Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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If you are looking for a licensed moneylender, the Ministry of Law – Registry of Moneylenders has an updated list of validated licensed money lenders. You can find it on a PDF file which is updated monthly. The violators or those reported for unfair practices or illegal activities were excluded from the list. Therefore, you will observe every month that there will be changes in the number of licensed moneylenders.

For easy access, we at MoneyIQ features the complete of licensed moneylenders here. We have added a search box feature where you can easily validate a moneylender. The list is also coming from the Ministry of Law – Registry of Moneylenders website.

To verify if the lender is operating legally, please consider the following:

  • You can check over the list provided by the Ministry of Law – Registry of Moneylenders website. For quick access you may also check the list of licensed moneylenders here. These moneylenders are included in the monthly list since they abide by the rules and regulations implemented by the government.
  • A licensed moneylender is not permitted to send any unsolicited SMS, cold calls, or emails about their loan offers. They cannot also use these channels in advertising their loan service.
  • They need to meet the borrower personally in order to approve or grant the loan. They must meet at the registered business address of the lender.
  • A licensed money lender is not allowed to ask for any payment to the borrower before granting or in order to secure the loan. An administrative fee of up to 10% of the principal loan must only be charged after granting a loan or this is usually deducted from the loan principal.
  • They can only charge the interest rate and late interest which must not go beyond 4%.

A moneylender is operating illegally or using unfair practices if they use the following actions:

  • Use of abusive language towards you or the presence of harassment or threat.
  • Asking you to share your SingPass user ID and password.
  • They hold your NRIC card or any other personal ID or documents e.g. your driver’s license, work permit, ATM card, passport, and employment pass.
  • Asking you to sign on a blank document or signing in an incomplete Note of Contract.
  • They may grant you the loan without providing a copy of the Note of Contract.
  • They did not fully explain the terms and conditions in the Contract.
  • Granting a loan without following the right procedure, wherein the law required the lenders to meet their borrowers personally on their business address before granting the loan. Illegal lenders or loan sharks may approve the loan via phone, SMS, or email prior to receiving the loan application form and your supporting documents.
  • They may also withhold a portion of your loan without any valid reason.

If you have experienced the following, please do not hesitate to report them at this hotline: 1800-924-5664 (1800-X-AH-LONG). You may also call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or use their online form at to report those scams. If ever you have received any cold calls or unsolicited messages asking you to apply for a loan, you may also call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit

You have to take in mind that you need to transact only with a legally licensed moneylender. Dealing with an illegal licensed moneylender or loan sharks may lead you to fall for scams and financial burdens. To know more about the licensed moneylenders and loan sharks, please check the differences here.

Recently, we see moneylenders taking advantage of technology. They use online platforms where the borrowers can fill out the required information within their registered website address. Among the important information that is needed in the form:

  • Full name
  • Birthdate
  • Personal Identification Number
  • Nationality
  • Residential Address
  • Contact Information: e-mail address and phone number
  • Loan Amount

Surety to the loan must be included if needed. This involves stating the person(s) who will guarantee to pay back your loan if in case you failed for your repayments.

Other documents may include:

  • Identity or proof of verification
  • Appointment letter from the office
  • Proof of residency
  • Payslips
  • Utility bills
  • Income tax statements

For foreigners, you may be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Original copy of employment pass or work permit passport
  • Proof of employment e.g. a company or staff pass, appointment letter and payslip
  • Copy of your tenancy agreement or proof of residency
  • Appointment letter coming from your employer
  • Bank Statements

If you plan to obtain any loan amount or a bigger one, secured loans are the ideal option. As mentioned above, secured loans need a pledged asset or known as collateral. For an unsecured loan, please check the table below. Observe that your annual income matters on how much you can get.

