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Guide to the Best Licensed Money Lender Near Me (Singapore)

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There are times when unforeseen circumstances arise, and it is possible that you will require financial assistance. When it comes to borrowing money, banks are typically the best option; nevertheless, an increasing number of people are turning to licensed moneylenders instead.

 By reading this article, you will learn how to safely borrow money from a licensed moneylender and avoid falling victim to loan sharks.

What is a Licensed money lender?

A licensed money lender Singapore is someone or a company approved by the government to offer loans. They follow strict rules set by the Ministry of Law to ensure fairness and transparency in lending. 

These lenders can be either individuals or loan companies, and they provide different kinds of loans to borrowers. The regulations they follow are outlined in the Moneylenders Act. 

This means borrowers can trust that licensed moneylenders will treat them fairly and operate transparently when they need financial assistance.

When choosing a money lender, here are some specifics you should Look for:

Here are the key points when choosing a legal lender in Singapore:

  • There are many money lenders, but be careful; some might be illegal loan sharks.
  • Only borrow from a licensed money lender. You can check out a list of licensed lenders on the government website.
  • The interest rate should be fair, no more than 4% per month, according to the law.
  • Read reviews from other customers online to see if the lender has a good reputation.
  • Make sure the lender is upfront about all the loan details, including fees and repayment terms. Don’t borrow from a lender who seems shady or hides information.

Borrowing from a licensed money lender in Singapore is legal. In fact, there are regulations in place to protect borrowers.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Licensed lenders only: The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) approves and licenses moneylenders. You can check their website to verify a lender’s legitimacy.
  • Interest rate cap: By law, licensed lenders cannot charge more than 4% interest per month.
  • Transparency required: Licensed lenders must be upfront about all fees, interest rates, and repayment terms.

Are there Licensed lenders in Singapore that are open 24 hours a day?

While there aren’t any money lenders in Singapore that are literally open 24/7, here’s the deal:

  • Forget about 24-hour lenders—that’s a red flag; it might be a loan shark!
  • Licensed money lenders have regular business hours.
  • The good news is that you can often apply for loans online on their website at any time.
  • If you apply during their business hours, you might even get your loan very quickly, sometimes within a few hours.
  • But if you apply outside their hours, like on a Sunday morning, you’ll likely have to wait until they open on Monday to get your money.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of borrowing from licensed money lenders in Singapore compared to banks:

Licensed money lenders 


  • Faster Approval: Money lenders often have a simpler application process and can approve loans quicker than banks, sometimes even within the same day.
  • Easier Qualification: They may be more flexible with eligibility requirements, especially if you have a lower credit score or income compared to bank standards.
  • Smaller Loan Amounts: If you only need a small loan, a money lender might be a good option because banks typically offer larger amounts.


  • Higher Interest Rates: Be prepared for significantly higher interest rates compared to banks. This can make borrowing more expensive in the long run.
  • Shorter Repayment Terms: Money lenders usually offer shorter repayment periods than banks, which can mean higher monthly installments.
  • Lower Loan Limits: The maximum loan amount you can borrow from a money lender is generally lower than what a bank might offer.

In a nutshell, Licensed money lenders are a good option for quick cash or if you might not qualify for a bank loan. But beware of the high interest rates and shorter repayment terms.

Borrowing from banks in Singapore


  • Lower Interest Rates: Banks generally offer much lower interest rates than legal  lenders. This can save you a significant amount of money in the long run, especially if you’re borrowing a larger sum.
  • Longer Repayment Terms: Banks typically allow you to spread out your loan repayment over a longer period. This translates to lower monthly installments, making repayments more manageable.
  • Higher Loan Limits: Banks tend to offer larger loan amounts compared to money lenders. This makes them a better option for financing bigger purchases like cars or properties.
  • Building Credit History: Making timely repayments on a bank loan can help you build a good credit history, which can be beneficial in the future when applying for other loans or credit cards.


  • Stricter Approval Process: Banks have stricter qualification requirements and a more complex application process compared to money lenders. It might take longer to get approved for a bank loan.
  • Difficulty Qualifying: You may need a good credit score, stable income, and employment history to qualify for a bank loan, especially for larger loans.

In a nutshell, banks are a good choice for those who prioritise lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, and larger loan amounts. However, qualifying for a bank loan can be more challenging.

