7 Important Things You Should Know About Cryptocurrency Before Diving In

Cryptocurrency is becoming rapidly popular among the younger and tech-savvy investors of Singapore. You’ve definitely read about it. Your first impressions feel like it’s definitely worth trying provided it gives good yields and information shows that there is relatively low risk thanks to public confidence in the currencies.

However, if you’re misinformed, you might end up making bad investments and losing more than you initially invested. To make sure this doesn’t happen, here are seven important things you should know about cryptocurrency before you begin your journey.

1. What is cryptocurrency? 

Cryptology is the study of deciphering codes in ancient and even modern languages. It uses sets of “key” symbols to unlock a pattern of symbols that intend to express something.

In the case of cryptocurrency, it stores financial data in a pattern of symbols called a blockchain. Each blockchain has a single “key” that only its account owner possesses. It is only when the key is used to unlock the blockchain pattern can the user access the cryptocurrency they currently own.

Many modern applications use blockchain to guarantee secure peer-to-peer messaging and transactions without outside surveillance such as modern chat messengers and text applications.

2. How many different types of cryptocurrency are there?

In truth, there are over 2,200 different cryptocurrencies in existence nowadays. The reason that some prevail and some end up forgotten or inactive depends on the number of active users and owners of the currency. Therefore, the best cryptocurrency investments are ones that are currently popular and are highly valued by many investors. Here are some of them. 

#1 Bitcoin

The currency that started it all is the one that still has great fame (and infamy) over the last decade. Bitcoin started in 2009, and anyone can purchase it from legitimate Bitcoin marketplaces or from individuals who peddle it in exchange for items of value. Over time, its value has begun to rise,

However, investors are still wary of its fluctuating nature. In December 2017, Bitcoin rose to a whopping $19,783 in value. On the other hand, it fell down to $13,800 just six days after its highest market capIn December 2018, it sits evenly at $3,300, which is a 76% drop from the previous year’s high.

#2 Ethereum

While still a newcomer (and now a toddler) in cryptocurrency being founded in 2015, Ethereum is slowly gaining traction as becoming a popular cryptocurrency in the market. Similar to Bitcoin, it is a blockchain-based computing platform that use numerous machines and has a public-access ledger that only users with the proper blockchain keys can access when needed.

Ethereum’s advantage over Bitcoin is speed. Ethereum can take 15 seconds to complete a transaction while it might take 10 unnerving minutes for Bitcoin users to consider a transaction to have pushed through.

 

#3 Litecoin

While it wasn’t the most popular alternative to Bitcoin, Litecoin has been around for quite a while. It found its roots with most online poker and gambling websites. It began in 2011 after former Google employee Charles Lee posted it on GitHub. He introduced it as an alternative to Bitcoin, which was slowly emerging during the time.

Similar to Bitcoin, it uses the same public-viewed ledger and secured by mathematical protocols that only keys can solve. It also outdid Bitcoin’s transaction speed by overtaking it a fourth faster than the older cryptocurrency. 

#4 Ripple

Right after Bitcoin and Litecoin launched their respective currencies, Ripple emerged as a real-time currency by Ripple Labs. It was first meant to become a secure payment option for online transactions. Then, it evolved into a cryptocurrency after the company merged operations with global payments service Earthport. Ripple or XRP became one of the largest currencies in the US with a market cap of $73 billion on December 30, 2017.

#5 Stellar

Originally, Stellar was a project of Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb in 2014. He and a former lawyer friend, Joyce Kim, launched the cryptocurrency during the year under the name “Secret Bitcoin Project.” It birthed the Stellar Development Foundation. It functions similarly to Bitcoin, but the SDF partners with many budding startups and renowned brands to exclusively use its cryptocurrency, such as Deloitte, Coins.ph, ICICI Bank, and other global brands.

#6 NEO

Now known as “Antshares,” founders Da Hong Fei and Erik Zhang released NEO in 2014 with the goal of creating a “smart economy” that exclusively uses blockchain technology. In doing so, they promise to create “smart” contracts that allow decentralised digitised asset management. It now has offices across Shanghai and Seattle.

3. What caused the cryptocurrency boom out of the blue?

It’s always great to have different types of banknotes so you can profit off of them when money markets move positively. Cryptocurrencies are not so different from bank-regulated banknotes. However, their true appeal lies in crypto being the future’s currency of choice. Many anticipate that one cryptocurrency is most likely to reach a high market cap in the future — which is why it makes sense to own one as early as possible during launch.

Some Singaporeans and users abroad find the idea of removing banks and governments from regulating currencies appealing, which is something Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies make possible. Because popular activity dictates the overall value movement of cryptocurrencies, there is a lower risk of devaluing the money due to inflation.

Blockchain technologies at the core of cryptocurrency introduce the next level of privacy when it comes to financial transactions online. The decentralised processing, recording, and management of cryptocurrencies is something that users find more appealing and effective than the established traditional system.

4. Is cryptocurrency legal?

Cryptocurrencies are unregulated, decentralised, and completely anonymous monetary systems where only end-to-end users can confirm whether a transaction has already occurred through publicly-viewable ledgers. True enough, this leaves it open for possible exploitation by unsavory forces, which might make it legal or illegal in some countries.

