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Know Your Rights– Guide to Borrowing from Certified Lenders in Singapore

What should you do before approaching a lender? Read The Money Lenders Act in Singapore!

Please keep in mind that you are lawfully bound to fulfill any loan agreements you go into with a certified money lender. Constantly bear in mind to ensure you can satisfy your loan obligation (monetary and legal wise).

The laws in Singapore requires all certified money lenders to explain the terms of loans to you in a language you are and comprehend needed by law to offer you with a copy of the agreement. Do ensure you comprehend the all terms of the contract including the payment terms, interest rates and all the appropriate charges included.

If you need a loan, it is sensible to go shopping around for the best possible offer you can.

Just how much can you obtain?

For safe loans, there is no limitation to the loan you can protect. For unsecured loans, the amount you can obtain depends on your yearly income:

You can borrow as much as $3,000, if your yearly income is less than $20,000;

You can obtain up to 2 months’ earnings, if your annual earnings is $20,000 or more however less than $30,000;

You can borrow up to 4 months’ earnings, if your annual earnings is $30,000 or more but less than $120,000; and

You can obtain up any quantity, if your annual earnings is $120,000 or more.

Interest Rates That Moneylenders can charge

For loans contracted in between 1 June 2012 and 30 September 2015, moneylenders are needed to disclose and compute to you the Effective Interest Rate of the loan, before the loan is approved. If your annual income is less than $30,000, the rate of interest which lenders can charge, for both secured and unsecured loans, is topped at:
13 percent Effective Interest Rate for protected loans; and
20 per cent Effective Interest Rate for unsecured loans.

The Effective Interest Rate takes into account the compounding impact of the frequency of instalments over an one-year period. This implies that Effective Interest Rate better reflects the actual cost of borrowing over a 1 year period. Go to https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/rom to find out more about how the Effective Interest Rate is calculated from 1 June 2012.
The caps above are not appropriate and interest rate is to be agreed upon between the lender and the customer if your yearly income is $30,000 or more.

With effect from 1 October 2015, the maximum rate of interest lenders can charge is 4% per month. This cap uses no matter the debtor’s earnings and whether the loan is an unsecured or secured one. If a borrower cannot pay back the loan on time, the maximum rate of late interest a lender can charge is 4% per month for each month the loan is paid back late.

The calculation of interest charged on the loan needs to be based upon the amount of primary staying after subtracting from the original principal the total payments made by or on behalf of the debtor which are appropriated to principal. [To highlight, if X takes a loan of $10,000, and X has actually paid back $4,000, just the remaining $6,000 can be taken into account for the computation of interest.]

The late interest can just be charged on an amount that is repaid late. The moneylender can not charge on amounts that are outstanding but not yet due to be paid back. [To illustrate, if X takes a loan of $10,000, and stops working to pay for the first instalment of $2,000, the lender might charge the late interest on $2,000 however not on the staying $8,000 as it is not due.]

How do I know if a lender is licensed?

Never obtain from unlicensed lenders. Verify and guarantee that a lender is certified by checking this site by Ministry of Law Singapore. Safeguard your rights by obtaining just from licensed money lenders.

When you are securing a loan from a money lender, please do keep in mind of the following:

You must not provide your SingPass username and password.
They must not utilize abusive language or threaten you in any manner
You must never sign on a blank document or incomplete loan contract.
They have no rights to maintain your NRIC or any personal documents.
You need to not accept a loan without understanding the terms and conditions of the loan agreement or if you did nnont get a copy of the loan agreement.
No parts of the principal loan ought to be kept for any factor.
You ought to decline a loan over the phone, email or SMS without going through the proper treatments in getting a loan a needed by law.

Please report the lender to the Registry of Moneylenders if you come across any of the practice( s) above.

Exactly what are the fees that lenders can charge?

For loans contracted in between 1 June 2012 and 30 September 2015, moneylenders are just permitted to charge 6 kinds of fees:

For each celebration of late repayment of principal or interest;
For each occasion the regards to the loan contract are varied at your request;
For each dishonoured cheque released by you;
For each unsuccessful GIRO reduction from a savings account, as payment to the lender;
For early redemption of the loan or early termination of the agreement; and
Legal expenses incurred for the healing of the loan.
Any other costs are not permitted, and are hence not enforceable by the lender.

With effect from 1 October 2015, all moneylenders are just permitted to enforce the following charges and costs.

a fee not surpassing $60 for each month of late payment;
a fee not surpassing 10% of the principal of the loan when a loan is given; and
legal costs ordered by the court for a successful claim by the moneylender for the healing of the loan.
The overall charges enforced by a lender on any loan, including interest, late interest, upfront administrative and late fee likewise can not exceed an amount equivalent to the principal of the loan. [To illustrate, if X takes a loan of $10,000, then the interest, late interest, 10% administrative cost and monthly $60 late costs can not exceed $10,000.]

If a borrower fails to repay the loan on time, the maximum rate of late interest a lender can charge is 4% per month for each month the loan is repaid late.

The calculation of interest charged on the loan must be based on the amount of primary remaining after subtracting from the original principal the total payments made by or on behalf of the debtor which are appropriated to principal. To highlight, if X takes a loan of $10,000, and fails to pay for the first instalment of $2,000, the lender might charge the late interest on $2,000 but not on the staying $8,000 as it is not due. The total charges enforced by a lender on any loan, consisting of interest, late interest, in advance administrative and late charge likewise can not exceed an amount equivalent to the principal of the loan. To illustrate, if X takes a loan of $10,000, then the interest, late interest, 10% administrative fee and month-to-month $60 late charges can not exceed $10,000.