Here’s the breakdown of how much you can borrow from a licensed money lender in Singapore:

  • Secured Loans: These require you to put up something valuable, like a car or house, as collateral. The good news is that you can borrow pretty much any amount with a secured loan. But beware; if you can’t repay the loan, the lender can take your collateral to cover their losses.
  • Unsecured Loans: These don’t require any collateral, but there’s a limit on how much you can borrow. The maximum amount is based on your monthly salary. Here’s a quick guide:
    • If you earn less than $20,000 per year, the most you can borrow is $3,000.
    • If you earn more than $20,000 per year, you can borrow up to six times your monthly salary.

Discover more about how much can I borrow from money lender.

Interest rates in Singapore 

For your protection, the government of Singapore limits the interest rates that licensed money lenders can charge. This means you can shop around for the best deal and avoid high-cost loans.

  • The maximum interest rate is 4% per month.
  • This applies to all types of loans, regardless of your income.

Late Fees 

If you don’t repay your loan on time, you may be charged a late fee. The maximum late interest rate is also 4% per month. There is also a late repayment fee of up to S$60 per month.

Other Fees 

Money lenders may charge an administrative fee of up to 10% of the loan amount when you take out the loan. They may also charge legal costs if they need to take legal action to collect the debt.

Thing To Remember:

  • Shop around for the best interest rate and fees before you borrow money.
  • Make sure you can afford the repayments before you take out a loan.
  • Be aware of all the fees and charges involved.

Don’t Fall for Loan Sharks: How to Spot and Avoid Unlicensed Money Lenders in Singapore

Looking for a loan but worried about getting ripped off? Here’s how to avoid unlicensed money lenders, also known as loan sharks or “ah longs” in Singapore. These guys are bad news: they charge super high interest rates and can be really nasty if you can’t pay them back.

  1. Check Before You Borrow: Verify Their License 

The easiest way to dodge loan sharks is to make sure the lender is legit. Don’t just take their word for it! Visit the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) website and check their complete list of licensed moneylenders . This list will tell you the lender’s license number, address, contact information, and official website.

  1. Watch out for shady advertising. 

Loan sharks are sneaky and like to advertise online and through social media. They might send you emails, text messages, or even add you to random WhatsApp groups to pitch their loans. Licensed lenders can only advertise in a few places:

  • Business directories (online or print)
  • Their own website
  • Ads displayed within their office

If you see loan ads anywhere else, especially if they seem too good to be true, just ignore them and report the sender.

  1. Understand the deal before you sign. 

Real lenders explain the loan terms clearly and in a language you understand. This includes things like:

  • How much you’re borrowing
  • The monthly interest rate
  • How long do you have to repay the loan?
  • When your payments are due
  • Any late fees

Loan sharks won’t waste time explaining things. They’ll just pressure you to sign on the dotted line without giving you all the details.

  1. Face-to-face is important. 

Legitimate lenders might let you apply online, but they’ll always want to meet you in person before finalising the loan. This is to verify your identity and go over the terms again. Loan sharks, on the other hand, will approve your loan remotely without any paperwork or face-to-face verification.

  1. Get It in Writing: The Loan Contract 

Real lenders give you a complete loan contract that spells out everything: interest rate, loan amount, repayment schedule, and all the fees. Loan sharks might try to get you to sign a blank or incomplete contract. Don’t do it! If you don’t get a proper contract, walk away and report them.

By following these tips, you can avoid the hassle and danger of dealing with loan sharks. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is! There are plenty of reputable lenders out there, so take your time, shop around, and find a loan that works for you.

Before You Borrow: Important Tips from Singapore’s Ministry of Law

Thinking about borrowing money? Here are some important things to consider from Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) before you jump into a loan agreement with a licensed money lender:

Explore all options first. 

MinLaw encourages you to consider alternatives before turning to licensed money lenders. This could include:

  • Traditional bank loans: These may offer lower interest rates than money lenders.
  • Government grants or assistance programmes: There might be government support available to help you through financial difficulties.

