Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Are Private Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore Legal?

All About Private Online Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore

In Singapore where the cost of living is perpetually on the rise, it is not uncommon to be faced with a temporary shortage of funds or unexpected predicaments that put us in a state of financial despair. And unless you have a healthy credit history, it can be very tough to get a loan from banks to help you get through these hurdles.

Thankfully, private money lenders in Singapore have been saving graces for many who need fast funds to tide through short-term cash flow problems. Unlike illegal money lenders in Singapore, these legal money lenders, regulated by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), are safe alternatives for getting loans with short repayment periods.

If you’re scouting for a licensed money lender in Singapore or comparing fast and reliable money lenders for the most attractive rates, read on to learn all about these legal money lenders in Singapore and how they operate.

How to tell if you are dealing with licensed money lenders in Singapore

Before committing to a loan from a private online money lender in Singapore, you must ensure you’re dealing with a legitimate money lender. Mistakenly making a deal with a loan shark can easily result in unlicensed money lender harassment and even insurmountable debts.

To help you exercise prudence, here are a few ways to ensure you’re dealing with a reliable, authorised money lender in Singapore:


Select from MinLaw’s approved list of licensed money lenders in Singapore

A couple choosing a suitable licensed money lender in Singapore as they check against the list of legal money lenders

The best way to avoid falling into money lender scams in Singapore is to find one with a licence number that appears in MinLaw’s list of registered money lenders.  Such registered money lenders are approved by local authorities and adhere to regulations in Singapore’s Moneylenders Act to fully comply with the control of the Moneylenders Credit Bureau (MLCB).

All legal money lenders in Singapore are expected to adopt legal debt collection methods, be transparent about what and how much they can charge, and ensure proper collection, disclosure, and usage of borrower data. The Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) is the designated operator of the MLCB.

Not sure if your quick money lender is a regulated one? Check for its money lender license. An illegal money lender in Singapore might be unwilling to show you any documentation but a trusted licensed money lender in Singapore will be more than happy to display its licence prominently in their office or show you one upon request.

96bm Credit is a fully licensed reputable money lender in Singapore.

Learn more about us here


Money lenders with licences adhere to strict marketing and advertising guidelines

A borrower discussing with a licensed money lender in Singapore after finding them legally through their online website

MinLaw has a pretty strict set of rules for authorised legal money lenders in Singapore. Keep in mind that trusted money lenders in Singapore will only market their services through three channels that are permitted by MinLaw:


Printed or online business and consumer directories


Websites belonging to the licensed money lender


Advertisements placed within or on the exterior of the business premises

An iPad screen showing a checklist of legal marketing channels online for licensed money lenders in Singapore

Don’t fall prey to unsolicited SMSes, WhatsApp messages, flyers, or emails advertising low interests or attractive gifts. These are prohibited marketing channels that may be adopted by loan sharks to scam those in financially vulnerable positions.

If you receive such illegal propositions, you may lodge a complaint against the local money lender to MinLaw by calling 1800-2255-529 or submitting an online complaint on its website.


Types of loans available from authorised money lenders in Singapore

A couple checking on the available loan types with a legal money lender in Singapore

There is a comprehensive range of personal loans available from private legal money lenders in Singapore, which help borrowers tide through cash flow problems with small loan sums and the short repayment period.

Business loans from money lenders are also available with a maximum loan amount of $300,000, repayable over two years. The best part is, there is no processing fee or early redemption penalty for this type of loan from a legalised money lender in Singapore. The approval process is as fast as within two working days.

These are the different types of fast money lenders’ loans you can find:


Loan Amount: $300,000 (max)


Repayment Period: Two years (max)


Interest Rate: 2.27% per month (min)


Processing Fee: $0


Early redemption penalty: $0


Approval duration of at least two working days

Need a short-term personal or business loan?


Legalised money lenders in Singapore work within regulated limits

A satisfied borrower gets the funds he needs by borrowing from a licensed money lender as per the regulated limits

To safeguard the interest of both lenders and borrowers, private money lenders’ interest rates, loan sums, and fees for unsecured loans are regulated by law. These regulations not only protect borrowers from snowballing into insurmountable debts but also prevent private money lenders in Singapore from incurring bad debts from unpaid loans

What is the regulated loan sum?

