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Articles - How to tell between licensed and unlicensed moneylenders in Singapore 2023?
Sudden and unforeseeable situations can arise without warning, possibly out of our control too. Such situations can sometimes impair our ability to make sound judgment and decisions calmly and logically. Taking up a loan may be mandatory but because we are sometimes overtaken by our emotions, we may end up borrowing from an unlicensed moneylender. Hence, EZ Loan Pte Ltd is here to provide help and assistance for your needs.

 

As such, EZ Loan Pte Ltd has come up with a guide that will help you in your judgment in determining whether the moneylender you are keen in, is a licensed or unlicensed moneylender, so that you can borrow legally and worry free with us.

 

List of Licensed Moneylenders

If you are unsure that the moneylender you have chosen to borrow from is licensed and legal, before giving your personal particulars, click here to check out the list of moneylenders that are licensed to operate legally in Singapore, the list is always available in the Ministry of Law website.   EZ Loan Pte Ltd is one of the licensed lenders shown in the list. 

 

For illegal moneylenders, you will not be able to find their company name on the list of licensed moneylenders on the website under the Ministry of Law. 

 

Location of Business

As licensed moneylenders are only permitted to operate in an approved premise in Singapore, do go down to the moneylender’s physical office to get your loan. A face to face interview will be conducted at the physical office in order for loans to be disbursed upon successful interview.  

 

For illegal moneylenders, they will require documents to be sent via whatsapp, including images of NRIC front and back. Besides, their contracts are completed via whatsapp and without a physical face to face verification, or they may not have any contract at all. 

 

Office Landline Number and Company Website 

A licensed moneylender is listed by Singapore’s Ministry of Law on the Moneylenders List. The list will state and provide the names of moneylenders, the business’ address, their license numbers, registered telephone numbers and the websites of all the moneylenders who are currently licensed to operate.  

 

Please note that loan scammers may impersonate a licensed moneylender company name for their illegal activities, please only contact the office number given on this list. Based on a CNA news article, the number of scam cases are increasing, and loan scam is one of the biggest numbers among these. 

 

Loan Disbursement & repayment bank account 

For loan disbursement, clients can choose between cash or by bank transfer.  For cash disbursement, clients will receive cash upon the signing of the loan contracts. Meanwhile for  bank disbursement, client will receive via either bank transfer or PAYNOW on the spot, with the sender of funds being the licensed moneylender company’s full name.  

 

Similar for repayment(s), licensed moneylenders have a repayment bank account or PAYNOW UEN which is tagged to the company name. Usually there will only be one bank account and PAYNOW UEN. 

 

For illegal moneylenders, their funds are from an unknown personal bank account instead of a proper company bank account.  Please be aware that, funds that you receive in your bank account from these unknown personal bank accounts, may cause your bank account to be frozen by the police.  

 

Publicity & Advertising

The most common ways that illegal moneylenders advertise are via whatsapp message or cold call from overseas or unknown numbers. The second most common advertising method is through Facebook. All licensed moneylenders do not have any social media accounts.  

 

If you come across such advertisements, you should ignore them and do not respond.  Immediately report them to the Registry at 1800-2255-529 or via the Ministry of Law website. Alternatively, you may wish to visit our website or give us a call, we will be pleased to clear your doubts and assist you.

 

Loans, Rates & Charges

For all licensed moneylenders in Singapore, the loan amounts and charges are drafted and calculated by adhering strictly to the rates and charges which are allowed, and stated by the Ministry of Law

 

Loan Amount

For unsecured personal loans, please refer to the table below for the total maximum amount that you may borrow at any time across all moneylenders in Singapore.

For unlicensed moneylenders or scammers, they always try to lure a client into it by offering high loan amount, for example, $100,000- $500,000. And they offer this amount to borrowers regardless their income level.

Interest Rates & Fees Chargeable

In effect since 1st October 2015, for personal loans, the maximum interest rate that licensed money lenders can charge is 4% per month.

 

There is a admin fee not exceeding 10% of the principal of the loan when a loan is granted. And this fee will be deducted upon loan disbursement.

 

If a customer fails to repay the loan on time or in full based on the repayment schedule stated on the contract, the maximum rate of late interest is 4% per month for each month . And there is a late fee not exceeding $60 for each month of late repayment.

 

A few key features of unlicensed moneylenders:

– They tend to charge interests and late interest at rates which are far higher than the legal limit

They tend to ask different kind of fees from a client before loan approval, for example, process fee, GST, admin fee, deposit etc.

– They try to lure a client by offering a large loan amount

– They do not provide an official loan agreement to shows all the interest rate and fees.

 

EZ Loan Pte Ltd is a moneylender licensed by Singapore’s Registrar of Moneylenders to operate, we have loan consultants who are trained professionals to attend to you and help you with your financial needs. If you are interested in the loan application, you can simply submit an online application and get a non-obligation loan quotation.

 

Identifying common Practices and Behaviours of Unlicensed Moneylenders.

Here are some of the common practices and behaviours that unlicensed moneylenders exhibit or practice:

  1. Making cold calls or sending any unsolicited text messages to members of the public.

  2. Advertise through other channels, for example Facebook, Instagram, Whatapps or SMS

  3. Approving or granting a loan to a borrower remotely and not at the physical outlet.

  4. Not explaining the contracts and terms clearly, does not want or reluctantly clears your doubts regarding the loan contract and terms.

  5. Charging more than 4% of interest rates per month.

  6. Disburse loans that are higher than the legal limit allowed.

  7. Requesting a loan applicant to make any payment before the disbursement of the loan, or to make any payment to secure the disbursement of the loan. Payments such as:

    1. GST

    2. “Admin Fee”

    3. “Processing Fee”

    4. “Account Opening Fee” or any other fees. 

An administrative fee may only be charged by the licensed moneylender AFTER the loan has been granted, but this will usually be deducted upon loan disbursement. 

 

What to do if you encounter Unlicensed Moneylenders?
  1. If you come across advertisements from Unlicensed Moneylenders:

  • DO NOT reply to their messages.

  • Block and Report them as spam immediately.

  1. If you come across unusual and suspicious activities from Unlicensed Moneylenders or know of anyone who could be involved in such activities:

  • Report to the Police @ 999

  • Call the X-Ah Long Hotline @ 1800-924-5664

 

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