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 we have provided above. 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 interest rates and late interest up to 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 www.police.gov.sg/iwitness 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 www.scamalert.sg.
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.