In the United States, it’s legal to use any kind of cryptocurrency. However, the government has advised investors to always be wary of the consequences when it comes to using cryptocurrency. True enough, there is no insurance about losing money when transactions fail to pull through. In addition, there is always a risk of hackers infiltrating the system.

For Singaporeans, the government of Singapore does not recognise crypto as a legal tender similar to traditional currencies. However, Singapore’s Tax Authority legally terms Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as “goods.” Therefore, all transactions using cryptocurrency locally or internationally will receive an applied Goods and Services Tax.

5. Is cryptocurrency a low-risk investment?

Admittedly, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies following its reputation aren’t the safest options for investors. If you’re willing to shoulder its risk, you can confidently invest in the currency. Cryptocurrencies do not have stability because it lacks the tangible security traditional currencies have. Stability allows merchants to ascertain fair prices for all goods and services.

High-volatility in bursts of short periods make cryptocurrencies an unreliable legal tender, which is why it is correct for Singapore’s government to recognise only its transactions but not its existence as a legal form of currency.

6. What determines the price of the cryptocurrency?

In point 5, we’ve mentioned about cryptocurrencies lacking in stability because of its modern yet unbound nature. Without the presence of regulating bodies, it’s easy for currency users to drive the price too high or too low at any time based on market activity. While there is no certainty that every element we list below can affect the market immediately, it pays to know about how they do so in worst-case scenarios.

#1 Crypto Exchanges

Traditional stock markets have companies go through hoops and lengths before they can launch an Initial Public Offer (IPO). However, cryptocurrency markets — also known as crypto exchanges — are managed by private groups with their respective number of users and followers. If a giant crypto exchange adopts a cryptocurrency you’re using, there’s a huge chance its value will rise. On the other hand, if a giant crypto abandons an existing currency, then it’s most likely to devalue too.

#2 Software Upgrades

Bitcoin is still a software product with actual monetary value. Even if it has a slower speed than Ethereum and even Litecoin, it thrives because it was the first cryptocurrency available. However, both latter cryptos became famous because of their fast transaction speed. If a cryptocurrency offers better performance, then it has higher value. A community-led upgrade in security, performance, or stability will likely result in more investors buying the currency and improving its value.

#3 Public Influence

Public-access and viewable information is useful, but it can also be a bane for many investors. For example, plenty of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) from different shady Chinese organisations without any backgrounds but only had fancy white papers and concepts have deceived many social media and Internet users who had zero ideas about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. However, this clearly demonstrates how hype and public influence in spreading cryptocurrency increases its respective value

#4 Wallet Upgrades

Part of reliable cryptocurrency technology is owning a wallet that has exceptional capabilities. If your cryptocurrency has exceptional security and performance when it comes to storage, then the better it is to use. The number of wallet manufacturers and parties concerned with cryptocurrency safety can affect the cryptocurrency’s price effectively.

#5 Pseudo-Government Regulation

Cryptocurrencies are partly appealing because of its decentralised, people-power based economy and market movement. However, government bans and anti-use mandates on cryptos can affect its value. With restrictions of use, some cryptocurrencies can simply phase out, and this might include the cryptocurrency you’re using.

6. How to invest in cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are similar to in-game money if you’ve played mobile games. Using your bank account or credit card, reliable exchanges will give you equivalent amounts of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, before starting, make sure you’re working with reliable crypto exchanges. In addition, always have an offline wallet to ensure the safety and non-hackability of your cryptos. Here are four great huge and thriving exchanges you can work with today.

#1 Coinbase

Founded in San Francisco, California, Coinbase maintains the exchange of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies currently available in the market. It’s a great place for beginners to start their crypto journey and they provide helpful content, too.

#2 Binance

Started in Shanghai by Chang Peng Zhao as a high-frequency trading system developer, Binance evolved into a cryptocurrency exchange and moved out of China into Japan and Taiwan to further its operations. While it has been subject to large-scale hacking during the time, it remains one of the biggest and most reliable service providers of cryptocurrency exchanges.

#3 Gemini

Founded in 2014 as a digital assets exchange in New York, Gemini is less popular than its counterparts because of its New York State Department of Financial Services regulation, which defeats part of cryptocurrency’s purposes. However, it has a reliable crypto exchange that makes it an excellent platform with added security.

7. What precautions should I take before buying cryptocurrency?

Reading about cryptocurrencies, it feels like you’re stepping into a new world of opportunity. However, the dangers in using cryptocurrencies are as real as it can get. It’s important to know that every cryptocurrency — no matter how stable data or they claim to be — can fluctuate and devalue at any time. Here are a few precautions to remember before entering this brave new world.

#1 Make Sure You’re Providing Sensitive Information to Trustworthy Exchanges

Only use trusted exchanges. To exchange your money, they will ask for your personal and credit information. There are plenty of fake exchanges whose only goal is to steal your delicate information. Be vigilant!