For Singaporean / PR

Borrower’s Annual Income:

  • Less than S$10,000:
    Loan Amount: S$3,000
  • At least $10,000 and less than S$20,000:
    Loan Amount: S$3,000
  • At least S$20,000:
    Loan Amount: Up to 6 x Monthly Income

For Foreigner

Borrower’s Annual Income:

  • Less than S$10,000:
    Loan Amount: S$1,500
  • At least $10,000 and less than S$20,000:
    Loan Amount: S$3,000
  • At least S$20,000:
    Loan Amount: Up to 6 x Monthly Income

When approaching a licensed moneylender, there are various things that you need to consider. Before taking a loan and signing up a contract take in mind the following:

  • Look for other options. Before deciding to take a loan from a legal money lender, you may seek other available alternatives. You may look for financial assistance from Government agencies. Reach out to them to know more about their financial assistance.
  • Your legal obligations. Remember that when signing up for a loan contract, you need to follow all the rules and regulations stipulated within it.
  • Your Financial Obligations. You need to look to the whole picture when taking up a loan. Asses yourself if you can able to abide by the terms of the contract by taking in mind your income. Always take into consideration your current financial status. Also, late payments can be a financial burden to you and your family.
  • Full Understanding of the contract. Moneylenders are required by the law to fully explain the terms of a loan in the language that you understand. You must also be provided with a copy of the contract. Make sure that you comprehend with all the information written in the Note of Contract of your loan, especially the following: schedule of repayment, interest rates, and fees.
  • Agreement to contractual terms that involve your real estate property. You have to read carefully before signing for a contractual term of a moneylender that includes lodging a caveat on the sales proceeds of your real estate property when you failed to pay the loan. Take into consideration that with that agreement you cannot sell your property unless you have fully repaid the lender. Also, if it ends up using your property as a repayment, you don’t have any portion from the sale proceeds.
  • Different Moneylenders and their terms. Never stop looking for just a single moneylender. There are over a hundred of moneylenders existing, so all you need to do is compare. Check their terms and conditions and choose the most favourable one for you. Remember that it must suit your current financial needs.

According to the regulations, potential borrowers need to be physically present upon application, as the staffs need to obtain supporting documents such as your details. Licensed moneylenders in Singapore do not offer any kind of loans over the phone. Remember that most of the illegal moneylenders or loan sharks transact over the phone.

For a convenient transaction, moneylenders nowadays use an easy online application. They only use their registered website address for this purpose. So, you can apply easily using their website application form.

Getting a loan from a licensed moneylender is now much easier and convenient. You can now apply online to get in-principle approval first. They are taking advantage of the online platform to make the application faster. Take in mind that you need to apply using the registered website address of the licensed moneylender.

Another option is to head down to the moneylender’s office if you want to get a quick loan. The staff can attend to you immediately and process everything on the spot.

For quick offers, you may also use a loan matching platform.

A maximum of 4% per month. Effective 1st of October 2015, moneylenders can charge an interest rate of up to 4% per month. This is the maximum interest rate that they can charge. This applies to any income earners and types of loans (either secured or unsecured). In the case of failure for repayment, the maximum for late interest charge is also 4% per month. This is applicable for each month with late repayment.

The interest rate to be charged must be based on the principal remaining. For example, if the original loan is at $10,000 and you have repaid $6000, the remaining is $4000. So, the interest rate will be based on your $4000 principal remaining.

In addition, for the late repayment example, if your total remaining is $6000 and your monthly installment is $3000, the moneylender can only charge the late interest rate on $3000. The lender cannot charge for the late interest rate on the total remaining which is $6000.

Effective also from 1st October 2015, all licensed moneylenders are only allowed to charge for the following:

  • For each month of late repayment, the fee must not exceed $60
  • When the loan is granted, a fee must not exceed 10% of the principal loan amount
  • For recovery of the loan, the moneylender can only claim the legal costs ordered by the court

Remember, the total charges on any loan must not exceed your total principal loan amount. For example, if you have a total principal amount of $10,000, the lender can only charge the interest (up to 4% per month only), late interest rate (up to 4% per month only), 10% administrative fee and $60 fee for late repayment for the month. The total fees must not exceed $10,000.

Yes, various licensed moneylenders have a foreigner loan. These are offered to foreigners who are expatriates or with work permits. Ideally, this loan is dedicated to answering their financial needs. Among the common reasons that they need a foreigner loan are the following:

  • Emergencies
  • Rental deposit
  • New car’s down payment
  • You or your children’s application and tuition fees
  • Flight Ticket when going back home

If you are a foreigner in Singapore, you have the option to borrow even your annual income is less than $10,000. But, if you want a much higher loan offer, you need to have at least $20,000, where you can have a loan amount of up to 6 times your monthly income.

