In 2015, the National University of Singapore carried out research into the interest that each licensed money lender in Singapore was charging and discovered that the rates varied dramatically between lenders. Some moneylenders charged as low as 5% per month and others were charging as much as 30-120% per month.

No matter who you are and whatever your financial status, there is always going to be a time in your life when you will need that little extra bit of cash to make that big purchase or just to help your finances go that bit further during that financial crisis. A personal loan is always likely to be the easiest and quickest option to get hold of the cash you need in a hurry.

Singaporean personal loan are sanctioned faster and generally offer reasonable rates of interest, which is why they are considered to be an important part of the credit system in Singapore. It would come to no surprise, therefore that the government of Singapore has many licensing firms which are registered under the Insolvency and Public-Trustee’s Office (IPTO). With the huge range of licensing firms that are registered, there is a diverse range of personal loan packages available. This also means that even if you have a poor credit rating, you will probably find it easy to secure a personal loan.

However, the responsibility is all yours at the end of the day. So be careful, do your homework and do not take on any debt that you cannot afford to pay back, otherwise you may regret it further down the line in years to come when you have debt collectors knocking on your door.

When you are looking for a loan, you essentially need to make sure you are totally aware of your finances and any limitations to spending and borrowing you may face. The best moneylending organizations can offer a range of loans for a variety of purposes, with and without security options and will offer a good customer service to assist with your financial needs.

There follows a list of key criteria to follow when searching for a reputable licensed moneylender:

Do the Research

Once you have found a moneylender you like the sound of and you would like to try, it is extremely important that you check their credentials out on the IPTO website. If they are legitimate they will have a valid operating license and they will be on the Registrar of Moneylenders list. If, however you do a search on the IPTO website and you do not find them registered on there, then the chances are they are not a legitimate moneylender and they should of course be avoided at all costs.

If they are registered on IPTO website then this is a good sign and you should now check for customer testimonials and feedback which will tell you more about the quality of work they provide and will help you decide whether to use them as your moneylender.

Check the Paperwork in Person

According to the financial regulations; as laid down by the IPTO; as the borrower you are ‘mandatorily obliged’ to collect your personal loan sum. This way as the borrower you can check all the paperwork is correct and you are satisfied with the terms of your loan agreement before it is signed for and the funds are released to you. If the moneylender does not follow this ‘mandatorily obliged’ process set out by the IPTO, and they do not invite you in to check the paperwork, then quite simply do not trust them and certainly do not give them your business.

Always Look for a Landline

Unscrupulous moneylenders are notorious for illegally using a variety of different mobile numbers in their advertising and publicity campaigns and sometimes they even use overseas numbers. To be absolutely clear on this, this is illegal and is being clamped down upon by the Singaporean government.

All legal Singaporean moneylenders are required by law to only use their registered landlines for their moneylending services. So if you see a mobile number or an overseas number advertised on any of the moneylenders promotional material, avoid them at all costs, they are probably not a legitimate moneylender.

Thoroughly Read the Terms and Conditions

It is your responsibility as a borrower to make sure you have read all the fine details of any moneylending agreement, so you are totally aware of the full terms and conditions of the service and repayment terms you are signing up to. So do not be afraid to take your time if you need to, checking through all the details and asking the moneylender as many questions as you need to in order to clarify the points you are not too sure about. It is the moneylenders’ responsibility to ensure that any moneylending agreement and terms are written as clearly as possible in language that is easy to understand. Only sign up to the loan once you are completely satisfied that the loan meets all your requirements, that everything has been satisfactorily explained to you and that you fully understand all of the terms. As an extra safety measure before committing yourself, an absolute must is to ensure the moneylenders terms and conditions meet the IPTO regulations. So pay a visit to the IPTO website to check this out before signing any contract.

There are many reasons why you may need to take out a personal loan, to buy a home, pay medical bills, buy that brand new car, repair your old one or to help pay for that cruise or holiday you have been promising yourself. So there will always be some level of interest rate to pay on your personal loan and interest rates vary between moneylenders.

With this in mind it is important you shop around for the moneylender that is offering a rate of interest that is affordable to you and your repayments. Most licensed moneylenders will offer low interest rates and flexible payment options. That said it is important to keep an eye out for any clauses that are hidden in the terms and conditions that ask for minor repayments that may not be beneficial or suitable to you a few years down the line if you go ahead and sign a contract with any moneylender.