#2 There is No Insurance If Loss Happens

Unregulated by banks, cryptocurrency exchanges are still the Wild West of modern, cutting-edge financial technology. If your exchange gets hacked and your cryptocurrencies are still in your digital wallet, you won’t get any recourse to claim back your lost money.

#3 Avoid Public Internet Connections

This is critical even if you’re not using cryptocurrencies and only accessing your finances using your bank app. Never use public Internet connections where anyone can exploit your public network settings and have access to your files and items you view on screen.

#4 Choose The Right Crypto Storage

True enough, there are still secure and affordable online cloud storage for your cryptos. However, it is much more practical to use offline wallets to keep your money safe from anyone. In addition, it allows you access to your cryptocurrencies at any time without an Internet connection.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrencies are an excellent, decentralised currency exchange that can help you achieve long-term investment potential if you choose the right currency, understand and accept all the risks involved investing in crypto, and keeping track of your chosen cryptocurrency potential. 

As with any investment, make sure to always perform due diligence and a complete understanding of everything that affects the value of your currencies.

What Every First-Time Grab Taxi Driver Loan in Singapore Should Know

GrabTaxi has changed the dynamics of public transportation in Singapore that it has become a lucrative part-time job.

One person even reportedly earned more than $12,000 in just five weeks of being a private-hire driver, so it’s possible to earn more or less the same amount if you sign up as a GrabTaxi driver.

If you’re looking for loans designed for those who work for GrabTaxi, Singapore has several licensed money lenders where you can apply for a hassle-free personal Grab Taxi loan. You can even get the money in as fast as 30 minutes with complete documents.

How Can You Apply for a Grab Taxi Driver Loan?

Bugis Credit Application for Grab Taxi Loan

Licensed money lenders in Singapore are the best option for GrabTaxi drivers, especially for those without credit histories. Banks will require you to have at least 12 months of payment history to determine your creditworthiness.

You don’t have to worry about having no credit score if you submit the following documents to a licensed moneylender: NRIC card, taxi driver’s vocational license (TDVL), taxi pass, at least seven days of job summaries, car rental contract, proof of income (e.g. driver commissions and salaries), proof of billing address and your income for 2019.

How Does GrabTaxi Work?

Bugis Credit How Does GrabTaxi Work

Once you get the money, the next thing to do involves being aware of GrabTaxi’s system. Current taxi drivers can still sign up for the system even if they are under contract with an existing fleet operator.

The Land Transportation Authority allows Grab to operate as a third-party taxi booking app in Singapore, so there should be no problem if you work as a part-time GrabTaxi driver.

Interested parties should also apply for a TDVL, which will be handy in case you decide to switch from GrabTaxi to a private-hire driver. You can apply for a TDVL when you are at least 30 years old with a valid Class 3 or 3A driver’s license for 12 months in Singapore.

Those who don’t meet the age requirement will have to apply for a private-hire car driver’s vocational license (PDVL), which will require them to have valid Class 3, 3A, 3C, or 3CA driver’s license for two years up to the time of application.

The course fee for a TDVL costs $294.25. You can use your SkillsFuture credits to pay up to $240.75 of the price. The course will have two sessions of eight hours each for two days.

You need to pass three one-hour exams that will test your knowledge on service quality, health and safety; taxi and private hire car rules and regulations; and route planning.

PDVL courses cost $155.15 with up to $128.40 being SkillsFuture claimable. You need to attend an eight-hour session for one day and pass two exams about service quality, health and safety, and taxi and private hire car rules and regulations.

How Much Can You Earn?

Bugis Credit How Much Can You Earn

A private-hire or GrabTaxi driver in Singapore can earn as much as they want, although the limitless income demands a lot of your time. One person who earned more than $12,000 in five weeks had to work between 12 and 14 hours for six days each week.

Private-hire drivers can earn $30 per hour on average during peak travel hours and $25 per hour on average at off-peak hours.

Take note that the hourly rate refers to your gross earnings. The actual amount will depend after you deduct the expenses from fuel, parking fees, electronic road pricing and other miscellaneous costs.

GrabTaxi drivers should also account for the rental vehicle fees when they create a target income figure. Taxi operators in Singapore charge from $75 to $105 per day on average for renting out their vehicles, while diesel expenses cost between $30 and $50 per day.

This means that you must earn at least $105 daily just to break even with the recurring fees.

GrabTax and private-hire drivers, however, can deduct their expenses on diesel, parking, rental vehicles, and vocation license fees worth up to 60% of their taxable income.

The 60% deemed expense on taxes is applicable to anyone whether they work part-time or full-time drivers

Beware of Fraudulent and Illegal Money Lenders

Bugis Credit - beware of fraud of any Grab Taxi loan

Don’t fall for unscrupulous individuals who promise to lend money without the need to submit documents. This might seem attractive, but you could be dealing with a loan shark.

If you need money to pay for your vocational license and other fees for signing up with Grab, a licensed money lender remains the best way to do so.

Illegal money lenders trick people, especially those who are desperate, into borrowing money from them. Some of them will not require you to sign a document, which is already a red flag for borrowers.

