Posts Tagged ‘Moneylenders’

Moneylender Tips – Identifying Legal Moneylenders in Singapore

How do you tell a if a Moneylender in Singapore is a legal one? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  1. No telemarketing or SMS

According to the IPTO rules and privacy acts, moneylenders should not advertise their services in the form of telemarketing or SMS marketing. The penalties for advertising these services are harsh. Moneylenders can easily lose their licenses if they are caught.

However, many illegal money lending services use SMS and telemarketing to market their services to unsuspecting consumers. It is important to avoid these services.

  1. No online bank transfers

Moneylenders often claim that they are able to provide instant cash for approved loans. The truth is that a legal moneylender will never use online money transfers to make payments for money. Only illegal moneylenders would use such methods as there would be no paperwork and therefore no way of tracing where the money came from.

Legal moneylenders will require you to come into the office to sign the contract before they can give you the money. This applies even for those who allow you to apply for the loan online.

  1. Are registered on the Registry of Moneylenders

The easiest way to identify a legitimate moneylender is to check with the Registry of Moneylenders. All licensed moneylenders are registered on this registry. They are required to abide by certain laws and regulations in order to maintain their registered status. Only moneylenders serious about running a legitimate business will strive to maintain their license by abiding with all the regulations.

  1. Never ask you to disclose personal details over the phone

A legal moneylender takes the personal information of its clients seriously. Such lenders will never require their clients to disclose their personal information over the phone. It is important for you never to divulge information such as your Sing Pass details over the phone to a third party.

SingPass verification ought to be done on site and in person. Legal moneylenders will require you to come with your personal details for verification when your application has been approved.

  1. Research the moneylender

It is important to carry out your own research on the lender you are interested in. Apart from checking to ensure that it is registered with the Registry of Moneylenders, it is also important to look for further information about the lender online. There are various websites that provide independent reviews on moneylenders. You can visit these websites to see what others are saying about the lender you are interested in. This will help you avoid any illegal moneylenders.

How do I know whether a moneylender is licensed or not?

Do not borrow from unlicensed moneylenders. Verify that a moneylender is licensed by checking the list of licensed moneylenders. “Click here to access the list of licensed moneylenders.”

Notwithstanding that the moneylenders are licensed, be mindful if they:

  • Use abusive language, or behave in a threatening manner towards you.
  • Ask for your SingPass user ID and/or password.
  • Retain your NRIC card or any other personal ID documents (e.g. driver’s licence, passport,work permit, employment pass or ATM card).
  • Ask you to sign on a blank or incomplete Note of Contract for the loan.
  • Grant you a loan without giving you a copy of the Note of contract for the loan and/or without properly explaining to you all the terms and conditions.
  • Grant you a loan without exercising due diligence (e.g. approving a loan over the phone, SMS or email before even receiving your loan application form and supporting documents, such as the income tax assessment and payslips).
  • Withhold any part of your principal loan amount for any reason.

Such practices are not acceptable. If you encounter them, you should report the moneylender to the Registry of Moneylenders, with information such as the moneylender’s business name, licence and contact numbers.

To find out more about unlicensed moneylenders, you may click on this link: