Applying to get a loan is definitely not a small decision to make. Prior to taking up a loan, there are a few things that you have to consider beforehand. You definitely do not want to find yourself in a troubling situation later on by not knowing about the guidelines on money lending activities.
There are different types of loans; personal loans, payday loans, in house renovation loans, car loans, and etc. But before you weigh your choices on which loan you should apply for, make sure you go for a licensed moneylender. This is especially crucial if you want to get financing because a licensed moneylender will guarantee a good service that is not fraudulent.
It is stated in the Singapore’s Moneylenders Act that no one can pursue the money lending business in Singapore, whether as principal or as an agent, except if they are:
- authorized by a license
- an excluded moneylender
- an exempted moneylender
So, having a license is the most important factor for a money lending service to acquire. If you want to apply for a loan, this is the number one criteria that you should consider. The moneylenders act is there to help regulate the money lending business whereby it provides protection for the borrowers should any problems arise between the lender and the borrower.
Next, how can you know if a moneylender is licensed?
If you are looking for a list of licensed moneylenders in Singapore, well you are in luck! The Ministry of Law has gathered a list of moneylenders that have acquired a legal license in this list (last updated 1 February 2020): List of Valid Moneylenders in The Republic of Singapore.
If you want to know where moneylenders often publicize their business, here’s a few heads up:
- Business directories in print or online media
- Internet websites on moneylenders
- Advertisements (posters, etc.) at the place of the business
You should keep in mind that these moneylenders are absolutely forbidden from advertising their business through means of text messages or phone calls. If you ever receive such texts or phone calls, chances are, the moneylender does not have a valid moneylender license.
If you are looking for a good and reliable licensed moneylender, here are a few characteristics that you should keep in view:
When you are engaging with a moneylender, be sure to check their credibility. Here’s how. First, whatever it is, make sure they are operating with a license! To note, a good money lender is accredited by the Ministry of Law through the Registry of Moneylenders Singapore. This is of paramount importance as the moneylenders that are registered are qualified and recognized by the law. You need not worry about dealing with an unreliable business, like the ones registered often comply with the law. Next, check if they have a clean track record and outstanding reputation. You can do this by checking the reviews of the previous clients for positive or negative feedback. Their number of years in the industry also often can be a good indicator of their credibility in the business of money lending.
Offer low-interest rate with no hidden charges
A reliable and legitimate moneylender would often try to avoid charging unreasonably high rates. This is because, according to the Registrar of Moneylenders, there are strict instructions on the number of fees and charges that a licensed moneylender can charge for loans. This is contrary to unlicensed money lenders where they often charge punitive interest rates. So if you want to be sure that a moneylender is reliable and trustworthy, check out moneylenders that offer low-interest rates on the market with no hidden fees or fines to the loans.
Flexibility in terms of conditions
A good lending institution should be able to provide reasonable and above all, negotiable terms. Hence, the flexibility of a moneylender can give a good idea that the institution is good and reliable. Of course, you don’t want to get into a bigger financial struggle after taking out a loan. So be sure that you go for a money lender that can comply with your needs for both you and the party can work around good terms of engagement.
If you do come across any unethical practices of a money lending institution, here’s a guideline on what they are prohibited from doing.
The Registry of Moneylenders had listed a few regulations in which you are allowed to file a complaint if the moneylender does any of the following:
Unreasonable money lending practices (usury)
Give out false information
Money collection practices that do not comply with the law
Unfair lending contracts
Short term-loan of a period less than a month
Breach of terms and conditions of the loan contract
According to Singapore’s Moneylenders Act, as a borrower, you have the right to be well-informed about all the terms and conditions of the loan. You are also entitled to know about all the information about the loan that you are signing up for such as the interest rates, as well as the repayment methods, etc. Failure to do so will entitle the money lending institution for a complaint made by the borrower.
Hence, if there’s a need for you to file a complaint, you can do so by reporting directly to the National Crime Prevention Council’s (NCPC) hotline. You can also contact the Singaporean registrar moneylenders through a phone call at +65 6325 1416 or 1800 225 5529.
If you want to take out a loan, be sure to have all these things in mind. After all, getting financing comes with great responsibility for both parties; you and the moneylending institution. It’s also important for you to be a dutiful borrower and do your part as a good moneylending borrower. If you have further inquiries on what kind of loan that you can apply for, check out Bugis Credit. Bugis Credit is a reliable and trustworthy licensed moneylender, so you can head over to their website if you need financial assistance.