Loan sharks sometimes don’t have a signed contract with you because they know that it’s illegal for them to charge sky-high interest rates. Licensed money lenders are not allowed to charge more than a 4% rate every month, unlike illegal lenders’ rates that can reach up to 20%.

The absurd charges make it almost impossible to repay your loan with them. Loan sharks want you to be trapped in an endless cycle of debt payment and when you’re unable to pay your dues, they won’t think twice of resorting to harassment and violence.

Conclusion

Being a GrabTaxi driver in Singapore can be a lucrative part-time job, but you need to take all expenses into account to earn a decent salary. Licensed money lenders won’t use force or unethical practices.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Law bound them to comply with regulatory standards, particularly for debt collection.

Always check the Registry of Moneylenders to determine the legitimacy of a licensed money lender. Click here to know more about Bugis Credit’s loan products and we’ll help you with choosing the right one.

5 Ways to Earn Up to $3,000 From Side Gigs in Just 1 Month

Are you constantly living from paycheck to paycheck? Perhaps you like to earn more money and save for emergencies? The gig economy has been flourishing in recent years thanks to the advent of social media and the Internet.

While there are lots of jobs to choose from, some of us want to earn more in less time. Here are five simple ways to earn money even with a full-time job. Some of them can even turn a profit of up to $3,000 in just one weekend!

Take Out Your Camera and Learn Photography

Those who are fond of snapping photos and love taking them from different angles should consider a part-time job as a photographer. The pay varies depending on your experience and type of photos. Novice photographers can earn at least $5 to $10 per project for passport-size pictures. Photo-editing services start at $0.5 per photo for beginners.

Headshots are more lucrative with prices ranging up to $100 per project, and that’s just for newbie photographers. Amateur photographers usually charge at least $100 per hour for photoshoots and $150 per day to work as an assistant. Once you establish a loyal customer base, you can take part in the wedding photography business. Professionals in this field earn up to $3,000 per project. If you like to teach, you can charge up to $500 per student.

Another easy way to earn more in a short time requires you to sign up for photography contests. Make sure you have the best photos in your portfolio and earn up to $2,500 for each competition.

Get a License as a Personal Trainer

Gym enthusiasts might as well profit from the time they spend at fitness centers. You can apply as a personal trainer during weekends, when demand seems to be higher and therefore have more need for trainers. You don’t need to have a perfectly sculpted body to become a legitimate trainer, but it helps to maintain a good physique. There’s no better way to achieve this than hitting the gym and earn money at the same time.

Personal trainers earn between $75 and $150 per hour. If you work at least four hours per day during weekends, you can earn up to $1,200 in a month or even more when you work on holidays. You must have a Certified Personal Trainer qualification before you can accept clients. Other certifications can improve your competency and your professional fee.

Be a Freelance Tour Guide

Bugis Credit Pte Ltd Be a Freelance Tour Guide

A tourist guide probably has more consistency in earning money than other side gigs, due to the steady flow of tourists from around the world. Millions of foreigners visit the country each year with the number sometimes exceeding more than three times the local population.

You should have an extensive experience in staying at different places in Singapore to boost your qualifications, which can include expertise on the best dining spots and shopping centers across the mainland. Freelance tour guides earn from $80 to $150 per hour. Anyone can become a tour guide with the right attitude, personality and knowledge on as many things as possible about Singapore.

Get Rid of Your Old Items

Carousell is one of the places for owners to eliminate old items and exchange them for cash. The amount that you can earn depends on the value of items. The general rule for this: the harder it is to find an item anywhere, the higher the price tag. Limited-edition books, vintage electronics and collector’s items are some of the examples of rare products.

You can even sell your car in Carousell, which can turn into a sizeable profit if you set the right price. Online sellers should expect buyers to haggle on the listed price, so the best way to earn money will involve a price markup before selling the item to offset a likely lower price offered by customers.

Practice Your Public Speaking Skills

Bugis Credit Pte Ltd Practice Your Public Speaking Skills

Do you always volunteer to be the emcee for special occasions like weddings and birthdays? An events host can earn from $100 per hour, which can easily turn into thousands if you accept multiple gigs in a month. Some experienced emcees even earn five-figure salaries just by getting on the stage and speaking in front of a large audience.

This type of side hustle works best for people who aren’t shy. Those who are just starting their freelance stint as a host can charge a lower rate, possibly $50 for two hours. You can market yourself to more events (not just birthdays or weddings) and build a wider network to earn more money.

What You Should Do Before Choosing a Side Gig

Build a strong online presence to reach your target audience. Social media accounts will be your best resources for advertising your services. Don’t expect to earn a lot in your first month, as your rate gradually increases once you have more connections and clients.

You should also maintain a website to make it easier for potential clients to see your portfolio, especially if you plan to be a photographer or events host. If you’re having trouble with finding clients, you can start by asking friends to refer you to their connections. You shouldn’t offer your service for free when you’re particularly good at it.

Conclusion

There’s no quick and easy way on how to earn money in Singapore. A side sig requires determination and discipline before it can become lucrative. If you need money to jumpstart your freelance career, you should consider applying for a personal loan (e.g. for buying photography equipment). Licensed money lenders such as Bugis Credit offer competitive rates and flexible payment terms. Call us today and find out more about our services.

