Personal Loan Finder

Choosing an Online Loan: The Essential Criteria

Applying for an online loan in Singapore can be intimidating, especially if it is your first time doing so. Whether you are a novice borrower or have applied several times before, the fundamentals of making a good choice are the same. 

This is a quick guide to getting a private personal loan in Singapore. It shows you what to look for in a good online money lender as well as how to recognise the warning signs of a bad one. We call it the Personal Loan Finder C3P checklist.

Certification

The Singapore Ministry of Law regulates and certifies every legal money lender in the country. That certification is given in the format xx/202x or xxx/202x. Examples are 12/2020 and 345/2021. All licensed money lenders are required to display that certification code on their website and all associated informational and advertising material they produce. On a licensed money lender’s website, you can usually find it on the Home and About pages and/or in the footer of each page. It is often displayed prominently and easy to find. Once you locate this information, cross-check the company details with the complete list on the Ministry of Law website. Note that online scammers occasionally imitate legitimate money lenders with web addresses that closely resemble those of certified companies. Always check closely before applying.

Professionalism

One of the dead giveaways of an unreliable money lender (even if they may be licensed) is an unprofessional business setup. Look out for these warning signs:

Website domain

The website address should be the company’s name and not a free one. Free sites usually contain the name of the hosting company, for example, TemasekCashLoan.wordpress.com.  

Website layout

Is the site easy to navigate? Can you find the information you want easily? Or is the content messy and disorganised? A good lending company pays attention to these small details.

Contact email

A professional business will have their own email contact address, usually linked to their website, for example, Queries@PersonalLoanFinder.co. If a company provides an email address from a free service such as Gmail, it is indicative of an unprofessional setup.  

Demeanour

By Singapore law, no loan may be processed completely online so you will have the chance to speak directly to the company. Are they polite and understanding? Professional lenders will be.

Platform

Most of us have received messages from unknown numbers on WhatsApp, via SMS, and on other social media platforms with loan offers. These messages often promise rates that are the lowest for a personal loan in Singapore. None of them are authentic or legal. The government expressly forbids authorised money lenders from advertising on social media or through phone calls and SMS messages. Scammers also lure unsuspecting Singaporeans with the prospect of having their loans authorised and finalised completely online. This is also illegal under Singapore law. Money lenders are legally obligated to verify your identity and associated details in person before granting a loan. If a company’s loan approval process seems to be too fast and too good to be true, it probably is.

Payments

Another common tactic among illegal lenders is to dangle an enticing offer of the lowest personal loan rate in Singapore. However, after they ‘approve’ your loan, these scammers ask for up-front payments under the guise of “processing fees” or ‘GST charges” before they transfer any money to your account. This is illegal. Apart from the approved rate of interest on a loan, licensed money lenders can only charge fees for late payments, missed payments, and early repayments. If you are asked to pay other miscellaneous charges, you are dealing with a loan shark. Report them anonymously to the police if you wish.

Choose an Online Loan Easily

The online loan industry is not static since the relevant regulations and guidelines are regularly tweaked by the government. Because of this continuously shifting landscape, the criteria for the best online loan may also change. If you find it difficult to keep up with these changes, let Personal Loan Finder do the hard work for you. We obtain the latest and most relevant information to help you make the right online loan decision. Check back on this page often to make sure that you have the knowledge to choose the right online money lender for your needs in Singapore.

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