Borrowing Responsibly 

If these options aren’t available and you decide to borrow from a licensed money lender, remember:

  • It’s a commitment: Once you sign a loan contract, you’re legally obligated to repay the loan. Make sure you can meet the repayment terms.
  • Don’t Borrow More Than You Can Afford: Consider your income and existing debts. Only borrow what you absolutely need and can realistically repay.
  • Ask Questions: Get all the details before you sign. Understand the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any additional fees.
  • Read Carefully: Don’t skim the contract! Pay close attention to any clauses that allow the lender to place a claim on your property if you can’t repay.
  • Shop Around: Compare loan packages from different licensed money lenders to find the best deal for your situation.

By following these tips, you can make informed decisions about borrowing and avoid getting into financial trouble. Remember, borrowing is a serious matter, so proceed with caution!

How to Submit a Loan Application to a Licensed Lender


To borrow from a licensed money lender in Singapore, you need to meet these basic requirements:

  • Age: Be at least 21 years old.
  • Citizenship: Be a Singaporean citizen, permanent resident, or foreigner.
  • Minimum Salary: 
    • Singaporean or Permanent Resident: Earn at least S$2,000 per month.
    • Foreigner: Earn at least S$3,000 per month.

As a prerequisite: 

PR or Singaporeans

  • Identity Cards
  • A utility bill, a letter addressed to you, or a tenancy agreement are all examples of proof of residency that can be presented. 
  • Documentation demonstrating employment, such as a proof of employment certificate or a payslip covering the most recent three months 
  • For logging into the CPF, HDB, and IRAS websites, use SingPass

For Foreigners

  • Work Permit, Passport, Underground Pass, or Electronic Pass 
  • A utility bill, a letter addressed to you, or a tenancy agreement are all examples of proof of residency that can be presented. 
  • A certificate of employment or a recent three-month’s worth of paystubs are examples of acceptable forms of work documentation. 
  • Recent pay stubs for the past three months 
  • Evidence of income, such as a statement from a bank or online account 
  • SingPass (for the purpose of logging onto the IRAS website)

 Borrowing from Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore

This answers common questions people have about borrowing from licensed money lenders in Singapore.

Verifying a Legit Lender 

  • Check their license number on the Ministry of Law’s website. All licensed money lenders are registered there.

Red flags to watch out for 

  • Don’t deal with a lender who:
    • Refuses to return your ID or passport
    • Asks for your SingPass information
    • Wants you to sign a blank loan contract.
    • Approves a loan without checking your information.
    • Contacts you through social media or messages (except for official updates).
    • Uses threats or harassment
    • Takes a part of your loan amount upfront.
    • Charges fees before the loan is approved.

After Getting a Loan 

  • Make sure you get the full loan amount, minus a one-time 10% fee.
  • Pay installments on time to avoid late charges.
  • Get a receipt for every payment.
  • Get a loan statement twice a year and check for accuracy.
  • Keep all receipts and statements for your records.

Being a Loan Guarantor 

  • Understand your responsibilities as a guarantor.
  • Get a copy of the loan contract and understand the terms.
  • The lender cannot keep your ID or ask for SingPass info.

Legal debt collection 

  • Licensed money lenders have to follow fair practices when collecting debt.
  • If they threaten or harass you, it’s considered illegal.

Making a complaint 

  • Report a money lender who breaks the rules to the Registry of Moneylenders:
    • Online on the Ministry of Law website
    • By calling their hotline (1800-2255-529),
    • In person at their office.

Dealing with loan sharks 

  • If you realise you’re dealing with a loan shark,
    • Stop making payments.
    • Protect your personal information.
    • Call the police hotline (1800-X-AH-LONG) or 999 for emergencies.
    • Don’t give in to threats.

Dealing with unreasonable Licensed money lenders 

  • If a licensed money lender acts unfairly but legally:
    • Try to negotiate repayment terms.
    • Seek help from government financial assistance programmes.
    • Social service agencies can help you manage debt and negotiate repayment plans.

Remember, borrowing money is a serious matter. By following these tips, you can make informed decisions and avoid getting into financial trouble.

 The Bottom Line

Sometimes unexpected bills or emergencies can leave you needing cash quickly. Traditional bank loans might take too long, so you might be considering a licensed money lender. While they can be a faster option, it’s important to be careful and avoid loan scams.

Here’s the key takeaway: Only deal with licensed money lenders in Singapore who follow the rules set by the Ministry of Law. This protects you from unfair practices and high-cost loans.Read also about licensed money lender new rules.