What Are the Illegal Debt Collection Practices in Singapore?

Debt collectors in Singapore comply with the Credit Collection Association of Singapore’s code of conduct, but it doesn’t stop some unscrupulous individuals and companies to use coercion. If you applied for a personal loan from a licensed moneylender, harassment should never happen when they try to collect unpaid balances.

Whether or not there are laws governing debt collection, the reality often bears a different outcome for each borrower. Arson is an example of what debt collectors can’t do when you are behind loan payments. Loan sharks have been reported to set fires on HDB flats of the delinquent borrowers. Read on to find out how you can protect yourself or your family from illegal debt collection practices.

Bugis Credit What Debt Collectors Can Do

What Debt Collectors Can Do

You should expect a visit to your office from the debt collector. While that’s embarrassing, it’s within the acceptable practices of collecting money if they don’t use foul language or brute force. They can also call your house and ask for your whereabouts, although they should be calling you within business hours during the day. It’s unethical for them to call you at midnight to collect money.

Debt collectors aren’t restricted from stalking your social media accounts, so you need to be careful about what you post online. If you have photos showing lavish trips and shopping purchases, then your debt collector will be compelled to get what you owe them. Make sure that your profiles don’t give them any reasons to suspect that you’re lying about your finances.

If you signed a written agreement with a licensed money lender in Singapore, you are only obliged to pay them within six years of the agreed-upon repayment date. That doesn’t mean, however, that debt collectors won’t try to chase you for unpaid amounts despite not having a written agreement or six years have already passed. This is common for people who lend money to family or friends.

Take note that Singapore allows individuals to lend money to family or friends even without a licensed. You and anyone else isn’t permitted to lend money to businesses. Debt collectors can also speak with your family or friends about your financial obligations, but they shouldn’t experience harassment during each encounter

What Debt Collectors Can’t Do

What Debt Collectors Can’t Do

You should feel safe at your home despite being bombarded with phone calls about your missed repayments. Arson has been a known problem that makes online or offline harassment seem like a better alternative for some borrowers. In 2016, Yishun North had the highest number of unlicensed moneylending harassment cases. The average number of cases reached 97 in Singapore during the same year.

These figures imply that there are still individuals who consider a personal loan with illegal lending companies. The good news is that loan shark harassment cases have steadily declined in recent years. There were more than 3,800 cases recorded in 2017 compared to 11,000 cases recorded in 2013.

If you’re currently dealing with harassment from anyone, you should know that they can’t form groups of more than five people to try and intimidate you. An example involves bringing 20 people to your home, place of work or business to disrupt your daily life. Call the police to have them arrested for illegal assembly.

The Protection from Harassment Act also ensures that individuals don’t feel distressed with verbal abuse from debt collectors. For instance, they broke the law when they threaten to expose you on social media. You shouldn’t be stalked going to and from your home or workplace as well.

Debt collectors aren’t allowed to pretend to be someone from a government agency or the police. Once you determine that they violated the law, you should report them to authorities and file a Protection Order. You must be able to prove that debt collectors are harassing you. It’s easier to do this if you owe money to companies than family or friends. Not all of us are willing to file a case against members of our inner circles.

Bugis Credit What You Can Do to Avoid Harassment

What You Can Do to Avoid Harassment

The best way to avoid harassment is not borrowing money from loan sharks and unlicensed moneylending companies. It’s easier said than done but doing so will provide you with peace of mind that you won’t be a victim of arson or other violent acts.

You can distinguish a licensed lender through their means of communication. Reputable companies will not contact you to offer a personal loan. All applicants should originate from the consumer. If you receive a text or online message about such offers, then it’s likely that they are unlicensed money lenders. Legitimate lending companies will only accept applications in person or online after submitting the necessary documents and paperwork.

Loan sharks and other illegal lenders typically require you to sign a written agreement. Sometimes, you don’t have to sign a document at all. Licensed lending companies don’t engage in this kind of practice, as they are required to follow the regulations by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. You should visit and review the Ministry of Law’s list of licensed money lenders each time you transact with a company, even if you’re sure that they are licensed. The list may change from time to time.

Conclusion

You should remember that a code of conduct or a set of governing laws won’t stop unlicensed money lenders, loan sharks or even your friends and family to go after you to collect overdue personal loan repayments. You should be capable of recognizing what constitutes an unfair debt collection practice.

The likelihood of harassment is higher when you borrow money from a loan shark, so it’s always best to seek financial assistance from a licensed personal loan provider. Call us today and find out more about services and interest rates.

How Loan Sharks Trick You into Getting a Personal Loan With Them

Licensed moneylenders in Singapore have been a good alternative to banks for personal loans, but many still borrow money from loan sharks despite several horror stories about their illegal ways of collecting payment.

Some of the terrifying experiences recounted by victims include harassment on social media and even setting fire to the borrower’s home! Here are four other reasons why you should never think of borrowing money from loan sharks.

