1. How much can you borrow?
For secured loans, you can obtain a loan of any amount. For unsecured loans, you can obtain:
- Up to $3,000, if your annual income is less than $20,000;
- Up to 2 months’ income, if your annual income is $20,000 or more but less than $30,000;
- Up to 4 months’ income, if your annual income is $30,000 or more but less than $120,000; and
- Any amount, if your annual income is $120,000 or more.
2. What are the interest rates moneylenders can charge?
For loans contracted between 1 June 2012 and 30 September 2015, moneylenders are required to compute and disclose to you the Effective Interest Rate of the loan, before the loan is granted. If your annual income is less than $30,000, the interest rate which moneylenders can charge, for both secured and unsecured loans, is capped at:
- 13 per cent Effective Interest Rate for secured loans; and
- 20 per cent Effective Interest Rate for unsecured loans.
The Effective Interest Rate takes into account the compounding effect of the frequency of instalments over a one-year period. This means that Effective Interest Rate better reflects the actual cost of borrowing over a one-year period. Visit https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/rom to find out more about how the Effective Interest Rate is calculated from 1 June 2012.
If your annual income is $30,000 or more, the caps above are not applicable and interest rate is to be agreed upon between the moneylender and the borrower.
With effect from 1 October 2015, the maximum interest rate moneylenders can charge is 4% per month. This cap applies regardless of the borrower’s income and whether the loan is an unsecured or secured one. If a borrower fails to repay the loan on time, the maximum rate of late interest a moneylender can charge is 4% per month for each month the loan is repaid late.
The computation of interest charged on the loan must be based on the amount of principal remaining after deducting from the original principal the total payments made by or on behalf of the borrower which are appropriated to principal. [To illustrate, if X takes a loan of $10,000, and X has repaid $4,000, only the remaining $6,000 can be taken into account for the computation of interest.]
3. What are the fees that moneylenders can charge?
For loans contracted between 1 June 2012 and 30 September 2015, moneylenders are only permitted to charge six types of fees:
- For each occasion of late repayment of principal or interest;
- For each occasion the terms of the loan contract are varied at your request;
- For each dishonoured cheque issued by you;
- For each unsuccessful GIRO deduction from a bank account, as payment to the moneylender;
- For early redemption of the loan or early termination of the contract; and
- Legal costs incurred for the recovery of the loan.
Any other fees are not permitted, and are hence not enforceable by the moneylender.
With effect from 1 October 2015, all moneylenders are only permitted to impose the following charges and expenses:
- a fee not exceeding $60 for each month of late repayment;
- a fee not exceeding 10% of the principal of the loan when a loan is granted; and
- legal costs ordered by the court for a successful claim by the moneylender for the recovery of the loan.