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What Borrowers Need to Know About Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore

Updated: May 9

Licensed Money Lenders

Navigating the financial landscape can be a daunting task, especially when you're seeking additional funding to bolster your business or address personal expenses. 

In Singapore, one of the avenues available to borrowers is through licensed money lenders. Operating outside traditional banking institutions, these entities can play a significant role in helping individuals meet short-term financial needs. However, understanding the role and regulations surrounding licensed money lenders is crucial. 

In this comprehensive overview, we will walk you through the ins and outs of dealing with licensed money lenders in Singapore, providing you with the information you need to borrow responsibly and confidently.

How to Check if a Money Lender is Licensed in Singapore

Before you consider borrowing from any institution, it's essential to verify that the money lender is indeed licensed. To do so, the Ministry of Law in Singapore maintains a public list of licensed money lenders on their website. 

You can either check the list directly or use the Money Lenders App available on the Ministry's website.

When you approach a potential lender, they should be able to provide you with their registration number as proof of their legitimacy. If you encounter any hesitation, proceed with caution and avoid engagement until their status can be verified. 

Dealing with unlicensed lenders exposes you to significant risks and is not recommended.

Steps to Verify a Money Lender's License

  • Visit the Ministry of Law's website and check the list of licensed money lenders.

  • Use the Money Lenders App to perform a quick search. 

  • Request the lender's registration number and verify with the official list.

Ensure the lender's license is valid and in force, as the status can change due to compliance issues or renewals.

The Difference Between Licensed Money Lenders and Banks

While licensed money lenders and banks are both financial institutions, they differ significantly in their operation and purpose. Banks are regulated under the Banking Act and cater to a wide range of financial services, including deposit accounts, loans, and investments. They are typically where consumers go for significant loans, such as mortgages or business loans.

Licensed money lenders, on the other hand, specialize in providing small, short-term loans. They often cater to borrowers who may not meet the strict criteria set by banks and who require quick access to funds. 

Recognized under the Moneylenders Act, licensed money lenders have regulations in place to ensure that the terms of borrowing are fair and transparent.

When to Choose a Money Lender and When to Choose a Bank

Deciding between a licensed money lender and a bank depends on a variety of factors. If you need a substantial loan with a longer repayment period and have the financial credibility to do so, a bank may be the preferred option. 

For smaller, urgent funds that you can repay within a short span, a licensed money lender could be a more accessible choice. Always compare the terms and conditions offered by a few providers before making a decision.

Is It Safe to Borrow from a Licensed Money Lender?

Licensed money lenders in Singapore are regulated and bound by laws intended to protect borrowers. This doesn't mean all lenders are equal, so it's crucial to conduct due diligence when selecting one. Some steps you can take to ensure safety include:

  • Verify the lender's license.

  • Thoroughly read and understand the loan contract before signing.

  • Ensure that all terms, particularly the interest rate and fees, are clearly laid out.

  • Avoid deals that seem too good to be true, as they often are.

  • Check for any additional services the lender provides, such as financial counseling.

  • Seek reviews and recommendations from trusted sources.

By following these steps, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering issues with a licensed money lender.

How Much Does a Licensed Money Lender Charge?

The interest rates charged by licensed money lenders can be higher than those from banks, given the different nature of services provided. These rates can vary, but the Singapore Ministry of Law sets limits on how much licensed money lenders can charge to ensure that fees remain reasonable.

Calculating Interest Rates and Fees

When determining the cost of borrowing, it is essential to factor in the interest rates and any additional fees. Interest is typically calculated on a monthly reducing basis, which means that the principal amount on which the interest is charged reduces every month as you make repayments. 

Always request for a detailed computation from the money lender before taking out a loan, and be sure to understand how missing payments can impact the total amount due.

What Happens If You Don't Pay a Money Lender Back?

Defaulting on a loan from a licensed money lender can have serious consequences. Firstly, it can lead to legal action by the lender, resulting in fines and potentially criminal charges. Secondly, non-payment will negatively impact your credit score, making it more challenging to secure loans in the future.

Avoiding Default

Given the severity of the outcomes, it's essential to borrow responsibly and to have a clear repayment plan before taking out a loan. If you anticipate difficulty in making payments, it's best to communicate with the lender as soon as possible to explore alternative arrangements. In some cases, the lender may agree to a restructured payment plan that better fits your circumstances.

Will a Money Lender Affect My Credit Score in Singapore?

Licensed money lenders are regulated entities and may not report information directly to the Credit Bureau of Singapore. However, in the event of default, the lender is within their right to report this information, which will impact your credit score.

Managing Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a measure of your financial stability and is used by lenders to assess your risk. Maintaining a healthy credit score is crucial for future borrowing, including for mortgages and business loans. To manage your credit score, ensure timely payments, avoid borrowing from multiple sources simultaneously, and regularly check your credit report for accuracy.

In conclusion, licensed money lenders in Singapore can be a lifeline for those in need of quick, short-term financial solutions, but it's crucial to approach such borrowing with caution and clear understanding. 

Always verify the legitimacy of the lender, compare terms and rates, and ensure your ability to repay before signing any agreement. By approaching these lenders responsibly, you can take advantage of their services while safeguarding your financial health.

Are you looking for a Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore? Alles Autos Credit Pte Ltd is one of the largest licensed moneylender in Singapore. We helped more than thousands of clients in urgent need of cash to solve people's financial problems over 13 years. Contact us today for suitable loan services!


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