Bugis Credit You May Be Unable to Repay the Debt

1. You May Be Unable to Repay the Debt

Unlicensed moneylending involves sky-high interest rates. Licensed money lenders in Singapore will never offer personal loans with more than 4% in monthly interest rates. On the other hand, loan sharks can charge more than 10%.

A story involving a woman who needed to pay bills even had to pay $400 after missing the first week of payment. The unlicensed moneylender originally lent $250, which is more than a 50% interest rate in just seven days!

While the female victim had an agreement to pay $300 after one month, the loan still carried a 20% interest rate that’s higher than the 4% cap on loans from a licensed moneylender.

The scam usually happens through unsolicited phone calls, but fraudsters have become wise enough to avoid detection by using WhatsApp to victimize people.

Bugis Credit Loan Sharks Make You Believe That You Don’t Have Other Options

2. Loan Sharks Make You Believe That You Don’t Have Other Options

Those who borrow from illegal money lenders in Singapore usually don’t have the necessary paperwork needed by banks or licensed lenders, or they simply need to get the money as fast as possible. Loan sharks capitalize on this by promising clients with personal loans that don’t require documents and can be disbursed immediately.

However, you should be aware of financial assistance programs by the government before thinking about borrowing money from a loan shark. Some banks and legitimate money lenders can now process a loan application and release the approved amount within 24 hours. If you don’t have the documents, a licensed money lender will be your best alternative.

Borrowers with poor credit scores are also inclined to borrow from loan sharks, but licensed lending companies also cater to this group of people.

Bugis Credit Unlicensed Lenders Use All Sorts of Dirty Schemes

3. Unlicensed Lenders Use All Sorts of Dirty Schemes

The scheming process of loan sharks evolves constantly. Watch out for those who ask you to sign up for a phone line and handset plan before approving your loan. These companies engage in this trick to let telephone companies do the work of chasing after you, in case of failure to repay the monthly instalments.

How does this work? The loan shark will ask you to sign a two-year contract with M1, Singtel or another company. Once approved, the lender will give money in exchange for the phone. Let’s say the phone from the contract costs $1,500. The loan shark will give $1,000 and you won’t have to repay them. Your responsibility now involves paying the telephone company.

There are several red flags from this scenario, but the most prominent one is the exchange of money for the phone. Some phone companies provide discounted mobile devices for their plans or even give them to customers for free. In other words, you’re paying money for something that’s not in your hands because you “sold” it to a loan shark.

Unlicensed lenders do this because they don’t want to bother chasing after clients who defaulted on small loans, which usually cost from $1,000 and $3,000. By asking the customer to sign up for a phone plan, they pass on the chore of hunting defaulters to telephone companies.

If you need to borrow $3,000, then the loan shark will ask you to sign a phone deal with a handset that’s worth the same as your desired loan amount.

Another shady tactic involves loans with the promise of buying gift cards. Customers will need to agree to buy a certain number of cards within a specific period.

If you borrowed $1,000 from a loan shark, you will have to agree on buying a $100 gift card each week for two months. The cards can be either common gift cards such as AliPay or those from the loan sharks themselves.

Bugis Credit Loans Build Relationships With Clients

4. Loans Build Relationships With Clients

The Hari-Hari type of lending is just another yet milder version of unscrupulous lending money. The term means “daily” in Malay, which refers to the frequency of collecting payments from borrowers. Loan sharks have become familiar with their clients through this scheme, as they see each other each day to collect the money.

People with low-income jobs are usually the clients of Hari-Hari lenders.

Both parties have a good-natured relationship because of the daily encounters, but loan sharks still won’t think twice of harassing their clients if they default on their loans. Most illegal money lenders who use the Hari-Hari system rarely fail to collect payments, possibly because the amount is small when divided into daily instalments.

The problem, however, lies in the accumulated interest payments that can last for several years. Some borrowers even pay 10 times the principal amount! The idea of being familiar on a personal level with their creditors becomes another problem, as they may feel embarrassed when they miss a single payment.

Imagine owing money to a close friend or family member and being unable to repay the loan. How would you feel about it?

Conclusion

A licensed money lender should be your first option for borrowing money instead of looking for a loan shark.

Singapore may have tough rules to deter unscrupulous lenders, but some companies and individuals still ignore these regulations since they know a lot of people need money urgently.

Don’t let your money problems become bigger by choosing a loan shark. Call us today and find out more about our services.

How to Get a Personal Loan When You Have a Bad Credit

If the personal loan is not to be used for an emergency, the best thing to do is to improve your credit score for you to be avail of the loan without feeling burdened at all. Make sure that you pay on time all your debts. Bring down the balance of your card to at least 30 percent of the credit limit allowed for you. Also applying for a new credit can make your situation worse.

The three mentioned elements make up 75 percent of your credit score: paying on time, reducing the use of credit cards, and not applying for a new credit. Be realistic in your goals and their timeline. It may be quite difficult to raise your credit score by 100 points in only 3 to 6 months.

If you happen to have an emergency and your loan application has been turned down repeatedly because of no credit or your bad credit, you can request to be interviewed by a credit union loan officer for you to convince them that you are credit-worthy.

