moneylenders

If you’re a local, you might have seen all kinds of commercials used by the licensed moneylenders. These licensed money lender advertisements range from personal SMS to ads on the moneylender’s official website. But most of these methods of putting up ads are strictly prohibited by the law. 

On 13th October 2011, the Registrar of Moneylenders released new guidelines that set the commercial and marketing rules. These rules came into effect from 1st November 2011 for the licensed moneylenders. Violating the law using prohibited mediums is punishable up to $20000, and the license may be revoked. However, this is allowed only through these three channels.

1. Business Or Consumer Directories Both In-Print Or Online Media

The licensed moneylender is allowed to advertise via business and consumer directories to attract customers. The usage of both print and online media is legal. Hence, customers can choose accordingly.

2. Official Website Of The Licensed Money Lender

The ads on their official website also ensure customers about their legitimacy. The money lenders’ official website contains all the necessary information, including the license numbers and others.

3. Advertisement Posted Within Moneylender’s Office Premise

Putting ads inside licensed money lenders’ business premises is another legal way of advertising for the licensed moneylenders. The customers can verify all necessary loan application documents for the disbursement.

Prohibited channels for advertisements

When it comes to loans and other cash lending services, in contrast to licensed money lenders, illegal moneylenders are a significant discussion point for Singaporeans. These moneylenders would typically speed up your loan process and avoid paperwork as much as possible. 

Commonly known as loan sharks, they will also skip the in-person meeting in their business premise. The in-person meeting is crucial and required via Singaporean law. The loan sharks often use illegal advertising methods. Here, we will discuss a few illegal strategies of commercials used by the loan sharks, as suggested by the ministry of law.

1. Call And Event Marketing

The loan sharks often call their customers or organize an event to convince them to take personal or other loans. The Singaporean Government strictly prohibits these types of advertisements. If you get these calls or invitations, avoid them or report them to your nearest police station.

2. SMS, Email Or Internet Ads

The Ministry of law says the legal moneylender in Singapore will not send you any SMS’s, emails, or any internet pop-ups. Illegal moneylenders in Singapore only use these types of channels to advertise. Such advertisements will try to convince you of their legitimacy. Also, such ads suggest that when they advertise, they will sanction your loan faster than any other organization.

3. Door-To-Door, Newspaper Or Television Ads

If you are looking for cash lending services here, you must have seen newspaper and television ads from moneylenders. These advertisements also encourage door-to-door campaigning. Avoid or ignore all these ads because these are from the loan sharks or the illegal moneylenders. And for the door-to-door campaign, refuse them politely.

What Should You Do If You Find Unlawful Moneylenders?

Well, it’s not that difficult to understand some significant differences between legal and illegal moneylenders. The illegal moneylenders often use advertising methods which are strictly prohibited by the Government. For example, they send SMS or WhatsApp messages representing them as proper money mongers. They also use websites and other social media accounts that mimic other license-holding brokers to convince their legitimacy. 

These types of strategies are very different from the said ones. A transaction in Singapore cannot be entirely performed without meeting. The moneylender and the customer must meet in-person to perform face-to-face verification before the loan is sanctioned. The illegal moneylenders might request you to pay the processing fees before the disbursement.

According to the registry of moneylenders, illegal ones should not be entertained or assisted by any means. Try to avoid all the unlawful advertisement methods used by these loan sharks. For example, if you get any SMS or WhatsApp messages, ignore and delete those messages. Make sure to check the license-holding moneylenders’ list and speak to them only if they are registered. However, if you find yourself dealing with loan sharks or unlicensed moneylenders, report to the police immediately. Discuss your situation with the authorities and provide them with all the necessary information. Stay calm as much as possible if they start their ill-behavior and rules. You can also report from moneylenders to the registry at 1800-22550-529 of the Ministry of Law Singapore.

How To Prevent Yourself From Dealing With Illegal Moneylenders

The illegal moneylenders are treated as a threat by the police and authorities of Singapore. Always make sure to check the list of the license-holding moneylenders as they follow the guidelines to operate. Do your research thoroughly before borrowing any cash from the broker you’ve selected. However, here we will discuss a few points to prevent you from dealing with illegal lenders.

1. Illegal Modes Of Advertisement

Most of the illegal lenders use illegal modes of advertisement, which is prohibited by the Singapore government. They include sending SMS’s, radio ads, newspaper ads, calling, internet pop-ups, and many more. Try to avoid them and make sure not to share any personal details over the phone. They don’t allow these types of ad campaigns.

2. Avoiding In-Person Meetings

These illegal moneylenders will try to avoid in-person meetings. They will request to provide all the necessary documents online to disburse your loan. But face-to-face verification is the most important before the disbursement.

3. Asking For Your SingPass ID Or Password

Please do not share any personal information like NRIC, SingPass ID or password, driving license, ATM card, or bank account details.

4. Sanctioning Your Loan Without Adequate Information

They will also try to grant your loan without providing a copy of the contract. They will again try to avoid explaining to you all the terms and conditions of the agreement. Remember, sanctioning or approving your loan without phone and SMS confirmation is illegal.


The money lending industry can be of great help with business loans, personal loans, and others. But due to some illegal lenders, it’s getting a bad name for itself. So, if you need any loans, make sure to study the market and choose accordingly. Do not rush-in to deal with any moneylender. Make sure to check the Government’s list of license-holding money lenders. 

Licensed Moneylender like Raffles Credit can ensure your safety and privacy when it comes to taking out a loan. They operate under the strict rules regulated by the Singapore’s Ministry of Law.