For secured loans, which are loans backed by collateral such as mortgages and car loans, you can obtain a loan of any amount as long as it complies with your Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR).

Primarily, TDSR refers to the maximum threshold set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to limit borrowers from spending more than 55% of their monthly income on repaying debts.

For unsecured loans, the rules are slightly different. The maximum loan sum you may borrow at any time across all trusted money lenders in Singapore is subject to your annual income and citizenship:

Borrower’s annual income Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents Foreigners residing in Singapore
Less than $10,000 $3,000 $500
$10,000 to less than $20,000 $3.000
$20,000 and above Six times of monthly income

What are the regulated loan interest rates?

Interest rates from official lenders in Singapore are capped at 4% per month. This limit is effective regardless of the borrower’s income, nationality, or loan type.

The interest rate imposed is a reducing interest rate. This is imposed on the outstanding loan amount instead of the principal loan amount.

For example, let’s assume you took a personal loan of $10,000 at 4% interest a month but have repaid $2,000 of the principal sum. As a result, the unpaid principal sum of $8,000 will be subjected to 4% interest.

Interest charges for outstanding loan amount = $8,000 x 4% = $320

Legitimate money lenders can also impose late interest capped at 4% a month, charged only on the amount that is repaid late (note: this cannot be charged on outstanding amounts that are not yet due).

For example, if the first repayment of $1,060 for a loan of $10,000 is due but the borrower has failed to make payment on time, assuming a daily late repayment interest of 0.1%, the computation will look like this:

Daily late repayment interest charges = $1,060 x 0.1% = $1.06

What are the regulated loan fees?

Chargeable fees for borrowing from licensed money lenders in Singapore are strictly limited to:


a fee of $60 or less for each month of late repayment


a processing fee of 10% or less of the approved loan sum


legal costs ordered by the court for a successful claim by the money lender to recover a loan

Primarily, the total charges comprising interest, late interest, upfront administrative fee, and late charges imposed by a registered money lender cannot exceed the loan sum. Case in point, if you decide to take out a loan of $10,000, the total chargeable interest, late interest, administrative charges, and monthly late fees cannot go beyond $10,000.


Eligibility criteria for borrowing from a trusted online money lender in Singapore

A borrower signing a loan contract after the private money lender has explained the loan contract in detail

While the best trusted online money lenders in Singapore attempt to keep loan applications as seamless as possible, they still have certain eligibility criteria that borrowers must meet. Also, licensed private money lenders in Singapore must carry out document verification processes before disbursing loan funds to borrowers.

These are what sets them apart from illegal local money lenders like loan sharks that don’t set eligibility standards nor assess borrowers’ repayment capacity.

To qualify for a loan with a quick and reliable money lender in Singapore, you must:


Be 18 years old and above, and able to show proof of consistent income


If you’re a foreigner, you must be working and residing in Singapore


Fast but rigorous application process

A woman free from old debt after borrowing from a private money lender in Singapore

Licensed money lenders online operate seamlessly to provide fast yet rigorous processes to ensure timely approval and minimum delays when you’re in need of urgent cash loans from money lenders.

Even though online money lenders in Singapore work fixed operating hours, the online loan application option on their websites allows you to submit a request at any time of the day. This means loan officers can process the application as soon as their day starts and grant you approval within the day.

Before the loan is disbursed to you, you’ll be invited to the business office for a face-to-face verification with a loan officer.

Such a meeting allows the loan officer to explain your loan contract to you in great detail and that you fully understand the terms of the loan before signing the contract. Once the contract is signed, the funds will be disbursed to you in cash or to your bank account immediately.

Key differences between unlicensed and licensed money lenders

Now that you know the regulated practices by legalised reliable money lenders in Singapore, make sure to consider them wisely before signing a loan with a new-to-you lender who’s seemingly offering an irresistible deal.

The following are three key differences between illegal and legitimate money lenders that you should take note of.


Regulated vs unregulated interest and charges

Charges and fees by licensed money lenders in Singapore

As a rule of thumb, all licensed private money lenders in Singapore must be upfront with their interest and charges and spell them out clearly in the contract. If the money lender you encounter is unwilling to provide details or proposed terms beyond the regulated limits, disengage immediately because you could end up in a scam.