Once you get a schedule for an interview, make sure that you have all the necessary documents. Lending institutions seek for signs of stability on borrowers. It’s better for you to show them that you lived in the same house or in the same city and worked the same job for several years.

The following documents will prove your credit-worthiness to lenders:

  •       Tax returns and W-2s and 1099 forms from at least the last two years.
  •       List of all your assets such as a home, car, or any property and where you are in paying them all off.
  •       Information about your salary, employment history, and pay stubs
  •       Whether you receive alimony or child support
  •       Bank statements for checking, savings, and cash deposit.
  •       List of unsecured debts like credit card and medical bills.

Not all of these documents will be required by the lenders; but if you have bad credit, anything that will show that you have become more responsible with your money will help you get a loan. You will also be asked questions that may sound negative and offensive to you such as:

  •       Have you had any lawsuits?
  •       Have you ever declared bankruptcy or had a foreclosure judgment?
  •       Do you know your ethnic background?
  •       Do you have any judgment against the items in collection?

Remember that the in-person interview is to convince the lender that you are capable of repayment. Any document that will support this argument especially proof that you paid off loans on assets such as a car or a boat will be helpful to you.

personal loan with poor credit history

The following are some concrete steps to take for you to get a loan despite having bad credit:

1)      Understand that your credit score affects the interest rates.

In general a credit score is the most crucial factor that affects the decision of the lender on what interest rate to give you. Even if many lenders will offer personal loans to people particular those of fair credit, if you have bad credit, expect to pay higher interest rates. That’s why it’s important to check with multiple lenders for you to compare the interest rates and terms. Don’t think that when you are turned down by one lender you will not be able to get a loan. Just keep on searching until you receive a good offer.

2)      Know your most recent credit score.

It’s one thing to know that you have bad credit; it’s another to know how bad it is. FICO, the credit scoring company has five categories of credit scores. They are as follows:

poor: 300-579

fair: 580-669

good: 670-739

very good: 740-799

excellent: 800-850

It’s wise to check one’s credit score before you apply for any loan. You need not have an excellent credit score for you to get a loan, but you will notice the difference in the loan amount you can avail yourself of vis-à-vis your credit status.

3)      Calculate your own debt-to-income ratio.

Some lenders will calculate the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio or the percentage of the monthly income that goes to debt. This will guide their decision whether to give you a loan or not and if ever granted the amount of loan suitable in your condition.

The formula is simple. Just divide all the monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income and you get a ratio or a percentage. Lenders prefer their borrowers to have 35 percent or lower debt-to-income ratio. This includes the loan you are applying for and those that are currently existing.

4)      Consider getting a loan from a credit union.

Credit unions are a huge help when you need a personal loan and you have bad credit. These institutions are more flexible, and their maximum interest rate is at 18 percent.

Credit unions according to the Experian, credit unions have the non-profit status which enables them to accept riskier borrowers that are not normally accepted by banks. They often offer lower fees and interest rates too.

5)      Consider getting a home equity loan.

If your home has equity, make use of the equity. It’s money that is always available and can be used without considering the low credit score. A home equity loan does not consider low credit score a factor. For as long as your home has equity, you can take advantage of the amount.

Home equity loans have fixed interest rates and repayment terms. It is possible for you to borrow money for up to 30 years. The interest can be deductible on your taxes when they are itemized. The money can be used to make important changes to your current home.

This kind of loan is not without drawbacks. First off, your home will be made collateral. That means if you fail to repay the loan, you can end up homeless. There are also some home equity loans that have fees and ones that require you to have a substantial home equity for you to qualify. That makes it highly important to research and compare multiple home equity loan lenders.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Personal Loan?

You may need a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt, to spend on home improvement, to use for an emergency, or any other purposes. Is it your habit to look around and research or you focus more on getting the money right away?

According to a survey done by US News, 21 percent of borrowers don’t do comparison research before they file for a loan while 51 percent don’t use any preapprovals to compare the rates, requirements, and fees.

However, it is crucial to do comparison research when you are about to engage in a major financial commitment even if there are online lenders that make the entire process convenient and fast. The following are some of the aspects that you have to check before you get a loan:

Check your credit score and credit history.

These two factors are what lenders often consider reviewing loan applications. A good credit score will make it easier for you to get a loan and receive a more favourable interest rate from the lender. Credit history, on the other hand, can affect the lender’s decision whether to approve your loan application or not and the amount of interest you will be offered.
Some lenders also look into the applicant’s debt-to-income ratio. This is the total of debt payments divided by the gross monthly income. This will guide the lender in understanding how you will manage your repayment if your personal loan is approved.

Apply for a prequalification.

Prequalification is the process in which the lender will review the information you shared with them. This is for them to give you the loan you are qualified for. Once you become prequalified, the lender will conduct a soft credit inquiry which will not affect your credit scores.

Being pre-qualified does not mean your loan has been approved. It helps you to understand whether you are more likely to be approved and the specific loan terms that you qualified for. If you decide to accept the prequalified offer for a loan, you must submit a formal application directly to the lender. What follows is a hard credit inquiry which will affect your credit scores.