Effective 1st of November 2011, licensed moneylenders are only allowed to advertise on three channels:

  • Business or consumer directories (either in print or online platforms)
  • A website belonging to a licensed moneylender
  • Advertisements within or on the exterior of the moneylender’s business office premises

Advertisements outside those channels are not permitted. This is also one of the main differences in how you can determine a licensed moneylender. In addition, if you are receiving a loan offer from SMS, social media, email, phone, flyers, or any other forms, you need to report them at 1800-924-5664 (1800-X-AH-LONG) or via this website form.

No. It is advisable that you must seek clarification from a licensed moneylender. Take into consideration that a legal moneylender is transparent in explaining all the terms and conditions especially when it comes to their interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. Do not only rely on the advertising messages since the content is limited.

When the time has come that your loan was approved and was granted to you, make sure to take into account the following:

  • The moneylender has delivered the correct principal loan amount. As stated in Question 9, the approval or administrative fee must not exceed 10% of the principal loan amount.
  • Be a responsible borrower and take note of your loan repayment schedules and avoid late repayments. Remember, that you will not only incur the late payment fee but you will also be charged with a late interest.
  • Make sure that you have a copy of your loan repayment receipts and ensure that your name, date and amount are correctly stated.
  • You must also receive a copy of your statement of all your loan account at least once in every January and July. Always check for the correctness of your information e.g. your name, the date and the amount.
  • Keep safely all the copies of your statement of accounts and payment receipts. These will serve as documentation and your payment evidence. So, secure and keep it properly.

In the event that you are standing for surety of the loan, you must take into account the following:
You fully understand your responsibilities

  • You must have a copy of the Note of Contract when the loan is granted to the borrower
  • The licensed moneylender has explained well the terms in the Note of Contract
  • The lender also does not retain your NRIC card or other personal ID documents
  • The moneylender never asks for your personal log-ins e.g. your SingPass or online banking account or your email log-ins.

Take in mind that you need to be fully aware of the responsibilities since it involves legal liabilities.

Unlicensed moneylending or UML is the event where an unlicensed individual or illegal moneylender or also known as ‘Ah Long’ or loan shark lends money to another individual under illegal conditions e.g. with higher interest rates. These loan sharks tend to use harassment when chasing for repayments of debts. Also, in order to get what they want, they use violence.

To report these unlicensed moneylenders you can use the following:

  • Contact the National Crime Prevention Council’s X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 or using their website
  • Call the Police at ‘999’ or their hotline at 1800-255-0000 or use their online form at

In case you experienced threat and harassment especially when it comes to debt collection, you need to contact 1800-9-24-5664. Those are unfair practices and must be reported to the Registry of Moneylender. You may also use their contact form. Before connecting with them make sure that you got the lender’s business name, license number, and contact information.

You may also pursue your complaints at the Small Claims Tribunal or the Court under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act. It has the power in setting aside the loan transactions which are exorbitant or substantially unfair.

Answering this question depends on how much and when will you need that loan. If you want a bigger loan amount, taking a loan from the bank is an ideal option. If you need immediate cash e.g. for your emergency needs, bills, and any other small personal cash needs, securing a loan from a licensed moneylender is the best choice. But, take note that both have the following advantages and disadvantages.

Borrowing from licensed moneylenders

The Pros:

  • The ideal option for a fast cash loan. They can approve your loan within minutes and claim it within the day.
  • Have lesser requirements and fewer restrictions. You just need to fill in their form wherein they usually used an online application form. In addition, you need to submit for supporting documents.
  • Easy processing. No more queue and paperwork involved when submitting the form. You just need to come to the physical address of the licensed money lender for approval or granting of the loan.
  • They adhere to follow the rules and regulations set by Registry of Moneylenders. It strictly follows the interest rate cap which must not exceed 4% per month.
  • They extend loan offers to Singaporean and Permanent Resident even with an annual income lesser than $10,000. They have loan offers also even to Foreigners with an annual income lesser than $10,000.
  • Acquiring a loan is possible even if you have a bad credit history

The Cons:

  • Have a much lower loan amount than banks. Licensed money lenders provide smaller loan amounts. Loan offers can start from $1,500 up to six times your monthly income which ideally depends on your income.

Borrowing from banks

The Pros:

  • Banks have a much higher loan offer. They can provide a personal loan amount of at least $10,000. Ideal for huge financial needs.