The total interest, fees, and charges licensed instant money lenders are allowed to charge are stated in the above sections on interest rates and loan fees.


Regulated debt collection tactics vs scare tactics

A licensed money lender gently reminding a borrower on their upcoming debt repayment date

Authorised money lenders in Singapore strictly follow standard debt recovery guidelines stipulated by MinLaw. They can appoint debt collectors to remind borrowers who have defaulted payments to repay their loans from money lenders or courteously negotiate a reasonable repayment plan.

Conversely, illegal money lenders often use scare tactics such as intimidation or humiliating behaviours to coerce borrowers to pay up. Unlicensed money lender harassment can be reported to the police or MinLaw.


Loan limits

Legal loan limits legal money lenders have to adhere to

In the regulated loan sum section above, there are loan limits for loans offered by legalised money lenders in Singapore.

It is always a good idea to check if your trusted money lender in Singapore adheres to the loan limits in accordance with your income and nationality.

Don’t let unlicensed instant money lenders trick you into believing that the personal loan or renovation loan that you’re applying for has no regulated limit.

Looking for a legal loan from a licensed money lender?

Key differences between borrowing from licensed money lenders and banks

When it comes to taking up a loan, the first thought that likely comes to mind is to approach a bank. But why are more people turning to fast, legitimate local money lenders these days? Here’s why:


Differences in the loan amount

Charges and fees by licensed money lenders in Singapore

Compared to instant money lenders that are licensed, banks may be able to offer a higher loan quantum, sometimes as much as 10 times the borrower’s monthly income. Money lenders, on the other hand, are limited to offering a maximum of 6 times the borrower’s monthly salary.

However, the catch is – banks’ approval criteria are very strict. There are a lot more eligibility criteria you need to meet before you can qualify for a bank loan.


Credit score affects bank loans

A card with a borrower’s personal details and credit score

Those with a bad credit score can still easily obtain a bad credit loan from quick, legal money lenders as long as they meet the standard eligibility criteria for their annual income and nationality. The same cannot be said if you were to try getting a loan from traditional banking institutions.

Simply put, reliable money lenders in Singapore do not exercise discrimination based on credit scores and are willing to extend financial assistance even to those with less favourable financial histories.


Fast approval and turnaround

Dollar sign on a stop watch representing licensed money lenders’ speediness at loan approvals and disbursements

Online licensed money lenders make it extremely easy to apply for a loan with them. Not only can an application be approved within 30 minutes, but also the confirmation of the loan agreement and fund disbursement from fast money lenders are almost immediate.

This will usually not be the case if you’re applying for a bank loan because there are more layers of screening and approval processes required within the institution and at the credit bureau before a loan can be released to you.


Shorter repayment period

A legal money lender and borrower mutually agree on a shorter repayment period after a loan application

One of the key benefits of borrowing from a licensed, reliable money lender in Singapore is the option for short repayment periods.

For example, you can apply for a quick money lender’s payday loan to help with short-term cash flow problems and repay it within the month. Bank loans are generally more suitable for larger loan sums with longer repayment periods that stretch over a few years.

6 simple steps to get fast loans from licensed money lenders in Singapore


Visit the online licensed money lender’s website to fill out the loan application form.


Wait for the loan officer to call you and arrange for a face-to-face interview at the money lender’s office.


During the interview, the loan officer will conduct a risk assessment and better understand your requirements. Your information will also be submitted to the MLCB to check your borrowing limit. The loan officer will need you to log in to CPF, IRAS, and other government agencies to retrieve any supporting documents.


If you meet most of the eligibility criteria, you can get your loan approved in as fast as 15 minutes.


Before funds are disbursed to you, the loan officer will review the loan contract with you to ensure the loan terms are clearly understood. Once you accept the loan terms, you will need to sign the loan contract.


Loan funds will be disbursed to you immediately in cash or via cashless transactions through iBanking or PayNow.

Professional and reliable money lender at your service

A loan officer explains the loan terms in a loan contract to a man who's borrowing from a licensed money lender in Singapore

96bm Credit is a licensed and fast money lender in Ubi offering a comprehensive range of personal and business loans to suit various financial needs.

As one of the top-rated quick money lenders in Singapore, our easy online application process and fast approval guarantee are perfect solutions for all your urgent cash flow needs.