Creditors and debtors are the two key cogs in the economic machine that keep it powered. Irrespective of one’s financial status, loans are more or less an inevitable lifeline we all cling to at some point in life, whether it’s to buy our first home or finance a new business. However, a city as expensive as Singapore also has plenty of demand for personal loans due to the overall egregiously high costs of living people have to contend with apart from the costs of bare necessities.
Personal loans are an integral part of the Singaporean credit system because they are sanctioned significantly faster and offer rather reasonable interest rates. The Singapore government has a wide number of licensing firms registered under the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office (IPTO) that offer great diversity in personal loan packaging. Although personal loans are supposed to be easier to obtain even for people with poor credit scores, it does not mean one should callously walk on thin ice.
Apart from ensuring you have your finances in order on your end, it is imperative to identify an established moneylender with an impeccable market reputation. An ideal lending firm provides a healthy range of loans, financial security options, and proactive customer service to ease your financial burden. Here are 5 of the key signs to look out for while hunting for a good licensed moneylender:
1. Check Your Moneylender
The IPTO website should be the first place for you to commence your research by verifying the registration details of the lending firm you are scouting. A moneylender without a valid operating license number that is registered on the list of licensed moneylenders in the Registrar of Moneylender’s office, is definitely an illegal service provider whom you must steer clear of.
Secondly, a thorough analysis of user feedback and testimonials is also essential in giving you reliable insights on the quality of service provided by a moneylender.
2. Keeping You in the Loop
As per IPTO regulations, borrowers are mandatorily obliged to personally visit the offices of licensed moneylenders to collect their personal loan sum. This is done to ensure that borrowers can verify that all necessary paper work for the loan is properly wrapped up before they sign on the dotted line.
Any moneylender, who insists on handling the entire loan process by themselves and leaving you out of the loop without following required protocols, is not someone you should deal with.
3. Abiding by the Legal Advertising Protocols
One of the many safety measures enforced by the Singaporean government to protect borrowers from shady loan sharks and their unscrupulous business practices is to mandate all legal moneylenders to only use their registered landline for advertising their services.
Illegal moneylenders are infamous for advertising their lending services using a host of mobile numbers or overseas numbers in their advertising materials.
4. Transparency of Terms & Conditions
All licensed moneylenders are directed to draft any personal loan contract in an easily understandable language for the benefit of the customer. As a responsible borrower, it is your duty to examine every little inch of fine print in your contract and clarify all the specified terms and conditions with a loan advisor before you sign up for it. Most importantly, you must first ensure all these contract terms and conditions comply with the IPTO regulations available on their website.
Just like any other line of debt, interest rates are one of the most vital determining factors for Singaporeans seeking a personal loan. Whether you need a loan to renovate your home, pay for your child’s education, clear medical bills, or fix your car, there are a host of custom options offered by lending firms that will suit your repayment budget. Although low interest rates and flexible payment periods are commonplace in the licensed moneylender market, you must look out for any minor repayment or interest rate clauses that may be unfavorable to you down the line.