The Cons:

  • Involves complex processing and requirements. Approval can take within days or more.
  • Credit score, income, and citizenship matters. Bank takes into consideration this information especially on the loan amount they can provide. Those are also needed for your loan application approval or rejection. It can grant a loan to Singaporeans or Permanent Resident (PR) with an annual income of at least $20,000 and at least $45,000 for foreign nationals.

If you are having a hard time applying for a loan since you have a bad credit score, do not worry you can still have a chance. Here are the things that you can do in order that you can apply for a loan even if you have a bad credit score.

  • Approach the licensed moneylenders. They tend to have much easier requirements than traditional lenders like banks. But, always take note that moneylenders always reward borrowers that have a good credit rating. They can enjoy higher offers and much lower interest rates.
  • Take a smaller loan for now. Since you have a bad credit score securing for a large amount would not be possible. You can start by applying for a smaller amount and be a responsible borrower. You must pay on time, by doing this you can improve your credit score. Take note that you need to reestablish your credit profile by making a good payment history.
  • Opt for a secured loan. If you are planning for a much higher loan amount, you need to go for a secured loan. Where you can opt for an auto loan, home equity, and other loans that required collaterals. Take in mind that you still need to reestablish your credit profile, so be a responsible borrower. Always pay on time. Failure for repayments will make the lender seize your collaterals.

To deal with a favourable licensed moneylender, you need to shop around and compare each lender.

  • You can start your research by checking the list of licensed moneylenders from the Ministry of Law – Registry of Moneylenders website or for an easier search, you can use our list provided above. It is the same list coming from the Registry of Moneylenders.
  • Search for existing reviews online or from business or consumer directories.
  • Go over their website and check each loan offers. Consider their interest rates and repayment terms. You can also ask for their APR or annual percentage rate as a standard way of comparing the loans.
  • You can also talk personally with a licensed moneylender on their registered business address to fully comprehend their loan offers.

Yes. The licensed moneylenders cater to those individuals with no credit history. They can help you in building your credit score. It may be a lower loan offer for now than with a good credit score. Remember, you need to be a responsible borrower, repay on time in order that you boost your credit scores.

Again, always remember that in approving or granting a loan, a licensed money lender must meet its borrower on its physical business address.

With licensed money lenders, loans can be approved within minutes. You can get your loan within the day or a few days. Make sure to deal with a licensed moneylender. You must be able to meet the moneylender on their registered business address in order for your loan to be approved or granted.

The Registry of Moneylenders cannot negotiate with the licensed moneylender. They cannot assist you in terms of your loans since this involves a private contract between you and the moneylender.

Instead, you may connect with social service agencies which may help you with serious debt problems. They can help in general credit management information, credit counseling or even with the negotiation of your debt repayment plan with the licensed moneylenders. These are the following social service agencies that can help you:

      • Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP)
        Address: 1 Pasir Ris Drive 4 #05-11 Singapore 519457
        Tel no.: 6416 3960
        E-mail: [email protected]
      • Adullam Life Counselling
        Address: 151 Chin Swee Road Manhattan House #08-04 Singapore 169876
        Tel no.: 6659 7844 / 9423 8832
        Email: [email protected]
      • Arise2Care Community Services
        Address: No. 5 Harper Road #02-01A Singapore 369673
        Tel no.: 6909 0628
        Email: [email protected]
      • Blessed Grace Social Services
        Address: 18 Arumugam Road, #05-01 Antioch@Macpherson Singapore 409962
        Tel no.: 8428 6377
        Email: [email protected]
      • Credit Counselling Singapore*
        Address: 51 Cuppage Road #07-06, Singapore 229469
        Tel no.: 6225 5227 / 6338 2663
        Email: [email protected]
      • One Hope Centre
        Address: 8 New Industrial Road #04-04B LHK 3 Building Singapore 536200
        Tel no.: 6547 1011
        Email: [email protected]
      • Silver Lining Community Services
        Address: (East) 11 Playfair Road Singapore, (West) Jurong Spring CC, 8 Jurong West St 52 Singapore 649296
        Tel no.: 6749 0400
        E-mail: [email protected]

      *Credit Counselling Singapore only handles cases that also involve debts with banks.

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