Compare loan offers.

Once you submit your information, you will be receiving numerous loan offers that you prequalify for. You have to compare the information listed on these offers such as the lender, loan amount you may qualify for, estimated monthly payment amount, estimated interest and fees, estimated annual percentage rate or APR, and loan term. Don’t forget to check on the prepayment penalties and origination fees.

Apply for the chosen loan.

Once you are done with the comparison research and have chosen a specific loan, you can proceed to the application process. The lender will tell you directly the requirements you need to submit. Some of the information you need to provide include income verification, ID verification, monthly housing cost, and Social Security number.
Wait for the approval from the lender.

Give time for the lender to review your application, decide if you will be approved for the loan, and send you the final documents once you are approved. The documents will contain the details of the loan which include the interest rate, length of the loan, the amount of the loan, and monthly payments.

After reviewing the details, you have to sign the documents and the funds will be deposited to your bank account.

Bugis Financial Loan

Personal Loan Requirements

The usual IDs that are acceptable when applying for a personal loan are the following: driver’s license, passport, state ID, birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, utility bill(s), and military ID. Lenders usually require at least two government-issued IDs.

Almost all lenders require their applicants to meet the minimum income requirement. When you fill out the application form, it is necessary for you to provide some basic information and other details to verify your income. These are the documents that are often required: tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs.

Lenders also ask applicants for information about their assets, debts, and liabilities. It means it will be more convenient for you when you bring other documents such as current credit card and loan statements, proven additional/alternate sources of income, an estimation of your current expenses, and a current rent or mortgage statement.

The lender will also verify your current employment. That’s why they often ask for your current employer’s name and the contact details in your full loan application. If necessary, the lender may call your employer to verify your employment and income information. However, this is more common when applying for mortgages and not for personal loans.

Common Terms Used

There are some common terms you have to be familiar with when you apply for a personal loan. The following are some of them:

Principal-This refers to the amount you borrow. The lender calculates the interest they will charge you for the loan based on the principal. As you keep on repaying the loan every month, the amount of the principal decreases.

APR-This stands for Annual Percentage Rate. APR is the consolidated amount from your interest rate and the lender’s fees that will provide you a clearer picture of your actual loan cost. It’s useful to compare APRs for you to determine the loan’s affordability and personal loan value.

Unsecured Loan-Personal loans are often unsecured loans. It means you don’t need to provide a collateral for the loan. In a home or auto loan, the property itself serves as the borrower’s collateral to the lender. A personal loan if usually supported by the borrower’s good credit standing or a cosigner. However, some lenders require collateral for personal loans for them to be able to offer better rates than the unsecured personal loan.

Monthly Payment-Every month within the loan term, you will have to pay a monthly payment to the lender. This payment will include the amount you have to pay for the principal amount you owe the lender. It also includes the interest of the loan within the loan term.

Term– This refers to the number of months you are required to pay the loan.

How Much Can I Borrow From A Licensed Moneylender?

Licensed moneylenders are part of the financial institutions that have the authority to grant loans to people, which are repaid over a stipulated period of time. On short notice, moneylenders can come in handy, and they offer several types of loans, including personal loans and payday loans.
You have to be sure that the moneylender you want to sign up with is licensed and following the rules and regulations that are in place to protect both them and we the customers.

Unlicensed moneylenders in Singapore are basically loan sharks who have no qualms about cheating you out of house and home, and may even commit identity theft, ruining you in the process.

 

Why Should I Borrow from Moneylenders?

Moneylenders have a more flexible loan approval process, allowing you to access your loan in the fastest time possible, at least faster than if you were getting a loan from the bank.

Most moneylenders keep the background checks to a minimum, requesting just a few documents on your part. With strict interest rate charges set by regulatory bodies, borrowing from moneylenders can make repayment easier for you than borrowing from other lending institutions.

 

How Much Can I Borrow?

For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, if

(a) your annual income is less than $20,000, you may loan up to $3,000;

(b) your annual income is above $20,000, you may loan between 1 to 6 times of your monthly income.

For Foreigners residing in Singapore, if

(a) your annual income is less than $10,000, you may loan up to $500;

(b) your annual income is at least $10,000 and less than $20,000, you may loan up to $3,000;

(c) your annual income is above $20,000, you may loan up to 1 to 6 times of your monthly income.

 

What Are The Interest Rates?

As of October 2015, moneylenders charge an interest rate at the maximum of 4%, regardless of amount borrowed. This 4% interest is also charged for nothing secured and unsecured loans.
If you miss a repayment in any month, the interest on that late payment is still 4%, and it is charged to the delayed payments.

 

What Are The Fees?

Moneylenders are permitted to place the following fees, and only these fees, on the loans they grant:

  • When you have been granted a loan, you are charged a fee of no more than 10% of the principal of that loan
  • For each month’s repayment that you miss, you are charged a fee of not more than S$60
  • For any successful claim filed by the moneylender for the recovery of a loan, you are to pay the legal costs that have been ordered by the court